Difference between same steel hot water heater tanks rated both 6 and 12 year life.

   / Difference between same steel hot water heater tanks rated both 6 and 12 year life. #1  

Gale Hawkins

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Murray, KY
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1948 Allis Chambers Model B 1976 265 MF / 1983 JD 310B Backhoe / 1966 Ford 3000 Diesel / 1980 3600 Diesel
Like many rural living folks we have a water well and it is hard on electric hot water heaters.

We finally got around to replacing the anode rod in our 10 year old 6 year rated 80 gallon Whirlpool electric this week.


Lowes still sells the same model number 10 years later for the same price of $457 today.


What got my attention was there was NO bare steel anode rod showing and actually still was well coated with aluminum from to to bottom.


When I got to reading about the difference I learned I had extended its life perhaps by going to the stainless steel low density heating elements (Sand Hog life time) 4500 watt elements which meant I removed the copper coated elements.


When copper and steel are in the same electrical environment the presents of copper speeds up the rusting out of the steel in the hot water tank and fittings but stainless steel does not increase the rate of tank rusting.


It was after using the hot water heater for a few years I learned about the Sand Hogs knowing the copper elements are short lived in our well water so I swapped them out before the copper ones failed.


I mean why not if the Sand Hogs were going to last forever. :)


Since after 10 years the 6 year rated hot water tank aluminum anode was reduced but still by no more than 70% it is my view removing the copper from the system (pipes are plastic) by replacing the copper coated heating elements reduced the rate of rusting of the tank perhaps which in turn caused less need of aluminum to help protect the tank from rusting.


Now for the extra $350 for the same 80 gallon steel tank one does get a computerize control system and thicker insulation along with the stainless heating elements and perhaps the second anode rod. The ones at Lowes this week had the specs of the two 80 gallon hot water heaters clearly stated if one is interested in the specifics.


I read a lot on Goggle about these factors and dissimilar metals and how some metals are more 'noble' than others, etc so just Goggle if you are one of the three interested in the life of electric hot water heaters. :D
 
   / Difference between same steel hot water heater tanks rated both 6 and 12 year life. #2  
If and when I replace my water heater it will be with a Rheem with a fiberglass tank.
 
   / Difference between same steel hot water heater tanks rated both 6 and 12 year life.
  • Thread Starter
#3  
whistlepig I went the non metal route (one expensive Sears tank) in 1986 and it failed in 1996 or 1997 from the copper fittings etching away. I really did think I had bought my last hot water heater. :D

At this point I am thinking in our case the glass lined steel hot water heater technology with stainless steel low density heating elements with annual flushing/anode inspection is our longest life option.
 
   / Difference between same steel hot water heater tanks rated both 6 and 12 year life. #4  
I read a lot on Goggle about these factors and dissimilar metals and how some metals are more 'noble' than others, etc so just Goggle if you are one of the three interested in the life of electric hot water heaters. :D



"Galvanic series" is the term you want to Google.


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   / Difference between same steel hot water heater tanks rated both 6 and 12 year life. #5  
We put a water softener in many years ago and water heaters last as long as they are supposed to now we haven't had any problems knock on wood. hth
 
 
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