What's that at the top of the water heater


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Old 01-02-14, 11:53 AM
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What's that at the top of the water heater

There's a plastic cap and what looks to be a knock/punch out on top of the water heater. What are these? I was thinking that they are the location for the additional anode rods that come with the longer warrantied units. If so, can I install another anode rod in unit.

Thanks...Al
 
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Old 01-02-14, 12:03 PM
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Whats the make and model heater? That my be the anode if its not part of the oulet nipple...

How old is the heater?
 
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Old 01-02-14, 02:20 PM
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It's a Whirlpool #N50T61-403 (I just installed it on 12/31). The items I'm referring to are not the anode. The knock/punch out sits directly behind the exhaust port and the one with the plastic cap is behind the knock/punch out at the edge of the tank. I see the anode; it's in the front of the hotwater nipple. I can take a picture if that will help? Let me know.

Thanks
 
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Old 01-02-14, 02:32 PM
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Yes I know the knock out...

Yes take a pic... If you have a visable anode then ass one at the out nipple.. Dont mess with the knock out and extra tapping if there even is one...

Those water heater covers are genaric for other models....
 
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Old 01-02-14, 06:16 PM
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It's a Whirlpool #N50T61-403 (I just installed it on 12/31).
Uh oh......I believe that's a gas unit, correct? All I will say is good luck!
 
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Old 01-02-14, 09:51 PM
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Lawrosa, here are 2 photos where you can see the cutout, white cap and anode. You have to look just behind the vent hood for the cutout (lighter colored circle area). The compression of the image on this site makes it harder to see the cutout.

Joe, can you give me the scoop?

Thanks...Al
 
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Old 01-02-14, 11:17 PM
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Yes 2nd pic is anode... Other cut out who knows... Remove it and pic out the foam and see whats there... I doubt its a tapping for another anode..

You want to add one then get a nipple anode for the hot side.(combo).

Read here.

Hot water heater anodes and rust protection
 
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Old 01-03-14, 12:15 AM
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The plastic cap on the outer perimeter (first picture) is where the foam insulation was injected. I don't know about the other.
 
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Old 01-03-14, 06:01 AM
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Thanks for you'll help. I wish I'd known about the Magnesium anode before I installed the tank. I would've replaced before I did the install and probably still will do this. Also, I will stick with the one anode (no hot nipple anode) for now because I don't want to tear down the install. I will be vigilant with the required maintenance and replace the anode when needed, now that I know it's there and it's purpose. I may even replace the existing one to magnesium soon (how do I know what length anode to purchase?). If aluminum anodes are bad, then why do manufacturers continue using them, besides probably cost (just guesting about the cost because I know how companies can be). Where does all the crap that sits on the anode go? Does it get into the drinking water?

On a side not, I pulled the anode from the AO Smith unit (almost 16 years old) and probably 20-30% of it was gone, but mostly in tact. It had some white stuff built up on it - calcium maybe (see photo) or is it that cottage cheese stuff mention in the article in the link provided. Does the anode tend to last that long?

Again thanks for all the help and the link (some good info there). I am now better informed and armed with good and needed information.

Al
 
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Old 01-03-14, 06:20 AM
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Joe, can you give me the scoop?

Thanks...Al
From the AO Smith thread.

Furd, Joe were there any particular Whirlpool WH that got really bad reviews that you can remember?

Thanks...Al
I believe it was just the gas water heaters, propane and natural.

Top 1,535 Complaints and Reviews about Whirlpool Water Heaters

Avoid Lowes gas water heaters (Whirlpool by American Water Heaters) | PriusChat

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/wa...-stay-lit.html

Consumer Reviews of Whirlpool water heaters from 03-06-2012 to 12-03-2013
I Googled your model number and found your warranty is 6 years on tank, 6 years on parts and 1 year on labor. From reading many complaints, few parts are stocked at Lowes and most must be ordered from the manufacturer, Whirlpool (American Water Heater, who is the manufacturer). IF you have problems, you may have several days with no hot water waiting on parts. Many people have had numerous problems and had to pay the labor after the first year. That's why I said good luck. I hope you don't have any problems and will keep my fingers crossed for you.

I know a lady who bought one of these Whirlpool units from Lowes 7 or 8 years ago and also bought the extended warranty so she would be covered no matter what happened. When she started having problems she found out the extended warranty was for the tank only. She's had problems and no hot water 3 or 4 times. There was a class action suit that she was involved in and she finally got her $35 settlement several years ago.
 

