Leaking AO Smith Energy Saver FGR—40 Heater

The Tank Leaking AO Smith Energy Saver FGR—40 Heater

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  • #8640
    kuchu
    Participant

    I have an AO Smith Energy Saver FGR-40 gas powered heater that’s installed in an 8 year old house. The heater recently started leaking and I’m kicking myself for not having reacted a little faster because the water seems to have somehow found its way into the room adjacent my garage and my floor will now need some major repair….but that’s a whole different story.

    I live in a community in San Leandro, CA and I plan to call my home owners association to get information on my warranty first thing tomorrow. In the mean time, I tried to use the AO Smith Warranty wizard but nothing comes up when I enter my serial number. The heater has local numbers to call in the event of a leakage so I just want to know what to expect when the plumber comes to take a look. First of all, I have seen a wide range of numbers for the cost of replacement (from 400-1000). What should I be expecting? And I know I’m probably grasping at straws here but can I in any way recover some of the cost that goes into repairing my floor?

    Another thing is, if I am not covered by my warranty and have to replace the heater, would I be better of going with another brand? I would rather not spend a whole lot more just to get a little more quality because I probably won’t be living in this house 10 years from now. But if I can get better quality for the same price or a little more, I would be open to upgrading. Thanks for the help.

    Details”

    Ser No: GB00-5348343-R99
    FGR–40-F00N010R99
    Gas Type Natural BTU/HR 38000

    #8643
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    The heater is probably out of warranty. It’s original equipment with the house and I’d be surprised if the builder installed anything other than a six-year-warranty heater. Read the other sections on this site about how water heaters are made, anodes and choosing a new heater and all that should answer the rest of your questions.

    Randy Schuyler

    #8646
    Ej
    Participant

    All FGR-40 are 1 year labor and 6 years parts. You can verify this yourself at:

    https://warranty.hotwater.com/HeaterInfo/HeaterSearch.aspx?

    These are very good heater but they are no longer available in most counties of California due to LoNox AQMD requirements. I would want to check for a closed system condition or high water pressure just to be sure this was not the reason the tank started to leak.

    #8647
    kuchu
    Participant

    Thank you so much guys. I had a friend look at the heater for me and based on his limited knowledge of heaters he thought I may have to replace it. Since the leak was affecting my floor I didn’t want to wait for long so I had two plumbers come in and give me an estimate today. Here is the crazy part…

    The first plumber came in and gave me an estimate of $1400 for a 40 gallon Bradford White. I told them I wanted to think it over and half an hour later the second plumber came and told me it would cost me $625 for the 40 gallon Bradford White and $700 for the 50 gallon Bradford White. I decided to upgrade to a slightly bigger heater so they’re replacing it with the 50 gallon heater as we speak. I was so surprised by the disparity in cost and I had to ask the second one more than once if they were bonded and licensed. One minor difference was the first quote included the approx $100 city permit application + inspection fee so at the end of the day an even comparison would have been something like $1300 vs $625. What the hell!!

    Well, at least I’m happy I’m getting a decent heater for a decent price. I’m now thinking about getting $300 home warranty to cover any future problems I may have with this heater or other appliances. 😎

    #8648
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    Well, you’ve just seen the range of installation prices in California and why it pays to get more than one bid. The first might have been a flat-rate plumber, one who figures the absolute worst-case installation scenario and charges that price whether worst-case happens or not.

    On the other hand, everyone in business has to figure out what it takes to make a profit and stay in business. An older plumber with a truck full of tools already paid for will likely be cheaper than a company with lots of trucks, employees, tools and overhead. Sometimes you’re getting gouged and sometimes it’s just life.

    All that said, EJ has a good point. High pressure (over 80 psi), thermal expansion and pressure spikes are hidden water heater killers. It will cost you almost nothing to test for them. Since you’re probably in East Bay MUD, I’d expect your water heater to last a bit longer than eight years, although water heater life varies all over the place, even allowing for good water. But then, maybe you get well water; different story.

