Water Heater Repair vs Replacement: Which Do I Need?

Water heaters are one of the most important pieces of equipment in any home or building because humans rely on hot water to do a wide variety of tasks. Unfortunately, water heaters do not last forever, and when yours starts to show signs of damage or age, you may be wondering about the pros and cons of water heater repair versus replacement.

How do you know when to replace the unit entirely, and how do you know when a simple repair could do the trick? Part of this equation is seeking the advice of a professional water heater installation and repair company that can give you personalized guidance.

However, there are also questions you can ask yourself as you make a decision.

Judging The Efficacy Of Your Unit

One factor that you should consider as you determine whether to repair or replace your water heater is how efficient it is, both in terms of your water bills and its overall ability to heat water.

If you are encountering problems with efficiency that are not due to malfunction—such as needing more hot water than the tank size can provide—you are likely better off with a full replacement for a unit that more closely suits your current needs.

If you would like to change the type of unit that you use so that you can save money or change your utility bills, this is also a case for replacement.

However, if you are simply having a problem getting the water to heat fast enough (or at all), you could save money by having a professional repair the unit rather than replacing the entire thing.

Determining The Problem

The cause decides the cure, and the issue you are facing with your water heater could make your decision to repair or replace very simple. If the unit is leaking, cracked or contains significant rust and sediment deposits, you are likely to need a replacement.

However, if you simply have a problem with something like the pilot light going out often, a professional can offer a fix that does not require an entirely new system.

This is why you should have your water heater evaluated by an expert before you make the decision to replace it entirely—unless you are already sure that you want a larger heater or one of a different type than what you currently have.

Considering The Age Of Your Equipment

The age of your equipment plays a big role in the decision to repair or replace. If you have a small issue that could be tackled with a repair but your system is already 15 years old, you may be throwing money toward a machine that you will end up replacing very soon anyway.

Conversely, if your heater is only five years old, it is much more feasible to conduct minor repairs rather than pay for an entire replacement unit.

The one exception is usually rust and corrosion; if your water heater is already suffering from these issues, it is likely time for a replacement, even if your unit has not reached its average 10 year lifespan.

A professional can help you to drain your water heater yearly to extend its life so that this type of damage does not occur as rapidly in the future.

Other Factors Besides The Upfront Cost

In general, if the repair will cost more than 50% of the cost of replacement, consider replacement instead. However, there are other things to think about than cost alone. If you repair the unit, how much longer will it last afterward? Are you only buying yourself a little time? Is there a warranty you can make use of?

Another thing to remember is that replacing a water heater comes with not only the cost of the unit but the cost of installation as well, in addition to potentially needing to make space and time in your home. However, if you need a bigger or different type of water heater, your decision becomes much easier.

Seek Help From Our Professional Water Heater Repair & Replacement Experts

It can be difficult to feel like you are making the right choice to either repair or replace your water heater, which is why it is smart to consult with professionals who know their field well.

The experts at Baumbach Plumbing & Remodeling, LLC are happy to help you understand the pros and cons of either a repair or replacement so that you can make an informed decision that suits not only your needs but your finances.

Reach out to schedule an appointment to discuss your next steps and fix your water heater.

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