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Thread: Should I repair or replace water heaters?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member MEYLIN's Avatar
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    Default Should I repair or replace water heaters?

    I have two State water heaters that are 14 years old. Water temperature is now warm rather than hot. I replaced expansion tank a year ago. Should we repair or replace water heaters?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Gas or electric? Usually, I only recommend replacing when they start to leak. Your FIRST task is to find out why the water is only warm, otherwise, you may replace the heaters and find out you STILL have the same problem if it is functional problem.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member MEYLIN's Avatar
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    The water heaters are gas.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    My last State gas water heater lasted for 10 years before springing a leak. I would have liked to cut it open to see the innards as I suspect it had quite a build-up inside. The installer that took it out said it weighed a lot more than when it was new.

    I would not repair a 14 year old gas heater, figuring that the build-up inside would significantly reduce efficiency and capacity.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member MEYLIN's Avatar
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    Any recommendations for a replacement?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    In the USA, (nearly) all residential WH are now required to have protection from igniting vapors from volatile liquids that may be in the area. These have been problematic for some companies. They also generally mean that a new WH of the same volume will likely be taller, since the burner design is different to prevent that ignition. I'd look at Rheem or Bradford White. Some of their models qualify for Energy Star efficiencies, and may get you a rebate from your local utility company - well worth asking.
    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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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I like the Rheem and Bradford White water heaters for replacement.
    14 years is pretty old for a gas water heater. So old, that they may not deserve a service call.

    Warm not hot?
    Have you checked the thermostat settings?
    Also, if you have been having plastic particles clogging faucet aerators, you could have bad dip tubes.
    Last edited by Terry; 01-06-2013 at 05:15 PM.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Aos I said before, find out WHY you do not have adequate hot water, since it is NOT a common problem with gas heaters.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    About the only think worth repairing on heaters this old would be the dip tubes. There was a big bunch of defective tubes made by one manufacturer that supplied several brands of heaters several years ago. Your heaters may be from that time period. At any rate, dip tubes are easy to check and easy to replace if they are broken. Just remove the nipple on the intake side of the heater and pull the tube out. They should go nearly to the bottom of the tank. They are just a flanged plastic tube that hang in the hole under the nipple. Turn the water supply off first. LOL

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Dip tubes caused a lack of hot water volume, not a lack of temperature.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Good catch, HJ.

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    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    How are the wtr/htrs plumbed ?
    It is possible that one of them is not firing while the other one is heating the water but it mix's coming out of heaters giving you warm water !
    Then trouble shoot the one not working and repair as needed

    MACPLUMB 777

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    35 YEAR MASTER PLUMBER, HEATING, ELECTRIC, DRAINS, FIRE SPRINKLERS, WATER HEATER
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  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member MEYLIN's Avatar
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    The problem was solved with a new thermocouple. Enjoying hot showers again! Appreciate everyone's comments.

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