My wife and I just recently closed on our first home. The home was built in 1930 and aged excellently. The couple who we bought the home from had purchased it as a foreclosure in 2006 and made it their retirement project to completely restore the place; they did a wonderful job and covered almost everything.
Before getting to the question; there are no visible signs that the water heater is going bad. It's a 240V electric water heater with two 4500 watt elements. It's still capable of pumping out crazy hot water (I need to turn the temperature down I believe). Without looking closer at it and it's tags, I never would have guessed, but it was installed in March of 1984 - it's almost a 32yo heater. Everything I've seen and heard says that most heaters only last half of that time. The other thing that might affect it, is that it was winterized in October of 2004. Our guess is that it was cleaned out then and that extended it's life, but I'm unsure.
They all eventually wear out, I'd just like to know what the thought is on this and if we should bite the bullet and be looking for a new one before it goes.
Oh and my other thought is what this could be doing to our electric bill. I'd take the guess of course that the newer ones are all more energy efficient and we'd be saving some money there to make up for it. We also have natural gas to the house; I believe we'll go with a gas heater next time around from what I've heard, but I'm not really sure if it saves much money there either?
Didn't read the tag correct before now.. it's it least $800 a year or about $65 each monthly power bill.
I think it'd definitely pay for itself to replace it. From what I've seen, the models today are more like $500 a year. That's $25 saved per month.