Water heaters

Published on May 20th, 2016 | by Henri

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Replacing a water heater

Q.  After how many years should one consider replacing a water heater?  I have a 10 year old water heater, which seems to be just fine, but I don’t want to wake up some morning with a flood in my basement.  Would you recommend replacing the hot water heater now?

A.  Glass-lined water heaters typically have a useful life of about 10 years. Stone-lined heaters should last considerably longer (mine lasted 20 years). Water heaters start leaking slowly, so, if they are set on a concrete floor in an easily visible area, the leakage will become apparent early. But you are wise to think preventively.

For those who have electric water heaters, a replacement well-worth considering is the Marathon plastic water heater; it cannot rust. It does not have or need sacrificial anodes since there is no metal to be protected from corrosion.

I replaced my 25-year-old leaky stone-lined heater with a Marathon that I purchased through my power company. The installation must be made by specially-trained people, as soldering the connections is tricky since copper is connected to plastic.

Any licensed plumber should be able to get one and install it.

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