Water Heater may be on its way out


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Old 10-02-12, 01:32 PM
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Water Heater may be on its way out

Hi gang, our water heater may be checking out, and I'm pricing out ones at Home Depot. It seems GE has a few in our price range, are they know to be a good maker?

Thanks and a lift of the lynch lid for your responses.
Gus
 
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Old 10-02-12, 01:38 PM
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You'd be better off with a Bradford-White, Rheem, or AO Smith from what I remember about the comments here.

They may only be available from a plumbing supply. Might be a bit more expensive....but over time they will cost less and be trouble free.
 
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Old 10-03-12, 06:46 AM
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The w/h in place is a Bradford/White can I detirmine its age by the serial no.?
NM5874255
 
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Old 10-03-12, 08:31 AM
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Looks like that was made in Dec 1996......that's getting up there for sure. Water Heater Models

I have an AO Smith I believe and its from 1990...still works fine even with the hard water here.
 
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Old 10-03-12, 09:31 AM
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Serial numbers only apply to the date of manufacturer and not the date it was put in use.

My A.O. Smith was made in 2008 and not put into use until 2010 or 2011. Very often, they can sit in warehouses for some time before going into the manufacturer-distributor-dealer chain because they store well and there are always manufacturer's specials that distributors take advantage of to maintain inventory levels.

Dick
 
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Old 10-03-12, 10:54 AM
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In my opinion, which will get you a cup of coffee almost anywhere if accompanied with a five dollar bill, there is little difference among water heaters. All gas-fired residential water heaters are now required to utilize FVIR technology to reduce the hazard of igniting flammable vapors. The early attempt at FVIR technology by AO Smith included an air filter that would plug up easily but as I understand that has been solved with the current models.

In reality, there are only about four or five manufacturers of water heaters although there are at least a dozen or more brands. The longevity of a water heater has far more to do with the quality of the water and the routine maintenance on the heater than it does on the brand or manufacturer. Longer warranties do NOT equate to a better heater although within each brand a longer warranty MAY include a slightly better drain valve or a slightly bigger anode rod. The basic tank and burner (or elements in an electric model) are exactly the same.

For what it is worth, the GE water heaters sold at the HD are made by Rheem, which is the same company as Ruud. The GE heaters have cheaper drain valves than the parent company installs.

My opinion is to purchase the least expensive water heater and then change the drain valve for a 3/4 inch ball valve with a brass nipple. Flush the heater periodically according to your water quality and check the condition of the anode rod every couple of years, replacing when more than 50% of it has eroded. This should give you maximum life.
 
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Old 10-03-12, 11:52 AM
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IMO AO smith all the way.

Input your address here and find a Ferguson near you. Should be around $350 for a 40 gallon. You will save over the home store prices.

Locations Finder
 
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Old 10-07-12, 09:22 AM
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Update from Boulder

Ferguson here no longer carries AO Smith. They have Bradford White and American. I know American is owned by AO, but due to personal experience it is a brand that I would not touch.
 
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Old 10-07-12, 09:30 AM
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Go with the Bradford white. I would not touch the American either.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 01:27 PM
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I've learned from Bradford White that from my serial no. it was mfd. in Dec of '96. Given it's age and lack of care (the P.O. was very advanced in years) I'm guessing that this h/w is at the end of it's service life. We're addressing a gas line right now that the P.O. partially covered when they roughly built a porch in the back yard, since the gas co is flipping out we may ultimately go with a gas W/H depending on what we learn in the meantime.
 
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Old 11-09-12, 06:19 AM
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Rheem holding it's own

I have a Rheem W.H. I installed in 1989. It is still working great...not leaking. I have a A.O. Smith sitting in the corner waiting to swap out when she starts to weep. I think 23 years is a little out of the ordinary for life expectency. Agree??
 
 

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