Skip navigation

Serving the East Bay and Tri Valley Areas Since 2001


Comfy Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. Blog

Repair vs. Replacement: How to Know When Your Water Heater Has Had Enough

Technician repairing a water heater.

Your water heater is having trouble again, and you’re wondering how expensive this next repair is going to be. It could be more than you expect if your water heater is on its last leg.

There are a few things you need to know about your current water heater that will help you find out if this is a repair call, or if you need water heater replacement to fix the problem.

If It’s Been Between 8 and 12 Years

Water heaters aren’t meant to last forever. A traditional tank water heater will last for around 8 to 12 years on average. This can vary depending on a number of factors, some of which will be outside of your control.

  • How much regular use your water heater gets.
  • Which brand of water heater you have.
  • Quality of the original installation.

These factors may only attribute small changes to your water heater’s lifespan. Normally, any water heater that’s lasted for more than 12 years should be replaced even if it still functions properly for the sake of energy efficiency.

It should be noted that tankless water heaters have an average lifespan of 20 years or more, and are more energy efficient than tank water heaters. If you plan on being in your home for the next decade or longer, this upgrade may come at a perfect time as your current tank water heater fails.

If You’re Paying 50% or More for Repair Than the Cost of a Replacement

There’s a certain point where the repair costs simply are not worth it anymore. Because every component undergoes different levels of wear and tear, many can break at the same time if you have an older water heater and there isn’t a record of maintenance and part replacements.

If a single repair job is expected to cost more than half of the cost of a new water heater, a replacement is in order. This won’t be the last set of repairs you pay for since the rest of the unit is on its last leg as well.

If There’s Poor History of Cleaning and Maintenance

Water heaters require annual maintenance to even reach the height of their expected lifespan. Without a proper history of cleaning and maintenance, you have no way of knowing how much wear and tear there is on the tank, or what damage has been caused to the heating element by sediment buildup over time.

Some homeowners see maintenance as an unnecessary expense and fail to schedule annual appointments. If you don’t know the entire history of your water heater from the time it was installed, there’s a chance it won’t last for the full amount of time.

Sunset That Old Water Heater

Your water heater has been there through thick and thin, but it’s just too much to repair now. Time for an upgrade. A new water heater can offer additional benefits such as improved energy efficiency and a higher capacity if your home can handle it.

Contact us today to replace your water heater if your current one has seen its final days of use. Your comfort shouldn’t suffer.

Comments are closed.