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Water Heater Rescue Homepage

If you’re looking to replace your water heater soon — or you just want to know how about how to make it last longer — you might want to take a second to visit WaterHeaterRescue.com. While most sites just walk you through choosing a water heater based on efficiency ratings and first-hour delivery numbers, this site tells you how to properly choose, outfit, install, and maintain a water heater if you want it to last.

A word of warning, though. The purveyors of the site also sell kits for retrofitting water heaters. But even with this caveat, I feel that most of their advice rings true.

My favorite piece of advice from the site: buy a water heater with a six-year warranty and add an extra combination anode rod in the hot water outlet in addition to the normal anode rod. They claim this is the real difference between a 12-year warranty and a six-year warranty water heater. Sure, this advice is a bit over-simplifed as most 12-year warranty water heaters usually come with other bells and whistles. But my own research indicates that 12-year warranty water heaters do indeed have two anode rods.

I’ll offer one last piece of advice that wasn’t on the site: if you’re installing a water heater yourself, read the fine print on the hot water heater warranty. You might be charged a hefty service fee for warranty repairs if you don’t follow the rules carefully.

WaterHeaterRescue.com [Corporate Site]


5 Responses to What the Manufacturers Won’t Tell You About Water Heaters

  1. AZ_Engineer says:

    We must have bad water. We went through 3 water heaters in the first 12 years after our house was built. First was the cheapie the developer put in. The second had a 12 year warranty and we bought at HD. That one failed in a couple of years and they replaced under warranty. The replacement failed 2 years later. Since HD no longer carried that top end model they upgraded me (for free) to an all plastic one make by Rhem. This one has an ABS tank, and an ABS shell. No anode rods or anthing. I drain regularly and I have never had a single particle of sediment. We’ve had this plastic Rehm for over 8 years and it’s like brand new. HD no longer sells them, but others do. Search for Rehm water heaters. As a plus, it’s a lot more energy conserving than all the others. I think the current price is around $400 so it’s a lot more, but if I remember right, the energy savings gave a payback of like 6 years compared to the HD top steel tank model.

  2. Yeah, unfortunately the plastic hater heaters are only electric. Menards carries the Richmond version (made by Rheem), I looked at them when I was buying my gas water heater.

    I don’t know why it seems that hot water heaters are such a crap shoot. I read a lot of stories about people having failures after the first year to 18 months (even with the 12 year water heaters). Contrastingly some people have no problems. My old water heater laster 17 years, I never did any maintenance, and there was zero sediment in the tank when I removed it.

    Maybe one of the problems is softened water, the site did mention that softened water, especially if you completely softened it (according to them you should really leave the water a little hard) was corrosive to the tanks. Maybe the stuff they sell to consumers (read people who buy at Big Box Stores) just isn’t the greatest quality.

    One note, not all the 12 year warranty heaters have 2 anode rods, the one I bought has a larger diameter rod. This achieves the same effect as two rods.

    • Mike-K says:

      Regarding you comment about the ‘crap-shoot’ with water heaters, I read it comes down to the difficulty in getting the enamel evenly and thickly coated on the inside of the container. It’s a difficult challenge and, according to the article, its never been perfected. So, lots of variation… which results in some units lasting two years and some 20. I’ve always thought that phenomena seems to make sense. Sediment and quantity of times the unit was cleaned-out seems to have less correlation.

  3. Wow! Great piece of advise! I never knew that! Thank you!

  4. I have TWO 23 year old Bradford White Hydro Jet 40 Gallon gas water heaters in my attic and I am just now starting to hear some grumbling.

    This has a different style water inlet if I recall correctly. Instead of a straight cold water inlet pipe, it has a circular inlet that causes the water in the tank to “swirl”. This keeps most of the sediment suspended in the water instead of settling on the bottom of the tank.

    This does send all of that sediment into your pipes and into your aerators but I’d rather clean out an aerator more often than to change the tanks more often.

    I’ve read a lot about changing out the anode rod every so often to lengthen the life of the water heaters as well but this one does not seem to have a changeable anode rod as far as I can tell.

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