Traditional water heaters last an average of 15 years before they began to show signs of age and inefficiency. These water heaters also begin to develop problems that you will need to address with either a repair or replacement service. But you may be wondering, when does it make sense to repair my water heater versus replacing it? Here is everything you need to know:
Receiving Enough Hot Water
The basic function of a water heater is to provide you with a reliable supply of hot water, but an outdated system won’t perform optimally as it should. This can be an issue if have a large family, creating a lot of demand for your current water heater. What you should do is consult a plumbing professional and have them evaluate your current system and determine if a repair is necessary to resolve any issues with hot water volume and availability. If your current installation lacks the capacity to meet those demands, then you should strongly consider replacing it.
How Much Are You Paying in Monthly Utility Payments?
The money that you pay on your energy bills can also be the deciding factor when it comes to repairing or replacing your water heater. If you notice that your utility bills are steadily rising, then this is a tell-tale sign that you need to replace your current system because it is no longer efficient. This means that age plays a significant role in the decision, and as your water heater gets older and becomes less efficient, then financially it will make more sense to outright replace it. According to the Department of Energy, you will save an average of $600 on your energy bill by replacing your outdated water heater.
The Cost of Repairs vs. Replacements
In many cases, repairs are more financially feasible when compared to a replacement service, which can be quite costly depending on the water heater you choose to replace your current installation. We recommend that you consult a professional and have them look at your current system so that they can assess the situation and offer you an affordable solution moving forward. A repair could be equally viable in terms of restoring optimal efficiency in your water heater, and this will save you a ton of money a replacement service. However, severe damage and inefficiency may require you to replace your current system.
What Is the Age of Your Water Heater?
If you are not cleaning and performing maintenance on your water heater routinely, then you could be in trouble. This will greatly impact its lifespan and you may end having to replace it sooner than you would prefer. Even if you decide to repair it, this could end up hurting you because you will likely to repair your water heater again in a year or so, especially if your current system is somewhat outdated.
How Severe is the Problem?
If your water heater is not performing optimally, then you need to assess the situation. Is there a leak in your water heater due to building in your plumbing and corrosion? If so, then you will need to replace it. However, you can easily repair a leaky valve.
If the cost of repair is also outrageous in terms of high prices, then you might as well invest in a replacement water heater. You can opt for a more traditional model, or you can install a tankless water heater. The latter, however, are typically more expensive than the former.
Storing Hot Water vs. a Tankless System
Traditional water heaters store hot water, so they essentially function as a reserve. Whenever you use hot water, it comes out of the tank where it is stored and it will also need to be replenished, which your system will do automatically.
Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand. The system will heat up your water only when it’s in use, rather than utilizing hot water stored away in a tank. What happens is cool water runs through the water heater which instantaneously heats it up. More and more homeowners are opting for a tankless system because they are more energy-efficient and they will help you save money on your utility bills.
Other Repairable Issues
It’s important that you know what can and cannot repair with your water heater, and we are here to supply you with that information. There are many basic issues that can occur and you should always be on the lookout for them. These are the things that are fixable:
- A broken thermostat
- The pilot light is no longer working
- Heating components fail or need replacing
- Pressurized valve issues
Weighing all the Factors Together
Before you make any decisions, you should carefully consider all of your options. It costs a lot of money to replace your water heater, but you also don’t want to constantly throw money at something that isn’t worth repairing anymore.
Replacements are the right choice to make if you are experiencing high energy bills and if your water heater will no longer perform efficiently. If you are also constantly repairing your water heater, then we think it is time that you also consider an upgrade.
If do decide to replace it, then you will also need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of a tankless water heater versus a more traditional system.
Either way you look at it, you will need to do your research and consult a professional before you purchase and install a new water heater or repair your current one. If you need to speak with someone to help you make the right decision, then go ahead and give us a call! One of our representatives will tell you everything you need to know about water heater repair and replacement services.