14 years, No Maintenance...Start Now?


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Old 09-18-20, 12:50 PM
J
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14 years, No Maintenance...Start Now?

My water heater is a 2006 and I admit I haven't touched it in the 7 years I've owned it (shame on me, I know). There's a good chance the previous owners didn't touch it as well. The unit is a 50 gal Bradford White gas model MI5036FBN. Same story for the expansion tank (Amtrol ST-5).

I recently noticed one of the pipe connections for my expansion tank was weeping at one point but appears to have stopped for now. Getting that fixed led me down this road of performing maintenance/inspection on the water and expansion tank.

Given the age of the tank, should I just leave it be and be ready for a new one soon? Or at least perform a flush? The manual recommends periodic burner inspection/cleaning which looks easy enough. The anode inspection/replacement is a different story since I don't have the headroom...it would take a little work to remove the unit to get the anode out. Just getting to the valve on the expansion tank might be a chore (see pic below).

Thanks for any advice! Also, our water around here is on the lower end of the "hard" scale. Last I checked it was measured at 130 ppm.

 
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Old 09-18-20, 01:21 PM
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I wouldn't mess with it .... and start saving up for it's replacement.
There is a good chance there is enough sediment in the bottom to prevent it from bleeding along with once you open that valve - it may not close completely.
 
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Old 09-18-20, 01:26 PM
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Just my 2. Your course of action will depend on your circumstances. If you can afford it, I would go ahead and replace the water heater (and expansion tank) now. The reason is that your old tank will eventually give up the ghost sooner than later. And according to Murphy's Law it will happen at the worst possible time (Thanksgiving weekend/Christmas Eve/out-of-stock units/etc.). Plus your new water heater should be more energy efficient, thus saving you a buck or two between now and whenever the old unit bites the dust. Changing it now, on your schedule would be the better option.
 
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Old 09-18-20, 01:28 PM
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I would not attempt draining the sediment or replacing the anode. I'm in a similar boat though intentional. My water heaters, one gas one electric, are both 18 years old. They were cheapies so I expected a short life of them and stopped doing any servicing at 12 years expecting to replace them soon. Six years later both are still working fine.
 
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Old 09-18-20, 01:47 PM
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Thanks all for the advice. I'll let her be and be ready for a replacement, or go the preventative route and replace it soon before something happens.
 
 

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