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Thread: Your opinion on a used WH, please

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Default Your opinion on a used WH, please

    I have a used electric water heater I had replaced for my wife's aunt after it quit working. I suspect it needs either an element or a new control. Before doing anything else, I pulled the anode rod to try to assess the tank's condition, and only about a foot of 1/8" wire was left on the rod. I have a new rod I can put in this heater.

    Question: Does the condition of the rod I pulled tend to indicate the tank might already be damaged?
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    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    To assess the heater I would be looking at it's age. Life span 7-10 years.

    John

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Understood, John, and it looks to me like this heater came from a location with some tough water.

    We presently have a 20-year-old gas water heater, and will ultimately be replacing it with an electric one.

    Question 2: Should I bother with putting the new anode in the gas heater to help keep it going as long as possible?
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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    I'm not sure why you'd be replacing the gas-fired unit with an electric tank (especially a used one). The cost of heating water with gas is usually SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper than heating with electricity.

    If it's 2 decades and counting, apply the anode money to the new hot water heater.

    If it's not leaking the electric tank with a totally-spent anode may still be OK, but don't put it back in service without a fresh anode.

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    My in-laws had purchased the gas-fired unit used about 20 years ago, and my initial thought had been to replace it now before it begins leaking or whatever. I had already purchased the new anode with thoughts of having the used electric heater standing by, but now I am thinking about replacing the anode in the gas-fired heater and doing nothing more for as long as that heater still works.

    Switching to electric is just a preference of mine, and the circuit is already in place.

    If it's not leaking the electric tank with a totally-spent anode may still be OK, but don't put it back in service without a fresh anode.
    I still might get the electric unit ready for service since I am concerned about using an impact wrench on top of the old gas-fired unit and damaging it while trying to install the new anode.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 09-05-2012 at 04:48 AM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

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    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    My in-laws had purchased the gas-fired unit used about 20 years ago, and my initial thought had been to replace it now before it begins leaking or whatever. I had already purchased the new anode with thoughts of having the used electric heater standing by, but now I am thinking about replacing the anode in the gas-fired heater and doing nothing more for as long as that heater still works.

    Switching to electric is just a preference of mine, and the circuit is already in place.


    I still might get the electric unit ready for service since I am concerned about using an impact wrench on top of the old gas-fired unit and damaging it while trying to install the new anode.
    Pardon my English, but I would not install an old water heater any sooner than use a recycled condom.

    If it leaks or whatever, than all your efforts and labor are wasted. 400 bucks or so is not an insignifigant amount of money, but I'd rather buy the new one and hopefully be done with it.

    It was bought "used" 20 years ago, and you are considering installing it? LOL. then again, that's just my $.02

    OK, I mixed up the 2 water heaters. I was too busy wiping away the tears from laughter to see clearly. My opinion remains anyway
    Last edited by BobL43; 09-05-2012 at 08:25 AM.
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