How do we decide whether to repair our water heater or replace it?
Age of water heater:
The primary factor in whether to repair vs replace is the age of the water heater. Depending on the brand, yes all water heaters are not created equal, contrary to belief. That means you can expect a lower life span from a water heater bought at a box store. Water heaters bought from plumbing warehouses are usually from large plumbing companies specializing in water heaters will last much longer and provide better overall efficiency.
Running out of hot water:
Aside from having the right size water heater to meet you hot water demands, running out of hot water can ruin someone’s day. If your water heater is sized correctly and you still run out of hot water, repairs might not improve your situation for very long. Consider the water repair cost vs. how long will the repair lasts, before the next no hot water occurrence. This is the million dollar question. If the repair lasts for a few years great, if lasts two days, you just threw money up the flue for nothing and you still need to replace the water heater. Use the magic 8 ball to answer this one because no one knows that answer.
How long are you going to live there:
If you’re planning on leaving, then water heater repairs might be the way to go for you. If you are going to be there for some time, more than a couple of years then replacing your water heater might be your move. Some things to consider; when selling your home it must meet code requirements, so having a new water heater installed might assist you. In addition having a new water heater will lower the energy footprint and lower energy costs which is a great selling point to potential owners. On the other hand the new owners might want to install a tankless water heater and you throw money done on nothing.
Today’s Repair Costs:
This is where you really need your calculator. As a rule, if your repair costs or more than 1/3 of the replacement costs than do it. Replace that water heater with a new, more efficient water heater and save some money on the monthly water heater bills. Plus, you might not be sure how long the water heater repair will last anyway.