Important things to keep in mind
Age is a very important factor in determining whether or not replacement is necessary for your hot water heater. Most manufacturers will give a time period that tells when the operating components are most prone to wearing out and a suggested replacement time frame. These are found in the warrantyor in the operating manual. Many of the better graded water heaters typically last up to 12 years. If your hot water heater is fairly new and the repairs are still covered by warranty, don’t look for the manufacturer to be ready to replace it. With newer water heaters the general rule is fix, not replace.
The care and maintenance that your hot water heater has had over the years is another big issue. If a water heater has been properly serviced and frequently checked, it will last much longer. One that has been neglected and allowed to leak or get a corrosive build up inside the tank or on the components is oftentimes a no fixer. Your repairman will determine the extent of damage and the actions that he or she suggests. If it is a case of acquiring a home with a water heater that you have no idea the history of and it isn’t working so hot, plan on a new one. It is always a safer bet to go for new in such a case because there is likely no warranty on it and the repair bill could nearly add up to a new water heater. On top of that, you can get the type and model that you want instead of a water heater that wasn’t even picked out by you with your preferences.
Determining which part is damaged
Leakage and corrosion are real determining factors. There simply is no good solution for a hot water heater whose tank is not up to par. Holes, no matter how small, in the tank are a definite cause for a new water heater. If you have a part giving trouble such as a burner or anode, then replace the part. There are many parts on hot water heaters that are meant to be replaced at regular intervals or when they go bad. Sometimes you can get a repair along these lines for so much less than what a water heater would cost to replace.
What kind of hot water heater do you really want? Sometimes it is a blessing to have older hot water heater acting up because it now means that you can go with that different type you’ve had your eye on. Maybe you want to make the switch to a gas or even solar powered hot water heater. Now is your chance! You just might find that you start saving money with a more energy efficient model. You may have to make a few changes to accommodate a new type, but you will find it to be a good thing if your budget allows it. Check to see what the advantages are for each of the types you’ve been contemplating, which one will give the most energy efficient service, the longest lifespan etc. Make your decision based upon every factor that holds importance to you.
Calling a repairman
As you can see, you can have some determination of whether or not your water heater will need to be replaced before even calling the repairman. The decision to repair or replace is sometimes a matter of budget and sometimes personal preference, other times the decision is made by your knowledgeable repairman. They are specially trained to know when a hot water heater can be repaired or if it is better to replace the entire unit. Take into account the money it will take to repair as opposed to replace your ailing hot water heater. Take advantage of your repairman’s knowledge and do as they recommend in order to get a longer life span from your unit once you get it fixed or replaced. Maintaining a working relationship with your repairman will help you out in the long run. You may be able to make a telephone call to them and get advice that could mean the difference between a ten dollar repair and a five hundred dollar replacement. Be sure to check with them before making the leap if you aren’t certain to your plan of action.