Wonder - should I replace this 50 Gallon A.O. Smith ProMax+


  #1  
Old 02-27-24, 11:46 AM
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Wonder - should I replace this 50 Gallon A.O. Smith ProMax+

Hi!
I have this 14 year old A.O. Smith Pro Max + water heater. 50 gallons, 'fast refresh'. There are three people in the house that use it. The second flr gal from time to time complains about the shower being too cold. Not sure if the 2 people from the 1st floor had just taken their shower first, or if the water heater is wearing out.
To be clear, I never flushed the water heater, now I learned in the future I need to do this 2-3 times a year.
So I did a test. I ran a kitchen faucet hot water flowing at a rate of 2 gallons per minute. I ran the water like that continuously for 30 minutes straight until it the temperature went down where it is lukewarm, as felt on my forearm. I stopped the water from flowing. I waited. Then 15 minutes later tried the hot water again and it felt just as hot as it was at the beginning of the first time. Probably the first flr tenant ran the water for a long shower first. Then the second flr tenant tried to take a shower and it was lukewarm or less.
Do hot water heaters degrade and over time not refresh fast enough?
Much Thanks!
Dave
 
  #2  
Old 02-27-24, 12:26 PM
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The hot water heater, itself, should not be the problem. However, the thermostat may not be working properly. In addition, not flushing the hot water heater could reduce the amount hot water available due to the buildup of sediment. The sediment can impede heat transfer from the burner to the water and could also reduce the amount of water volume.

14 years is clearly at the end of a hot water heater lifespan. It's probably time to consider replacing it.
 

Last edited by Tony P.; 02-27-24 at 01:12 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-24, 01:40 PM
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If you haven't been flushing the water heater I also assume you have not checked or replaced the anode.

A lot depends on whether your heater is gas or electric. Flushing will not improve the performance of an electric. Mineral buildup on the heating elements is not removed by flushing. However, a gas heater can benefit from removing the deposits from the bottom of the tank.

I see no reason to replace a working heater just because of it's age. Yes, as they age, just like humans, there is less and less life remaining but you really have no idea if it will start leaking tomorrow or 10 years from now. Heating performance for an electric won't change by much so I'd only consider it (barely) if it were gas fired.
 
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Old 02-27-24, 01:59 PM
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Gas or electric.... I didn't see it mentioned ?
 
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Old 02-27-24, 02:07 PM
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I believe an A O Smith Pro Max + is only gas. The Pro Max (not +) is gas or electric. If not, my bad.
 
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Old 02-27-24, 02:32 PM
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This heater is a gas hot water heater.
 
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Old 02-29-24, 05:57 PM
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I'm going to flush the gas hot water heater a few times. Thank you all for your great input!
 
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Old 03-01-24, 07:49 PM
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You might want to check the dip tube in the cold water inlet. If it has broken off in the middle then the hot water will last a little but seem to run out sooner than expected. New cold water would have been injected into the middle of the tank to mix with the hot water supply. (If the dip tube broke off completely, at the top, the hot waer will seem to run out a few seconds after you begin your shower.)
 
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