Board Condominium Damage Governance Insurance

Unit Owner Questions Condo Board’s Mandated Water Heater Replacement

G.M. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

The Condo Association Board wants to mandate having the Hot Water Heaters updated every 10 years. Is this common practice? We are a small Owners Association, 10 Buildings with 4 condos in a building. Each building has a basement, and each condo has its own Hot Water Heater in the common basement room, along with the 4 individual Hot Air GAS Furnace. Some hot water heaters have already been replaced, as the condos are 14 years old. Your comments please.

Mister Condo replies:

G.M., in my experience, it is quite common for associations to have maintenance standards in place for any appliances, water hoses, etc. which requires unit owners to replace these appliances within “X” amount of years, where “X” is the number of years of the manufacturer’s usable life expectancy of the product or when the association’s insurer will no longer cover any damage caused by the appliance after it exceeds its usable life. For instance, if you had a twenty-year-old hot water heater that failed and flooded your neighbor’s unit, the association would not be able to process a claim because the appliance that failed had not been replaced within the 10 years as required by your association’s maintenance standard. In other words, by not enforcing maintenance standards, the association puts itself at risk of denied insurance claims. That could be far more expensive than the cost of updating appliances, not to mention the reduced potential for damage to all units because of such a program. Hope that explanation helps. All the best!

3 thoughts on “Unit Owner Questions Condo Board’s Mandated Water Heater Replacement”

  1. I Agee there should be standards! Our 3 story townhome apartment complex has water heater in each unit. A bunch of the water heaters and the owners started replacing them at 7 years. Cheap builder hot water tanks. I checked mine and sure enough corrosion at the pipe joint to the tank with a small leak starting and I replaced mine. All but 2 owners replaced theirs as no rules in the condo bylaws. The remaining owners tanks leaked and caused extensive water damage to their units and the next two floors below them. Our condo building insurance deductible doubled for 5 years to $50,000 because two claims in one term. Now all the units were replaced and per the existing Bylaw owners were responsible for replacing their tanks and the bylaws were also changed that the owner must be change their hot water tank at a minimum of every 10 years!

    My tank cost $350 as I had someone bring and install it on a Sunday as I was concerned. Heck of a lot cheaper then a condo unit owners insurance deductible. Because two owners refused to replace the original ones our condo Corp now had to pay that extreme deductible for any water damage. Pipe burst in wall, etc. So in effect all of us were penalized due to the two owners reluctance. My new tank was more energy efficient, saved money, larger capacity, heated better and no dealing with my insurance, two units below and the condo Corp insurance. Win, win! You replace your tank every ten years. If you can pick it up yourself not expensive for your plumber to install!

  2. Hi Alexis,

    My name is Bob. I am the inventor of the Talking Water Tank Minder. My invention is presently being used in New Jersey. It is a brand-new product that took three years to develop and patent. My invention prevents a failing hot water tank from damaging your apartment, house, or condo due to water damage.

    The Talking Water Tank Minder is a wonderful new product that can be used over and over again. It can be attached to any hot water tank . The Talking Water Tank Minder consists of a control unit that magnetically attaches to any hot water tank. The system also comes with a 304 stainless steel electronically- controlled, 3/4-inch , full port valve that will shut off your cold water input side to your hot water tank when your tank fails, thus protecting your home from water damage.

    One thing for sure is that your tank is guaranteed to fail; it is only a matter of time. There is also a sensor that is made out of 304 stainless steel that is designed and engineered to last for many, many years of use. This sensor sits on the floor near the bottom of the hot water tank. Everyone who lives in a condo loves this device because it stops catastrophic water damage from occurring that can cause thousands of dollars of water damage that these hot water tank can easily cause.

    If you would like more information, I will be very happy to send you a booklet on the Talking Water Tank Minder. It is my opinion and the opinion of others that this system is cheap insurance that will allow your water tank to last as long as it can, thus saving you money from replacing your tank before it is time to replace it. Hot water tanks on the average last about 6 to 10 years and some last 12 years or more. Why replace it before you need to? The Talking Water Tank Minder will allow you to get full use out of your tank without replacing it before it is time, but still protecting your home.

    Here are some facts about hot water tanks. A hot water tank that develops a 1/8-inch hole with a city water pressure of 60 psi can flood your house with 159 gallons of water every hour, or 3,806 gallons of water every 24 hours. These tanks break when you are asleep, when you are on vacation, or when you are at work or away from your home, in other words, five minutes after you lock your front door for the day! It should also be noted that even a brand-new hot water tank can fail years before it’s time. Your new hot water tank that is guaranteed for 9 years sometimes only lasts three years. I know this very well because my tank broke just after three years.

    Alexis, if you wish to know more about this wonderful system or you know someone that needs this system, please contact me at or contact my company at 201-215-4300.

    Bob Y.

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