Water Heater Repair Or Replacement? Making The Choice For An Older Unit | Normal, IL

Photo By fizkes at istock

Your water heater seems to have failed, and there’s no hot water to be had. Resetting the circuit breaker or checking the pilot light doesn’t seem to help, either. It’s time to call for a water heater repair, but you stop and think: just how old is this unit? How long will it last? Would it be wise to replace it now rather than investing in water heater repairs for a unit that’s near the end of its service life? At Covenant Plumbing, we understand that homeowner’s decisions can be challenging, involving many factors. We’re here to provide the information our customers in the Normal, IL area need, and the water heater repair or installation services that are right for them.

Consider the Age and Condition of Your Unit

The magic number for most electric hot water heaters is ten years, with some lasting a bit longer, others a few years less. Gas-fired units tend to last closer to eight years. The key issue is tank corrosion, which is affected by your water quality and the upkeep of the unit’s anode rod which helps to prevent corrosion as well as discouraging the growth of bacteria in the tank. If your water heater repair and maintenance services have been taken care of by our team, we can help with information about whether it is likely to need multiple repairs based on its age, too, or whether they have recently been performed. If your unit is already beginning to leak and the water is not coming from the pressure relief valve, it may simply be time to replace it before things get worse and cleanup is required.

Check for Simple Solutions to Your Problem

A simple question before any water heater repair related to a lack of hot water is whether the heating unit has the gas or electricity that it needs. For electric units, checking the circuit breaker can provide a quick answer and possible solution, and for gas units, the pilot light and gas supply are the concerns. An important note, though: if you’re having to reset the breaker frequently or restart the pilot light, it’s time for a water heater repair visit to see why it’s happening so often.

What Is the Price of Waiting a Bit Longer?

The biggest concern with older hot water heaters is the risk of a major leak requiring cleanup of your basement or another area where it is located. As the unit gets older and the tank corrodes, the risk of a major leak increases. If the pressure relief valve isn’t checked regularly, it may not be ready to address rising pressure in the tank should it occur, presenting a risk of eventual bursting of the tank and further damage. Of course, a planned water heater replacement is a lot easier for many reasons, including scheduling it at a convenient time and avoiding cleanup and other factors as part of the process. A quick, efficient replacement gets your family’s hot water back on line promptly as well. Hot water supply can be a big deal in a larger family with showers, dishwashers, and washing machines all working hard and depending on reliable hot water.

What Kinds of Diagnosis and Repair Will It Need?

Another factor to be taken into account in deciding to replace your unit or perform hot water heater repairs is the cost of diagnosis and repair. Fortunately, our team is highly experienced with water heater repair work, and we can offer some information on what these costs might be so you can balance your costs and see what works for you. If replacing a heating element or thermostat will add life to your unit that is otherwise doing well, you might decide that’s the way to go so you can plan the timing of the replacement unit. Don’t forget that a new unit often provides additional energy efficiency over the old one, so you might want to consider that in your calculations.

Has It Been Recently Repaired, or are There Frequent Problems?

If your unit is having frequent trouble, that might be an incentive to just go ahead and replace it, rather than investing in further repairs for a unit whose tank is reaching its end of service life. If your tank is in decent shape and you’ve invested in major repairs recently, you can also use that investment to buy some time and spend the time you need to select a new unit when replacement time comes.

How Heavily Do You Depend on Your Hot Water Heater?

To reinforce the point, when your family depends on hot water in many ways and a hot water heater failure would be significantly disruptive to your lifestyle, planned replacement can be a big help. Failures are often messy, and getting the replacement unit you want and installing it can involve compromises. We do our best to serve you no matter what happens, but why not schedule a quick hot water heater swap at a time that’s right for you?

Considering Options for Replacement and Their Advantages

When you have the time to decide on a new hot water heater for your replacement, you can schedule the replacement and look at your options for units with a bit more capacity, increased energy efficiency, and other features that may provide improvements over your existing unit. Our team can help you research your options and understand any new features offered, so that you get a unit that will serve your family well for the future.

For Water Heater Repair and Maintenance in Normal, IL, and All Your Other Plumbing Needs

We’re Covenant Plumbing, your local family-owned and operated full-service plumber serving Normal, IL and the surrounding area with the highest quality service every time. Our team is friendly, dedicated, and ready to help you understand and make decisions about your home’s plumbing. Give us a call and get to know us.

Skip to content