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  1. #1

    Default 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    Did an inspection earlier this week and was surprised to find 2 70's Sears Water Heaters model numbers 183.326011 and 183.326111 and the client stated that he has had no problem with either of them.

    Anyway to find the exact age of these? Not much info online that I could find. Only other info on the tag was a section that says "Expires" 09/79

    There was some corrosion and rust on the bottom so I advised him the end could be near.

    Amazing these things were still working.

    He also stated that he has never flushed them as well.....

    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    I'll bet there was a 6 year warranty, such as is standard today. That would mean they were new in '73.

    I'll bet they are on well water, no chlorine. I come across a relic like that now and then out in the boonies. It is a bit of a mystery. Maybe there is a film that coats the insides of the tank, like algae in a fish tank?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I'll bet there was a 6 year warranty, such as is standard today. That would mean they were new in '73.

    I'll bet they are on well water, no chlorine. I come across a relic like that now and then out in the boonies. It is a bit of a mystery. Maybe there is a film that coats the insides of the tank, like algae in a fish tank?
    Sounds about right, house was built in 1974 and yes, they are on a well.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    I inspect some real old homes, seen quite a few old water heaters from 1940's and older that are still in use and working. Many are the Seidelhuber brand that was made in Seattle, WA.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    I'll bet the anode rod is long gone.


  6. #6
    Loren Sanders Sr.'s Avatar
    Loren Sanders Sr. Guest

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I'll bet the anode rod is long gone.
    As a young non-union plumber in 1962 I worked for a couple of guys that were contracting the installation of Sears Water Heaters and we would also replace the gas control valves on floor furnaces with B-60 valves that allowed for a thermostat control on the wall inside the home. Anyway the guys I worked for received $11.00 as I remember for me to install a 20 Gallon WH. It took anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to do the installation. Nearly all of these were piped with galvanized materials, not copper, here in So. Calif. I was earning $1.75 per hour.... It's known as inflation..
    Later in 1963 I was able to join the Union and my wages were dramatically higher.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Sanders Sr. View Post
    As a young non-union plumber in 1962 I worked for a couple of guys that were contracting the installation of Sears Water Heaters and we would also replace the gas control valves on floor furnaces with B-60 valves that allowed for a thermostat control on the wall inside the home. Anyway the guys I worked for received $11.00 as I remember for me to install a 20 Gallon WH. It took anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to do the installation. Nearly all of these were piped with galvanized materials, not copper, here in So. Calif. I was earning $1.75 per hour.... It's known as inflation..
    Later in 1963 I was able to join the Union and my wages were dramatically higher.
    Loren you could buy a new car for $4000, a good used one for $500 and a house for $20,000. A cup of coffee was 25 cents and a refill was free.

    Those really old tanks are copper and they need new TPR valves installed, but otherwise good to go.
    But a 1973 tank would be steel IMO, because that was the era of Al wiring and high copper prices.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    At least once a month I'll see one that old here. Once or twice a year I will see one from the early 1950's still chugging along. Our water chemistry must be helpful as many people moving here say they would never be able to keep one going that long.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Safety Harbor, FL
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    Michael,
    Here is a link to look up the age using the serial number.

    WATER HEATER AGE INFO | Building Intelligence Center


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    I had a water heater from the early 70's in our old house. I finally took it two years ago because i made it into a rental and thought it would be easier to replace when it's not an emergency. Funny thing is when i bought the place i expected that to be the first thing to go and it worked just fine when i pulled it out two years ago.


  11. #11

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Wisnewski View Post
    Michael,
    Here is a link to look up the age using the serial number.

    WATER HEATER AGE INFO | Building Intelligence Center

    Thanks, it's a 1974...


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Birmingham, Al.
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: 1970's Sears water heaters still kickin'!!

    I wonder if Rheem honors the Seidelhuber lifetime guaranteed water heaters??

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