Should I Repair or Replace My Water Heater? A Boise Plumber Answers

So you’re probably wondering, “Do I really need to replace my water heater? Or can it be repaired?”

Well, whether you need to repair or replace your water heater depends on the following factors:

  1. The age of your water heater
  2. The type of water heater repair you need
  3. Whether the water heater repair is covered under warranty
  4. If you’re already experiencing hot water problems

We’ll go into more detail about each of these points.

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Factor #1: The age of your water heater

Tank water heaters in Boise last approximately 10–12 years. So if your water heater is approaching the 8-year mark, it may make more sense financially to replace your water heater rather than repair it.

That is, if you decide to repair a water heater that’s 8+ years old, you’re just delaying the inevitable: your water heater is going to die sooner rather than later. So instead of throwing money away on a repair that likely won’t prolong the life of your water heater, it’s usually a better idea to put that money towards a new unit.

Factor #2: The type of water heater repair you need

If the repair is small and inexpensive (less than $500), then you probably don’t need to replace your entire water heater. It’s probably cheaper just to pay for the single repair.

However, if the repair is expensive (over $500) or you’ve frequently faced the same repair, you should consider replacing your water heater—especially if your water heater is old.

Examples of potentially expensive water heater repairs include:

  • Replacing a broken thermocouple
  • Repairing a faulty pressure relief valve
  • Replacing a gas control valve
  • Installing a new electric water heater element (the tubing that heats the water)
  • Fixing leaks (in fact, once the tank is leaking, you’ll need to replace the entire water heater)

Learn more about water heater repairs by reading our article, “How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Tank Water Heater in Idaho?”.

Factor #3: Whether the water heater repair is covered under warranty

If your water heater repair is covered under warranty from the manufacturer, then you probably don’t need to replace your water heater altogether.

You see, many water heater manufacturers cover the cost of important parts if they fail within the first 5–6 years of the water heater’s life. (If you paid for an extended warranty, that time range could be longer.)

So if your broken part is covered, the repair cost will be significantly reduced because you won’t have to pay for the cost of the part, just the labor to replace it.

So, how do you know if your water heater repair is covered under warranty?

Contact the manufacturer or the plumber who installed your water heater. They can help you find out your warranty info.

Factor #4: If you’re already experiencing hot water problems

If you’re experiencing some of the following hot water problems, it may be time to replace your water heater:

  • You have a consistent lack of hot water
  • You have low water pressure
  • Your water heating bills are high

And these signs indicate that either…

  1. Your water heater is getting old and losing efficiency or
  2. Your hot water needs have changed, meaning you need a different size water heater for your home

Repairing a water heater won’t fix those larger underlying issues, so it’s usually better to replace your water heater if you’re experiencing the problems above.

Need a Boise plumber to repair or replace your water heater?

We’ll send over one of our plumbers ASAP to fix your current water heater or install a brand new one—whichever is best for your situation.

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