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Old 08-14-19, 10:38 PM   #1
oil pan 4
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Default Gas water heater maintenance

Doing preventive maintenance on the hot water heater is about as exciting watching paint dry, but with a replacement cost of $500+ plus installation if you can't install it your self it's time well spent.
But if you can do this you can probably replace your water heater your self, if you can get it drained.
I don't know about you but I can think of a lot better things to do with $500 than replace a water heater.
Gas water heaters last as little as between 3 and 7 years if you install them and forget about it, if you take good care of your water heater it can last 15 to 20 years.

Moved out last year made the old house a rental, haven't had a chance to toy with the tankeless water heater much and after about 3 years it stopped working.

Alright so the only one that will fit in the water heater closet is a 17 inch wide one. That's why I put a tankless in there.
The only one that would fit is a 6 year warranty ao smith.
So I immediately suspect the anode is aluminum because of the 6 year thing. I pulled the anode, did the vinegar test and it is aluminum.
Not only is it aluminum, but it's short and aluminum. So it won't last very long.
I ordered a 5 foot long magnesium anode, did the vinegar test dip and the metal reacted violently compared to aluminum having almost no reaction.
Remember don't trust, just verify.

Why magnesium?
The short list of likely magnesium by products are water soluble and won't build up in the bottom of the tank.
Why not aluminum?
The short list of aluminum by products are not water soluble and build up in the bottom of the tank and that's bad.
Why don't I want crap building up in the tank?
It slows down heat transfer and causes steam cavitation. Cavitation and corrosion cracks the tank.

Also pulled the plastic junk drain value out and going to replace it with a 1/4 turn ball valve.
Those plastic ones plug up with scale when you need to drain or flush the the water heater. A ball valve or gate valve is a huge improvement.

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