Do I need to replace?

Old 12-15-12, 05:58 PM
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Do I need to replace?

I have a 40 gallon gas water heater which is about 9 years old. (Manufacturer A.Q. Smith or something) It is installed well and works well, never had any problem. Even the pilot never went out. It gets moderate use only, we have only two people, no dishwasher. Each of us takes one shower per day.
However, I must admit that I have never drained or flushed the heater. It is not noisy, although I hear some low level crackling sounds when the heating is active. The plumbing company which installed it has been at my house recently for fixing an unrelated problem. I asked to look at my water heater. He tried to talk me into replacing it now and telling me dire warnings about catastrophic failure etc.
Should I be concerned and replace it? Should I start periodic draining and other safety maintenance now, and ignore his warnings? If yes to the second question what should I watch out for if I want to be safe ?
I should say that I am senior and not a capable home repair person.
Old 12-15-12, 07:00 PM
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Nine years old is just about right for most gas water heaters. Starting to drain tank now isn't going to be of much help. You have nine years of sediment built up on the bottom of the water heater.

Some water heaters just piss water out when they go bad. Some let loose and you get a flood.

Do you have a connected drain pan under your water heater ?
Where is it in the house ?
If it lets loose....what will be damaged ?

In my opinion......change it now.
Old 12-16-12, 07:20 AM
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It could be a good idea to replace the tank but having it done right away by a company who is trying to "up-sell" while on a service call may not be such a great idea.

I would suggest that you at least get a WRITTEN quotation then resist their pressure to get it done right away.
Often times the more sales pressure they try to exert for an immediate repair the more likely they are desperate for work and may not give you value for your dollar.

The odds of the tank failing with catastrophic results are pretty much zero.
The largest number of failures begin with a slight dripping.
Just be sure that you know where the water shut off is and try it to make sure it works.
In fact if you run a hw tap and test the shut off, if it doesn't fully shut off the flow you would be in a position to bargain a replacement valve if you replace the tank.

Nine years old is pretty old for a hw tank but my mother's gas hw tank lasted for over twenty and only slightly trickled when it did go.
I don't believe there is any urgency to replace yours right now!

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