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Repair vs Replace Hot Water Heater 5 Factors to Consider

Gallegos Plumbing

Repair vs Replace Hot Water Heater

Your water heater is always there, providing hot water when you need it for cleaning, cooking, laundry, and that essential hot shower in the morning. You aren’t thinking about having to replace a water heater. Then one morning, that shower is ice cold, or you step out into what feels like a sauna in the garage and realize you’re standing in water.

Yup, your water heater has a problem. The conventional standard water heater with a storage tank has an expected lifespan between ten and fifteen years. If your current water heater is in that age range, a water heater replacement is due, may be overdue.

On the positive side, a new water heater will be as much as twenty percent more efficient. Within the new unit’s lifespan, you’ll save up to $700 in energy expense, an excellent ROI for this essential part of a household. However, if the current water heater isn’t that old, water heater repair could be the better option, i.e., a cheaper option.

Table of Contents

  • Repair It or Replace It – That Is the Question of All Times
  • Age
  • Energy Bills
  • Repairs
  • Rust-Colored Water
  • The Warranty
  • In Closing

Repair It or Replace It – That Is the Question of All Times

When it comes to expensive appliances and equipment for the home, it can be hard to know if replacing them is the best option. While you don’t want to spend unnecessary money on a replacement, you don’t want to keep putting money into something that is just going to break down again, either. When it comes to water heaters, five things can help you determine if water heater repair is the best option or a water heater replacement.

1. Age

According to experts and reports, the lifespan of a gas powered water heater is ten years, maybe fifteen years. On a side note, a tankless water heater can provide you twenty years or more. The age of your water heater is an important determining factor, and if it is reaching the expected lifespan, a water heater replacement is the better choice. A water heater repair at this point may be more expensive in the long run.

2. Energy Bills

Are you turning the shower dial further to the hot to get the temperature right with each shower? That is often an indicator that the water heater isn’t as energy efficient as it should be and is working harder and longer to give you the hot water you desire. The harder and longer it works, the more energy it is using.

A water heater is 14% of a home’s energy bill. So, if your water isn’t producing the amount of hot water it used to and inefficiently operating, it may be time to consider a water heater replacement.

3. Repairs

Before you decide to either get a water heater replacement or schedule a water heater repair, a cost-benefit analysis can help you determine which is the best way for your situation. For any appliances or large home component, the 50% rule is the typical baseline. The 50% rule is for a repair that will cost you 50% of what a replacement unit cost, replacement is the better option over repairing the existing.

There are exceptions to the 50% rule that you take into consideration. For instance, if you have had several repairs over the last twenty-four months or the unit is near the expected lifespan, then a water heater replacement would be the better option.

Trust the expertise of Gallegos Plumbing and get immediate assistance for professional plumbing services and water heater services in Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park to address the problem timely. Give us a call now at (805) 243-2622.

4. Rust-Colored Water

If the hot water coming from your faucets is rust-colored, this typically indicates that the water heater tank is deteriorating inside. It is unlikely you’ll remove the rust flushing the tank at this point, and replacing the tank is a costly repair, and you’ll be better off financially and health-wise to replace the water heater.

On a side note, if the cold and hot water are both rust-colored when coming from the faucets, this may not be the water heater. It would be best to inspect your plumbing system for a possible pipe issue if you had a professional plumber.

5. The Warranty

Typically, a water heater will have come with a manufacturer’s limited warranty on parts. This warranty covers the replacement cost of faulty parts for between five and ten years. Each manufacturer’s limited warranty time will vary.

However, if the limited parts warranty has reached expiration, you are responsible for the full cost of the water heater repair. If the part that needs replacing is expensive, like the thermocouple or the thermostat, a water heater replacement would be the better option than a water heater repair.

Most manufacturers have their limited parts warranty listed on their websites for each model number, or you can reach out to them by phone. There are guidelines established by each manufacturer for warranty registration on new water heater units that must be followed in order or the limited parts warranty to be honored:

  • Registration with 90 days of installation with the manufacturer.
  • Proof a certified plumber has provided regular maintenance.
  • Using only manufactured authorized parts when replacing a faulty part.

RELATED ARTICLE: An Ultimate Guide to Choosing The Hot Water Heater

» In Closing

While a water heater may not be on the top of your mind until you have an ice-cold shower, it is a primary component of your home. With that in mind, maintenance and upkeep are as crucial for a water heater as it is for your HVAC system and other components. When it comes time to replace a water heater, be sure to complete the warranty registration and track the date of installation so that you can have your water heater flushed and inspected on a timely basis. Gallegos Plumbing team excels at commercial and residential plumbing, water heater services, trenchless sewer replacement, and drain lateral repairs with decades of experience. Get in touch with us by clicking here or call us at (805) 243-2622!

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