Water Heater Repair vs. Replacement
Your water heater is an important part of your home. After all, it’s the only reason you are able to take nice warm showers every day and have plenty of warm water for doing dishes and laundry. Like any other appliance in your home, the water heater is almost certainly going to break down now and again.
When this does happen, you have an important decision to make: do you fix the water heater, or replace it altogether.
If the unit is more than eight years old, having it replaced is probably the safest way to go. Once they start getting up there in years, one problem tends to lead to another. By the time you’ve made all the necessary repairs, it might just cost you as much as buying a new heater altogether.
However, if the heater is still relatively new or still has some time left on the warranty, water heater repair is probably a good way to go. The replacement parts used in the repair may still be under warranty, which means you’ll only have to pay the labor costs.
How to Know if Repair is Even an Option
While many of the working parts on today’s water heaters can be replaced, sometimes this simply will not be an option. For instance, once the storage tank goes, it is time for a new water heater. That’s because a leak in the tank itself is the result of corrosion and once the tank is compromised, there’s no way to repair it.
The best way to prolong the life of your water heater storage tank is by having the tank flushed periodically. The flushing process removes sediment that aids in the corrosion of water heater tanks.
Is Repair the Right Investment?
Another important aspect when it comes to determining whether you should spend money to repair a hot water heater is considering your energy costs. A new hot water heater might be efficient enough to pay for itself eventually, simply by using less energy. Today’s designs are far more efficient than models manufactured even a few years ago.
Modern water heaters are designed to be as efficient as possible. This is especially true when it comes to tankless water heaters. These make a much smaller footprint and conserve energy by heating water on demand. That means no energy is wasted by constantly heating a tank to a particular temperature.
Did You Inspect the Pipes?
Water heaters are connected to both hot and cold water pipes. Before you call someone to replace your whole water heater, take a look at these pipes to ensure they are not the source of the leak.
If your pipes are the culprit, the most common place to find a leak is at the elbow joints, where pipes need to be cut and sealed during installation. You may just need to reseal with a little plumber’s tape.
When you are in doubt about whether to repair or replace your water heater, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional contractor who can help you make the best choice.