Proactively replace water heater?

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hudson
Posts: 3383
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

Post by hudson »

I'm planning on replacing my 50 gallon...15 year old electric water heater(It's a model E3Z50RD055V Envirotemp Supreme Lifetime Warranty...made by Craftmaster/American) I got it from Lowes and put it in myself in 2000.

I decided that I'm not doing this one myself...I've started getting quotes on a new water heater...add a drip pan and add a drain. I'm shooting for a long tank warranty and a high Energy Factor. I also plan to shut up and listen to the plumber...and take his recommendations. Here are my notes so far.

Plumber 1: He spoke to me on the phone and asked if my water heater was on an outside wall. I said yes. He replied that his solution would be to raise the water heater on bricks or blocks and put a drain out through the wall to the outside. He said that he installed AO Smith water heaters and the cost would be about $700 total. I asked about a longer than 6 year tank warranty. He was not familiar with those.

Plumber 2: Also...phone only. He said yep...raise the heater...install AO Smith...6 year...also not familiar with longer than 6 year tank warranty or those with more insulation. He didn't call me back with a price. He was recommended by 2 co-workers.

Plumber 3: This is a larger company...18 employees...came with highest recommendations. The lady on the phone said that they don't come out to do water heater quotes...but they would for $59. I said OK...come on. The owner came out and looked at my water heater and pointed out some now dry seeps. He didn't like the plastic spigot at the bottom...or the pressure relief valve. I'm going to replace the tank. His plan is to raise the tank on blocks and to run a pipe out of another wall of the house. He said that he didn't want the pipe under my deck because I couldn't see it. He wants the drain pipe seen. He also told me something that I should've known...that I could put a hose from the bottom of the tank to the washing machine drain to flush the tank periodically....I thought that I had to be level with the floor. I haven't been flushing the tank because I had no where to run the hose. He will also add an expansion tank and quote separately for an auto shut-off. He said that he would get me a quote tomorrow. He likes American water heaters....6 year warranty. I said that I would like a 10 or 12 year warranty...but no extended warranty. He said that they use the same tanks and just charge more for more warranty??

We also talked about more insulation...I think that the American Water Heaters have a .90 to .92 Energy Factor(EF). I kind of liked the water heaters with .95 energy factors. How much difference between a .92 and a .95?

He also said that the rules have changed. It looks like all the water heaters are going to be minimum .95 EF in a few weeks. http://www.rheem.com/products/water_heating/NAECA/

I think that existing stock can still be sold. It looks like 40 and 50 gallon water heaters have to be at Energy Factor (EF) .95.

One local plumbing supply said their manufacturers were short on stock and in some turmoil over the changeover...especially if I wanted an EF .95 AO Smith water heater.
Valuethinker
Posts: 41439
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

Post by Valuethinker »

hudson wrote:
We also talked about more insulation...I think that the American Water Heaters have a .90 to .92 Energy Factor(EF). I kind of liked the water heaters with .95 energy factors. How much difference between a .92 and a .95?
In practice, very little. 3% of total energy consumed roughly. I am all for 'pushing' on energy standards when you replace (because one replaces once or twice only in the tenure in the home) but I doubt it will have a huge impact.
He also said that the rules have changed. It looks like all the water heaters are going to be minimum .95 EF in a few weeks. http://www.rheem.com/products/water_heating/NAECA/

I think that existing stock can still be sold. It looks like 40 and 50 gallon water heaters have to be at Energy Factor (EF) .95.

One local plumbing supply said their manufacturers were short on stock and in some turmoil over the changeover...especially if I wanted an EF .95 AO Smith water heater.
No matter how much warning you give, the supply chain always seems to have a hiccough over these types of changes.
hudson
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

Post by hudson »

Plumber #3 just called and said he can quote a .92 Efficiency Factor (EF) water heater today. He said that on April 16 he can quote a .95 EF water heater. He suspects that the price will go up 20%.
I told him to give me a quote on the .92. Once I see the quote, I can think about waiting and re-quoting. I don't have an active leak...so I can wait.

I can also get more quotes as I learn something from each plumber....even if it's just a confirmation.
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jeffyscott
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:12 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

Post by jeffyscott »

hudson wrote:He also said that the rules have changed. It looks like all the water heaters are going to be minimum .95 EF in a few weeks. http://www.rheem.com/products/water_heating/NAECA/
The changes are small for normal sizes of water heaters (55 gallons or less). The 50 gallon electric does have the biggest increase among the under 55 gallon sizes, going from 0.90 to 0.95. Gas in that size only goes from 0.58 to 0.60.

My plumber told me: "I don't think it is a bad idea to wait on a water heater if it is not leaking. The old ones might even outlast the new! Seriously, the older models in my opinion were better than today's options."

Who knows, maybe ours'll last as long as the 27 years and counting that Ninegrams reported. :beer
The two greatest enemies of the equity fund investor are expenses and emotions. ― John C. Bogle
like2read
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:30 pm

Re: Proactively replace water heater?

Post by like2read »

Bumping old post.

If you don't proactively replace, or even if you do, I highly recommend a low cost water alarm....$12 on Amazon. Bought a few of these to put around hot water heater, washer and under pipes in lowest part of the basement. Put these in after our neighbor, with an identical 50 year old house, had copper pipes burst and flood the house, causing over $10K in damage. I can attest that if you are home, you will hear these if they go off - very loud!


https://www.amazon.com/Glentronics-Inc- ... sitepub-20
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