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TherapyChick

join:2003-09-19
Fayetteville, NC

Water heater rusty / leaking

Click for full size
leaking rusty water heater
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leaking rusty water heater
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leaking rusty water heater
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leaking rusty water heater
I noticed a puddle near the water heater in the garage, and then noticed all the rust and stuff on top of it.

Can you tell from the pictures if the whole thing would probably need to be replaced, or could water heater repairman fix it?

Should I go ahead and clean off the crud? Any suggestions for best way to clean that? Or what's making it leak?

I'm not going to try to fix it myself if it involves moving this big thing of course, but if there's a little something I can do I wouldn't mind trying.

BTW - not in this water heater, but in one several years ago I did replace the heating element things before, so that is something I could do if that's something that needs doing. (I am a little handy but not much...)

And would a plumber be the one to call about this? Or who typically works on water heaters?

Edit: Not in this one, but one a few years ago I was able to replace the heating element things, so if that's something I need to do here I could probably do it again. (I"m a little handy but not much...)

--
Therapy Chicks


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX

2 edits
Congratulations you're getting a new water heater.

Bradford White makes a good one. A top of the line AO Smith is just as good.

Otherwise it's something (crappy) from the big box stores.

Call your plumber now.

dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA
reply to TherapyChick
The serial number indicates this unit was manufactured in March 1999, 14 years ago. It probably did not sit in a warehouse very long before it was installed. It is living on borrowed time. Ten years is about average for water heaters. Once they start leaking, they are on very borrowed time. Call your plumber tomorrow morning. Installing a gas heater is not a DIY job.

dw

TherapyChick

join:2003-09-19
Fayetteville, NC
said by dick white:

The serial number indicates this unit was manufactured in March 1999, 14 years ago.

I'm not even going to ask how you can tell that from the SN#, but you're exactly right. The house is 14 years old and it came with the house.

And well if 10 years is about average then it makes me feel a little better that it at least lasted this long.

Thanks for the info guys.
--
Therapy Chicks


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:13
reply to TherapyChick
To me it looks like water is condensing on the outlet pipe and dripping onto the top of the heater. Are you sure there's actually a leak and it's the heater and not that pipe?

I don't like how that looks. I'd do a draft test RIGHT NOW to make sure the gases are going up the flue and not into the room...

/M


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to TherapyChick
My friends have been paying $900-$1000 delivered and installed by a licenced plumber lately for a 50 gal. gas Bradford White »www.bradfordwhite.com/. I don't think they have been pulling permits.

Your area will be different.


jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3
reply to TherapyChick
If you get one month longer than the warranty, you're doing well.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications
said by jjoshua:

If you get one month longer than the warranty, you're doing well.

It really depends on your water. I installed an electric Bradford White (contractor) heater when we built our house lasted 10 years. Replaced that with a Sears in 1992 replaced it in 2008. At that point was not leaking but I was doing some other plumbing and as you posted figured I was living on borrowed time. My son and I cut it open for fun and it was still in very good shape, only a little surface rust around the two heating element fittings. Bought another Sears and so far it is still going strong.

Everyone, including me, recommends checking and changing the anode rods every few years but I have to admit I have not followed my own advice.

Situation may be different with gas heater because of the central flue. My only experience has been with electric.

»www.waterheaterrescue.com/pages/···ers.html

/tom

dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA
reply to TherapyChick
said by TherapyChick:

said by dick white:

The serial number indicates this unit was manufactured in March 1999, 14 years ago.

I'm not even going to ask how you can tell that from the SN#, but you're exactly right. The house is 14 years old and it came with the house.

The first four digits of the s/n are 0399 (look at picture #2). Rheem (which makes the Ruud brand) uses those digits to indicate month and year of manufacture. Other companies include the manufacture date other ways in the s/n.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to TherapyChick
Good water quality makes these heaters (and probably other things) last longer.

TherapyChick

join:2003-09-19
Fayetteville, NC
reply to mackey
said by mackey:

To me it looks like water is condensing on the outlet pipe and dripping onto the top of the heater. Are you sure there's actually a leak and it's the heater and not that pipe?

I don't like how that looks. I'd do a draft test RIGHT NOW to make sure the gases are going up the flue and not into the room...

/M

I can't tell if it's condensation or a "real leak", but it is coming from that pipe above the heater (in the pics).

How would I do a draft test?
--
Therapy Chicks


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications
said by TherapyChick:

but it is coming from that pipe above the heater

Not sure what you mean. Looking at your picture the left hand pipe looks wet. Take the insulation off and see if you can see where the water is coming from.

