About 10 years ago I replacde my hot water heater. There is a old blog post on it. For some reason the bottom element quit working so I thought i would fix it. It turned out that there had been a water leak for a long time. The area was completely rusted out so I did not dare touch it. My wife wanted a 40 gallon heater but they are 21" in diameter and would not fit in the space available. However I discovered that there is a narrow 18" diameter 40 gallon water heater that is available at Lowes.
The 12 year old water heater. It had rust stripes below the lower element access cover.
The new narrow 40 gallon water heater. The opening was not big enough for me to get my head in there to see the wiring so I did the wiring kind of blind. The wire was just barely long enough. I replaced one pipe and extended the other pipe.
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