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Mark P

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RUDD 1984 gas water heater. The external temperature of the unit close to the bottom, near where the heating chamber is, was frying hot. I'm not talking about the flame shield, but actually the side of the tank. I'm guessing this is due to inadequate insulation or the insulation has deteriorated over the past 22 years. There is also what appears to be a scorch mark above the drain valve.

I'm recommending the unit be replaced before if fails or causes injury or a fire from contact of close by combustibles.

Just thought I'd ask if anyone has run across this sort of thing before? And can you offer any additional words of wisdom.

Thanks in Advance


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As Bill said, likely a collapsed baffle, or other obstruction of the flue; possibly (rare, but I've seen it) air curtain effect around the draft hood when the draft is so high the air pulled in around the skirt blocks flue gases getting out of the internal flue.

(The only way I know of to confirm an air curtain is with O2 readings with a combustion analyzer)

Aside from that, scale buildup in a 22 year ood water heater would typically cost an extra $400 -500 a year in increased efficiency (assuming the 'typical' scale buildup of 1/10" +/- a year.)

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