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Thread: question - electric water heater

  1. #1

    Arrow question - electric water heater

    In response to Dana's comment to get an electric standard hot water tank given my low usage.

    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 a mistake, 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.

    Last edited by netmouse; 10-07-2013 at 05:14 AM.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013


    Buying a water heater is like buying a car - if it was made on Monday it was not as good as if it was made on Tuesday, which was better than Wed, but not as good as Thus, and forget about made on Friday...Meaning: pure luck.

    The first water heater I bought was a Reliance for $89 from Builder's Emporium. It lasted longer than today's water heaters going for $500. More expensive doesn't mean better. Today I buy them from the plumbing supply warehouse, they usually sell dented WHs for a little less, I guess they can't find a better forklift driver, who won't dent them, so they discount them.

    Since water heaters don't last forever, go for the one on sale. Your chances getting a lemon are the same.

  3. #3
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    That's actually not bad advice. The $199 red-tag special is almost always the "right" electric water heater, as long as the writing on the name plate is in a language you recognize and understand. The rest is "in the statisical noise". Volume of water used is the biggest determinant of how fast the anodes fail and how soon you'll be shopping for another. For low volume users it's common to get a coupla decades out of just about anybody's electric hot water heater, but the family with 6-8 kids showering daily might very well collect something on the warranty.

  4. #4


    Dana and all the others who have responded, THANK YOU. It looks like I'm signing the contract for the new gas boiler tomorrow. When he leaves I'm ordering the Kenmore (A. O. Smith) water heater. What a journey of learning this has been. Thanks again.

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