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Yikes! Cold water is coming out of your hot water tap. You groan inwardly because you have to add dealing with a broken water heater to your ever-growing to-do list. And then arises the question that always comes with a broken appliance. Should you repair it or replace it?

Well, the answer depends on the situation. Let’s discuss a few things you should ask yourself to determine whether water heater repair or replacement is right for you!

Weigh the Pros and Cons

Deciding between repairing or replacing your water heater isn’t always a simple solution. There are pros and cons to both methods of dealing with your problem. 

Water heater repair is often much cheaper, is usually less invasive, and can often be faster than water heater replacement. Unfortunately, repairs don’t always work or the appliance breaks down again soon with a different problem, causing the time and money costs to pile up. 

Of course, the cost is the big downside of replacing your water heater. New water heaters aren’t cheap and you probably haven’t planned for it in your budget. But, you can generally expect your water heater to run with no problems for a few years after replacing it. 

So which should you choose? Ask yourself these questions to find out.

How Old is Your Water Heater?

Water heaters last between 8 – 12 years or 10 – 15 years depending on the type you have. Find out the life expectancy of your particular water heater and compare it to it’s actual age. If your water heater is relatively young, it will usually make more sense to repair it. Though this still depends on what is wrong with it. 

However, if your water heater is nearing the old end of the scale, it’s usually best to replace it. Even if the current repair is not too expensive, you can almost be positive that you will be dealing with more repairs in the near future as other parts of the machine break down. 

Keep in Mind the Cost of Repairs vs Replacement

The next thing to consider is the cost of the repairs vs the cost of replacement. Is the fix super simple and really cheap? You won’t lose much if you give it a try!

However, if the repair is rather expensive, you should take a step back and consider it carefully. Is it a good idea to invest a significant chunk of money in this water heater? 

Consider how old the water heater is and how well it has been maintained. Does it have rust or corrosion? Are there signs of water leaks? If your water heater looks to be in bad shape, expensive water heater repair probably isn’t the best course of action.

Do Problems Continue After Repairs?

If you decide to go ahead with the repair, keep an eye on your water heater for a while. Does it seem to be running like a dream? What if problems keep cropping up? Perhaps it doesn’t necessarily break down again, but hot water is running out too quickly or your energy bill seems unusually high. Or maybe you hear strange banging or popping noises coming from your water heater.

These are all signs that water heater replacement should be in your near future. Even if there is a repair option, it’s likely that you’ll start getting to know your local technician by name because problems are going to keep appearing. 

When Was Your Water Heater Last Inspected/Cleaned by a Professional?

Looking to avoid water heater replacement? The best way to extend your unit’s life is to keep it well-maintained. Over time, sediment begins to accumulate in the bottom of your water heater’s tank. Eventually, it interferes with the function of the tank and shortens its lifespan. 

Have your water heater inspected and cleaned by a professional on a consistent basis. Removing the sediment and fixing small problems before they become big ones is the best way for your water heater to enjoy a long life!

Looking for help with your water heater? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!

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