Sealing Up Damaged Ventilation Lines

3 Factors That Help You Decide if You Should Repair or Replace Your Hot Water Heater

Being without hot water is a big inconvenience. You can heat water up on the stove, but that takes a long time and it doesn't help when you want to take a shower. You'll want to repair a bad water heater promptly, but if your heater is old, you may wonder if you should just replace it instead. Start by letting a plumber take a look at the unit to see what's wrong with it. Then, consider these factors when deciding how to proceed with repairs.

The Age of the Heater

Even if you've taken good care of your hot water heater over the years, at some point it's time to replace it. This is when you need to decide if putting money into repairs is a wise move. Even if the repairs are only a few hundred dollars, the money might be more useful when applied toward a new heater. Get an estimate of the repairs from the plumber and also ask about the overall condition of the heater so you can get expert advice about its expected lifespan. If your heater is only a few years old, then investing in repairs is probably the best choice. A heater that's already outlived its expected life expectancy is another story. You may want to have it replaced instead.

The Type of Necessary Repairs

One reason you want a plumber to check the heater is that the price of repairs varies quite a bit. If the heater is clogged, then fixing the problem could be as simple as draining it and refilling it with water. In that case, you may want to pay for repairs even if your heater is old. The unit may need a new anode rod or heating element, which are fairly easy repairs, but more costly. The higher the repair cost, the more you have to think carefully about repair vs. replacement.

Whether Repairs Are Even Possible

If your water heater has rust spots on the tank, that's a sign the tank needs to be replaced. When a water heater tank rusts through, it can't be repaired to stop the leaking. Instead, it's time to replace the unit. However, just because you see rust particles in your hot water, it doesn't necessarily mean the tank is rusted out. The rust might be from water pipes, so you'll want a plumber to check the tank and determine if it can be saved.

It's possible to repair many problems that arise with a hot water tank, and in many cases, repairs are more cost effective than replacing your water heater. However, it's possible you've been wanting a new heater anyway, and a breakdown is a good time to get one. This gives you a chance to upgrade to an energy-efficient tank, a larger tank, or even a tankless heater. To learn more, contact hot water heating services.