What is wrong with my Water Heater?

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Chris

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I bought my house about a year and a half ago and ever since then my water is either hot and works great are it will get cold within a couple minutes? I am confused. It is a 1994 model and has served well over the years I am sure but is this a sign of it going out or something different?
 

Reedwalker

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Its possible the dip tube has corroded away. These are changed fairly simply. Give yourself the better part of Saturday morning.

16 years is a long life for a heater. I would swap it out. Best to do it now before one of the welds give and you have a flood on your hands.
 

majakdragon

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I agree that the problem is the dip tube. On the older heaters, it was an easy fix by removing the cold water inlet pipe, removing the old piece of dip tube, and replacing it with a new tube. Most heaters now have back-flow preventers installed in both the hot and cold inlet and are a bear to get to the dip tube. 16 years is really a long life for a heater and I also advise a new one. Energy efficiency is one major reason.
 

Chris

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I agree that the problem is the dip tube. On the older heaters, it was an easy fix by removing the cold water inlet pipe, removing the old piece of dip tube, and replacing it with a new tube. Most heaters now have back-flow preventers installed in both the hot and cold inlet and are a bear to get to the dip tube. 16 years is really a long life for a heater and I also advise a new one. Energy efficiency is one major reason.
I never thought of energy effiecency because my gas bill is usually never over 10-20 bucks but I guess it can always get better. I will look into a new one. Are they difficult to change out? I have never done one. What are the brands that will last the longest but not kill my wallet?
 

Reedwalker

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Bradford White is what I install. You can pick one up at your local Ferguson.

While you're there grab two 3/4" Dielectric unions.

Swapping a heater out is pretty easy. Im sure your handy enough to handle it Chris. I can do a heater in about an hour. Although I have an awesome furniture dolly and a pump that gets the water out of the old one in about 10 mins. I'd say it may take you 3-4 hours if you don't have to go to the hardware store more than once.

If you buy a whirlpool from Lowes you will require two 3/4" Galv nipples as well (I install for Lowes, that's how I know). Personally I don't think the warranties are worth it, but to each his own.
 
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