Gas hot water heater.

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Jenny
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Gas hot water heater.

Post by Jenny » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:08 pm

I have been researching the customer reviews on gas hot water heaters. According to the reviews every brand is a rip off, every companies customer service is deplorable, and the warranties are so full of loop holes for the seller they're not much more than a farce for the consumer. Are any of the manufacturers concerned about the environment or do they all build junk intentionally built NOT to last? Do any of them have an honest warranty or care about their customers??? My personal experience and research is quite discouraging!!

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Shannon
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Shannon » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:33 pm

I would agree that in most cases it seems they barely will make it to the warranty period and then develop problems. I do not actually know if the really high priced ones are really any better then the cheap ones. The worst part is they really should be installed by a professional because of the gas hook up and permits, so its not only the cost of the heater but the install as well. I would suggest whatever you get to be sure and install a pan under it to catch leaks and plumb that over to a floor drain. Also keep up on changing the anode rod as needed to help extend the units life.
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A. Spruce
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:57 am

As long as you stick to major name brands, quality isn't usually a problem. As far as warranty goes, it's really hard to prove that it was the heater that failed and not some nuance during the install, hence the limited warranty offered by manufacturers. Also, the length of the warranty period affects the price of the heater, example, two identical water heaters, unit A has a 1 year warranty, unit B has a 5 year warranty, unit B will be several hundred dollars more expensive. This is true of many things. Where suppliers start to come in is if they offer extended warranties. I'm not one to waste money on such things, but it does come in handy when you need it, the question is, will you need it?
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RICHat22
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by RICHat22 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:40 pm

Shannon wrote: Also keep up on changing the anode rod as needed to help extend the units life.
Just for my info, since I've heard you and others mention this before. I can't remember ever having to replace one. Do you say this because it keeps them from leaking?

I have a gas water heater and love it. Recovery is faster than electric in my opinion. But next go around I may do a tankless or two. Prices are lower than 10 years ago.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:50 pm

The anode rod reduces internal corrosion, this is especially critical in areas with more acidic water.
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RICHat22
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by RICHat22 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:23 pm

A. Spruce wrote:The anode rod reduces internal corrosion, this is especially critical in areas with more acidic water.
So this is not the same as the heating element? I need to review water heater construction. LOL. May go buy one tomorrow. 7-1/2 years here and never did that. I can bet money the people before didn't replace anything.

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Shannon
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Shannon » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:30 pm

This will help you understand your gas water heater. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OHDsNtGXEEY
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RICHat22
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by RICHat22 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:32 pm

Thanks. Already found it and watched. I've never done hot water heater maintenance until they broke. No one within 50 miles has anodes. I'll start looking Monday and get one coming. I have gooey stuff on mine, but it's easy accessible. New project. :)

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Aaron
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Aaron » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:31 pm

Jenny wrote:I have been researching the customer reviews on gas hot water heaters. According to the reviews every brand is a rip off, every companies customer service is deplorable, and the warranties are so full of loop holes for the seller they're not much more than a farce for the consumer. Are any of the manufacturers concerned about the environment or do they all build junk intentionally built NOT to last? Do any of them have an honest warranty or care about their customers??? My personal experience and research is quite discouraging!!
I'm not sure I'd be so discouraged. With proper maintenance, a gas water heater can last for years and years, so you really shouldn't have to worry about making a warranty claim. It's a lot easier to properly maintain your water heater than to neglect it with the hope of its warranty to rely on.

I can't confirm this, but I think the only difference between water heater warranties (6 year versus 12 years), is the size of the anode rod in the tank. The anode rod is "sacrificial" meaning that it electrically attracts minerals in the water that attack the anode rod first before the lining of the tank. So if the tank has a larger anode, it's going to last longer and have a longer warranty period.

But the trick is that anode rods are replaceable. So you can extend the life of a low-cost short-warranty water heater simply by replacing its anode rod every few years! Not many people know this, or they forget or don't care because it's very difficult to pay attention to your water heater when it is working just fine (probably THE most taken-for-granted appliance in a house).

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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Mastercarpentry » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:17 am

Agreed with Aaron. If you regularly replace the anode, the tank will last decades instead of years. The one fly in that ointment is that the anode can get corroded in place at the threads if it's not at least pulled for inspection or replacement every coupe years so attempting that on an older unit might lead to much frustration and if too much force is applied trying to remove a corroded anode might even ruin an otherwise usable tank. Use non-hardening pipe dope on the thread, not teflon tape, because you need metal-to-metal contact for the anode to do it's job. Also drain the sludge from the bottom of the tank annually; there's a valve with a garden hose thread to make that easy.

30 minutes or less to do both and the anode is cheap, it is the very best investment you'll ever make.

Phil

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Shannon
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Shannon » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:43 am

I'm sorry but I need to correct a myth, and that is that the anode rod must make metal on metal connection with the threads of the tank in order to work correctly. That is false . Shortly after I posted my anode rod video a few years ago, there was a comment about that posted on the video. I checked with the plumbers I know and they all gave me the same crazy look when I asked if this was true. It apparently is an old wives tale and is not actually true. If you still are not convinced then you can leave a couple of threads bare at the bottom of the plug area when applying teflon tape just incase.
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RICHat22
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by RICHat22 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:41 pm

Shannon wrote:I'm sorry but I need to correct a myth, and that is that the anode rod must make metal on metal connection with the threads of the tank in order to work correctly. That is false .
Just to throw a kink in it. I called three local, small town plumbers today to see if they stock anodes (so I could buy local). None did and all three said "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". All three said you should get at least 7-10 years before leaks, then replace. All three perform regular maintenance on their vehicles for the opposite reasons. My experience is a coated steel should last MUCH longer with good maintenance. Bathtubs last forever, granted they aren't always full.