Whatever is going on it has been happening for a long time based on the amount of crud under the PTRV.

If it is something leaking exterior to the tank than that is easily fixable. But looking at the other picture there is rust around the drain valve.

My previous comments aside I agree with jjoshua See Profile and if you are going to pay for a plumber to come by and look at it might as well bit the bullet and have it changed.

/tom

TherapyChick

join:2003-09-19
Fayetteville, NC
If you look at the first pic, it's coming from the pipe on the left with insulation on it, and in the second pic it's the pipe on the right. (same pipe but different angle)

Edit: I only recently noticed the actual puddle of water, but yes, I'm sure it's been a slow leak or whatever for a while.

--
Therapy Chicks


Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand
said by TherapyChick:

If you look at the first pic, it's coming from the pipe on the left with insulation on it, and in the second pic it's the pipe on the right. (same pipe but different angle)


Is it the hot or cold water pipe ?

--
February is National Cherry Month

TherapyChick

join:2003-09-19
Fayetteville, NC
It's hot. When I touch it, it's warm. (not super hot, but definitely not cold)
--
Therapy Chicks


Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand

That could be feed back on the cold water line, try turning on the hot water somewhere and then checking again.

--
February is National Cherry Month


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX

2 recommendations

reply to TherapyChick
I'm not try to talk you guys out of trouble shooting this water heater but....

It's a builder model and 14 years old.

Never been flushed.

It's shot.


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to TherapyChick
Next is a catastrophic failure.

Probably with children or even worse 3 women in the winter.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to TherapyChick
said by TherapyChick:

If you look at the first pic, it's coming from the pipe on the left with insulation on it, and in the second pic it's the pipe on the right.

No -- the angle is the same in first and second pics. It is the pipe on the left in both of them. Now -- it was suggested that you take the insulation off of the pipe. If you do that and report or take pics of what is under it then we may be able to help more as to what has created the problem. The solution is to install a new water heater. That one has been seriously abused!

TherapyChick

join:2003-09-19
Fayetteville, NC
You're right, the angel is the same in both pics.

I think I'm going to leave the insulation on there until the plumber gets here.

And I don't know if I'd say it's been "abused", it is 14 years old and just worn out I guess.

Maybe a little PM would have helped it last longer?
--
Therapy Chicks

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
No, there is a leak that has caused the problems from looking at the pics you have posted. I have a gas water heater that is over 25 years old without any of that nasty look that yours has.

TherapyChick

join:2003-09-19
Fayetteville, NC

1 recommendation

reply to mityfowl
I had a plumber come out yesterday, that pipe was leaking under the insulation. (a fine mist leak, but steady)

He replaced the pipe, cleaned up what he could of the rust.

It was $107.00.

I plan on moving from this house in the next 2 years, so if it'll last a bit long I'll be good.

He said to get a new 50 gallon (I think it was 50 gallons anyway) Bradford White one would be about $975 which included installation, so if it breaks down completely then I'll do that obviously.
--
Therapy Chicks


mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to TherapyChick
A $107 to roll a truck and fix pipe!

That's great.

Good luck.


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
reply to TherapyChick
The top of your tank with the pressure release valve looks just like my aunt's GE water heater.


Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand
said by Subaru:

The top of your tank with the pressure release valve looks just like my aunt's GE water heater.


Most likely made by the same company, Watts Water technologies.

--
February is National Cherry Month

makaze
Premium
join:2004-02-23
USA
reply to TherapyChick
said by TherapyChick:

I had a plumber come out yesterday, that pipe was leaking under the insulation. (a fine mist leak, but steady)

He replaced the pipe, cleaned up what he could of the rust.

It was $107.00.

I plan on moving from this house in the next 2 years, so if it'll last a bit long I'll be good.

He said to get a new 50 gallon (I think it was 50 gallons anyway) Bradford White one would be about $975 which included installation, so if it breaks down completely then I'll do that obviously.

hope you have a good drain and a water sensor on your floor


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
reply to Coma
Would it say it on the heater?


Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand

I should be identified on a metal tag around the valve stem of the T&P valve.

--
February is National Cherry Month


Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1
said by Coma:


I should be identified on a metal tag around the valve stem of the T&P valve.

I will check the next time I stop by

TherapyChick

join:2003-09-19
Fayetteville, NC
reply to mityfowl
A friend said he could install a water heater, he's done a few before and feels confident doing it.

Anyone know about this heater:
Whirlpool Energy Smart 50-Gallon 12-Year Electric Water Heater
Item #: 345709 | Model #: ES50R123-45D

»www.lowes.com/pd_345709-135-ES50···cetInfo=
--
Therapy Chicks