Repair or Replace: What Should I Do With My Water Heater?
When it comes to water heaters, the decision to simply replace or repair it can be difficult. On the one hand, water heater repair is less expensive and can provide you with several more years worth of service, but a new water heater installation allows you peace of mind from knowing that if anything does go wrong, it's most likely under warranty.
So when your water heater goes on the fritz, which one do you choose then? Below are a few questions you can ask yourself to help make that decision.
How Old Is Your Water Heater?
Water heaters have an astonishingly long lifespan. The typical life of a traditional tank-filled water heater is anywhere between 8-12 years, so if your unit is approaching that time period, it might be worth it to replace it. If you have a tankless water heater, though, you should expect to get closer to 20 years of life out of it, so a tankless water heater repair is much more feasible.
How Expensive Are the Repairs?
Though maintenance and water heater repair bills can add up, the cost of doing so is typically not as high and more infrequent than other jobs you could have done around the house. Apart from the yearly water heater flushing, a technician should only have to come to your house a few times over the life of the unit. If you are having to schedule repairs more frequently or if the cost of the repairs is more than 50% the cost of a new water heater installation, you should consider replacing the entire unit.
Do You Want to Upgrade?
Water heater repairs are a great way to extend the life of your unit, but they can also be a great opportunity to upgrade the system as well. Newer water heaters are more energy efficient than older models, and if you switch to a tankless version, you can get all the advantages associated with that as well: virtually limitless hot water on demand throughout the house. These are all great reasons to opt for a water heater installation instead, so ask yourself if it's worth it to spring for a whole new heater.
Am I Selling Anytime Soon?
It can be extremely inconvenient to have a water heater issue right before you plan to move, but it can also be a great opportunity for you to improve the resale value on your home. A new HVAC system - including a new water heater - will usually pay for itself over time, and is one of the things that prospective homebuyers can and will ask about.