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The Great Water Heater Rental Scam

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 15th, 2017 10:10 am
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2009
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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
25360 posts
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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
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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
Member
Feb 4, 2010
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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
Member
Feb 4, 2010
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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?
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Aug 2, 2004
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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]
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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.
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Jul 4, 2005
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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?
Jr. Member
Feb 20, 2017
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Barrie, ON
jeeva86 wrote:
Aug 22nd, 2017 8:04 am
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?
This is correct and is a standard clause, you can contact Reliance once you take possession to see how much the payout for the contract is.
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Zombly wrote:
Aug 22nd, 2017 8:11 am
This is correct and is a standard clause, you can contact Reliance once you take possession to see how much the payout for the contract is.
Payout as in buyout? Or to terminate the contract and return item? I've been reading that tank based systems are better than tankless, aside from space savings. I'd want to find a replacement online and have it there upon possession.
Jr. Member
Feb 20, 2017
181 posts
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Barrie, ON
There's a fee if you terminate the contract and return or if you buy out the contract either way you're stuck paying some sort of fee. If you have the information regarding the property you may be able to phone in now to see what the fees are to get out of it. I know personally I haven't gotten out of my contract as it's cheaper to rent for another year to buy it out currently.

Pretty much they got you by the balls.
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Feb 4, 2010
423 posts
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jeeva86 wrote:
Aug 22nd, 2017 8:41 am
Payout as in buyout? Or to terminate the contract and return item? I've been reading that tank based systems are better than tankless, aside from space savings. I'd want to find a replacement online and have it there upon possession.
Depends how old it is - do you know? If it's over 10 years there's probably no contract. If it's under contract you can keep it as (renting), buy it out or cancel the contract for a fee. I would say find out how old it is, and the cost of each of the options and go from there.
Member
Feb 4, 2010
423 posts
108 upvotes
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.

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
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Aug 20th, 2017 12:16 pm
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.


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.
I contacted the company I bought the tank from to ask about the manufacturer warranty and any recommended maintenance - this was the response:

The tank has a 6 year warranty from time of install and parts are 3 years, labour 1 year.
There is no maintenance required on the tank which is a great thing with these types of tanks
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Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
Jazmina wrote:
Aug 22nd, 2017 10:59 am
I contacted the company I bought the tank from to ask about the manufacturer warranty and any recommended maintenance - this was the response:

The tank has a 6 year warranty from time of install and parts are 3 years, labour 1 year.
There is no maintenance required on the tank which is a great thing with these types of tanks
The plastic lined tanks don't have an anode rod. Maybe you have one of these plastic water tanks
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Feb 7, 2010
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jeeva86 wrote:
Aug 22nd, 2017 8:04 am
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?
If it is a pre-construction home from the builder, you are not locked-in whatsoever (as long as you do NOT pay the first bill).
You can have a new waterheater purchased from HD or something and have it installed, then return the Reliance tank (either yourself, or pay them maybe $200 to pick it up).

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