Conventional water heaters are simple. Cold water enters the tank and is heated by an electric element or gas burner. A thermostat regulates the temperature, usually 120 to 140 degrees. As the water heats, pressure builds inside the tank. When you turn on a tap, pressure sends hot water out the faucet.
Because water heaters contain few moving parts, only a few things can go wrong.
- Pilot light on gas water heater flickers out.
- Circuit breaker for an electric heater trips.
- Burner or heating element fails.
- Theromostat breaks.
- Valve sticks.
Repairing or replacing any of those parts is relatively inexpensive: A plumber can do the job for $150 to $300. But if the tank is more than 10 years old, or if it’s leaking, a new water tank likely is in your future.
When Replacement is Your Only Choice
Over time, water minerals react with steel, corroding water heater tanks. When water heaters spring a leak, repair isn’t an option.
On the bright side, modern water heaters are far more energy-efficient than older models. Manufacturers now inject foam insulation between the tank and its outer shell, resulting in higher heat retention. New glass liners make tanks less prone to corrosion.
You’ll pay $500 to $1,500 to purchase and install a new conventional storage unit. A high-efficiency model that meets Energy Star standards saves up to 20% in energy costs.
Tankless, heat pump, and solar water heaters offer even bigger savings and also qualify for a federal tax credit. These products could cost three to five times more to buy and install, so consider payback carefully.
Maintain Your Water Heater
Whether you repair or replace, water heaters will perform better and last longer if you flush the tank once a year to remove sediment. A bonus: Without all that gunk inside, your water heater will operate more efficiently, saving you money.
Also, check the anode rod — sometimes called the sacrificial rod — every three years. An aluminum or magnesium probe inside the tank, it collects corrosive elements and should be replaced when caked or eaten away. A new one costs about $30.
Stay on top of these simple maintenance tasks and you can avoid thinking about water heaters again for a long time.
Why Choose AAA Select Plumbing?
No appliance in your home can last forever. It is important to weigh the cost of repair with the cost of replacement to determine what is the most cost effective option for your home. For older hot water heaters, especially those over 20 years old, it is time to replace them to save you money and energy in the long run. With water heater repairs, it is recommended to only continue serving appliances under 10 years old if they continue to have issues.
Best Plumber Near Humble, TX
AAA Select Plumbing is here to help home and business owners get the most out of their plumbing. From simple plumbing repairs to full-blown plumbing remodels, our team of dedicated plumbing professionals is here to help you find the best plumbing solutions for your unique space.