I've had to replace my share, and I think they should last longer too.
The problem is not so much the cost of the replacement water heater,
they seem to be cheap enough at HomeDepot. The problem is that you have
to get a licensed plumber and a city permit in order to replace one, and
the replacement labor costs twice what the water heater costs. I'm
suspicious that the local plumbers have conspired to set a uniform rate
for replacement. I've had a variety of plumbing work done over the
years, all charged at an hourly rate. I've had 3 water heaters
replaced, and this work seemed to be billed at 2 or 3 times their hourly
The last water heater I had replaced, the plumber said he used to be an
aircraft mechanic but he made a lot more as a plumber. I don't know
much about aircraft mechanics but something in this seems backwards to me.
>> I checked the local big boxen and plumbing suppliers and got
>> funny looks like "No, why would you mess with that!? Just
>> replace the whole tank every 8 years."
> Sigh. Everything's disposable nowadays, including things that really
> shouldn't be. :-(