water heater repairIf you notice your water isn’t reaching a hot temperature as quickly as it used to, your hot water heater may be working less efficiently. While there are a number of causes for this, it’s important to address this issue early on. Common ways to address water heater inefficiency include water heater repair and water heater replacement. This article is going to discuss a few factors you should consider in order to decide which method to choose.
 
Age
On average, water heaters last around 10 years. If your water heater is near the end of its life, you should consider simply replacing it. However, if your water heater installation was recent, you should consider repair. Because you invested money in your new water heater, you should hire a plumbing expert to perform repairs in order to save yourself from having to buy another new unit.
 
Maintenance
How frequently your water heater breaks down will also help you determine whether you should repair or replace your unit. When your water heater breaks down, you should look at the costs and benefits to determine which choice to make. Generally, if the water heater repair costs 50% or more of what it would cost to replace, then you should just replace the unit. It is important to remember that regularly maintained units last longer so you shouldn’t forego annual maintenance.
 
Expenses
If your water heater is becoming less and less efficient, you’re most likely experiencing higher energy bills. Seeing as how water heating makes up about 18% of energy use in a home, expenses can quickly add up if your unit is having to work longer and harder to get the results you need. If your water heater is old and no longer produces hot water at the same efficiency it used to, replacing it may be a cost-effective decision.
 
If you do decide to go through with water heater repair, it’s important to let a qualified plumber take care of it. A full inspection and routine maintenance will most likely need to be done in order to address the issue. This inspection may include:
 

  • Checking for rust
  • Checking connections
  • Checking for corrosion or leaks
  • Removing sediment and debris

 
After your unit is repaired or replaced, you should ensure you take care of it well to extend its lifespan. You should drain the water heater at least twice a year in order to flush out the tank and increase efficiency. Also, you should test the pressure-relief valve and replace it if need be. And lastly, you should decrease the temperature setting on the unit’s thermostat in order to reduce damages caused by overheating.
 
Before deciding to replace or repair your unit, you should consider all of the factors discussed in the article. And if you’re still unsure, contact a local plumber to come take a look at your unit and help you make an informed decision.