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Of all of the appliances in your home, your water heater is probably the one that you never think about. Which is fine, until your first ice-cold shower or basement flood. At that point, your water heater becomes the only home appliance that is on your mind. Suddenly you have to decide if you should pay for water heater repair or simply buy a new one.
Unsure of whether you should repair or replace? So is just about everyone who suddenly discovers their water heater has a problem. Sometimes the answer is obvious. If your unit is over 12 years old, it’s a no-brainer to replace it because it is reaching the end of its lifespan anyhow and you don’t want to sink money into a sinking boat. However, if you have a newer model, the choice between water heater repair or replacement may get a bit hazier.
The following is a quick list of factors that should help make the decision a little easier. Of course, you should always consult with a Myrtle Beach, SC plumber before making your final decision. Sometimes a repair is out of the question, and other times they can offer you a better estimate of costs which can be a heavy factor in your final decision.
Common Water Heater Problems
Water heaters are pretty simple devices if you have a traditional model in your home. Water comes into the tank where a gas or an electric element heats it and holds onto it inside of the tank until you turn on a tap and it dispels. Given the simplicity, there are not a lot of things that can go wrong which is handy for water heater repair plumbers. It is also handy for you because that means that you can usually figure out what is wrong pretty easily.
In general, there are a few problems that water heater repair professionals see all of the time. Many times the circuit breaker is not strong enough to handle the new water heater, the pilot light goes out, the heating element fails, the valve sticks, or the thermostat brakes. All of these repairs are fairly cheap in most cases and a plumber can take care of the task quickly.
Given the small expense and the quick repair option, it makes sense to pay for water heater repair if one of these issues is the culprit of your water heater troubles. Unless your water heater is over ten years old. At this point, it’s not as worth it to toss a couple of hundred dollars at a problem. After all, you don’t want to pay $150 for a simple repair but then have your water heater die in the next year. Water heaters simply don’t last past 10-12 years so even small repairs need to be carefully weighed and balanced if your water heater is already dated.
Common Water Heater Problems Where Replacement is the Right Move
Sometimes your only choice is a replacement because water heater repair is impossible. The problem with water heaters is that they will all eventually corrode because water minerals interact and eat away at the steel slowly over time. This can lead to small fractures and eventually a crack that results in a visible leak. Once a leak appears, repair is no longer an answer and you will need to look at replacement options. Keep in mind that even if you need to replace your water heater you should consult with a professional Myrtle Beach, SC plumber to ensure you purchase a model that fits the needs of your home.
The good news is modern water heaters bring a lot of positive benefits with them that may make the purchase a little less painful. For example, almost any model even those on the low-end range will be more energy-efficient compared to a model that is over ten years old. In addition, water heaters are made differently now with extra foam insulation that allows tanks to retain heat better. This means that while you may need to pay more to replace your water heater than you would if water heater repair was possible, long-term your energy bills should drop which can help offset the costs.
Depending on your budget, you could also think about replacing your traditional water heater with a tankless or solar water heater which will save you a lot more on energy costs in the long-run. In addition, the purchase of one of these extremely energy-efficient models will also qualify you for a federal tax credit. However, they cost more to purchase and install upfront so you need to carefully weigh your savings to determine if this is a move your household is prepared to make.
Extend the Life of Your Current Water Heater
One of the best ways to save money is by simply maintaining your water heater properly. A lot of water heater repair visits can be avoided by simply scheduling a plumber once a year to come to flush out the tank. Water tank maintenance is a great way to keep your tank clean of sediment that will eat away at the sides and to make your current water heater more efficient. A plumber can also check the anode rod to ensure that it is working properly and replace it if necessary. The rod is responsible for collecting corrosive elements so it is essential to the lifespan of your water heater.
Are you unsure of whether your water heater can be repaired or should be replaced? Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach is a professional plumbing company that offers both water heater repair and replacement services if necessary. Give us a call and one of our repair technicians can come out to your home and inspect your water heater to determine the best course of action for you.