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Thread: Bock 51E Repair

  1. #1

    Default Bock 51E Repair

    A friend of mine just called me because his oil-fired HWH sprung a leak overnight. He wanted my opinion whether he should wait the weekend to replace the unit with a similar HWH or just go to Lowes/Home Depot to pick-up an electric.

    The unit is a very nice (13 year old) Bock 51E (or ES). Looking at Bock's website, this thing was designed to be repaired, not replaced. From a financial point of view, it would be ridiculous to replace this HWH if it is in fact repairable.

    What commonly fails on such a unit? What is the general consensus of this line of HWH, repair or replace?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    I can't help you with the question about the Bock heater, but have your friend read the Sticky at the top of this section regarding Whirlpool water heaters which are the ones sold at Lowe's.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Unless it is a fitting, when a tank starts to leak, it's time to replace (from my limited experience). Often, even if parts are available, it may end up not being cost effective if it is a major part.

    Not sure what the whole thing costs, but the part of the tank alone retails for about $1162. Then, the labor to tear the old one apart and reinstall it all on the new tank would cost more than the labor to buy a new, complete one. And, only the tank would have a warranty, not the burner, since it is an old one.
    Last edited by jadnashua; 09-17-2011 at 05:43 PM.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4


    I haven't had an opportunity to inspect the unit yet. For all I know it was the T&P relief valve or a fitting to/from the tank. He just told me there was water on the floor. I just hate to see him go the cheap route and install an electric when he has a nice oil-fired unit.

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