A.O.Smith water heater life expectancy

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Drains' started by Marty, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Marty

    Marty

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    In 2007 I installed a 40 gallon gas water heater. It leaked at about 5-3/4 years. New unit provided free. It just leaked after almost 6 years. 2nd unit only had the warranty balance from first. Now I am faced with paying for a new unit (Had almost 12 years use of 2 heaters) plus labor again. What is up with AO Smith units that only last 6 years. I expect 12 or more would be reasonable life. Company would do nothing. Comments on life expectancy experiences? Model GCV 40
     
    Marty, Dec 4, 2018
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  2. Marty

    Silentrunning

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    Are you draining the heaters on a regular basis? Are these heaters equipped with an anode rod? If so, what condition was the rod in when replaced? If you are on a well, have you had your water tested?
     
    Silentrunning, Dec 5, 2018
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  3. Marty

    Marty

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    City water. Factory installed anode rod. Sure not drained, but even when people neglect to drain, they usually get 10+ years out of heater, Forgot to mention that on second heater, gas valve went in two years. Horrendous life expectancy of heater and parts.
     
    Marty, Dec 5, 2018
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  4. Marty

    Silentrunning

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    Agreed. I bought a house with a 15 year old water heater and it still functioned. I replaced it two years later because the bottom rusted out. It was still making hot water.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
    Silentrunning, Dec 5, 2018
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  5. Marty

    Doghouse Riley

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    They don't make stuff like they used to.
    We bought our house in 1972. It had a glowarm Majorca back boiler/gas fire i the lounge that had been installed when the house was built in the mid sixties. we had a Worcester combi boiler replacment fitted in the kitchen in 2002. "They had to beat the Gloworm to death with a stick"...Well.... with a sledgehammer to get it out as the boiler was made of cast iron. The Worcester had to be replaced last year.

    I'm using a water heater in the garage I put in, in 1985. It was second-hand then.
     
    Doghouse Riley, Dec 5, 2018
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  6. Marty

    Dirtmechanic

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    I took a 1/2" air impact wrench (250 ftlbs but it was a gift so..) and could not get my anode loose. 3/4" is up next I guess. Anyway, back in 2000 I bought and installed 2 US Craftmaster 40 gallon electrics and plumbed them in so that when one failed (we have A LOT of lime) I could throw a couple valves and have us back up and running in a few minutes but get to the heater repair when it was more convenient for me.

    These are 6 year warranty machines. About every 2 years the bottom element will go out because the whole bottom fills with lime. So they get cleaned out and reset on a regular basis. I think the idea of regular service has extended their cycle, given that they are 18 years old but have roughly 9 running years each. And one other detail, lime is Alkaline so perhaps easier on metal than a lower ph hot water.

    I would love to get the anodes out, but I bet it will take more than 500 ft lbs and somewhere up there the tank is liable to fail. Maybe I should just run them until they leak.

    Gas is incredibly corrosive on heat exchangers but it seems like that would be incorporated into the heater design. To reduce corrosion or extend life I guess you reduce the flame? But even on a slow boil ultimately the same work gets done so I do not know.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
    Dirtmechanic, Jan 3, 2019
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  7. Marty

    udraft

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    I've read the A.O. Smith units are junk, wasn't always the case. Not knowing what leaks, I'd wonder if it's repairable?
     
    udraft, Feb 20, 2019 at 11:09 PM
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