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  1. #1
    Tim Moses's Avatar
    Tim Moses Guest

    Default Determining age and safety of water heater?

    Hey guys, I thought I'd post this question here since the people on this forum seem really knowledgeable.

    I have a 70-year-old house that was converted to electric in the early-mid-1960s. In the kitchen pantry is a cabinet type Homart (by Sears-Roebuck) water heater.
    Yesterday, the hot water coming from the faucets is boiling hot with a strong "melting plastic" smell, and a slight burning or hot-metal smell coming from the pantry. I assume the thermostat is getting stuck causing the water to superheat.
    The questions I'd like to ask are:
    How old do you think this unit is?
    And
    Should this unit have a safety pressure valve to prevent the thing from blowing up in case it is generating excess heat and pressure?

    Right now I have the breaker to it kicked off just in case.
    Photos (sorry, it's cramped in there):





    Thank you!

    Tim

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Determining age and safety of water heater?

    I'd say get rid of it immediately and get a new one. "Melting Plastic" smell is never good.

    It "should" have a TPR but, given the age, may not. If you haven't seen/heard the horror storied of water heaters blowing through roofs of houses do a quick Google search. Between the fire hazard and potential explosion I think you'd be best off to put that appliance out to pasture.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Determining age and safety of water heater?

    I think Homart was around 'till the early 70's,at the latest, then went away. So that tank of yours is old.

    Turn off the breaker and have it replaced by a plumber immediately.


  4. #4
    Tim Moses's Avatar
    Tim Moses Guest

    Default Re: Determining age and safety of water heater?

    Thanks Matt! Sound advice.
    I think I'll take this opportunity to go "tankless".
    Some relatives have those tankless heaters and love them.


  5. #5
    Tim Moses's Avatar
    Tim Moses Guest

    Default Re: Determining age and safety of water heater?

    I appreciate the input Dom! Sorry, your response did not show up on my computer until now.
    Breaker is off. It will be a couple of weeks before I can get the plumber out for the replacement, but I'm washing in cold water for now and only turning the unit on for 30-40 minutes a day to have enough hot water in reserve for the shower.

    Funny that this thing lasted nearly 50 years. Must be some kind of record. Most people I know typically go through a water heater every 4 to 8 years.


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