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7 year old water heater in vacation condo. When to replace preemptively?

7 year old water heater in vacation condo. When to replace preemptively?

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Old 09-20-12, 06:12 AM
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7 year old water heater in vacation condo. When to replace preemptively?

We have a vacation condo where the electric water heater is used <1/3 of the year.
We have not had any problems. (No leaks, no sizzling). Heater is about 7 years old. We use the place for a week at a time (maybe 7 weeks a year). This year we will have renters for 2 months also(March and April).
I just do not want to have problems while our renters are there. Would it make sense to replace it preemptively? Or is much of the wear and tear on a water heater only when it has hot water in it, or new water replacing old as the water is used?
When we are not there, we shut off the heater, but cold water remains in it.
Thank you.
Dave
 
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Old 09-20-12, 06:41 AM
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Well it would up to you and what you feel comfortable with. Manufacturers give a 6 year warranty on the tank, So you are at 7....

Most heaters on average last 8-10 years or so from my experience. A lot depends on water quality, sediment, and what maintenance you perform on it. Have you flushed it or changed the anode?

Its not uncommon to maintain a heater to the 15 yr mark and above, although the tank may not leak parts will fail. Elements, igniters, etc.


In summary its up to you. I used to say that once its past the manufacturers warranty its a crap shoot. It could leak tomorrow, or it can leak 10 years from now... You just never know.
 
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Old 09-20-12, 07:01 AM
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I have not flushed it yet. We have only owned the place for a year. I was going to give that a try the next time we are there. As far as the anode, I don't think I will be able to get it out. The water heater is about 2.5' tall. It is situated under the a/c unit in a closet. There is about 8-9" clearance between top of water heater and bottom of a/c unit. Not a good design. It would involve removing water heater to get anode out.

Is it true that most of the corrosion and wear-and-tear is due to new water with oxygen flowing into heater as well as holding hot water (when it is being used)? Or am I mistaken? I was thinking that since we only use it for 1/3 of the year max that it has a lot less wear and tear than one that is running all year long.
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Old 09-20-12, 07:10 AM
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Is it true that most of the corrosion and wear-and-tear is due to new water with oxygen flowing into heater as well as holding hot water (when it is being used)? Or am I mistaken?
Not really. Its a lot of factors that work together. Electrolysis issues, anode consumption, ph of the water, sediment, calcium....etc


If its never been flushed I would not touch it. My experience is old heaters that never been flush, then flush when they are older, start leaking soon after.

If you do replace, and leaking is a concern to you, install the new heater in a pan with a suitable drain. This way you never really have to worry about it.


 
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