When any major appliance breaks in your home, you are faced with a decision: to repair or to replace? Is It Worth It To Repair a Water Heater? The most cost-effective answer depends on a number of factors. Before making any decisions, take stock of your water heater. Also note the circumstances that led to it breaking down in the first place.
How High Is Your Water Bill?
If your water bill has spiked suddenly in the past few months, something in your home is not working efficiently. It could be your water heater, but it could also be leaking pipes or toilets, service line leaks, or changes in water use.
However, there’s a way to tell exactly how much energy your water heater should be using. First, locate the yellow Energy Label on the side of the tank. With the Energy Factor, or the hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed, and the fuel type and cost, you can use the formulas on Energy.gov to calculate exactly how much the cost of operation should be. If your water bill reflects a much higher number and there is no indication of leaks anywhere else, your water heater is the culprit.
How Old Is Your Water Heater?
Some things get riper with age, but a water heater is not one of them. Of course, with proper maintenance and reasonable use, a water heater can work efficiently for much longer. Unfortunately, everything has a lifespan. Most water heaters usually last for ten years. Certain models, such as tankless and solar, can last up to twenty years.
What Type of Damage Has the Heater Sustained?
If the damage-causing issues can be fixed relatively easily and inexpensively, by all means, get a plumber out to look at it as soon as possible. For example, most leaks are caused by corroded connections that need tightening or replacement of the elements. In that case, you’re looking at about $200 for a complete repair job.
If the damage is extensive enough to require the replacement of one or more integral components of your water heater, repairs won’t be cost-effective and it will probably be cheaper to replace entirely. This includes major leaks in either storage tanks or heating elements.
Is Your Water Heater Under Warranty?
If your water heater is under warranty, it makes sense to repair rather than replace. Of course, you will have to pay the cost of labor. However, that can be offset by any rebate or coupon available through your manufacturer. Make sure you call them before repairing anything yourself as they may void the warranty if unauthorized repairs are made.
After considering each of these questions, you probably have a better idea of whether or not it’s worth it to replace your water heater. Regardless of your decision, be sure to follow proper water heater maintenance procedures to ensure your water heater lasts as long as possible. Regular flushing and descaling can help prevent build-up and extend the life of your unit. For more information on how to maintain your water heater, visit our website!
If you have any questions about repairing or replacing your hot water tank in the Bay Area, CA, contact our team of professionals today at (650) 263-6986!