When we want to wash dishes, do laundry, or to take a comforting hot bath, we take it as granted that all we have to do is turn the hot water faucet to "on," and we'll receive all the hot water we need. Unfortunately, hot water heaters do not last indefinitely, and the time will come that you will have to repair or replace the water heater in your home.
The average life span of a water heater with a hot water tank is ten years. However, if you properly maintain it, and if you get lucky, you can receive many more years of service from it. If the time comes for you to choose between repairing or replacing your water heater, here are some things to consider before making that choice.
We recommend repair as the best option under these circumstances:
- The water heater is still under warranty and the repair costs are covered. Based on the 10-year average life span, your water heater has enough years left to justify a repair. The cost of the repairs are reasonably less than replacement. A good rule-of-thumb to follow is if the costs are less than fifty percent of the cost of a new water heater, repair is a good option. Up to this point, has the water heater given good service? Are you happy with the brand and model?
- Small malfunctions. Water heaters can be negatively affected by a number of factors. Thermostats can malfunction or stop working entirely. Sediment deposits may settle on the bottom, causing unnatural sounds when the burners ignite. Abnormal thermal expansion can cause excessive pressure, leading to burst pipes.
Repair work should be performed by professionals, but be sure to ask questions about the recommended repairs. Ask about the cost of repairs versus the cost of replacing the water heater, and ask about the expected life span of your water heater following the repairs.
Water heater replacement
We recommend replacing the water heater under these circumstances:
- Repairs will cost more than fifty percent of the cost of a new water heater.
- The new model is more energy-efficient. This newer model may save you enough money over a number of years to pay for itself.
- When replacement parts are difficult to acquire. Some older models may have been phased out by the manufacturer, and as a result, there are no longer replacement parts available on the market.
If you should choose to replace the water heater, there will be options available to you. Tankless systems are more expensive than traditional hot water storage systems, but they last about twice as long. They are also more energy efficient (meaning you will save money over the long run), and some manufacturers offer lifetime guarantees against water leakage.
Their compact designs will save you valuable space,and they are better for the environment because there is no large storage unit that will eventually end up in a landfill.
However, one downside of a tankless heater system is that you may experience a drop in the amount of hot water that you can access for a prolonged period. If you are in a position where you must replace your water heater, and your water demands are not very high, a new, tankless water heater may be a good option to explore.
If you have any questions about your water heater, or which kind will work best for your needs, simply contact us. We're happy to help.