The Tank › leaking WH
- April 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm #11224homeownerParticipant
Hi Larry and Randy,
I am a single woman and first-time homeowner who lives alone and hope you can help me!
My GE Smart Heater w/ 6 yr warranty is electric, 30 gallons and was manufactured in July 2002. it is leaking slowly from the bottom. i have never had it flushed out.
1. is there any hope for the WH?
2. will replacing the anode stop the leak?
3. what can be done to prevent leaks on a new unit? just flushing it out?
4. re purchases: lowe’s has only Whirlpool and U.S. Craftsmaster. don’t know if U.S. Craftsmaster is a good unit? you do not mention it on yr. site. if i get the Whirlpool should i have a plumber replace the alum. anode with a magnesium one? i am looking at Item # 140389, Model # E2F40RD045V on http://www.lowes.com it’s 40 gallons. i hope it can fit, the current one is about 16″ wide, i can probably go to 20″ (width). height would be 2 ” taller than this one. should not affect the pipe going to the WH breaker unit which is slightly higher than the pipe port.
5. a local plumber offered to sell and install a 30 gallon Reem electric for $550-600. maybe i should just go with that since you recommend the magnesium anode and it is already in the Reem.
If there is any chance of saving the existing WH please let me know. I am trying to keep it out of the landfill, and save money too.
I am going away for a week so I can for now, turn off heater and flush out the water in the tank so it will stop leaking while i’m away. Hopefully i will hear from you and then know what to do when i return.
Your Florida friend 🙂April 18, 2009 at 1:21 am #11230Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: If you have the receipt for the existing heater and if it is not yey six years old, you may be able to get warranty replacement. I would do a thorough check to see if it is leaking from a fitting that could be redone, though that seems a bit of a stretch here.
Replacing the anode will not fix a leak. You might want to read up about what goes on inside water heaters elsewhere on this site, to get a better understanding of water heater nuance. They are actually rather nice once you get to know them 😀 Though they don’t tolerate neglect very well.
It is possible to limp along with a failed heater if the leak is slow and if you turn off power and water when not using hot water. A hot tap needs to be left open also to prevent pressure build-up in the tank. That trick could buy you some time.
Yours, LarryApril 18, 2009 at 1:47 am #11232Randy SchuylerKeymaster
Whirlpool and Craftmaster are both made by American Water Heater Co., a subsidiary of A.O. Smith. Both will have aluminum anodes, but I wouldn’t necessarily discount them on that alone.
For instance, I’m pretty sure that it’s American who offers a tank with 3 inches of insulation, the most you can get on a water heater.
This week, a plumbing company bought two sets of anodes and flush kits for use in Americans. They were going to remove the aluminum anodes and replace them with magnesium ones.
What does it mean? Finding “the best” water heater is tricky because no one water heater embodies all the best.
I’m careful about conflicts of interest. It’s really not for me to urge you to buy an American, pull out the factory anode and put in one of mine. But it’s still one possibility if the only thing against the American is its anode rod.
Things to think about, and maybe discuss in this forum.
Randy SchuylerApril 19, 2009 at 4:23 pm #11246EjParticipant
I do hope you checked your heating elements first to see if they were leaking. Remember gravity brings all leaks to the bottom 🙂 Leaking electric heaters are not very common and if the tank is truly leaking then you should also have your pressure checked.
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