If you’re out of hot water or experiencing other problems with your water heater, you may be wondering if it’s worth the cost to repair it or if it’s time to replace your water heater altogether.
So, how do you know whether you should replace or repair your water heater?
While a professional plumber who has inspected your water heater will be able to recommend the optimal course of action, you can gauge your options by looking at:
In this blog, we’ll go over each of the factors above to help you come up with the easiest, most cost-effective solution for your situation.
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The Age of Your Water Heater
Tank water heaters last between ten and fifteen years, on average. If your water heater is near this age or older, replacing your water heater will likely be the best, most cost-effective choice.
If you have an older water heater, but the cost of your repair is minimal, let’s say, between $150-$500, you may be questioning why you would pay to replace it rather than pay a few hundred dollars for a repair.
A repair will typically be cheaper than replacing your entire system, but it could end up costing you a lot more down the road. With a water heater nearing the end of its lifespan, you will need to replace it soon anyway– so, while a repair may cost less now, it might make more sense to invest that money into a new system that will last you for years to come.
The Validity of Your Warranties
When a contractor installed your water heater, it likely came with two different warranties, a labor warranty and a manufacturer’s (parts) warranty.
Any valid warranties can entirely cover or significantly reduce the cost of a repair or replacement. Before you make any decisions, you’ll want to review the validity of your warranties.
The installer of your water heater provides a labor warranty that covers the cost of labor if they incorrectly installed something. These warranties could last between five and ten years unless you purchased an extended warranty.
A parts warranty would cover the cost of a part if the part were faulty or damaged during the manufacturing process. This type of warranty usually lasts about five years unless you have an extended warranty.
Keep in mind, if your warranties are void, you will be entirely responsible for all costs associated with the repair. It’s important to note that most water heater manufacturers require homeowners to follow detailed guidelines for the parts warranty to remain valid, such as:
- Registering your water heater with the manufacturer within 90 days of installation
- Providing proof that your water heater has undergone regular professional maintenance
- Only replacing damaged parts with manufacturer-authorized parts
Depending on which part is broken and needs replacing, along with the age of your system, it might make more sense to replace your entire water heater rather than repair it.
The Types of Repairs Needed
The type of repair that your water heater needs will largely determine whether you should repair it or replace it. Why? Because some repairs are relatively easy and affordable, while others will require costly replacement parts, or the damage could be beyond repair.
As a general rule of thumb, if your water heater is eight years old or older, it’s recommended to replace your water heater if the repairs exceed $500.
If the repair you need costs less than $500 and your water heater is on the newer side, you should probably repair it. A professional plumber will be able to help you determine which option is best for you.
To give you an idea of the different types of repairs and their associated costs, here are some common water heater repairs:
- Replacing a drain pan: $80–$150+
- Water heater flush and cleaning: $80–$100+
- Broken thermostat: $150–$500+
- Faulty heating element: $150–$200+
- Replacing anode rod: $200–$300+
- Broken thermocouple: $300+
Ready for a Stress-Free Water Heater Repair or Replacement?
If you do not have hot water and your water heater is giving you trouble, call Roy’s for 24/7 emergency support and same-day service. Our licensed journeyman and master plumbers will find your ideal solution and either repair your water heater fast or find the best new water heater system for your home and budget. Call us at 716-218-1106 or schedule below.