hot water heater garantees

Old 04-03-05, 08:19 AM
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hot water heater garantees

My hot water heater is about 5 yrs old. It came from Sears and I did my own installation. At the time, I considered a generic unit from a big box, but Sears had a sale on it was a better deal. It also seemed to have better insulation. Anyhow, it's been in place for 5 yrs and it seems to be hot and cold, or better hot and warm.

Some mornings, I get in the shower and have to turn the hot down so my skin won't scald. Other mornings, I turn it all the way to hot and it's only warm and gradually gets cooler. By the way, the temp outside has no affect. It can be hot on a very cold day and only warm when the outside temps are higher. There is no pattern to it relative to time of year or incoming water temp. I get up at the same time every morning and no one is up using hot water before me. .

This is a gas unit and my bet is the valve / thermostat is bad. My garantee reads that all parts are covered for 10 yrs. Great, so all I need to do is replace the valve, as I am more than capable of doing this myself. However, even though the valve may indeed be bad, according to Sears, I am not qualified to assess whether it is bad or not. I must pay for a service call (about $75) for a service guy to come out and make the call) Even then, I am not sure if they will simply hand me the part or insist that they install it.

Aside from the inconvenience of hauling a new one home from Lowes or Home Depot, the service fee may equal the cost of new. If i found a dented one in the "quick sale" area, it might even be less.

How do you convince these people to hone a warranty without having to pay for their service?
Old 04-03-05, 08:30 AM
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Water heater

I'm afraid they have you. Will they accept the word of a plumber or service person other than the one they want to send out? The fact of an intermittent problem makes the troubleshooting even more difficult.
A new water heater will cost a lot more than $75, even a "scratch & dent".
Old 04-04-05, 12:18 AM
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Hot Water Heater


Don't condemn the thermostat without first troubleshooting other things like sediment flushing, etc. (especially if you have hard water), or a bad dip tube; the websites below will give you an idea of what to check out to try & pinpoint the exact problem; you should also consider installing a tempering valve in the shower hot/cold supply so no one gets scalded in a situation just like this; on the Lowe's site, enter "water heater" in the search box, then click onto "heater replacement" in the left-hand column; on the Popular Mechnics site, enter "water heater" in the search box to get some excellent articles on repairing & "replacing a water heater".

Let us know what you find.,00.html

Last edited by Chimney Cricket; 04-04-05 at 12:48 AM.
Old 04-04-05, 03:33 PM
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100% sure it's valve/thermostat

My water is municipal water, not well. It is not hard and never has been. My last water heater had no problem for 18 yrs. II bought this Sears model simply because my neighbor was buying one and I tagged along to help him carry it. It was on sale and I figured mine didn't have too many years left, so I bought it and left it in the box until mine started to drip a few months later.

This water heater features a "swirl" dip tube. In addition to that, I flush mine two or three times a year, so sediment is not likely a problem. Sediment, by the way will cause a tank to loose capacity to recover. The capacity and recovery of mine is fine on some days and not fine on others. If sediment were the problem, the symptoms would not change

As for dip tube problems. The deteriorating dip tubes made by a subsideraty of Shell oil and used on White or Bradford models of the early 80's are not common today. Besides, a broken, deteriorated dip tube would not function fine one day and cause a problem the next.

As for "on sale", I have definitely seen dented ones in the center plumbing aisle at Lowes for $75 or less. This is for a regular gas, 40 gal model without things like the electronic stuff that varies temperature on vacation, etc. The largest hurdle I see to replacing the tank is the effort to haul the existing one up the stairs and the same effort to get a new one down there.

If anyone can come up with a reasonable other possible explanation other than the valve (thermostat incorporated into valve), I'd love to hear an explanation. I'm not a plumber, but there's nothing on the Lowe's site that I couldn't have written myself. My father was a steam fitter and taught me how to sweat copper when I was 12. I never went into the trades, but found the skills he taught me usefull in every house I have ever owned.

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