anytime plumbing
water heater leaking
17 Apr

Should I Repair or Replace My Water Heater? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Decision

So your water heater isn’t working like it used to. You may be wondering, should I replace my water heater? Contrary to what you may think, repairing your heater might not be the cheapest option in the long run.

Deliberating between whether you should repair or replace an expensive appliance is never easy. It’s always worth taking the time to do some research in order to make a well-informed decision. 

Here at Anytime Plumbing, we’ve used our extensive knowledge and expertise to compile a list of key questions you should ask yourself before making the next big decision about your water heater.

1. How Old Is Your Water Heater?

The most common question we get is: “Should I replace my water heater?”

The lifespan of your water heater varies depending on the type of heater you have. Gas water heaters, the type of water heater found in most homes, usually last up to 10 years, while tankless water heaters can last up to 20. 

It goes without saying that if you haven’t been consistent in maintaining your water heater on an annual basis, its lifespan will be considerably lower than average. Keep in mind that factors such as lack of maintenance, heavy demand on the heater, and improper installation are all likely to contribute to a decreased lifespan. 

If your water heater is nearing the end of its time and is no longer covered under its warranty, replacing is often a better option than repairing. Unless the problem is something simple like a broken thermostat, it’s not worth the money to repair an older water heating system. 

Older systems are more vulnerable to leaks, which can cause extensive damage within your home, costing you a fair amount. Even minor leaks can lead to mold growth and other issues that’ll affect the air quality within your home. 

Unless the problem with your older model is something simple like a faulty thermostat, the money that you’d spend repairing your water heater would be better put toward replacing it altogether. Just like you wouldn’t ask your mechanic to replace your old engine with a new one rather than simply buying a new car, it’s not a great idea to repair a water heater that’s nearing the end of its lifespan. 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a repair will cost less than a replacement, when chances are, you’ll be paying for another repair in a few months. Repair expenses add up, and you might end up in an unfortunate situation where you’ve spent enough to replace your water heater, but find yourself stuck with one that’s on the brink of failure. 

2. Does Your Water Heater Meet Your Needs Without Breaking the Bank?

How often are you running out of hot water in the shower? Are you constantly dissatisfied with the water pressure? If you frequently find yourself complaining about the temperature of the water in your home, the water heater you have might not be the right fit for your demands. In this case, you should consider either upgrading to a water heater with a larger capacity or installing more than one water heater. 

How high are your energy bills? If you’ve noticed that no matter how far you turn the temperature knob, the water in the shower still doesn’t reach the temperature you want, it means that your water heater has become less efficient. Your appliance has to work harder — and use more energy — to heat the same amount of water. 

If your water heater is growing old and isn’t as efficient as it used to be, the more cost-effective option might be to get your heater replaced with a newer model. 

3. How Severe Is the Problem?

How severe is the issue? While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether you should repair or replace your water heater, there are a few telltale signs that repair isn’t an option

One of the signs that your water heater is done for good is rust or corrosion in your hot water tank. You might notice dirty or rusty water coming from your sink or shower. The majority of water tanks are made out of steel, and over time, rust becomes inevitable. Unfortunately, once a steel water tank has begun to rust, repair becomes impossible. 

Discovering rust by the temperature and pressure valve as well as other outlet connections likely indicates that your water heater is rusting on the inside and needs to be replaced. A rusting water heater is almost certainly going to leak, which can cause thousands of dollars of water damage to your home. 

Whether or not the cause of the leak is due to rust, a hot water tank that’s leaking is not likely to be repairable. If you notice a puddle building up around your water heater, the safest solution is to switch off the water and the power supply and phone the professionals. Depending on the type of water heater you have, the worst outcome is much more serious than water damage.

Should I Replace My Water Heater: Making a Cost-Effective Decision 

A simple cost-benefit analysis will help you determine which route to take with your water heater: repair or replace? A good rule of thumb is if the repair costs half of what it would cost to replace your water heater entirely, then replacement is the better option. Of course, the older your water heater is, the less you should consider repairing it. 

For a no-obligation, free estimate on how much it would cost to repair your water heater or install a new one, get in touch with Anytime Plumbing today

Anytime Means Anytime 

Water heaters tend to break down in the most inconvenient of times. Night or day, Anytime Plumbing will send a well-trained plumbing professional to examine the issue with your water heater. You’ll have hot water being delivered to showers again in no time at all. 

If you’re located in the Santa Cruz area and are looking to repair or replace your water heater, Anytime Plumbing is the best option available. 

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