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The Water Heater Dilemma – Repair or Replace?

Your water heater is one piece of equipment that you seldom think about. As long as you have hot water for your shower and there are no leaks, there should be no reason to give the water heater a lot of thought. However, there will come a time when your water heater isn’t getting the job done. Perhaps all is well but you know it has been a long time since it was replaced and you are wondering if it’s time to look into the health of your water heater. Let us guide you through the process of deciding whether repair or replacement is the right choice, and what your next steps should be.

When is Repairing the Right Choice?

If your water heater is less than 10 years old, and not working exactly as it should, repairing (or even doing a bit of maintenance) may help you get a few more years from the appliance. Repairing can be a smart option in this case–especially if the problem is something that can be fixed easily (such as a malfunctioning thermostat.)

When Should You Replace Your Water Heater?

If your water heater is more than 15 years old, even if it is working fine, it is time to start thinking about replacing the unit. Water heaters are not designed to last longer than this, and the replacement will be less costly and much easier if you get it done before it begins leaking or has a serious problem occur. In addition, if your unit is 10-15 years old and not functioning correctly, or if it is leaking in any way, the clear choice is to replace it.

Benefits of Replacing Your Water Heater

While replacing your water heater may not seem like a fun way to spend a significant amount of money, there are a number of benefits to doing so.

  • More Energy Efficient – New models of water heaters are more energy efficient–saving you money each month in utilities.
  • More Effective – If you are always fighting with the family about who gets a hot shower and who gets stuck with cold water, a new water heater could be a good solution.
  • Avoid Messes – When a water heater goes completely out, there may be leaks or even rapidly flowing water (water heater burst). Avoid the mess and emergency decisions by getting it replaced ahead of time.
  • Better Options – Today, there are more options than ever when it comes to water heaters. You may be able to move to a larger unit that will provide more hot water for a minimal investment. Plus, tankless heaters are a good choice for some families.

Before You Call

Whether you think you are ready to replace the water heater or you believe repair might be a good option, there are a few things you need to have ready before you call a water heater specialist. A few things to have ready include:

  • Make (Brand)
  • Type, such as gas or electric)
  • Model Number
  • Serial Number
  • Size of Tank (usually in gallons)
  • Flue Venting Material (if applicable)

Having this information readily available will help the customer service specialist understand exactly what you have and may help in diagnosing the problem or choosing the best solution. But if you don’t know the answers, don’t worry, we can help figure out the details for you.

If you would like more information about water heater replacement or repair, or if you have any questions, turn to the expert. The team at Nichols Phipps Heating, AC, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help. We are proud to serve Northern Virginia and offer service you can trust–so you can go back to not giving your water heater much thought once again!