    Six or seven years ago, I saw an apartment complex in the South San Francisco Bay Area — just down the road from you — where the tanks failed under warranty or barely survived through it. There were unknown — to them — spikes to 150 psi.

    Go to Tanklets and read the one for Temperature/Pressure Relief Valves. There are descriptions there of thermal expansion and how to test for it.

    Randy Schuyler

    #8665
    Wind
    Participant

    I was surprised to see how high the pressure was in my home, in western NY. It varied between 120 and 130 PSI. I used a thread-on pressure guage on the garden hose tap outside to check it. City pressure can be high!

    #8667
    kuchu
    Participant

    Thanks for the suggestions guys. I’ll be checking the pressure at my house to make sure I don’t have a recurring problem with heaters.

    #11809
    ek
    Participant

    kuchu,
    I have the same water heater unit and it is starting to leak. I would like to get the name of the plumber/contractor who did the work for you. Please send it to me. Thanks. [I assume everything was done to your satisfaction and that the unit is working well.]

    I understand you got a 50 gallon Bradford White unit. Which model was it? Does it adhere to the new Energy Efficiency standards, etc.? So the TOTAL cost to you was $800 (includes the permit fee) – Right? This included hauling away old unit and installation of new unit? The plumber/contractor was fully licensed? Thanks for your answers.

    You also mention a $300 home warranty to cover any future problems I may have with this heater or other appliances. Is this part of an insurance policy or in addition to it? Where would you get it and what does it actually cover?

    Again, thanks very much for your help.
    -ek

    ————————————-
    Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2008 08:05 pm

    Thank you so much guys. I had a friend look at the heater for me and based on his limited knowledge of heaters he thought I may have to replace it. Since the leak was affecting my floor I didn’t want to wait for long so I had two plumbers come in and give me an estimate today. Here is the crazy part…

    The first plumber came in and gave me an estimate of $1400 for a 40 gallon Bradford White. I told them I wanted to think it over and half an hour later the second plumber came and told me it would cost me $625 for the 40 gallon Bradford White and $700 for the 50 gallon Bradford White. I decided to upgrade to a slightly bigger heater so they’re replacing it with the 50 gallon heater as we speak. I was so surprised by the disparity in cost and I had to ask the second one more than once if they were bonded and licensed. One minor difference was the first quote included the approx $100 city permit application + inspection fee so at the end of the day an even comparison would have been something like $1300 vs $625. What the hell!!

    Well, at least I’m happy I’m getting a decent heater for a decent price. I’m now thinking about getting $300 home warranty to cover any future problems I may have with this heater or other appliances.

    ——————————————–
    I have an AO Smith Energy Saver FGR-40 gas powered heater that’s installed in an 8 year old house. The heater recently started leaking …

    I live in a community in San Leandro, CA and I plan to call my home owners association to get information on my warranty first thing tomorrow. In the mean time, I tried to use the AO Smith Warranty wizard but nothing comes up when I enter my serial number. … I have seen a wide range of numbers for the cost of replacement (from 400-1000). What should I be expecting? …

    Details”

    Ser No: GB00-5348343-R99
    FGR–40-F00N010R99
    Gas Type Natural BTU/HR 38000

    #11810
    ek
    Participant

    Sorry for the duplicate posting.
    -ek

    #11811
    Ej
    Participant

    Your heater has a mfg date off Feb. 2000 so it looks like you are out of luck since A.O. Smith standard warranty for that model is 6 years.

    #11812
    ek
    Participant

    I am aware that the AO Smith water heater is beyond warranty. I was asking kuchu for the name and contact information of his plumber since he did the research work and had his unit replaced.

    Thanks for your reply.
    -ek

    #14272
    adhir123
    Participant

    Hi EK:

    Did you get the plumber information from KUCHU and replaced your water heater? If not, who did you finally go with, any recommendation for replacing water heater. which model/size did you go with finally.

    I have A.O.Smith 40 gal water heater (Model: FGR 40 240, GA97-3443141-R99, Gas Type Natural)

    Sorry it was more than a year ago, but if you can send me any information will be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    AKM

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