Thread Number: 73630  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
I need to buy a new water heater. Thoughts?
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Post# 972327   12/8/2017 at 09:23 by scoots (Chattanooga TN)        

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My 14 year old electric water heater has failed. The tank was regularly cleared of silt for the last 7 years under my ownership. It's a State Water Heater by State Industries. 240v, 4500W, 50 Gal cap. Expired 10 year tank warrantee (sp?).

The unit has been inspected for obvious problems (electrical, water supply) I am assuming that the unit should be scrapped.

I am considering a direct replacement, however, are there any other brands I should consider or reject? What about the usual vendors? (Home Depot/Lowes?)



Post# 972334 , Reply# 1   12/8/2017 at 09:34 by Spacedogb (Lafayette, LA)        

I have the new heat pump water heater. Placed in attic and I have yet to run the actual elements the heat pump section has worked amazing

Post# 972340 , Reply# 2   12/8/2017 at 09:42 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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Bradford White, Rinnai, or Rheem are the usual standard installed by most plumbers....

found better pricing from plumbing supply houses rather than HD or Lowes....

most numbered units are based on how long it will last....a variable of conditions will determine either a short, or longer than expected life....

Post# 972345 , Reply# 3   12/8/2017 at 10:22 by appnut (TX)        

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Whirlpool Energy Smart electric water heater.

Post# 972349 , Reply# 4   12/8/2017 at 10:40 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Get a Bradford White or Rheem from a supply house. Those are nicer tanks and come with nicer things like brass drain valves. The ones at HD and Lowes come with plastic drain valves. When I was calling around for prices all three supply houses were at least $100 cheaper than the big box and two of them offered free delivery.

If you want a WH that will really last get a Rheem Marathon.

Post# 972356 , Reply# 5   12/8/2017 at 11:00 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Diffidently Look Into A Heat-Pump Water Heater

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They are great and the power savings will pay for the unit in 3-7 years, you may be able to get cost saving credits from your state or the electric utility, AND they are deductible on your fed taxes as an energy saving item.

When I bought one for my former partner the final cost was around $400 and we figured it is saving around $22 a month with only one person in the house AND best of all it works much better than the old 50 gallon WH.

John L.

Post# 972390 , Reply# 6   12/8/2017 at 14:46 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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I'm with John, if I had the misfortune of having to live with an electric water heater I'd certainly buy a heat pump model. You get the added benefit of a basement dehumidifier/air conditioner for free too! For a short time I had considered one to replace a gas water heater but that doesn't really work out value wise.

Post# 972393 , Reply# 7   12/8/2017 at 15:06 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Years ago, we needed a new gas water heater. We went to the local Lowes, and Menards to shop, and compare.

 Menards has a Richmond water heater, Lowes had a Maytag branded water heater. They had similar features, they were within a few dollars on price. What made the difference? The Maytag was built by State Industries, in Tennessee, the Richmond came from Mexico.

Needless to say, we have a Maytag water heater in our basement......

Post# 972400 , Reply# 8   12/8/2017 at 16:30 by washman (Butler, PA)        
Thus far

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my 50 gal union made Bradford White electric has done fine.  However I have only had it 3 years so longevity is still a question mark.

Post# 972430 , Reply# 9   12/8/2017 at 20:03 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

If you go the heat pump water heater route make sure you get it from a supply house that will stand behind their product and not some big box that will just give you the run around.

I'd read this thread before making a HPWH purchase. Feel free to do a search on them on that forum and read the other discussions about them as well.


Post# 972448 , Reply# 10   12/8/2017 at 23:33 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Kenny,  we got a Whirlpool brand water heater from Lowe's for our previous house.  It was made in Tennessee.  No surprise that they're putting a Maytag badge on them now.


Quality control was a serious problem back then -- at least with gas models, but I think I recall reading, perhaps here, that QC issues had been resolved not long after we made our purchase (ours had a loose fitting that caused the pilot to frequently go out, which I fixed myself).

Post# 972458 , Reply# 11   12/9/2017 at 01:01 by mark_wpduet (Lexington KY)        
I had to go look

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at my water heater. It's 50 gallon A/O Smith. It's approaching 14 yrs old. I just hope when it does die that it doesn't do the same thing that happened to my friend Joanne. She came home from work to a busted water heater that leaked all over the place.

Post# 972494 , Reply# 12   12/9/2017 at 04:27 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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A friend, a local girl I've known for 33+ years, is a senior cost accountant at an AO Smith water heater manufacturing facility in Ashland City, TN.  They rebadge for several brands.  She once told me that my water heater probably came from her plant (or maybe the one in Johnson City, TN) but I had to correct her that probably it didn't unless they make electric tankless, which she agreed it didn't come from there.

Post# 973080 , Reply# 13   12/11/2017 at 18:35 by scoots (Chattanooga TN)        
Many thanks for everybody's input.

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I had a plumber out today in the hopes of simply replacing the heating elements (and trying to do this on the cheap). The plumber discovered that the elements were 1000w too small and overtightened so badly they could not be withdrawn on the first few attempts. He suggested an overnight creeping oil but I just decided to go with a new unit.

(Much to my dismay, the previous owner had much of his equipment (A/C etc.) incompetently installed and I just figured I'd dump this unit before it bit me.)

We talked about some of the suggestions put forward here, but since I am under a strict budget, we decided to go for a straight replacement by State Water Heaters since I had no actual complaint about the unit, only the carelessness of the present installation.

Thanks again for the thoughtful input, it was much appreciated and will all be stored in my "archive." - Bill

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