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How long should a gas hot water tank last? Our rental is 14yrs old, I asked for a replacement to a more efficient one and the company said NO.

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  • D. Floyd Kolb
    D. Floyd Kolb May 11, 2010

    The amount of time that a hot water heater lasts is very much determined by the quality of the water going through it. If you have great water with no sediment, no hardnes, and no iron then they will last almost indefinetly. Other areas that have all or a combination of these can have a significatnly shorter life expectancy. So with out know the exact nature of your water quality it is pretty much impossible to give a direct answer on this.

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Depends on the quality. Mine is 20 yrs old.

Posted on Nov 20, 2009

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Why is my hot water heater is using too much power?


It almost sounds as if someone is hooked into your electrical system check for outside cables or extensions cords going into a window or even at the fuse box

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I have a Reliance 501 HWH, 15 yrs old. Nary a problem until now. Yesterday, HW was very hot. Today, no HW. I'm thinking of replacing both elements and thermostats due to the age. Sound reasonable?


At fifteen years of age it would be less cost over time and labor to replace the whole tank. How efficient is your old one and being it runs hot all the time you could have a tank that will not last very long anyway. Mine sprung a leak at 18 years and made a big mess.

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Why is Yellow hot water coming from Polaris HE ?


Because yellow water is probably going in. It is probably rust from iron pipes or hard water. It could be sulfur. This could happen with a well system with a water softener that has failed or non existant. I do not think it is but it be your tank failing. How old is it? They do not last forever.

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Installed a year-and-a-half ago, problems so far: thermostat replaced on hot water tank within one month of installation, one pump replaced, leaking plug in the front of boiler with Dunkirk rep never


Its probably time for small claims court and a new company to install good equipment. Have a couple different companies/contractors give an estimate and possibly expert advice/witness you would then be able to use in court so you can get reimbursed from a bad company. Hope it all works out.

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Heating coils were replaced last december and today no hot water for a shower after 5 minutes in the shower. The electric is flying on the meter. Have shut off the circuit breaker for this hot water


Copy following link for tank-type electric water heater troubleshoot:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html#skyrocket

Press reset button located on upper thermostat.
Test elements for short to ground against steel tank.
Clean sediment out of tank. Check for water leak running hot water out of tank.
Replace both thermostats.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

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How can I find out what the Energy Rating is on my Reliance 501 w/h?


Reliance is AO Smith company.
http://www.reliancewaterheaters.com/prod/gas.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-manufacturers.html

1) Reliance does not post the 501 manual any more and I've written and asked for that manual, and they sent generic manual. Model 501 is both gas and electric.

2) That tells me the old energy factor is probably lower than .54 approximately, but it will be even less because energy factors are for new water heaters in perfect operating order under ideal conditions.

3) Energy factor is a measure of how efficiently the water heater turns energy BTUs into hot water.
Gas water heaters have higher energy factor because gas burner has more BTU punch than electric element, and can heat water faster.

4) However, energy factor is not measure of actual cost. It is merely a way to compare giant water heaters with smaller heaters, and gas with electric, without considering cost of heater, installation cost, repair costs, parts costs, life expectation of unit, disposal/recycling cost, or replacement cost.

5) You can improve your true energy factor by buying small cheap heater and maintaining it yourself so it lasts many years beyond manufacturer's warranty.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html

6) If someone buys a bigger water heater because it has better energy factor, it will not pay back the higher purchase cost. Same size to same size, the difference with higher energy factor is a few dollars per year.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html

7) If you have sediment inside of tank, the energy factor is out the window.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html

Add a comment for more free help.
Also take advantage of fixya expert assistance live.
For a price, expert works with you while you work on water heater or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

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I own a house with an electric GE hot water heater. 8ESOT12AA01 Serial # 090122 5750 I do not know how old the hot water heater is and advice about when it should be replaced. No leaks to date but I...


GE is made by Rheem, but the market is always changing. Rheem-based serial number shows tank was made in 1990.
Tank will last as long as anode rod(s) protects steel tank from rusting.
If your tank has two anode rods, then tanks lasts longer.
That's how companies determine if water heater is '6-year' or '12-year.'
I don't have manual for your product to say if you have 12 year tank. Side of tank might have information blurb besides mandatory label that shows serial number.
You can update your water heater by replacing anode rod(s) assuming they can be loosened and removed after this number of years, which is a big IF with old heaters. Your plumber might have impact wrench he uses to see if anode can come out.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Leaking-water-heater.html

If the water heater is making gurgling rumbling and/or crackling sounds then tank has sediment build-up.
You can also get a baseline of rust by flushing tank and watching if water is very rusty.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-will-not-drain.html

If you flush tank regularly, and inspect anode every 1-3 years, a tank will last many years longer than manufacturer's label.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-manufacturers.html

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Water leaking observed from the bottom of the tank. What's the problem? Should I replace the old 21V40-2 unit? if so, what kind of tank is ok to replace the present unit? What's the price and installation...


If water heater is leaking, then open following 2 links to avoid tank rupture and troubleshoot leak:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Emergency-steps-for-leaking-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-is-leaking.html

Open following link if you want to install your own gas water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html

To have gas water heater installed, can run $2-300 for installation plus cost of heater.
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http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

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12 year old water heater is getting near the end.
Some tanks last 20 years, but that's the exception.
To find exact age of your brand water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/WaterHeaterSerialNumberDecoder.pdf

Leaking TP valve:
1) Lift TP lever and gently lower back into position to see if that stops leak.
Occasionally something gets stuck in the valve.
2) Sometimes water heater temperature gets turned up because heater is not producing as much hot water as before, and higher temps cause TP to release pressure because of overheating.
Dial temperature down to 120 degrees.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-adjust-water-heater-temperature.html

3) If steps above don't fix problem, replace TP valve >> TP valves have 125 or 150 degrees rating >>> older tank shouldn't be running above 125 because higher temps cause more pressure on tank, so thermostat should be lower than 125 degrees TP rating.
Buy replacement TP at any hardware store + a roll of teflon tape to seal pipe threads.
Turn gas control to pilot ... this will keep pilot lit but burner will not fire.
Let water cool, and then drain some water out of tank.
If TP valve is on side of tank, then open drain on side of tank and drain water until it is lower than valve level. Open bathtub spigot to let air into line.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-will-not-drain.html
Be careful around water that is higher than 120 degrees F >> you can get burned quickly >> apply cold water to any burn.
Use pipe wrench and unscrew TP valve counterclock-wise.
Install new TP and put teflon tape on threads.
Re-fill tank completely and open tub valve on hot side until water is running >> then turn gas control back to original position.
Do not fire up any water heater before tank is completely full of water or this could damage tank.

To read more preventative information about water heater leaks and age problems:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-at-bottom-of-water-heater.html

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