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Running out of hot water is never fun, whether that’s a result of a malfunctioning water heater or one that simply isn’t big enough for your Richmond, VA, home. If you’re having troubles with your water heater, you might be considering spending a bit of money on water heater repair. However, sometimes it’s better to simply replace a water heater. If you’re not sure whether you should fix your water heater or spend the money on a new one, here’s some basic info to help you decide.
Water Heater Parts
The interesting thing about water heaters is that there aren’t a lot of parts that can actually be replaced. While there are some appliances and fixtures that have many working parts that can go bad, you only have a few options when it comes to fixing your water heater so it’s easier to determine when it’s time for a replacement.
As far as water heater repair goes, you’re mostly dealing with the heating elements, thermostats and the sacrificial anode rod. These are the three parts that are responsible for keeping your water heater functioning properly and in good shape over the years, which also means they tend to go bad with time.
If you have a problem with your water heater tank rather than an element or thermostat, there’s a good chance you don’t have an option when it comes to water heater repair. Since there are only a few different parts you can replace on a water heater, corrosion and holes in the actual tank of a water heater generally warrant a replacement rather than simple repairs.
How Long Do Water Heaters Last?
One thing a lot of homeowners don’t know about water heaters is that they don’t last very long. As far as manufacturer recommendations go, you should replace your water heater every 10 to 15 years. However, the lifespan of your water heater also depends on how often you have a repair company flush the sediment out and check it for problems.
Sediment is what ruins water heaters the fastest because it’s what leads to tank corrosion and leaks. While the sacrificial anode rod is designed to protect against the corrosion that sediment can cause, it can only do so much. Plus, you’ll end up having to replace your sacrificial anode rod more often if you don’t flush your water heater.
Another thing you have to consider is how hard your water is. Hard water, or water that has a higher mineral content, generally leads to more frequent water heater repairs because of the corrosion it causes.
Efficiency and Quality
Something you always have to consider when you’re deciding between water heater repair and replacement is the efficiency and overall quality of your water heater. While most people don’t want to replace a newer water heater that has all the bells and whistles, you’ll probably be more inclined to replace your water heater if yours costs you too much money or doesn’t provide enough hot water for your home.
Before you decide to spend money repairing your water heater, make sure you look at some of the newer models in Richmond, VA and compare the specs to your current water heater. While you might decide your water heater is good enough for your needs, there’s a good chance you’ll find a more efficient model or one that can provide more hot water to keep you and your family comfortable.
Water Heater Maintenance
One of the biggest things you can do to avoid spending a bunch of money on water heater repair and replacement is make sure you stay on top of maintenance. As we mentioned previously, the most important part of water heater maintenance is having the sediment flushed out of your water heater every once in a while. However, there are other steps you can take to make sure you don’t have any major water heater problems.
If you ever notice your hot water is a little too hot or cold, make sure you have somebody take a look at your water heater. It could be that you’ve got a problem with a heating element that’s leading to a lack of hot water. The problem is, lukewarm water can also encourage the growth of bacteria, which can be dangerous to your household. This is also why it’s so important to set your water heater to the right temperature.
Repairing vs. Replacing
Ultimately, there are a lot of factors that can help you decide whether to replace or repair your water heater. If you’re not sure whether water heater repair or a new water heater is the better option, you should consider the following factors:
- Age: If your water heater is more than a decade old, replacing it is never a bad idea
- Efficiency: You don’t want to waste money or water, so upgrading to a more efficient model may be beneficial
- Maintenance: If you never had maintenance done on your water heater, it may fail in less than a decade
- The Problem: A water heater tank problem is generally a good reason to replace a water heater, while a heating element or thermostat can be replaced
If you’re not sure whether or not you need a new water heater, you can always call a water heater repair company to get some expert advice.
Get Help Today
Keeping hot water in your home is an absolute must, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Not only are there a host of things that can go wrong with your water heater, but it can also be tough to decide when you should repair and when you should replace.
If you need water heater repairs or help deciding whether or not it’s time for a new water heater, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Richmond is here for you. Give us a call at 804-930-8757 to learn more or schedule a service appointment today.