Should You Repair or Replace That Water Heater
The short answer is: if it’s rusted, replace it, otherwise, repair it. The longer, more nuanced answer is that it depends. The choice to repair instead of replace can either be a sensible reaction that saves thousands of dollars or a life-threatening mistake. It is good to be familiar with the common causes of water heater replacements, so that you can tell when it’s time to call in a pro, and so you can tell whether or not you’re getting conned when you do call a pro.
Things You Could Try to Fix on Your Own
If the water is simply not heating up, the first easy-fixes to check for are an extinguished pilot light or tripped circuit. Any point of your heater’s lifespan could require you to reignite a pilot light or reset the breaker, though perhaps especially after a power failure.
Any leaks from the top or joints of the heater may be easy fixes, too. It might just be a case of tightening a nut or valve. Though, if the unit is leaking from the bottom, then this is a sign the whole heater needs replacement, which calls for a professional. Do not mistake overflow from the temperature and pressure relief valve as a bottom-leak. Water is expelled from the t-shaped T&P valve and usually lands on the floor next to the heater. If your T&P valve comes with an attached lever be sure to flip it about every three months to prevent corrosion. If it is difficult to flip the switch, the valve may be corroded. You could try to replace it on your own, but we are entering the territory of fixes best left to an expert on that one.
Things You Should Call in a Pro For
In addition to T&P valves, the gas valves that supply the heater can also be a procedure best left to an expert. Both fixes may be called for when you’re noticing temperature irregularities in your water. But neither point directly to total replacement of the unit.
Replacement is the best call when you are looking to upgrade your water heater anyway, or when the machine is no longer safe to operate no matter the fixing of individual parts. This is usually brought on by rust or erosion, which is often visible either directly or indirectly through leaks. The average lifespan of a water heater is 7-10 years. If you have hard water treatment, those numbers could be halved.
If you need further assistance when it comes to water heaters or any of your plumbing needs, call (440) 283-9377 to get in touch with Ohio Buckeye Plumbing – trusted family plumbers for over twenty years!