Your water heater tank and its components are usually far from your mind...until there is a problem with your home water supply.
Nothing is worse than stepping into the shower on a cold morning, only to find there is no hot water.
Except maybe when you notice that there is a large pool of water all over the floor near your water heater, and you don't have the slightest idea how it came to be there.
What should you do now? Can the heater be repaired, or will you have to invest in a brand-new water heater?
Read on to learn about water heater repair and replacement, and which is the best choice for your Regina home.
How Old is Your Water Heater?
There are some factors to consider when trying to decide whether to repair your water heater or to go ahead and purchase a new model.
The biggest factor is the age of the unit. Experts say that traditional water heater tanks are good for 10 years. Tankless units last a little longer, sometimes as long as 20 years. The serial number on the unit will tell you the year your unit was produced if you are not sure about the age.
Your energy costs are another sign that your water heater is failing. Check your water heating bills for new increases, especially if your unit is older.
Once your heater is in the second half of its lifespan, you should be on the lookout for other signs like rusting, unusual noises, drips or leaks of any size, or a lowering of water temperature. Signs like this call for the help of a professional plumber.
Water Heater Repair Costs
The cost to repair your water heater will vary by your location and the severity of the problem. Here is a partial list of repairable items:
$75-$470 to fix pipe leaks. Leaks are always an issue since they cause messes and only lead to bigger problems. Pipe leaks are important to address right away.
$200–$605 to remove sediment. Sediment and limescale will eventually settle in the walls and bottom of your tank. This may cause overheating of the system or increase the tank’s pressure, causing leaks or cracks. Removing these sediments is referred to as "flushing" the system.
$240–$650 to replace a broken igniter. The igniter lights the fuel in your unit, which is responsible for generating hot water. If it doesn't work, you will not have heat.
$310–$875 to replace the tank. If your unit is overheating or leaking, your tank most likely has too much pressure and needs to be replaced.
If your heater is less than 6 years old and is still under warranty, repair costs may be much less, so be aware of any warranties you may have on the unit.
Since the average cost to replace an entire water heater runs around $1400, you should consider a replacement if your total repair costs run more than $700 or if you have consistent repair needs.
Purchasing a Water Heater
If repair costs are too high, it's time to replace the water heater.
The good news is that today's water heaters are much more energy-efficient than older models. A high-efficiency model that meets Energy Star standards saves up to 20% in energy costs.
Other options include a tankless water heater, a solar water heater, or even a hybrid. These models are also money savers in the long run, although you will pay more for them upfront. If your water usage is high, the initial cost may be offset in energy savings.
Know what size of tank you need for your home. A one or two-person household needs a 30-40 gallon tank, while 5 or more in the home will need 50-80 gallons. Make sure your new water heater is not too large in dimension for the area it will occupy in your home.
Your plumber will be able to guide you in choosing a suitable water heater for your home. Also, look at reviews from unbiased sources, as well as from friends and family. Word-of-mouth is often the best advertisement.
Water Heater Installation
Although handy people may want to try to install their new water heater themselves, you are better off having your heater installed professionally, for a variety of reasons:
Professional plumbers will know how to install all makes and models
Professional plumbers will know to adhere to building codes and regulations
A professional will guarantee their work and the parts they use
A professional will give you a written estimate for the cost of installation upfront
Incorrect installation can cause problems, like water damage, scalding hot water, or even a fire. Having a trusted plumber on your speed dial is your best plan for repairing or replacing a water heater, so you can stop worrying about future water problems or DIY disasters.
Keep Problems Away With Routine Maintenance
No matter the age of your water heater, a yearly check-up is recommended to stay ahead of any potential problems your unit might experience.
The checkup should include an inspection, flushing of the system to drain sediment, tightening all valves and connections, as well as a check for possible leaks or corrosion in the pipe or tank system.
Keep your water heater's thermostat at 50 degrees, and leave two feet of clearance around the unit. A drain pan underneath the unit will catch any water, should a leak occur.
Staying on top of your heater's maintenance will ensure your heater lives a full life and provides you with hot and cold water on demand.
The Best Choice for Your Regina Home
Now that you know what factors to consider when deciding to repair or replace your water heater, contact us for more recommendations, advice, and assistance in your decision process.
Our professional staff will be able to assist you with your water heater repair or install your new heater quickly and affordably, so you can continue to enjoy energy-efficient water usage in your Regina home.