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Eco-Logic
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« on: February 19, 2010, 01:00:27 AM »

So, it appears our water heater is on the blink.  Our water barely gets hot now and won't stay hot for long.  It is an old water heater, so it is probably just worn out.

I have a few questions.

1) Who do you call to come check it out and see what is wrong?  A Plumber? 

2)  What do Eletric Water heaters run?  I hope this isn't going to break the bank.

3) Are tankless waterheaters worth the extra money?

Any other info?

Regards,
Eco
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Scraper
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 01:07:37 AM »

You may just have a bum heater core. In which case you can buy a new one for about $30. It's easy to diagnose and install too, just do a Google search for instructions if you can't figure it out. Otherwise you are looking at at least $700 for a whole new heater.
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Zero
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 01:17:45 AM »

Yup, I just put one in a couple months ago.  Damn thing burst...and the water heater was around $650 (installed).  Check with your local gas company, I got a $75 rebate in the mail from them.  The thing that cost more was fixing all the water damage (wall, wood, etc).
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Goldchamp
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 01:19:00 AM »

Having alot of experience repairing and replacing them, I agree with Scraper on one point, it is probably the heater core (since that is the the main reason the water isn't getting hot). Depending on the size, and type (gas or electric) a 40 gal hot water heater starts at $250 for electric and around $350 for gas for a good 40 gallon Whirlpool. And 40 gallon is just right for a couple adults and kids. How old is the current one? And unless you just have money to burn, a tankless one isn't worth the cost imho unless space is at a premium. They are pretty easy to install yourself also if you wanted to avoid a repairman.
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DrJones
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2010, 01:22:30 AM »

Most electric water heaters run $250-$600 depending on size and if they have any energy saving features.  The advantage of a tankless water heater is you do not run out of hot water and they are much more energy efficient so over the long haul they may save you money.  They cost more upfront, somewhere in the range of $1000-$1500.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 01:27:29 AM »

Thanks for the info. 

It is very possible ours burst too.  It is in our laundry room, which is an unfinished room with a concrete floor.  The water heater is hard to access, so I haven't actually been able to look at it.  I did notice some water in the laundry room a week ago, but my wife thought it was from a rain storm we had and the side door had an issue that may have resulted in some water seeping through. 

If  it did burst, would it be a continuous leak? 

I'm going to access it tomorrow after work and see if I can tell what is going on with it.

Thanks again!

Eco
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 01:34:13 AM »

Ours was a continuous little leak.  The bastard leaked behind the water heater, so it wasn't visible.  We noticed it when the room next door had a pool of water.  It was probably leaking for a good 4 to 6 hours before we saw it.  The dry wall behind the water heater was soaked, as was two walls in the next room.  The gypsum board (dry wall) just kept soaking up the water, and when it couldn't anymore was when the water started pooling.  By the time it was done there was a lot of damage.
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Wargus
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 01:55:14 AM »

The tankless heaters are fantastic, my mother has one and I love it.
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Scraper
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 02:01:18 AM »

If it did burst, it means that the tank has a crack in it somewhere, so it would continually leak. Seriously though if all it is is the heater core then it doesn't make sense to buy a whole new tank, just buy the core and replace it. They are designed to be replaced every couple of years.
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DamageInc
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2010, 11:25:38 PM »

There are typically deals out there from your utility company for tankless and solar water heaters.
There may even be a tax credit for the solar ones (check with your accountant/IRS)
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morlac
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2010, 12:22:19 PM »

Quote from: Scraper on February 19, 2010, 02:01:18 AM

If it did burst, it means that the tank has a crack in it somewhere, so it would continually leak. Seriously though if all it is is the heater core then it doesn't make sense to buy a whole new tank, just buy the core and replace it. They are designed to be replaced every couple of years.

If the heater is 8+ years old I would just replace the whole thing though.  He said it was old.  I just replaced mine under close to the same circumstances. 
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lildrgn
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2010, 03:57:55 PM »

Quote from: Scraper on February 19, 2010, 02:01:18 AM

If it did burst, it means that the tank has a crack in it somewhere, so it would continually leak. Seriously though if all it is is the heater core then it doesn't make sense to buy a whole new tank, just buy the core and replace it. They are designed to be replaced every couple of years.

Core. We had a free assessment a few months ago and the guy said our core/rod(?) was wearing out. He had it pulled out to show me and I'm guessing it's pretty easy to replace? I will google that mofo later and see what it says.
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Doopri
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2010, 06:57:33 PM »

Quote
I will google that mofo later and see what it says.

lildrgn i dont know why but this made me giggle to no end - thanks!
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2010, 11:34:52 PM »

Quick Update:

I had the whole thing replaced, cost me $300 for the unit and $80 for installation.  Not as bad as I had originally anticipated.

Thanks again for all the info!

Eco
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Octavious230
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2010, 03:15:08 AM »

Only 80 bucks to install? Wow that's a good deal.  thumbsup
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morlac
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2010, 12:24:34 PM »

Quote from: Octavious230 on March 02, 2010, 03:15:08 AM

Only 80 bucks to install? Wow that's a good deal.  thumbsup

Indeed, mine was $200.  However, they fixed a couple minor leaks for me and replaced a bit of copper piping.
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Lassr
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2010, 03:00:00 PM »

I've been working on my water heater the past week.

A new one like the one I have, 50 gallons, is $408 at Home Depot.

I replaced a thermostat on mine for $13. Heating Elements cost about $20 but you have to have an element wrench to remove them so that could cost another $20 or so.

If you are running out of hot water immediately then your upper element, thermostat or dip tube is most likely the problem. If it is really old your dip tube could have disintegrated or broken off. If you are running out after a while then it could be lower element or thermostat.

Plumber would be who you would call if you can't do it yourself.   But if it is more than 10 years old it is often better to just get a new one due to deposit that may have built up inside of the heater.

My uncle has installed numerous tank-less water heaters in houses he has built. Many people hate them due to the fact that the water pressure is a lot lower due to the system having to heat the water as it passes through the system unlike a tank where you have a supply ready to go. Yes, you do not run out of water but you have to get use to the lower water pressure.

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