Most people don’t give the water heater a second thought until they have to take an icy-cold shower or see a puddle outside the closet. After you get the water turned off and turn your attention to water heater repair, you may have to decide whether to repair the tank or replace it. Here are some tips that can help you decide.
What’s Wrong With The Water Heater?
A water heater isn’t a complex appliance. Cold water comes in and is heated by the gas burner or electric element. The thermostat keeps the water at the correct temperature. When you turn on the tap, water pressure sends the hot water out of the tank to the faucet. There aren’t many moving parts to a water heater. Here are some of the most common problems:
- Valve sticks
- Heating element failure
- Thermostat breaks
- Broken circuit breaker
- Pilot light goes out
A good plumber can generally repair those types of things for a reasonable cost. It might make sense to simply make repairs unless your hot water heater is nearing the end of its life expectancy. If your tank is over 10 years old, put the money into a more modern tank that will be more energy efficient and save money on your utility bills.
When Repair Isn’t an Option
If your water tank leaks, repair is not in your future. The minerals in the water have reacted with the steel in the heater and caused the tank to corrode. This is not fixable. A new hot water heater is required.
However, new tanks have more insulation, which provides better heat retention. New tanks also have glass liners, which prevent corrosion. Look for a model that meets Energy Star standards to save up to 20 percent in energy costs each year. You might even want to check out solar or tankless heaters, which could qualify for tax credits.
Sometimes, a replacement isn’t as simple as taking the old tank out and putting in a new tank. Newer building codes may require upgrades. Contact us to ensure the hot water tank is replaced correctly.