At what point do you replace WH's?

Any comments welcome? These are 8 yr old State brand 40 gallon gas units.




That one should probably be replaced at 7 years.

What would happen if the units were left in place and the corrosion continued on for years?

Is this a riddle?? I love riddles. :mrgreen:

If they are operating and are not leaking, they need not be replaced, IMO.

Looks like the nipple is leaking on that one. I’d refer it to a plumber and let him make the call.

Is that a garden hose for the gas line?:slight_smile:
I used to use them for my torches.

I’m wondering about the standing water in the pan…:frowning:

I’d at least let them know its in the end stages of its useful life and to plan on considering a replacement.

The standing water in the pan was one thing. The side of the home was a swamp as the overflow pipe had been dripping for days…It was rank!!:roll:

So what you essentially are saying it is corroding from the outside and not from the inside ?

Affirmative. Looks like the connections are leaking to me.

Duh :D:D:D

Replace the water heater or fix the leak??? It appears that a leak somewhere is causing this problem not the water heater. Would you replace a car because it had a flat tire???

Guess that was the ? I should have posed. Can the corrosion now or in the future affect the operation? Sure the leaks can be fixed but is that all that needs to happen?

Defer to a plumber for further evaluation. Let him decide what happens next or to repair/replace.

The decision to replace an old but functioning water heater would be based in part by the damage it could cause if it leaked. If its setup was such that no damage would be caused by an unexpected leak, I’d leave it alone. It could go another 10 years.


I would like to tell my client that yes they will likely need to be replaced or no the corrosion is not going to severely effect the operation and once the leaks are fixed you will be ok BUT of course defer to a master plumber for the definitive answer. Just telling the client to talk to a plumber tells the client that you are lacking in your knowledge and essentially is telling them to stop asking questions.
Does anyone know what the corrosion will do?

I would rather improve my knowledge than take the easy way out.

An HI is a generalist. Your client should be made aware of this up front and in your contract. I understand that you want to increase your knowledge and that is a good thing but to report and go beyond the standards of practice in areas that you are not qualified will put you at more risk for litigation. The SOP states that you are not required to “B. Determine the size, temperature, age, life expectancy or adequacy of the water heater.” I’d be careful not to extend yourself to far unless you are a qualified and in our state a licensed plumber. There is a time to defer to authorities.