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How often do you replace your water heater?

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Repair-man:
If you buy the cheapest  unit on the market, you will get minimal usage from it, especially if you don't flush it yearly (most don't). If you want to get more than the basic 5 years from it, purchase a better quality  heater, preferably glass-lined for better  longevity. Some are advertised as "self-cleaning" which means they have designed the inlet tube in a spiral  pattern along the edge of the tank to make the incoming water stir up the sediment on bottom and move it out your pipes. Not a great idea, but it helps if the homeowner is too lazy to perform  yearly maintenance of hooking a hose up to it and draining it for a few minutes.

Actually, most folks don't know  how easy it truly is, whether the thing is an attic unit or in a closet. Just run a hose to the nearest toilet or bathtub and let her rip. There no need to turn off the water because you are letting the natural pressure of the water force the bottom-lurking sediment out of the bottom-mounted hose drain. In 20 minutes of water running thru the hose, most of the sediment will have found its way out. Yes, you  use a little water this way but you can turn off the breaker or gas while you do this  so as not to waste power too.  Be sure to only open your drain valve for 3 turns, no more.

The key though, to gettng a longer lasting unit is to start with one...

niobrara:
Repair-man What do you think of the new GE water heater

Repair-man:
Give me a f'rinstance here...GE must have a new design...care to elaborate? I don't rush down to Home Depot to see the latest crap GE has to offer, but maybe I should. Have they come up with yet another way to increase the cost of parts again?

Repair-man:
I found some stuff on these

How It Works Heat Pump Water Heaters
It's generally easier to move something than to make something. Putting that principle to use, heat pump water heater (HPWH) technology uses electricity to move heat from one place to another instead of generating heat directly.

Here's how:
To understand the concept of heat pumps, imagine a refrigerator working in reverse. While a refrigerator removes heat from an enclosed box and expels that heat to the surrounding air, a HPWH takes the heat from surrounding air and transfers it to water in an enclosed tank.

A low-pressure liquid refrigerant is vaporized in the heat pump's evaporator and passed into the compressor. As the pressure of the refrigerant increases, so does its temperature. The heated refrigerant runs through a condenser coil within the storage tank, transferring heat to the water stored there. As the refrigerant delivers its heat to the water, it cools and condenses, and then passes through an expansion valve where the pressure is reduced and the cycle starts over.

JWWebster:
Jimbo could that water heater replace an outside condenser? Now that would be truly innovative, using the wasted heat tossed into the atmosphere to heat the water in the house.

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