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Water Heater Recommendations?

 
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murrey



Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:25 am    Post subject: Water Heater Recommendations? Reply with quote

I am looking for recommendations for a 40 or 50 gallon natural gas water heater. Ours is at least 16 years old, and has recently started making noises like there are marbles rolling around inside. Also, we have noticed a gradual, yet significant, reduction in the amount of hot water we get.
I've investigated going tankless, but it really won't work in our situation. We live in a rowhouse and would have a very hard time finding any place we could vent the unit according to code. Additionally, I just don't want to fork over the cash upfront at this time.
I've found there are a ton of water heaters out there, and it can be hard to compare them. Are any of them relatively more efficient than others? Are there brands to stay away
from? I'm hesitant to go with a powered vent unit, simply for fear the fan would die and I've never notice.
Any advice greatly appreciated!
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jts1957



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 2472
Location: Far, Far Away

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say you got your money's worth out of that old one, although you would have gotten 5 - 7 years more had you flushed out the bottom sediment once a year like most manufacturers recommend.
Natural gas heaters vent OK without assistance (hot air rises).

I'd go with same manufacturer as the one you currently have. Or at least made in same country.
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Justmanuals



Joined: 21 Aug 2004
Posts: 1949

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reduction in the amount of hot water generated is due to deterioration of
the cold water dip tube that extends to near the bottom of the tank. BTW....the difference between a 5 & 10 year heater is the material that the dip tube is made of and its quality.
Anyhow, there are no mechanical parts inside the heater so nothing to go wrong there. You're lucky it lasted this long. You only need a power vented model if you don't have the necessary natural draft or a chimney.
There are plenty of resources online you can Google for. Your best bet after doing some research is to go to Home Depot or Lowe's and see what they have and check prices, then call a Plumber and get his price. You may also be able to call your local gas company, they can install a new one and let you pay it out added to your gas bill. Another advantage of having the gas company do it is that you'll know it's done right. Make them dispose of the old heater. It used to be you could put an old water heater out by the curb and by the time you were finished installing the new one, the old one would be gone. It's not that way anymore though. Most municipalities make you get a permit or a special pickup from the town recycler.

HtH
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