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Thread: Which Electric Lowboy?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Pete W's Avatar
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    Default Which Electric Lowboy?

    Hi everybody: (First post) I'm about to replace a 50 gal. electric lowboy water heater (space limitations and all-electric house). I've looked at Reliance, Whirlpool, A O Smith, Bradford White and American. Every time I think I'm ready to pull the trigger, I read another negative review about one of the products. I like the fact that Lowe's offers a 5 year extended warranty on Whirlpool for $50, although I don't know if it's worth the paper it's printed on. A O Smith seems like a good choice. but they seem to have lots of unhappy customers. Bradford White seems like the pick of the litter, but expensive and no warranty extension beyond 6 years. I would sure appreciate hearing from any and all old hands out there who might have experience with any of these brands. Thanks for your time!
    Pete
    (I hope I didn't post this twice. I was reviewing my first attempt before posting, started to make corrections and lost the post)

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Bradford White charges about $150.00 for an extension to 10 years, but it is a 6 year heater with a new rating plate. EVERY manufacturer has about the same experience with heaters leaking within the warranty period, (go to any supply house's "bone yard" regardless of the heater brand they sell), so I would be more concerned with price, especially with an electric heater.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Electric verses gas, the electrics are definately on a more even playing ground. They only have the heating elements...a gas WH has the flue and burner design and more areas that must be kept waterproof plus higher thermal stresses. If you want to extend the life, flush it out periodically and change the sacrificial anode before it gets used up (timing depends on use and water quality). You may need an impact wrench to remove it, though, and you'll have to buy a segmented replacement rod (made to be able to bend) so you can get it in.
    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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    Homeowner
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    I like Rheem and Rheem makes G.E. thats sold at the orange box store. Either a Rheem or a G.E. would be my call. I do not like the brand that the blue box sells.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Buy on PRICE. Then pull out the anode and check its length, it should make to near bottom. You could even cut one into a few pieces and drop it in for good measure. The only Diffference in warranties is either deception or more anode.

    http://www.inspectapedia.com/plumbin...ater_Anode.htm
    Last edited by ballvalve; 04-11-2012 at 02:07 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; cut one into a few pieces and drop it in for good measure

    That would do absolutely NOTHING. The anode rod has to be physically connected to the heater's shell and be immersed in water to be "effective".
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  7. #7
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Depending on the lining of the heater, there may be contact with the shell. But I should have said use a LONG segmented anode that can curl up in the lowboy. One can also make one by drilling and wiring standard anodes together.

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