Last Sunday, I returned from a business trip, and on Monday, I went out to the garage to do the bags of dirty laundry. What did I see? Alas, the water heater was doing a steady drip-drip-drip from the bottom. Damn, it was dying.
Thinking back to the home inspection, this was one of the potential issues identified by the inspector, that the heater was old, (and a little over capacity for our size house.) We knew that it was a ticking time bomb, whose time had just run out. Fortunately, it was a fizzle rather than a boom, but it still sucks.
Fortunately, we have an amazing home warranty, and a quick call, setup a visit by their local plumber, and later that day, we had the verdict (the one we already knew,) the water heater would be replaced. As it wasn’t a blow out (i.e. dumping the contents on the floor in a torrent) the replacement was scheduled for two days later, and low and behold, they came, removed the old heater, did some code required updates (the catch pan and drain was a new requirement) pulled the permit, and we have a brand spanking new water heater.
Out of pocket, primarily the expense for code compliance, was $425. Total cost would have been about $2,200.
The old heater was installed in 1994, so it lasted a whole 24 years. The expectation is that water heaters should last a decade, maybe a dozen years. This one did a mighty service, but its time came, and it is now at the junkyard. Rest in Peace (or pieces).