You never said that Amtrol said he had the tank in his warehouse. If he new the age of the tank he should have disclosed it to you. What I don't understand if that was the case why did Amtrol make good on a expired warranty? I'm beginning to feel the same way as Spruce we may not be getting the whole story here.
John and Spruce,
Sometimes a manufacturer will honor a warranty, even if they don't have to legally, to bring an issue to a close or just for good friendly reputation.
After all, their cost is so low that it makes sense to them to get rid of bad PR.
I dont know if you mistyped John, but Amtrol will not honor the expired warranty. My plumber called them and tried to get it covered, but they would not budge according to him. I do know that the plumbing supply house that it was purchased at, closed 14 years ago and he can't find his receipts for the purchase. This may be the sticking point. Beyond that his version of Amtrol's stance is a little murky, having to do with their standard warranty changing at some point. I think my plumber has tried to make this right, from the point that things went wrong and may have been seduced by the idea of givng us the model that he just happened to have in his shop. He installed the model 25 years ago (seemingly from the same manufacturing run)and has never had a problem.
As you mentioned before, SLM, since you don't want to burn a bridge, just pay the bill and stop calling this guy in the future. Keep his number if you have a situation when you can't get anyone else.
Next time, buyer beware: inspect the equipment being installed in your house.
Im a plumber and I would of never ever tempted to do something like this always brand new always warranty 6 years and we always match the manufactures warranty with our labor if we supply the water heater if customer supplies then its yours and you get to warranty it but since 83 to now a lot has changed new water heaters have close combustion chambers and cant be lit by match has been for several years now to not know impossible! it probably was a used water heater! not even new that is why it leaked so early!