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Welcome, I will do my best to help with your issue
The 2 best brands are Bradford White and AO Smith.
There isn't a lot to choose from when it comes to conventionally vented heaters
In the Boston area average replacement cost for a 50 gallon 6 year (warranty) heater is $1100-$1200
is it normal that our unit failed after 7 years?
I thought they lasted longer
That's a bit quick but if the demand is high or the tank too small (so you have to turn the temp up to keep up) then that shortens the life
This can happen with any brand
And occasionally even the best brands make heaters with a flaw
we are a household of 4 on a busy day and 2 on a normal day so w 50 gallaons I am thinking we dd not put undue demand on the unit.my thought was to ask for bids from 2-3 plumbers by
not sure asking for a bid is something our local plumbers easily work with...
Doesn't hurt to ask around. Most plumbers will give you a typical replacement cost over the phone
The only other brand I would consider is State. Avoid all the others
any thougths on what to set the temp at? I am thinking we might have had our set too hi
We are not allowed to set the temp above 130. 125 is typically high enough and will extend the life of the tank
If you can go as low as 120 even better but that may not be hot enough for your usage
showers, washing machine and dish washer - that is about it. does 120 seem sesnible?
That's high enough for all the above but may not give you enough hot water for a couple longish showers in a row
You can give it a try and see if it works for you
so 125 is ok?
It will ave on gas too
menat to say - we are a gas unit, not electric
120 to 130 is typical range depending on usage
sorry for the typo it should have said> it will SAVE on gas too the lower you set it
ok thx. any otehr advice for what i ask for?
You're welcome, if you find 120 too ow you can always turn it upJust stick with the 3 brands I mentioned and you should be fine
ok thx - done at my end - thx for the assist!