Your electric or gas water heater is having problems. It’s not working as well as it used to or maybe not at all. Should you repair it or should you replace it?

That’s a common question we get from homeowners across the Atlanta, Georgia area.

Let’s break it down so that we can help you make the best decision possible for your situation.

Should You Replace or Repair Your Water Heater?

The main cause of most water heater problems are due to age. In general, if your water heater is more than 10 years old we recommend that you consider purchasing a new one. According to InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) – gas water heaters have a lifespan of 6 – 12 years. So, if your water heater has approached this time span – it may not be worth it, monetarily, to repair it.

It’s recommended that you discuss the problem with your plumber to determine the best solution.

The good news is that water heaters have very few moving parts. So, there’s not that much that can go wrong with them. But, that does not mean you are out of the woods completely.

Here are the most common issues that would require repair work on your water heater:

  • A broken or sticky valve
  • The burner or heating element breaks down
  • Circuit breaker trips (if it’s an electric water heater)
  • Pilot light flickers or goes out
  • Thermostat breaks down

A professional plumber can diagnose and fix any of these problems. But – it’s important to point out that if your water heater is between 6 and 12 years old – well – you may be better off getting a new one. It doesn’t make sense to put new parts into an old water heater that may, in a few months or in the next year develop problems with other parts and require more repair work.

We recommend that you use the 50% rule. Which states that if a repair ends up costing more than 50% of what it would cost for a new product, then consider replacing it versus repairing it.

Average Cost To Replace A Water Heater

On average (according to the average cost to replace a hot water heater is about $600.00 to $800.00.

Another factor to consider is the warranty on your water heater. If it’s past it’s prime it may not be under warranty any longer and in this case – it may be wiser to purchase a new unit. Even if the cost to repair it is not very high. Even though there are not many moving parts that could break down, the fact is that the unit will be getting older and older – it’s inevitable that something else will break down. It’s just a matter of time.

Is It Time To Go Tankless?

It’s worth your time, if you are replacing your water heater tank to consider a Tankless Water Heater. We’ve written an article listing the pros and cons of tankless water heaters and it’s worth noting that although they may initially be more costly than the traditional units – if you are planning to stay in your home for a good length of time – a tankless unit will save you in the long run.

If you have any questions about your water heater, if you are considering replacing it or if you need repair work on it, call the professional plumbers at Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.