Tank Leak??


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Old 07-10-09, 09:04 PM
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Tank Leak??

Maytag 50 gallon water heater - 7.5 years old. Leaking from all fitting at the top of the heater - water in, water out, anode fitting. It is leaking not from the threaded portions of the fitting but actually from where the fittings go in to the top of the heater. Would this indicate an inner tank that is leaking into the housing?

Tank leak warranty is still in effect and results in replacement with same or comparable unit. How does one go about making that warranty claim since Maytag (ao smith) is no longer manufacturing water heaters. And how is that warranty fulfilled? The warranty requires we pay for shipping and transport as well as installation. Husband is capable of a self-install - we are trying to figure out the least expensice replacement option. Assuming we wil need to pay for diagnisis and then add to that shipping, etc if they don't provide a replacement unit locally. Or would it be less expensive to just go buy a new unit and not mess with the warranty claim? Call center is closed until Monday.

Any advice or help is much appreciated!
 
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Old 07-11-09, 12:56 AM
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Tank warranties are usually prorated. This means that after the first year (usually full replacement for the first year) the warranty only covers the percentage of time left on the original warranty.

As an example consider a tank that had a ten-year warranty and it starts to leak at 7-1/2 years. The company would only pay 25% of the cost of a new comparable water heater; the rationale being that you already received service for 75% of the warranted life.

I think that if you are able and willing to obtain a new tank and install it yourself you would probably be money ahead. Two things to remember, the difference between a water heater with a shorter warranty period and one with a longer warranty period is usually only price and stay as far away from Whirlpool water heaters as possible.
 
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Old 07-11-09, 04:01 AM
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Thanks

I was surprised also that the tank warrant seems to not be prorated. IT states that after the first year and through the ninth year, if a leak occurs in the tank, a new water heater (closest capacity and quality) .... will be replaced free of charge...with the owner paying all other costs (labor, nileage, transportation).

I wonder how the replacement is made since they are no longer manufactured, how long it would take to obtain a new unit.

How long can one function with a leak and/or with no hot water.

Ugh ....always on the weekend.
 
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Old 07-12-09, 06:36 AM
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Question And then there was none?

The night before last husband turned off water to the hot water heater, and turned off the gas and pilot. Just to be safe we didn't have a major leak while we slept. 24 hours ago he turned it all back on so we could use the hot water and since then there has been none of the previously mentioned leakage apparent. Any ideas what could be, or could have been, going on? Was going to call the number for Maytag warranty claims tomorrow. Now I'm confused.
 
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Old 07-12-09, 07:48 AM
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Generally, leaks do not go away. Are you sure that it was not water leaking down from somewhere above?

Warranties documents are often worth about the same as an equivalent abount of used toilet paper. Loophole after loophole.

HOWEVER, in this case, you are in luck. Maytag was sold at Lowes, and I believe exclusively. When Whirlpool bought out Maytag, the Lowes brand name changed. Same water heater. ( Some division of AO Smith).

If you are willing to load that thing on the back of your pickup, and cart it into the return desk at Lowes, you are home free. Stand there and make a scene if necessary, ask to see a manger, and in the end, they will give you a new water heater. Preferably, have your wife drag it in, and if necessary, produce a few tears. If you have a baby or your elderly mother at home with all the water turned off, that helps your story.

If you deal on the phone with Maytag, they will force you to have a service call. In the end, you would get the tank replaced but be on the hook for the labor.

Let us know how it turns out.


I am sorry that this is what you have to resort to, but as I said at the beginning about warranties, they are out to screw you and you have to fight back.
 
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Old 07-12-09, 04:38 PM
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Thanks 594Tough

for your reply. I AM the wife and am not beneath some tears if necessary :-) Good to know that we should just deal directly with Lowe's. There was definitely nothing dripping from above when we discovered the leak two nights ago. The top of the unit has depressions around where the fittings for cold in, hot out, and anode go into the top of the tank enclosure. I would mop of the water and could then see the water seeping up into those depressions. There was a puddle on the floor as well. I believe I could see small amounts seeping from where the screed on top of the enclosure meets the sidewall of the enclosure. Today....still nothing. everything is dry and seems normal. I must have checked it a million times. So it is baffling to me. I was an engineer in my life before kids, so I like to have the puzzle solved. I don;'t havew a good feel for what the inside tank looks like and how the connections are integrated into it. I would think if the pressure were high enough for a leak the relief would lift.
 
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Old 07-15-09, 05:01 PM
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update

4 days no additional leaking...seriously baffling.
 
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Old 07-15-09, 05:17 PM
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Shortly before discovering the leak did you run the hot water until it turned cold? The reason I ask is that when a water heater is cold the water (moisture) created by the burning of gas will often condense in the heater central flue and also in the exhaust pipe. This condensate can under some conditions cause a puddle on the floor and/or drip from the exhaust pipe to the top of the water heater and from there it could run into the depressed areas where the water pipes enter.

When I was still working for a living we had boilers that were about ten feet in diameter and twenty five feet long. When firing up from cold it was not unusual to get twenty or thirty gallons of water condensing and running onto the floor. This was entirely normal but new people would freak out thinking the boiler had a serious leak.
 
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Old 07-20-09, 12:10 PM
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Hmmmm, not sure ....kids had just bathed as I recall, so perhaps we were out of hot water. The odd thing is that I could mop up the water on top of the unit and it would continue to ooze up out of depressions where the connections are made at the top of the unit - I could see it. And I didn't see any drips from teh flue or exhaust. It also appeared that it may have been very slightly seeping at the seam where the top scews onto the cylinder. It has been over a week now without leakage, so I guess I'm glad but am still stumped.
 
 

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