09 Aug Should I Replace or Repair My Water Heater?
Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about our water heaters, that is until we wake up to an icy cold shower one morning, or find that the hot water heater has flooded our home. While water heater replacement can often seem like the only choice, there are circumstances where water heater repair may be a viable option. If you’re not sure whether you should repair or replace your water heater, this article will help you make the right decision.
SIGNS OF WATER HEATER TROUBLES
If you want to avoid replacing your water heater, you need to catch the signs of water heater damage when they first start to arise. When it comes to malfunctioning water heaters, there are only a few causes of the potential issues. These include when the pilot light on gas water heaters flickers out, the circuit breaker for an electric water heater trips, the burner or heating element fails, the thermostat breaks or the valve sticks.
When to Repair
The above issues can be relatively easy and cheap to repair, all that is needed is for you to call your local plumber to come in to do the repair. If your water heater is a new, modern and energy efficient model, you will certainly want to try to repair your heater. However, if your hot water heater is at the end of its 10 to 13 life span or it is leaking water, it is likely that you will need to replace your water heater.
When To Replace
If your water heater is more than 10-13 years old, leaking water, or an old model that is not energy efficient, water heater replacement will be the best solution for you. Over time, hot water tanks can corrode causing leaks. This is why if your tank is leaking, water heater replacement will be necessary. The upside is that newer water heaters are much more energy efficient with better insulation, and are less prone to corrosion. A high efficiency water heater model that meets Energy Star standards will save you up to 20% in energy costs.
Tankless, heat pump, and solar water heaters offer even bigger savings and also qualify for a federal tax credit. However, these heaters are also considerably more expensive, so it’s important to consider whether the benefits are right for you before you choose these heaters.
Getting Help With Your Water Heater
While many home owners may want to remove and replace water heaters themselves, with the newer models it’s not always as simple as taking away the old and plugging in the new. Many local building codes now require you to upgrade the water heater mount, the size or type of venting system, the drain pan underneath the heater and the supply pipes.
Your local plumber can handle the whole operation for a reasonable price that ensures functionality and safety. Before installation, ask the plumber to outline all the costs for every stage of the process.
A qualified plumber can also offer advice and assistance on how to best maintain your hot water heater. By flushing out the tank once a year to remove sediment and checking the anode rod regularly for corrosion, you can assure the longer life and greater efficiency of your unit.