Water Heater Replacement

Does the Age of a Tanked Water Heater Matter When Considering Repair or Replacement?

May 9, 2024

A water heater plays a key role in keeping a home’s inhabitants comfortable. Unfortunately, in time, a tanked water heater will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Knowing when to schedule water heater repair services, versus replacing it, can save you money and stress, overall. Staying proactive with water heater maintenance can also help extend the lifespan of the equipment, which again helps to save you lots of money and stress.

How Long Does a Water Heater Typically Last?

A traditional tanked water heater often lasts between 8 and 12 years. However, the average lifespan will most likely vary depending on the maintenance schedule, the quality of installation, and the water quality in your area. Regular maintenance of the water heater can extend its life, but even the best-kept water heater will eventually need to be replaced.

How to Tell the Age of a Water Heater?

Finding out the age of your water heater is relatively easy. Look for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker, which is often located on the upper part of the water heater. This number frequently starts with a letter followed by a series of numbers. The letter usually indicates the month (A for January, B for February, etc.), and the first two numbers often represent the year of manufacture.

Signs of a Failing Water Heater

A few things can indicate that your water heater is about to cease working. Signs that your water heater may need replacement can include unexpected temperature fluctuations, discolored water, or reduced water flow. You may even notice that your water heater is now making a noise or notice that water is pooling around the unit. These signs often indicate that the water heater’s lifespan is almost up.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Water Heater?

Knowing if you need to repair or replace your water heater depends on several factors. Replacing the heater might be a better option if it is near or beyond its lifespan. Frequent breakdowns are a clear indication that it’s time to replace the equipment versus repair. Additionally, if the cost of the repair is more than half the cost of a new water heater, replacement is usually the better option.

When to Replace Your Water Heater

You should replace your water heater if you notice several issues or are what seems like continuously contacting water heater repair services. The unit being older than ten years old may also indicate that it’s time for a replacement. Rust and corrosion on the tank cannot be fixed and will only worsen over time. If you notice that your water heater is leaking, it’s typically an indication that replacement is necessary. Rising energy bills could also mean your water heater’s efficiency is declining.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Water Heater?

The cost to replace a tanked water heater usually depends on the type, capacity, and installation complexities. Homeowners can expect to typically pay between $1,000 and $1,600 for a new tank water heater, including installation. Choosing high-efficiency models or any additional installation requirements commonly increases the cost.

Environmental Considerations

A new water heater offers an opportunity to consider environmentally friendly options. Modern water heaters are typically more energy-efficient, which can reduce your carbon footprint. Tankless water heaters are more costly upfront but can often provide long-term savings and a more consistent hot water supply.

Final Thoughts About Choosing to Repair or Replace a Water Heater

Deciding on whether to repair or replace your water heater can be challenging. Before scheduling water heater repair or replacement, you may want to consider its age, condition, and the cost implications of ongoing maintenance. Evaluating the age of your water heater is always a good starting point.

A more efficient water heater can usually save you money on your energy bill and reduce the hassle of requiring frequent repairs. Choosing an energy-efficient model may not only cut down on monthly expenses but may help the environment as well. Reaching out to a professional is always recommended for the correct answers to questions about a current or future water heater.

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