Water heaters are an essential piece of equipment in the vast majority of homes throughout the world. They provide us with hot water until it’s eventually time to look for a water heater repair service.
It doesn’t usually happen soon though, as some tankless water heaters can actually last up to 20 years. A general rule of thumb, though, is to replace your water heater about every 8 – 12 years. However, some can easily wait to be replaced up until 15 to 20 years too.
Whatever the case is, if you’re in need of a water heater repair service or you want to repair it yourself, this guide may be of some help.
Usually, deciding between a hot water heater repair or replacement comes down to how much both tasks would cost and how bad the damage is. If the hot water heater has minor damage or some common water heater electrical issues, there’s really no need to replace it when it can be easily repaired.
On the other hand, if you have a very old hot water heater, if it’s badly damaged, if there’s constantly no hot water, then it might finally be time for a replacement.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s hard to live with a broken water heater. Your washing machine won’t receive any hot water, you can’t shower with hot water, and so on. You get the idea.
There can be many signs that your hot water heater is finally due for a replacement. However, there are only a few you need to worry about, as they are almost always the most common ones.
The first sign you may be in need of a water heater repair or a full-on replacement is the lack of hot water in your home.
No hot water can either mean there’s no electricity in your house or that your water heater has finally given up. This is definitely a cause to go check and see if it’s not just a heater breaker tripping.
Another huge problem with water heaters is leaks. These are a pain to fix and sometimes can even be beyond repair. In such a case, you’ll definitely be looking at a hot water heater replacement very soon.
Keep in mind, leaks are no small issue. If you detect a leak from your hot water heater, you should call a professional, turn off the water heater, and close the valve that feeds water into the tank.
Hearing weird noises coming from your hot water heater, such as banging, popping, or cracking, may not be as bad as leaks but it can be an indication. This type of issue can quickly escalate and reach a point where you’d need to look for a water heater repair service or, again, a full replacement.
In the worst-case scenario, cracking noises can be a result of pressure building up which can result in your water heater exploding. This is why it’s always better to take care of things on time before something like that can happen.
In most cases, you’re going to need the assistance of a professional for your water heater repair. It’s not always easy to find the problem with your heater, let alone fix it yourself.
So, how do you find the best water heater repair service near you that’s cost-effective?
Well, it all comes down to doing your research. The more time you spend researching water heater repair services near you the more high-quality results you will end up with.
Finding the perfect services is as easy as going to Google and typing in “hot water heater repair near me”. Then, you need to take a look at the few top results that pop up. Most of them will be repair services near the location you live.
Go to their websites, find contact information, call them, check prices, and dig around for any other crucial information you may need.
One of the most important things you should remember is to look at reviews. This is crucial. If the majority of their clients are not happy with their services, chances are you won’t be either.
So, find services that have vastly positive reviews, are within your price range, and can get it fixed as soon as possible.
There’s a rule when it comes to deciding whether it’s worth it to hire a water heater repair service instead of replacing it.
If the repairs cost at least half of what it would cost to buy a new water heater, then it isn’t worth repairing it.
On the other hand, if you don’t have the budget to buy a new water heater then you may be forced to repair your old one, even if it does cost half as much as a brand new one.
To put it into context, a brand new 40-gallon water heater can cost anywhere between $200 and $1500. However, keep in mind that the cost for installation can easily reach above $2000 in addition to buying the unit itself.
The average cost to repair a water heater in 2022 is around $500.
Although prices can vary, you should expect them to go no lower than $200. Depending on the damage, the more time and resources it takes to repair your water heater the more costly it will be.
On the other hand, if it’s just a minor repair that takes only a few minutes to fix then it shouldn’t cost as much.
The main thing to keep in mind is to always buy a new water heater from reliable water heater brands, and never buy a used one.
When it comes to water heaters, it’s important that they work properly and are in good shape before they’re installed. Otherwise, repair costs can accumulate pretty quickly and you’ll most likely never have hot water until it’s completely fixed.
Once you’ve looked around and found a great water heater in stores around your living area, you should hire a licensed plumber to install it. If the store that sold you the heater has included an installment in the price then there’s no need to look for a professional.
The average installment period for a water heater shouldn’t take more than two or three hours. After that’s done, your new water heater replacement will be good to go and heat up some water for your home.
There are several things you can do in order to avoid or at least prolong the need for water heater repair or replacement.
Here are a few tasks you should do regularly and enjoy not having a broken water heater.
It’s important to clean it at least once every year. You should learn how to clean your water heater thoroughly and effectively for the best results.
If you get the chance, cleaning it twice per year can significantly decrease the chances of ending up with a broken water heater over time.
Even though this can be an annoying task, it’s still a very important one. Cleaning your water heater can prevent damage from sediment building up over time. It’s also quite sanitary and can help keep the water safe and hazardless.
Just as important as cleaning the water heater, draining it is also crucial. A simple drain can help more than you may think.
You should flush sediment out of your water heater at least every six months, or twice per year. Keep in mind that doing it more often is obviously better and can help prolong the need for water heater repair.
In addition, it’s not that hard to drain it. For example, a 50-gallon water heater can be drained in anywhere between 30 minutes and up to an hour. If you drain it twice per year, that’s a maximum of two full hours spent draining your water heater per year.
If your water heater is draining much more slowly than that, then you most likely have a problem with clogged drain valves. This is usually the result of built-up sediment from not it on a regular basis.
Bottom line, draining hot water definitely helps keep your water heater protected and working properly for longer.
Tankless water heaters are a bit different from the average hot water heater that requires to be filled up with water that is heated over time.
The upside of a tankless water heater is that they are more cost-efficient over time. They require less money for repair over time, they save more energy, there’s no cleaning hassle, no draining, and they don’t get damaged as often or as easily.
The downside of tankless water heaters is the initial investment. Most tankless water heaters cost significantly more than conventional water heaters with tanks.
When it comes to tankless water heater repair or replacement, here are the most important things to keep in mind.
If, by any chance, you find yourself in need of tankless water heater repair service, it will most likely cost around $600. It may be a similar price as with tank-style water heaters, but it’s much less likely to come to this with tankless ones.
As is the case with most repair services, you should look for the top ones in your local area. However, don’t forget to consider other factors such as price and availability.
Even if you’re hiring the best tankless water heater repair service near you, it still may not be worth it if they charge outrageous prices.
In addition, if your tankless water heater is broken and you’re getting only cold water, it’s also not worth waiting for repairs for a long time, during which you will be left without hot water.
In terms of repair, maintenance, and overall lifecycle, tankless water heaters are better. They can last longer, they don’t have huge tanks that need to be drained and cleaned, and maintenance isn’t as difficult.
Tankless water heaters are much more cost-efficient in terms of energy savings. Energy.gov states that tankless water heaters can save up to 34% more energy annually compared to conventional water heaters.
So, now you have pretty much all the necessary information on how to decide whether to repair your water heater or replace it.
Let’s sum up some of the most important details to be sure. These tips can help you cut down on costs and avoid making crucial mistakes regarding your water heater decisions.