Home & Garden

The Great Water Heater Rental Scam

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 17th, 2018 5:38 pm
Deal Expert
Aug 26, 2001
16196 posts
518 upvotes
Oak Ridges, ON
koffey wrote:
Aug 18th, 2017 9:26 am
Yeah the sale is on now, but it's on selected units and up to $150, so, some are $50, $100, and $150. Go to the HWT section and on the very bottom left side, click on the special value filter. The 60G GSW is $150 off.
Thanks, I see it now. I don't know if I need 60G though. I'm a DINK; dual income no kids :D

The 50G (for $859) is more than enough for us, even if the 60G is on sale at $999

But I'd still prefer to get the 50G when IT is on sale... hope they have a back-to-school event in September or something.
Deal Expert
Aug 26, 2001
16196 posts
518 upvotes
Oak Ridges, ON
Gee wrote:
Aug 18th, 2017 9:50 am
The benefits of soft water out weighs any negatives towards the hot water heater. You have considerably more plumbing that would benefit from soft water.
Yeah, York Region is pretty bad for hard water isn't it?
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 6, 2010
9108 posts
3155 upvotes
Toronto
Indeed, keep your eye opened. I know someone used to bump or post in the hot deals section when it was on sale. I just checked all the flyers for this week and lowes is the only one with a hwt sale going on.
Deal Addict
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Sep 11, 2007
1080 posts
185 upvotes
Waterloo
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Aug 18th, 2017 8:22 am
From what I understand of the processes involved, a water softener will shorten the life of the tank if the anode rod is not inspected and changed as needed.
The residual salt in the water increases the rate of galvanic action, so the sacrifical anode will deteriorate more rapidly. A water softener will reduce scale build up in the hot water tank hard water, but if the anode is not replaced, the scale build up, in my opinion, is a moot point.
The anode rod becomes more redundant with soft water. No limescale to deal with.
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2010
914 posts
305 upvotes
Blitzo wrote:
Aug 18th, 2017 9:11 pm
The anode rod becomes more redundant with soft water. No limescale to deal with.
I'm curious what, if any, maintenance needs to be done on the water heater with or without a water softener? Do I need to get the anode checked every x years? From your post, seems like no.
[OP]
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Jan 2, 2012
2086 posts
957 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
Blitzo wrote:
Aug 18th, 2017 9:11 pm
The anode rod becomes more redundant with soft water. No limescale to deal with.
Quite the opposite.
You are confused about the purpose of anode rods. They have nothing to do with scale or scale build up.
From a Goodle search for "Anode rod" :
These metals include aluminum, magnesium, and zinc. The rod is screwed into the top of your water heater and protects your water heater from rusting. When the tank is filled with water the anode rod sacrifices itself to protect the exposed steel of the water heater, through a method called electrolysis.
[OP]
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Jan 2, 2012
2086 posts
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KINGSTON,ON
Jazmina wrote:
Aug 18th, 2017 9:19 pm
I'm curious what, if any, maintenance needs to be done on the water heater with or without a water softener? Do I need to get the anode checked every x years? From your post, seems like no.
Under average water conditions, and the manufacturer of the tank, a water heater will usually last 10-15 years with nothing done to it. My mother's atmosphere vented (chimney) 40 gallon natural gas tank lasted 19 years.
This is why the rental companies business model works so well for them. They know that on average a tank will last roughly 12 years, and if they charge $35 a month rental, they'll get a $20,000 return on investment.
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2009
2613 posts
964 upvotes
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Aug 19th, 2017 7:59 am
Under average water conditions, and the manufacturer of the tank, a water heater will usually last 10-15 years with nothing done to it. My mother's atmosphere vented (chimney) 40 gallon natural gas tank lasted 19 years.
This is why the rental companies business model works so well for them. They know that on average a tank will last roughly 12 years, and if they charge $35 a month rental, they'll get a $20,000 return on investment.
You may want to double check on your math calculations.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28109 posts
3756 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Jazmina wrote:
Aug 18th, 2017 9:19 pm
I'm curious what, if any, maintenance needs to be done on the water heater with or without a water softener? Do I need to get the anode checked every x years? From your post, seems like no.
If you don't have a water softener, you should be emptying a few litres of hot water every 6 months from he bottom of your tank. Hard water will have sediment that will accumulate at the bottom of the tank. Emptying a few litres will prevent build up in you tank.

If you have a water softener, you will have no minerals, just salt. The argument is that salt will corrode the anode more quickly. This sounds reasonable. I would rather change the anode every few years and live with the benefits of softer water than emptying a few litres of water every six months and living with hard water.

Hard water create lime scale. Clog shower heads, etc
[OP]
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Jan 2, 2012
2086 posts
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KINGSTON,ON
pootza wrote:
Aug 19th, 2017 9:03 am
You may want to double check on your math calculations.
Whoops. Lack of caffeine Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes
Take away points; i): Water heaters usually last a long time, even if you do no maintenance ii): Renting a hot water tank is stupid
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2010
914 posts
305 upvotes
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Aug 19th, 2017 7:59 am
Under average water conditions, and the manufacturer of the tank, a water heater will usually last 10-15 years with nothing done to it.
That was my understanding - thanks for confirming
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2010
914 posts
305 upvotes
Gee wrote:
Aug 19th, 2017 9:23 am
If you have a water softener, you will have no minerals, just salt. The argument is that salt will corrode the anode more quickly. This sounds reasonable. I would rather change the anode every few years and live with the benefits of softer water than emptying a few litres of water every six months and living with hard water.
How often do you change it? What is involved in changing the anode and how do you know if it needs to be replaced? What are the consequences of a corroded anode?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28109 posts
3756 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Jazmina wrote:
Aug 19th, 2017 8:51 pm
How often do you change it? What is involved in changing the anode and how do you know if it needs to be replaced? What are the consequences of a corroded anode?
I would change it every 5 years to 8 years depending on how hard your water is.

If you look at the top of your water tank, you will see a hexagonal bolt. That's the anode rod, if you want to see what they look like, go to Home Depot and look for a replacement one.

If you neglect to change the anode rod, you risk having your tank rust out after 10 or more years. Changing the rod is a way to extend the life of your tank from rusting out
[OP]
Deal Addict
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Jan 2, 2012
2086 posts
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KINGSTON,ON
Jazmina wrote:
Aug 19th, 2017 8:51 pm
How often do you change it? What is involved in changing the anode and how do you know if it needs to be replaced? What are the consequences of a corroded anode?
If the anode has never been replaced, it can be very difficult to get loose. You'll most likely need a 1/2" by 36" breaker bar, and a 1/2" 1-1/8" size (I think that's the correct size) socket. If you are not good with tools, I wouldn't suggest attempting this. There are instructional videos on YouTube.
There is no way of knowing if it needs to be replaced without removing it for visual inspection.
With certain water conditions, the anode will corrode faster than 'average', and once it's gone, the inside of the tank will begin to corrode.
Gee wrote:
Aug 19th, 2017 10:17 pm
I would change it every 5 years to 8 years depending on how hard your water is.
Water hardness isn't really a factor on the rate of decay of the anode. Salinity introduced by a water softener is though, as salt water is a good electrical conductor.
Deal Fanatic
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Jul 4, 2005
5001 posts
279 upvotes
Ottawa
I'm closing on a new place in March, it comes with the famous reliance tankless water heater. In our purchase agreement there was a line about assuming the water heater from company abc. Does that screw me?

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