Should You Repair or Replace Your Water Heater?

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When a water heater stops working, the big question is whether it makes sense to repair the water heater or replace it all together. While you don’t want to spend more than you have to, you may be throwing good money after bad by making a repair on an aging water heater.

Reasons You May Opt for a Water Heater Repair:

  1. Your water heater isn’t very old

    If your water heater is relatively new and hasn’t reached the end of its expected lifespan, which is typically around 10 to 15 years for a traditional tank water heater, a repair might be more cost-effective. Replacing specific components or addressing a minor issue can extend the overall life of the unit without the need for a full replacement. However, it’s crucial to consider the age and condition of the water heater when making repair decisions, as older units may be more prone to subsequent issues.

  2. You have one, isolated problem with your water heater, with additional problems unlikely

    If the problem with your water heater is isolated to a specific component or part that can be easily repaired or replaced, opting for a repair makes sense. Examples include fixing a faulty thermostat, replacing a heating element, or addressing a minor leak that can be repaired without significant cost.

  3. Your water heater problem is a known issue for that brand with a known solution

    In cases where the issue with the water heater is a known manufacturing defect, a recall, or a documented problem associated with the specific brand or model, opting for a repair might be a sensible choice. Manufacturers often provide remedies for identified issues, including free repairs or replacements. If your water heater is affected by a known issue, addressing it through a repair can resolve the problem without the need for a full replacement, especially if the manufacturer covers the associated costs.

Reasons You May Opt for a Water Heater Replacement

  • Decreased Efficiency:
    • According to the U.S. Department of Energy, water heating accounts for about 18% of the average home’s energy use. Older water heaters can be significantly less efficient, leading to increased energy consumption and higher bills.
  • Increased Maintenance Costs:
    • The National Association of Home Builders estimates that the average lifespan of a water heater is around 10-15 years. As units approach and surpass this age, maintenance costs can increase by up to 50%, including repairs and part replacements.
  • Risk of Leaks and Water Damage:
    • The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety reports that water heater failures are one of the top five sources of residential water damage. Aging water heaters are more prone to leaks, and water damage claims can cost thousands of dollars to repair.
  • Limited Hot Water Capacity:
    • The Water Heater Safety and Energy Efficiency Study by the National Association of Home Builders indicates that sediment buildup in older water heaters can reduce the available hot water by 25-50%, affecting the overall performance.
  • Outdated Safety Features:
    • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, modern water heaters are equipped with enhanced safety features, such as automatic shut-off valves. Older models may lack these features, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Environmental Impact:
    • ENERGY STAR-certified water heaters, as per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are on average 8% more energy-efficient than standard models. Upgrading to an ENERGY STAR-certified unit not only saves money but also reduces environmental impact.
  • Advancements in Technology:
    • According to a study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), technological advancements in water heaters can result in energy savings of up to 50%. Upgrading allows homeowners to benefit from these efficiency gains.
  • Potential Health Concerns:
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) states that aging water heaters can contribute to bacterial growth, affecting water quality. Upgrading to a new unit with improved materials and features helps maintain water hygiene.
  • Increased Lifespan of Modern Models:
    • A study published in the International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research indicates that advancements in materials and manufacturing processes contribute to the increased lifespan of modern water heaters compared to older models.
  • Home Value and Resale Potential:
    • According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, homebuyers are willing to pay more for energy-efficient appliances. Upgrading to a new, efficient water heater enhances home value and resale potential.

Whether You Repair or Replace Your Water Heater, We Can Help

With Aaron Services: Plumbing, Heating, Cooling same day service and free estimates, our plumbing technicians can help you make the decision best for your home. As you can see in our thousands of 5 star reviews, our honest, friendly techs will look for ways to save you money while also providing their professional opinions on the best solution for you.

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