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Thread: standard electric water heater

  1. #1

    Default standard electric water heater

    Given I live alone and have very low hot water usage, Dana recommends I get a well insulated standard electric tank over gas, given that standby loss is more important than cost of the source.

    Does any of the following make any real difference?

    - 9 year warranty with 2 inch foam insulation and 1 anode rod. Or 12 year warranty with 3 inch foam insulation and 2 anode rods.

    - Anode rod aluminum versus magnesium.

    - Overheat protection in GE literature, not in the other brand's lit (Kenmore).

    I can’t tell if Kenmore (A.O. Smith or State I heard) is a good deal or not. But GE (Rheme) at Home Depot seems no better in internet reviews. Brands like Bradford White are not available to the public.

    I'm favoring Sears on its 9-year tank that offers a full 9 year warranty - parts, labor, replacement install if needed, but then I see a plastic valve at the photo bottom, not brass, so wonder if it is cheaply made.


  2. #2
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Houston, TX


    They are ALL made cheap now a days.

    They all have Overheat protection.

    The sears would be just fine.

    There is not all that much to go wrong, but service after the sale is a plus, and sears has the techs and parts to fix it.

    Good Luck.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    The drain valve is often replaced, and it's easy to do. I favor a 3/4" ball valve with hose adapter.

  4. #4


    Thank you! Just what I needed to hear. And the Kenmore just went on a Columbus Day holiday sale.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    The bigger differences between brands is in fired WH, not electric. More insulation is good. The choice of anode material is somewhat dependent on your water chemistry. In some water chemistry situations, the anode can react and create some funky water smells. If that happens (any plumber in your area would know), you'd swap it for a different type.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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