Preemptive hot water heater change out.

14 Replies

So I currently have one rental house. The hot water heater was replaced about 10 yrs ago now.

Is this an item you all at Bp would think best to just change every 10 yrs or so VS getting the call at 2 am that it exploded and destroyed everything the night before you fly out to an all inclusive

Resort in Cancun for your 10 yr anniversary to your smokin hot wife

Thanks BP you are the best.

As far as I know the Chance of one exploding is slim,I have never seen it happen.

I would think steam would have to build up from total lack of water and pressure relief valve would have to be bad or full of deposits . you can flip it up to see if it is working.

I have had new hot water tanks fail in less than a year and have had them last 25 years or more and as long as its not leaking I have only needed to replace an element if its not getting hot.

I was talking about electric hot water tanks not gas(gas leak can cause a nice explosion)

You should be careful with switching out water heaters when they are functioning properly. Everytime you change them out you will be required to bring the water heater installation up to code. This can often add hundreds of dollars to the installation cost. Why spend money if it is functioning properly? I agree with Ritch B - it may last 15 - 20 years without issue....

@Scott McGill

We've had hot water heaters last 35 years and currently have one that is 64 years old. Never had one explode. There is a pressure relief value on the HTH that will release if the pressure or temperature gets too high.

I've heard of investors preemptive removal of furnaces and roof before, but we've never done that either.

@David Krulac

I know folks who do roofs furnaces and lots of other things

I figure if it isn't broke I wait until it is.

You just never know how long a water heater will last. As Rich stated, they can last a few years and I've seen some as old as 30 years. The good thing about water heaters is the fact that you can test it to see how well it's working. Turn the water on in the shower and see how long the hot water last. A good water heater will last up to 20 minutes and longer depending on the size.

Thanks guys. I'm sorry I over dramatized the "EXPLODING" part. I just didn't want to write a boring question.

The added cost to bring it up to code I hadn't thought of so that was a great point @Justin Tahilramani .

Thanks everyone for tge quicj responce. I think after this post I will set asude $800 bucjs ir so for future hot water heater expences. And we will see if I can 65 out of the one I got.


Play to the kings

@Scott McGill if you are thinking preemptive, you might consider buying the pan or container you put around them to catch the water if they start leaking. I have not yet replaced a water heater that works. My concern is the water leakage problem when they do get a leak.

Good news is that it is in the garage on concrete.

I would think the only circumstance to pre-emptively replace is if you want to do something different, like an on demand or indirect, that would be much harder to do under the gun in an emergency replacement situation.

@Scott McGill , you just answered my question, which was- "what's the worst case scenario if if goes?" If it's just a wet garage floor, I'd certainly leave well enough alone. If it was poised to ruin some hardwood floors or leak through a ceiling then I might consider replacing. I had a 30 yr old gas water heater in my old house, I think the one I have now is going on 15 yrs.

For future peace of mind, try setting up an arrangement with a handyman or property manager to be the emergency contact when you're out of town.

If it's in perfect working condition there's no reason to change it out. If I see rust around the bottom or other signs of potential failure while we're doing other maintenance I'd consider it. If it fails it generally starts with either a slow leak or the unit failing to heat water, either of those is a non-disaster and the unit can be changed out.. As far as worrying about it while I'm on vacation, my tenants have the number for my maintenance guy and they will call him and not me.

post pictures of the wife and I will give you the answer.

water heater .... Not hot water heater. ... If water was hot, wouldn't need to heat it ....(on going joke at our office)

@Scott McGill , Im a plumber in the southern wisconsin area.

A lot of people here have hit the nail on the head with their advice on leaving it until it doesn't work. Water heaters can fail anywhere from 5-35 years old, depending different variables of course.

Especially in your situation where you have the WH in the garage so a small leak won't cause a great amount of damage and will more than likely be noticed sooner rather than later.

Typically, the only "emergency" you might have with the WH causing it to not work at all, would be a gas valve going bad (assuming its gas and not electric.) These are pretty cheap and if the actual tank is in pretty decent shape yet, you'd be throwing money away.

Hopefully this made your decision a little easier,


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