As any homeowner knows, water heaters are an essential part of the home. They provide hot water for showers, dishwashing, and laundry.
But unfortunately, water heaters don’t last forever. Eventually they will either need to be repaired or replaced. But how do you know which is best?
Water Heater: Repair or Replace?
If you’re like most of us, when a household necessity like a water heater goes out, you’re looking for the most cost-effective solution. Generally, it will cost less to repair something than to replace it, but that’s not always the case.
For example, if you repair a water heater that actually needs to be replaced, odds are it will continue to need repairs. So essentially, all the money you end up spending on continual repairs could have just been spent on the replacement that you were inevitably going to have to purchase anyway.
And vice versa – you don’t want to pay for a replacement water heater if a simple repair is all that’s needed. So it’s important to know what signs to look for so that you can better determine which solution is the best choice.
There are a few factors to consider when determining whether a repair or replacement is needed. Let’s look at some of the most common water heater issues to see whether they fall in the repair or the replacement category.
A few simple malfunctions you may run into with your water heater include:
- The pilot light goes out
- The thermostat isn’t working
- Failed heating element
With a little troubleshooting, most of these problems can be easily identified and fixed with minor repairs.
Water Heater Leaking
A leaking water heater can go either way, as far as being repaired or replaced.
When a water heater is leaking from the bottom it’s usually a sign that the tank has started to rust. This can happen for a number of reasons including age, high water pressure, or excessive water temperature.
If caught early, the problem can often be fixed by simply replacing the anode rod. However, if the tank is severely damaged, it may need to be replaced entirely.
How To Know If Water Heater Needs Replacing
There are a few more serious signs that may indicate it’s time to replace your water heater which include:
- Your water heater is 10 – 12 years old.
- You have to constantly adjust the temperature because it fluctuates too much.
- The water never seems hot enough, no matter how high you turn up the temperature.
- You can hear strange noises coming from the water heater such as rumbling, popping, or hissing.
- Your energy bill is rising. Your water heater accounts for about 17% of your energy bill. If your bill has been steadily rising, it could be due to an inefficient water heater.
Should I Replace My Water Heater Before It Fails?
As water heaters age, they become less efficient and more prone to breakage. While it may be tempting to wait until your water heater fails completely before replacing it, this can be a costly mistake.
A broken water heater can cause extensive water damage, and the repair bill will likely be higher than the cost of a new water heater. Additionally, you may have to go without hot water for several days while waiting for repairs to be completed.
For these reasons, it’s generally advisable to replace your water heater before it reaches the end of its lifespan.
How Often To Replace A Water Heater
With proper care and maintenance, most water heaters will last for 8-12 years. If your water heater is approaching this age and is having issues, it’s probably time to start shopping for a replacement.
Water Heater Repair And Installation Company
If you notice any of these signs, it’s always best to consult with a professional before taking any action. Attempting to repair or replace a water heater on your own can be very dangerous.
A water heater repair and installation company will be able to tell you for sure whether it needs to be replaced or if there is something else that can be done to fix the problem.
Here at Newman’s Plumbing, we offer both water heater repair and replacement services. We also offer 24 hour emergency services, so don’t suffer through the night or weekend without hot water! Give us a call at 757-465-0883.