As you start the new year, you’ll probably have a list of home improvements you’d like to make. Is “get a new water heater” on that list? If it’s not, should it be? The water heater for your house is one of its most important appliances, and it consumes a significant amount of the energy you use during the year. If your current water heater looks like it’s at the end of the road, you should have it replaced as soon as you can schedule it.
But … how can you know that the water heater is ready to be replaced?
The Water Heater’s Age
Check the water heater’s label to find its manufacture date if you aren’t sure how long you’ve had it. A gas-powered storage-tank water heater can last for 15 to 20 years, and electric systems may go a bit longer. Even if the water heater is still working well, we recommend replacing it if it’s older than 20 years—you’ve already got a great return on investment from it, and you can head off numerous future problems with a new system.
The Cost to Run the Water Heater
Since you use the water heater almost every day, it makes up a large portion of your gas or electric bills. When a water heater starts to decline, it will consume more energy to do the same amount of work, and this will be reflected in higher bills. When energy costs start to rise without explanation, look into getting a new water heater.
A Drop in Hot Water Volume
This is one of the big “tells” that a water heater is near the end of its service life. When people in the household are finding that they’re going without hot showers in the morning when this was never a problem before, it’s a major warning of a water heater that’s close to failing.
Corrosion of any kind is the biggest enemy of a water heater. If corrosion occurs on a part as the heat exchanger, the system may be salvaged by replacing that part. However, corrosion along with the tank almost certainly means the whole system must be replaced.
If you’re calling for repairs more than once a year to keep the water heater running, that’s too much. Any single repair with a price tag higher than half the cost of a replacement water heater is also too much.
Ask a Professional
The best way to know if it’s time to stop repairing your current water heater and make the leap to a new one is to consult with a professional. A technician familiar with different types of water heaters can analyze the unit and balance out the cost of continuing with repairs and the cost of putting in a new system. The professional can also help you make decide what type of new water heater you want if the choice is a replacement. You may benefit from going with a tankless water heater or a heat pump water heater.
You can rely on Mark Carpenter Plumbing to handle your water heater in Portales, NM, whether it’s a repair or a replacement.