Although many water heaters can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years on average, at some point, you'll have to decide between whether or not you want to pay for a water heater repair or have it simply replaced altogether. They can be a difficult decision, especially considering that a new water heater can cost at least a couple thousand dollars, so it's not one that you should take lightly. Below are a few questions you can ask yourself to help make the right decision.
How Old Is Your Unit?
As mentioned above, water heaters can last a while, but once they reach the halfway point of their expected lifespan, they'll start to develop problems that will only become more frequent and more intense as time goes on. One of the most common problems to plague older water heaters is a broken anode rod. While it's not too expensive to get replaced, you may soon find that one of the heating elements also goes out, or that you have a lot of sediment buildup inside your unit. These problems come with age, and while they can be fixed, it's a good idea to add up the costs and see if it makes more financial sense to just have a water heater replacement performed instead. As a rule of thumb, if the repairs cost more than 50% of a new unit, have it replaced.
Do You Want to Upgrade?
Your needs will inevitably change over the time that you are in your house, and what works for you 10 years ago may not work for you now. For instance, you may find that you need a tankless water heater installed at several points inside your house to provide hot water to your growing family, or you may decide that you want to take advantage of the new energy-efficient models they cannot only reduce your impact on the environment, but reduce your energy bill as well. Regardless, if you want to upgrade your system anyways, then it's wise to skip the water heater repair and go straight for replacement instead.
What Kind of Repair Is Necessary?
Not only do you need to take into account the frequency of repairs, but you also need to be mindful of what type of repairs need to be made. A water heater that is leaking all over your floor is most likely about to burst, unless the leak is repaired to a point where your plumbing contractor is satisfied. In that situation, you may opt to have a water heater replacement performed instead, since not only will you have peace of mind from a new unit, but also from a new warranty as well.
Contact a water heater repair or replacement company to learn more.