To address the anode and tape/dope part. Is the anode truly being eaten away for either following reasons? Is it a type of electrolysis that causes the reaction or is it truly just water acid eating at a dissimilar metal or ph? In my mind, that would be the determining factor on whether the threads need to make metallic connection.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:53 pm

An anode rod is made of a soft metal, softer than the steel tank, thus, it gets eaten first or instead of the steel. Whether the corrosion is caused by oxidation, pH imbalance, acidic water, whatever, the anode is the sacrificial lamb to save the tank.

Ships have similar zinc bricks attached to their hulls, gives the salt water something to chew on besides the hull. Easier to replace a zinc than to drydock the boat and repair the hull.
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Shannon
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Shannon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:17 am

Yup they are the sacrificial lamb.
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Admin » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:31 am

RICHat22 wrote:...I called three local, small town plumbers today to see if they stock anodes (so I could buy local). None did and all three said "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". All three said you should get at least 7-10 years before leaks, then replace...
That's bad advice for homeowners, but it's good advice for plumbers because it means they make more $$$ off you.

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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by emtnut » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:52 pm

I worked at a water plant for about 10 years. We had cathodic protection in all the elevated water storage tanks. Funny that I never even thought of the anode in the HWT :shock: ... my tank is about 3 yrs old, so I guess I'll check/replace this spring !!

Cathodic protection is basically a chemical process (the exact same principal in a battery), where the 2 dissimilar metals produce a current between them. Any oxidization which produces rust, will conduct to the anode ... and it will corrode instead of the tank.

Ships use them, as Sprucy mentioned, and in this case, the zinc (or magnesium or aluminum) must contact the ships hull.
In a water tank, the 'conductive' path is within the water. Whether the anode is physically bonded (grounded) to the tank will not matter.
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by emtnut » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:41 pm

RICHat22 wrote:
Shannon wrote:I'm sorry but I need to correct a myth, and that is that the anode rod must make metal on metal connection with the threads of the tank in order to work correctly. That is false .
Just to throw a kink in it. I called three local, small town plumbers today to see if they stock anodes (so I could buy local). None did and all three said "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". All three said you should get at least 7-10 years before leaks, then replace. All three perform regular maintenance on their vehicles for the opposite reasons. My experience is a coated steel should last MUCH longer with good maintenance. Bathtubs last forever, granted they aren't always full.

To address the anode and tape/dope part. Is the anode truly being eaten away for either following reasons? Is it a type of electrolysis that causes the reaction or is it truly just water acid eating at a dissimilar metal or ph? In my mind, that would be the determining factor on whether the threads need to make metallic connection.
Those plumbers gave you good advise !
If you were to call in a plumber 3 -4 times to change the anode in your tank, you've paid for a new tank.
If your DIYing it ... definetly worth it ;)
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Shannon
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Shannon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:11 pm

emtnut wrote:
RICHat22 wrote:
Those plumbers gave you good advise !
If you were to call in a plumber 3 -4 times to change the anode in your tank, you've paid for a new tank.
If your DIYing it ... definetly worth it ;)
In most cases this is a pretty easy DIY project.
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RICHat22
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by RICHat22 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:33 am

Shannon wrote:
emtnut wrote:
In most cases this is a pretty easy DIY project.

I looked at it. It's really easy. But no one around has them. I told them I was DIYing it. And just wanted to buy the part from a local. They just said don't touch it until it leaks. But I still will find an anode and replace it if it isn't seized.

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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Admin » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:00 pm

It will take some pretty hefty effort to loosen the anode, I'd say. Mine was stuck in there real good from the factory. I had a plumber change mine one time because he was doing other work. He used an electric impact wrench to remove & install. I used a ratchet and socket when I replaced mine yesterday.

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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:48 pm

Admin wrote:It will take some pretty hefty effort to loosen the anode, I'd say. Mine was stuck in there real good from the factory. I had a plumber change mine one time because he was doing other work. He used an electric impact wrench to remove & install. I used a ratchet and socket when I replaced mine yesterday.
It bears mentioning that if the WH is not strapped down well, it will move, twisting pipes and such that shouldn't be twisted. Make sure you take appropriate measures to keep the tank stable while wrenching on a stubborn bolt.
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Admin » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:51 pm

A. Spruce wrote:It bears mentioning that if the WH is not strapped down well, it will move, twisting pipes and such that shouldn't be twisted. Make sure you take appropriate measures to keep the tank stable while wrenching on a stubborn bolt.
Yeah. If I recall correctly Shannon took out the anode the first time on my water heater. I think I bear hugged it while he tried loosing it with a ratchet or breaker bar? I dunno for sure, it was quite a few years ago. But at least my WH is famous on YouTube LOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97ett_HNu4k

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A. Spruce
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:01 pm

Admin wrote: But at least my WH is famous on YouTube LOL
Hardly recognized Shannon without the customary HI hat and shirt! ;) :mrgreen:
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Shannon
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Re: Gas hot water heater.

Post by Shannon » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:57 pm

Ya that was way back in the beginning!
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