Super water heater!

According to the NAHB, the average life span for HWH is 11-13 years. Today I had a Rheem 50 gallon unit that’s 24 years old and producing hot water. Oldest one I’ve ever seen work. Unit has never been flushed.

Erol, Ive seen water heaters fail in less the ten years. A lot has to do with water quality, we just had on burst on a job site that was 12 years old, but well water with no filter.

Was your gas or electric? well or city water?

PS they don’t build them like they use to.


Just your everday gas fired Rheem water heater, city of Chicago water. No home filtration - no flushing of unit. According to a 2006 report published by the National Resources Defense Council, the water quality here is better than most large cities. Definetly a super tank!

I had one a couple months ago in a commercial unit (HW heater was a little bitty one in a powder room ceiling, 6 gal I think; couldn’t even read the tag) that was installed in about 1983; that’s what?, 25 years old? It had rust everywhere and the outter shell was crumbling, no expansion tank anywhere, the TPR was rusted shut, but the heater part of it still worked. I still wrote it up in bold red print though and they had it replaced the next week. An engineer told me recently that if the sacrificial zincs inside are replaced routinely every two to four years, the heaters should have an indefinite life; interesting.

Wow, Thats cool, or… I mean hot!!!

I regularly find water heaters here that were manufactured in the late 1960s and early 1970s that are still going strong, and it definitely isn’t because of the water. I suspect it’s our climate and the fact that we usually put them in the garage or other protected location.

ART tells me that the oldest I’ve found was 1964.

The deposits might be protecting the tank also if you think abut it.
I can tell you there were many times I had a galvanized pipe leak and it self sealed
Old tanks should not be flushed

I’ve never seen galvanized pipe used for water supply piping.

I wish I could say the same as my own house has it.
I learned years ago how to tap the pipe to create a vibration which knocks loose all the deposits.
Of coarse take off those aerators first.
We do not allow plastic and copper is a new invention.
Not really used here till I think the seventies.
Man ,did I use alot of that two stage resin putty.
You know just rub the two color clay in equal proportion till it turns grey.

You ever try to find a sacrificial anode at a hardware store. Replaced my electric tank last fall. Bought it at one of the largest Canadian chain stores. Thought I’d check for an anode…the employee did not know what I was talking about!!!

They probably thought you where referring to Lymph Nodes

I’d give you a wierd look and deny that I know what you where talking about as well! :wink:

When I lived in my grandparents house the water heater was a 1951 RUUD.

I changed it out in the late 90’s the tank was about 45 years old. It still worked!!!

This was my first house and was about 5 years before I started inspecting.

I installed a new one & man did I FFF it up. I had the hot & cold lines reversed and my dad bailed me out.

I was very fortunate that my grandparents & mom gave me a 100,000 dollar home.

I learned a lot from owning this home.

My gramps taught electrical at OHIO Bell. He was a perfectionist but didnt like change. Like PVC, Breakers.

I miss my grand parents they were good to me.

Just thought I would share the story about the old tank. They dont make stuff like they used to.

I recently replaced a 33 year old A.O Smith gas fired water heater in my own home (original with house). This particular model had a glass lined tank, which probably explains the long life.

I replaced a 1952 Clayton & Lambert (the old stile that has a cabinet/cover that looks like a washer or dryer) in my home last year that was still working but the wife though it wasn’t big enough, it was a 52 gal I replaced it with a 50 gal; her ideal.


What do you call tanks that are 45 years old?

“Tanks for the memories”