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Should You Repair or Replace Your Water Heater?


If you’re having water heater troubles, even in the heat of summer, that is a huge inconvenience. And if the problems are particularly bad, or have cropped up repeatedly, you might be wondering whether repairs are actually worth it. What are the indicators that it’s time to replace your water heater? And when is a repair a better investment? Here are some guidelines.

The Age of the Water Heater

A tank water heater should work reliably for at least eight years and often more like twelve. If your system is solar or tankless, you might reasonably expect it to last twenty years. Do keep in mind that these estimates assume that annual maintenance is performed by a professional. Without maintenance, water heaters will not last as long. 

If your water heater is nearing the end of those age estimates, a repair might not keep it working for much longer. But if the water heater is newer, and a repair might help it to last another five or ten years, it’s probably worth repairing. In fact, if it’s under five years old, there’s a good chance that it’s still under warranty—again, as long as you’ve had annual maintenance done, because that’s usually specified in warranty agreements. The manufacturer might cover some of the cost of the repair.

The Repair Your Water Heater Needs

The only way to know for certain what the extent of the repairs will be is to have your water heater thoroughly assessed by a qualified plumber. But here are some of the common concerns homeowners encounter with their water heaters.

  • Water Not Hot Enough: This might be as simple as a miscalibrated aquastat, the water heater’s equivalent of a thermostat. Or it could be that one of the heating elements has failed in an electric water heater. Because there are multiple elements, your water won’t be completely cold, but it won’t be truly hot. If you have a gas water heater, there could be a problem with the burner. Any of these issues can be repaired, so you might not want to give up on your water heater just yet.
  • Not Enough Hot Water: If you sometimes have water that’s nice and hot but it seems to run out too quickly, consider whether your hot water needs have increased. Has your family gotten larger, requiring more laundry and more baths? It could be that you simply need a larger water heater. Otherwise, it could be anything from a leak somewhere in your hot water lines to a simple buildup of sediment reducing the capacity of the tank.
  • Strange Noises: The most common noise a water heater might make is a rumbling caused by sediment. The fix for this is simple: it just needs to be flushed out by an experienced plumber to remove the minerals that have settled out of your water into the tank.
  • Rust: This is the issue most likely to end the life of your water heater. If you spot corrosion on a component of your water heater, get a plumber in for water heater repair in Manassas, VA right away. It may be possible to replace that part before the corrosion spreads. But if the tank itself is corroded, or you notice reddish discoloration or rust flakes in your water, replacement may be your only option.

AllTech Services, Inc. is your trusted resource for water heater repair and replacement. Contact us today!

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