Water Heater: Repair or Replace

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A burst water heater can cause significant damage to your home

Water heater failure is an unfortunate plumbing circumstance associated with home ownership. The appliance works tirelessly around the clock to provide you with an ample supply of hot water. When it fails, you are faced with the daunting decision on whether to repair or replace it. The following post will cover the basics of when to repair or replace the appliance. In addition, the post will also provide maintenance tips that can help to avoid future failures and to keep it running at its peak performance and energy efficiency.

Age of the Unit
The typical lifespan of a water heater is between 10 to 15 years. While the old adage “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix” applies to many things, it should not apply to this appliance. While an aging unit may still be producing ample supplies of hot water, chances are it is using more energy and is doing it much less efficiently. This could be wasting energy and as such, costing you more each month in utility bills. In addition, as the trusty appliance ages, it is more susceptible to tank corrosion. Since a water heater can hold 40-gallons or more of fresh water, if it ruptures, you could be facing thousands of dollars in water damage to your home.

Cost of the Repair
When your water heater is less than 5-years old and in good shape, you should certainly consider repairing the unit. Many water heater repairs are less than the cost of buying a new unit. If the unit is free of rust and seems sound, repairing it should be a valid option.

Location of the Unit
The age and location of the appliance carry a lot of weight when it comes to repairing or replacing the unit. If an older unit resides in an area of your home—upstairs, main floor—where if a leak occurred you could face significant water damage to your home, you should probably replace it. This would be especially true for appliances with visible rust or corrosion around its base or fittings.

Maintenance Tips
You can prolong the life of your water heater and reduce the chances of failure by scheduling annual maintenance and cleaning. During an annual service call, your plumbing contractor will flush the unit, adjust the thermostat when applicable, test the pressure relief valve and inspect the unit for signs of corrosion or potential problem areas.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

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