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Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 14685
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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Our hot water heater started leaking this morning - we have

Resolved Question:

Our hot water heater started leaking this morning - we have had it 7 years.
It is a A.O. Smith Pro Max model, 50 gal.
I need to have a plumber order and install a new one and I need advice on
1. any manufacurers that are better than others?
2. what features to look for or to ask for?
3. how much should expect to pay for the unit and for installation?
Thanks. Tom
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

Rick the plumber :

Welcome, I will do my best to help with your issue

Rick the plumber :

The 2 best brands are Bradford White and AO Smith.

Rick the plumber :

There isn't a lot to choose from when it comes to conventionally vented heaters

Rick the plumber :

In the Boston area average replacement cost for a 50 gallon 6 year (warranty) heater is $1100-$1200

Customer:

is it normal that our unit failed after 7 years?

Customer:

I thought they lasted longer

Rick the plumber :

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

Rick the plumber :

This can happen with any brand

Rick the plumber :

And occasionally even the best brands make heaters with a flaw

Customer:

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

Customer:

not sure asking for a bid is something our local plumbers easily work with...

Rick the plumber :

Doesn't hurt to ask around. Most plumbers will give you a typical replacement cost over the phone

Rick the plumber :

The only other brand I would consider is State. Avoid all the others

Customer:

any thougths on what to set the temp at? I am thinking we might have had our set too hi

Rick the plumber :

We are not allowed to set the temp above 130. 125 is typically high enough and will extend the life of the tank

Rick the plumber :

If you can go as low as 120 even better but that may not be hot enough for your usage

Customer:

showers, washing machine and dish washer - that is about it. does 120 seem sesnible?

Rick the plumber :

That's high enough for all the above but may not give you enough hot water for a couple longish showers in a row

Rick the plumber :

You can give it a try and see if it works for you

Customer:

so 125 is ok?

Rick the plumber :

It will ave on gas too

Customer:

menat to say - we are a gas unit, not electric

Rick the plumber :

120 to 130 is typical range depending on usage

Rick the plumber :

sorry for the typo it should have said> it will SAVE on gas too the lower you set it

Customer:

ok thx. any otehr advice for what i ask for?

Rick the plumber :

You're welcome, if you find 120 too ow you can always turn it up

Just stick with the 3 brands I mentioned and you should be fine

Customer:

ok thx - done at my end - thx for the assist!

Rick the plumber :

My pleasure

Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 14685
Experience: Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
Rick and 4 other Plumbing Specialists are ready to help you

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