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  #1  
Old 10/5/06, 2:05 AM
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gbrasseur gbrasseur is offline
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Default When to replace water heater...

When do you guys suggest a person replaces a water heater? I am not talking of things that are obvious defects. But, am I correct in thinking that in "general" that 10 years is a "typical" life expectancy? Your thoughts?
Thanks,
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Old 10/5/06, 2:10 AM
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Dale Duffy Dale Duffy is offline
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

Greg,

I don't ever suggest they replace it unless there is something wrong with it which would warrant a new one (ie) leaking, rusted out.

I mention they usually last 10 years but could last 20 (really pressing your luck).

Or a new one might not last past the warranty, never know.
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Old 10/5/06, 3:28 AM
dthomas2 dthomas2 is offline
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

I just saw one that has been installed since 1979 - rust at the sacrificial rod exterior top was significant. I read somewhere that if this rod is replaced at about five year intervals the thank life could exceed thirty years. Since no history was provided I recommended replacement of the tank (the breaker was off so water temperature could not be verified.) In addition, some manufacturer's recommend draining the tanks annually - I don't know of anyone that does this.
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Old 10/5/06, 4:24 AM
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Stephen W. Stanczyk Stephen W. Stanczyk is online now
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

Along the lines of " the water heater is approx. xx years old. The normal life expectancy is 10-14 years. While the unit may continue to operate normally for years to come, it is very close to a normal life expectancy and may fail tomorrow. Budget for a replacement in the near future."




Stephen Stanczyk
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President, Washington Association of Property Inspectors (WAPI)
(253) 241-0602 calls answered until 10pm


Pierce County -Thurston County - King County - Snohomish County
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Old 10/5/06, 8:15 AM
Blaine Wiley Blaine Wiley is offline
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

I report just about what Steven wrote (except that 6-10 years is average around here). Otherwise, I only recommend replacement if the water heater has an issue.
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Old 10/5/06, 9:27 AM
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Carla Horne Carla Horne is offline
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

I'm with Blaine.
I flush mine every fall and it is 18 years old.

CJ
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Old 10/5/06, 9:55 AM
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to answer my post! I love this message board. It really helps a newbie like me out a lot. I hope you all have a great day.
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Old 10/5/06, 10:30 AM
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David A. Andersen David A. Andersen is offline
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

Greg, If you want to still be around here a long time, don't go around recommending replacement of something that works because of it's age. Many think that saying it's old in the report will protect them if it fails and they get sued.

Add the age and expected life expectancy if you wish, but don't recommend upgrade. In accordance with most RE contracts, equipment is expected to be in "Working" not NEW condition!

How long can you expect a water heater to last? As of 15 minutes ago when it was inspected. Any mechanical device can and will fail regardless of age and there is no way to predict when that will be.

Report what you see, just the facts as you know them.
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Old 10/5/06, 11:32 AM
Blaine Wiley Blaine Wiley is offline
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandersen
Any mechanical device can and will fail regardless of age and there is no way to predict when that will be.

Report what you see, just the facts as you know them.
Worth Repeating!
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Old 10/5/06, 2:36 PM
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

Around here, where for some stupid reason it is accepted to put water heaters in the attic, sometimes in areas that you will never get them out without major carpentry work, I comment that 8 - 12 years is a reasonable avergae life span. I also recommend that homeowners consider replacement or budget for replaement in this window before failure because failure can be such a mess. I don't however call it out as in need of repair if one is old and working.

But I believe part of my job is to educate my client. They may have no clue what an average life expectancy for a water heater is. Most seem to appriciate the advice.
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Old 10/5/06, 5:10 PM
twasion twasion is offline
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

I’ve seen functional water heaters fifty years old. I had to replace because repair parts were unavailable.
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Old 10/5/06, 5:12 PM
dthomas2 dthomas2 is offline
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

Well, if you say so - okay. I will not be so quick to suggest "replace."
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Old 10/6/06, 8:18 AM
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David A. Andersen David A. Andersen is offline
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

Quote:
But I believe part of my job is to educate my client.
There you go!
Education is the key to this business, not dictating.
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Old 10/6/06, 9:54 AM
jsiegfried jsiegfried is offline
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

Few of my statements reagrding age:

10 years old or less:

The life expectancy of gas water heaters as stated from several sources such as the American Gas Association and the American Society of Gas Engineers, estimate the life expectancy of gas water heaters to be 11-13 years. Several factors in determining the useful life include the brand of the water heater, the lining inside the tank the quality of water and routine maintenance, which may or may not have been performed over the years. The unit in this home is approximately 5 years old and has not yet passed what the experts have predicted. There is no way for me to predict how long this unit will continue to operate. Usually, when a unit fails, it will stop heating, or it will leak water.


11 to 13 years old:

The life expectancy of gas water heaters as stated from several sources such as the American Gas Association and the American Society of Gas Engineers, estimate the life expectancy of gas water heaters to be 11-13 years. Several factors in determining the useful life include the brand of the water heater, the lining inside the tank, the quality of water and routine maintenance, which may or may not have been performed over the years. The water heater in this home is approximately 11 years old and has reached the life expectancy the experts have predicted. There is no way for me to predict how long this unit will continue to operate. Usually, when a unit fails, it will stop heating, or it will leak water. Funds should be set aside and consideration should be given to upgrading the unit before tank failure occurs.


14 years old or more:

The life expectancy of gas water heaters as stated from several sources such as the American Gas Association and the American Society of Gas Engineers, estimate the life expectancy of gas water heaters to be 11-13 years. Several factors in determining the useful life include the brand of the water heater, the lining inside the tank, the quality of water and routine maintenance, which may or may not have been performed over the years. The unit in this home is approximately 14 years old and has passed what the experts have predicted. There is no way for me to predict how long this unit will continue to operate. Usually, when a unit fails, it will stop heating, or it will leak water. Funds should be set aside and consideration should be given to upgrading the unit before tank failure occurs.
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Old 10/6/06, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: When to replace water heater...

I would never recommend replacement just because of age. But I have talked to my clients about life expectancy and care.
I recently replaced my 30 year old water heater. It was in good condition, no rust, leaks and the temp was appropriate to the setting.
Also I know the tank had never been drained until I replaced it and there was very little sediment.
But it was 30 years old and I know when is goes it will be a Holiday when the house is full of family.
I recommend repairs or replacement only due to condition not age.
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