No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot

   / No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot #1  

Gale Hawkins

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Sep 20, 2009
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Location
Murray, KY
Tractor
1948 Allis Chambers Model B 1976 265 MF / 1983 JD 310B Backhoe / 1966 Ford 3000 Diesel / 1980 3600 Diesel
About 4 PM yesterday morning I was informed our hot water heater had a flow of water running to the basement drain.

It was perhaps 12 years old (a record of us) but we had replaced a lot of elements and the anode tube one. A year or two ago I saw Lowes still stocked the same 80 gallon hot water heater and started to go ahead and get one but did not.

Yesterday I learned they stop carrying hot water heaters considered to be commercial size. They also asked me to fill out plumbing permit number and the name of the plumber and my contact info. I filled out my contact info so the handwriting may be on the wall down the road for we DIY types at least in KY. Not sure they will ever stop homeowners but I know some plumbers that would be fine if home owners stopped being DYI plumbers.

Shop Whirlpool 5-Gallon 24-Volt 9-Year Regular Electric Water Heater at Lowes.com

For the first time ever I did ask for and get the 10% veterans discount. It is the 9 year live version.

I read and learned it is possible to get the results of an 80 gallon tank out of a 50 gallon tank (size we now have) by turbo charging it. I have order a HEATGUARD Thermostatic Mixing Valves TMV HG110D LF w/ 3/4" Sharkbite Ends off eBay for $55 which was half of the Home Depot price so we will see how that works out.

It is factor set to limit the tank output to 120F and I do not plan to adjust it. By going max and mixing it with the cold water the effective output is jumped up.

Another thing that I learned tanks can grow stuff like Legionnaires Disease but not at 140F which is where I plan to run ours vs at 150F max or the 120F setting we used on the old 80 gallon tank. The thermostatic mixing valve protects against burns. The kids are 18 now but I still want to limit the temps to 120 at the tap.

We failed to get all of the water out of the 80 gallon and it was a bear bring it out up the steps in the house and out the kitchen door and the son did most of hard work. He did a great job of cutting the plumbing on the old one and removing the wiring and re plumbing/wiring the new one. I did not like the computer interface at first but then learned last night it is just an optional interface and the old still electronic thermostat is still inside like on the older models so if it fails one can just unplug it and keep trucking.

I am glad the job started and finished last evening. I knew it was overdue. If this one makes it 10 years I may just replace it before it fails in the middle of the night. :)
 
   / No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot #2  
Government rules the new 50's have a greater r value. My replacement was for a rental so I took the discount on the old stock. Man they sure are not short on rules for the do-it- yourselfers. At the same time I had the city water turned on for one day to recharge the boiler at a house setting empty. $75 dollars for 30 gallons of water that I turned on and off.
 
   / No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot #3  
Government rules the new 50's have a greater r value. My replacement was for a rental so I took the discount on the old stock. Man they sure are not short on rules for the do-it- yourselfers. .

If you owned the place ,and saw what people bring back because they don't know what they are doing ,, You would understand..

I'm surprised they don't stop selling to the do it yourselfer's all together.. You install and electrocute ,or blow yourself up, and they are facing a lawsuit for selling you a product you didn't have the knowledge to install.
Not saying everybody don't knowing what they are doing , but there is a large # of people out there that don't know how to install a ''WATER HEATER'' as us plumbers call them..:D
 
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   / No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot
  • Thread Starter
#4  
I noticed our new one has a feature that the tank must be full before AC will get passed to the heat element. Our heater was the only 50 gallon 5500 watt heater in the store and it appeared to have been around for a while. If I had know about the change in rules I would have picked up and 80 gallon one. With the kids being 18 I expect they will have moved out in the next 4 years but are talking about finding a place when in college perhaps. At that point 50 gallons will do us. I can use all of the 50 gallon tank but set at 130F it is it last about as long as the old 80. Set at 140F it will start the recovery much faster than the old one set on 120F. Plus it was 4500 watt elements where the new one is 5500 or 20% larger wattage. If I like this new Whirlpool I may just clean a place out in the basement to store another one while the son is still home. :) The 80 gallon size is a tad hard to move in and out. The kids were small when I went from 40 to 80 gallon and it was a huge plus except of the electric bill. :(
 
   / No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot #5  
Here in Mass. you are required to have a licensed plumber do anything that touches potable water. The local Home Depot and Lowes run workshops teaching folk how to do their own remodeling projects. Including plumbing and electrical. See a lot of those workshop trained 'experts' rolling out the supplies to do a kitchen, bathroom, deck, etc.

Still legal here to your own (non-commercial) electrical work. Scarier and more deadly than doing your own plumbing.

We bought this house 6-1/2 years ago as foreclosure. I have redone and repaired a lot of previous owner(s) handy work. Have found much WTF stuff. Some people should only have one tool in there home repair/remodel toolkit - a checkbook.
 
   / No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot #6  
Hmm, 3 months ago the 50 gal electric water heater in my condo started to leak. All the water heaters on the floor at my local Lowes in MA were 60 & 80 gal units. They were too large to fit in the closet where the heater is. A salesperson found a 50 gal unit in back that was old and marked down $75, it would fit in the closet, so I bought it. Next time that heater needs to be changed... the closet door/frame will need to be removed to get the heater in place.
 
   / No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot #7  
Dad's 85 gal heater leaked. Under warranty but could no longer get the 85 gal model.

Plumbed in a 50 and a 38
 
   / No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot #8  
They also asked me to fill out plumbing permit number and the name of the plumber and my contact info. I filled out my contact info so the handwriting may be on the wall down the road for we DIY types at least in KY.

I've got to remember to stay out of KY.:mad:
 
   / No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot #9  
I have accounts at the wholesale plumbing, electric supply, the big ACE hardware, the Alarm shop and Grainger.... I don't have a contractor license... I do have a business license for each individual property.

Interesting how things vary across the Country from no permits to here where what kind of gutters and downspouts are regulated....
 
   / No Hot Water Heaters over 50 gallons now at Lowes or Home Depot #10  
They also asked me to fill out plumbing permit number and the name of the plumber and my contact info. I filled out my contact info so the handwriting may be on the wall down the road for we DIY types at least in KY.

I've got to remember to stay out of KY.:mad:
You will want to stay out of Mass as well. About 15 years ago I had a dishwasher that in one mode leaked badly. I tried to buy a new dishwasher and the salesman wouldn't sell me one until I could tell him the permit numbers for both plumbing and electrical. The town I lived in required both. It was going to cost me more for permits ($95.00) and contractors ($280.00) than it was for the dishwasher ($230.00)!! I just told my wife not to use the mode that leaked and I didn't replace the dishwasher.
 
 
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