Should I Repair or Replace My Tank Water Heater?

December 19, 2018

Have water heater problems?

If so, you probably want to weigh your options and decide if you should repair your water heater or replace it.

We’ll help you figure out what you should do.

You should probably replace your tank water heater if you notice the following 5 signs:

  1. Your water heater is 10+ years old

  2. You need frequent repairs

  3. The tank is leaking

  4. You’re getting rust-colored hot water

  5. Your warranty has expired

In this article, we’ll explain why these 5 signs indicate you should consider replacing your tank water heater.

Let’s start with #1...

Want to have a plumber give you a recommendation?

Sign #1: Your water heater is 10+ years old

Here in Tampa, tank water heaters are only designed to last 10–15 years. Some live longer than that if they were well-maintained and had annual flushing (to remove sediment buildup from the tank).

So if your water heater is 10+ years old, it’s nearing the end of its natural life—especially if it hasn’t been well-maintained. Since it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to replace your old one, if you’re facing an expensive repair, you should consider replacing your water heater altogether.

Sign #2: You need frequent repairs

Frequent repairs are a sign your water heater is on the verge of breaking down—for good.

You see, water heaters have several parts that all work together to heat your home’s water. When one part fails, it puts extra stress on other parts, causing them to wear out faster.

When all of these parts start to fail at once, you’re getting a clear message: You need a new water heater.

You can learn more about water heater repairs by reading our blog, “How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Water Heater in Florida?.”

Sign #3: The tank is leaking

A leaking tank is the most expensive type of water heater repair, often costing upwards of $1,000 to fix.

Since the cost of a new tank water heater usually starts at around $1,000, in most cases it makes more sense to replace your water heater than to repair it.

Sign #4: You’re getting rust-colored hot water

Are you getting rust-colored water from your hot water faucets?

If so, that could be a sign that rust is forming on the inside of your tank, which is a sign that your tank is deteriorating. Like we mentioned above, a deteriorating tank is expensive to fix, so you’re probably better off replacing it altogether.

Note: Be sure the rust-colored water is coming ONLY from the hot water taps, not the cold water ones. Rusty water coming from both the cold and hot water taps means you may have rusty pipes (instead of a rusty tank).

Sign #5: Your warranty has expired

Most new water heaters come with a limited parts warranty from the manufacturer. This limited warranty will cover the cost to replace a faulty part for 5 to 10 years (depending on the manufacturer).

However, if your limited parts warranty has expired, you’ll be fully responsible for the cost of the repair. Since some parts are expensive (like a thermocouple or thermostat), you might be better off replacing your unit instead of repairing it.

To find your limited parts warranty, search for your water heater model number on the manufacturer website or contact the manufacturer directly.

Note: Most water heater manufacturers require homeowners to follow specific guidelines in order for the water heater parts warranty to be valid. These guidelines include:

  • Registering your water heater with the manufacturer within 90 days after it was first installed

  • Providing proof your water heater was regularly maintained by a certified plumber

  • Replacing faulty parts only with authorized parts from the manufacturer

Need a tank water heater repair? Or need a new water heater?

We can help in either situation.

We’ll send one of our trusted plumbers to repair your water heater or replace it. When you hire us, you’ll get:

  • 24/7 service

  • Upfront pricing on repairs and installs

  • Punctual plumbers (if we don’t show up within the promised timeframe, we’ll pay you $100)

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