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Your water heater works hard for your household. However, as in any relationship, there may come a time to say goodbye. How can you tell when to repair the unit or when replacing it makes more sense? Keep reading to learn the difference between sensible water heater repair and when it’s time to buy a new one.
Tankless and Tank Water Heaters
First, there are traditional water heaters that have tanks and boilers and tankless models that heat the water on an as-needed basis. Tankless water heaters work well in smaller households and provide an unlimited supply of hot water for showers and dishes. Traditional water heaters may make more sense if you have a large home and use a lot of hot water throughout the day.
The anatomy of each type of water heater varies dramatically. Traditional water heaters include a large boiler that stores hot water. You’re limited to the amount of hot water that the boiler can store. Also, boilers can burst or leak, leading to repair issues.
With a tankless water heater, you get a much smaller unit, smaller than the average suitcase. It provides hot water when you turn on the tap to start laundry or dishes. These units are more energy-efficient and far more compact than traditional units.
If you need water heater repair, it will vary depending on which type you choose. Age is a factor in both units. Gas water heaters last up to 10 years and electric ones can serve your purposes for 15 years if you keep them maintained. Tankless water heaters last 20 years with appropriate maintenance.
What Are Some of the Most Common Water Heater Repairs?
If you have a conventional water heater, only a few things can go wrong. Common issues include the following:
- Broken thermostat
- Sticky or broken valves
- Extinguished pilot lights for gas water heaters
- Failed heating element or burner
It may make sense to pay for these inexpensive repairs, which your bluefrog Plumbing + Drain technician can handle in a few hours. Repairs that take a full day or longer may end up costing you more than getting a new unit. if your water heater has been around more than 10 years, we suggest replacing the tank.
With preventive maintenance, your water heater can last for many years. bluefrog plumbers can drain, flush and clean it every year. This affordable maintenance can extend the life of your water heater. You can also call us to schedule maintenance every six months for optimal performance and longevity.
You May Need to Water Heater Repair If…
If you have a high utility bill, the water heater could be your culprit. When seasons change, faulty water heaters require additional energy to heat the water properly. Other signs that you have a water heater problem include the following:
- Leaks: In a conventional water heater, the boiler eventually wears down. As pressure builds in the tank or the material ages, small leaks and cracks develop. In addition to affecting the water heater’s performance, this can lead to leaks that damage your home. Look for signs that include puddles of water around the tank and corrosion on the side of your water tank.
- Knocking sounds: When sediment hardens it circulates in the tank causing gurgling, knocking or rumbling sounds. By flushing out the tank, you can remove sediment and prolong the life of your unit.
- Poor water quality: If you have cloudy, rusty hot water, it’s time to call bluefrog Plumbing + Drain for water heater repair. Rusty water indicates corrosion in the tank or other points and the water heater. Cloudy water derives from built-up settlement that needs to be removed from the tank. If the tank no longer produces hot water, our plumbers can replace the heating element.
When You Should Replace Your Water Heater
Even if you religiously maintain your water heater, at some point replacement becomes the only option. When you are ready to replace your water heater, choose from newer conventional models or a tankless water heater that will heat your water more efficiently. Depending on the age of your home and its infrastructure, you may need to invest money in your plumbing and electrical system in order to install a tankless hot water heater. Our plumber can let you know the most economical and efficient options for your home.
If your water heater is leaking, replace it immediately. Also, it may not make sense to invest in water heater repair for units more than 10 years old. If your water heater shows obvious signs of wear, we recommend replacing it rather than budgeting for water heater repair.
If you don’t want a tankless water heater or cannot install one in your home, newer models of conventional units are energy-efficient and can help you save money on your utility bill. The cost of a new unit depends on the size and style that you need or want. Look for Energy Star water heaters that cost a little bit more but pay for themselves over time.
In some states, switching to a tankless system can save you money on taxes.
Other Costs to Consider for Water Heater Repair or Replacement
Water heater installation is another cost to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your unit. Due to the dangers involved when dealing with water under pressure, we don’t recommend installing the unit yourself. Upgrading your water heater may involve replacing the mounts and drain pan as well as upgrading your pipes. We can give you an accurate estimate so that you can make an informed decision.
Call an experienced plumber such as those available at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. you need someone who is familiar with local building codes and who can provide an accurate quote for water heater repair or replacement.
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain has trained technicians to diagnose your issues with your water heater. Contact us first to decide whether it makes more sense to pay for water heater repairs or to replace the unit. Don’t wait for your unit to breakdown and leave you without hot water. Schedule an appointment today!