Last edited by CasualJoe; 01-03-14 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 01-03-14, 07:58 AM
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Thanks Joe, I will just have to keep fingers crossed. Fortunately, it was not an expensive unit, so if push comes to shove, I will just replace it, if it gives me too much trouble. Fortunately I can do all the work myself, so that would save money and some headaches. I will post any issues.

Al
 
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Old 01-03-14, 04:34 PM
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Joe, I read the reviews (furnace compare link you provided) of some of the other brands, too, and it seems many WH have various issues and some bad reviews. Is there any particular unit that you recommend? Also, I noticed in that link that no one gives the particular model they have, so the reviews are not really helpful to pinpoint any particular models.
 
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Old 01-03-14, 06:06 PM
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Well, Lawrosa (Mike) is a professsional plumber and was an AO Smith rep and he recommends them highly as do a lot of others, but I like Bradford-White. I can buy them from a distributor for one reason and I haven't had any problems with one I put in my other house about 5 years ago. For the typical DIYer, GEs (made by Rheem) seem to be a decent unit too. All manufacturers have some problems, but the Whirlpool units seem to be at the top of the list from what I can tell. American Water Heater is licensed to use the Whirlpool name as one of their brands and seem to have had more problems than others with the FVIR technology. For what it's worth, my water heater here where I live is a Mor Flo by American and it's almost 18 years old, but it was manufactured prior to FVIR regs. If they were that bad a company, I don't think AO Smith would have bought them.
 
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Old 01-03-14, 07:05 PM
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For what it's worth, my water heater here where I live is a Mor Flo by American and it's almost 18 years old,

Excellent... The old mor flo's were great... I removed many 20 yrs plus old......They dont make em like that anymore....
 
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Old 01-04-14, 08:12 AM
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For what it's worth, my water heater here where I live is a Mor Flo by American and it's almost 18 years old,
Excellent... The old mor flo's were great... I removed many 20 yrs plus old......They dont make em like that anymore....
Exactly! That's what bothers me, what should I buy when this one goes south (never hurts to be prepared)? Mor Flo is what Home Depot sold in the '90s and I wish I could get another just like it. American used to build a quality competitively priced water heater. ALL gas water heaters used to have the 3-legged pedestal base and that's what I want, but along with the FVIR technology came the flat base heaters, like electric water heaters have had for years. I cannot say for sure, but I believe the GE units may have gone back to the pedestal base from pictures on the HD website, but I haven't seen one yet with that base. For some reason, HD doesn't have a heater unboxed on display. Bradford-White lists the pedestal base as a feature on their website, but I cannot tell from pictures. I think Whirlpool has also gone back to the pedestal base from pictures on Lowes website, but I am afraid of them.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 08:15 AM
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what should I buy when this one goes south
My opinion as always..."AO SMITH"....
 
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Old 01-04-14, 08:16 AM
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But, does AO Smith have the 3-legged pedestal base? I really need that base for leveling it.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 08:51 AM
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I really need that base for leveling it

How so? Whats the difference 3 legs or flat bottom?

Put shims under the flat bottom to level...

3 legs I am not sure who makes them... Rheem did but not sure if still does......
 
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Old 01-04-14, 09:04 AM
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I may have to do something like that. Currently I have 5 big washers under one leg (1/2" height) and that has worked well enough that it would be my preferred way of doing it next time.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 09:11 AM
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Anything with legs will get air from side grates... Thats how the homestore units are made from what I know..

Example...

Product Details - Products

This is a FVIR technology that I do not prefer...There is no way to get to the bottom of the FVIR (air intake)

If I chose to clean mine on my AO smith I can access through the bottom screen and vacuum the bottom of the FVIR....
 
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Old 01-04-14, 09:17 AM
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I I found the link I was looking for. just another opinion...

Although I would not install any of the other brands suggested...

How to repair Rheem FVIR
 
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Old 01-04-14, 09:47 AM
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I will let the community know if there are any issues with this unit.

Al
 
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Old 01-04-14, 05:17 PM
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Anything with legs will get air from side grates... Thats how the homestore units are made from what I know..
Yep, the American unit in the picture is on legs and I believe their privately branded units are the same. I've seen that before, but still do not trust American and their FVIR technology as well as their newer reputation for using thermocpouples, etc, with left hand threads to keep you from buying parts locally.

I I found the link I was looking for. just another opinion...
That's a good link, good info in there.

Methodical

I will let the community know if there are any issues with this unit.

Al
Thanks, Al. But frankly, I hope you never have to post on a water heater problem ever again.
 
 

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