The water heater (known here in Texas as a hot water heater) was apparently original with the house, making it a little past 20 years old.
The rust blossoms on the sheet metal were only on the lower third, but still, we were concerned. So, even before it started leaking, we started thinking of replacing it.
Today, our favorite plumbers brought the replacement, and the changeout was nearly painless, at least for me. There was a re-soldering to be done, and I now have a cool ball valve instead of a gate valve, so that’s good.
To show that replacement was the right thing, the old heater started leaking as soon as it was moved, so, right on time. Given my history of home floods, it was interesting to see one not happen.
Maybe we’ll replace this one in less than 20 years.