If this is your first visit, be sure to
check out the FAQ by clicking the
link above. You will be required to register
before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages,
select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
So far as my experience goes I find that they are all pretty much lasting the same depending on the quality of the water. I used oto say that I found most tanks to last at least 20 years till I moved here and they had no filtration system for the local water supply. That meant tons of sediment in the lines and botom of all water heaters. They were lucky to last 10 years. Now we gopt a state of the art system I have found repairs on many valves etc. has reduced by over 80% and am confident that tank life also will benefit. Just watch your relief valves and anode rods, changing when necessary and you should be good.
For what this is worth I'm still using a 50 gallon RHEEM gas fired water heater on city water that's not all that great. This water heater was installed in the fall of 1983 (really) so I feel lucky it has lasted this long. I do flush it out about every 6 months and every few years replace the T&P safety valve as it gets mineral deposits inside it. I keep a spare one here and try to blast it manually into a bucket about once a month. If it leaks afterward, then it gets replaced fast. The anode has never been replaced as I found the old one in too tight and didn't want to risk doing more harm than good really putting serious torque to it.
Keeping the insides clean is a must. Also I set it for 125F shut off and leave it there. Most likely it will be replaced before too long as far too much heat is going up the flue pipe. A newer one would pay for itself on fuel savings. I just hate to get rid of my old trusty friend.
My condo complex was built in '85 with State gas WH. I replaced my own in 2004 "just because". I saw one being taken out this weekend, and "peeking" into the pation closets, I see there are at least a few more left! Maybe the builder got a really good batch???~!~!!
Years ago Bradford White did a presentation at a local restaurant for a large group of plumbing contractors in our area and one of the questions that was thrown at them regarded wanting to know what the difference was between their 6 year water heaters and their 10 year heaters. The more they avoided this question the more times it was brought back into the discussion. Finally they quietly admitted that there was no difference between their 6 and 10 year tanks. Their final statement was that they only make 1 type of tank and all are built to 10 year specifications! When you buy a 10 year heater from them your really just buying the warranty. We were selling hundreds of Bradford White heaters a year and after giving our customers the price and warranty options along with this new tank information we found that on average 90 out of every 100 heaters sold by us were 6 year heaters.