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Is it Worth it to Repair a Water Heater?

When your water heater stops working, or you start seeing signs that the water heater is going out, you may wonder if it is worth repairing. Repairing a water heater is a good idea. You fix the faulty parts and get hot water running in your home again. But when do you genuinely know whether to repair your water heater? 

What if it frequently breaks down more times than you expected? Do you still repair it, or do you go for another option? This article enlightens you on whether it is worth it to repair a water heater. Before that, let’s consider some factors before you make the decision.

Factors to Consider Before Repairing Hot Water Heater


Many water heaters often have a label on their sides with the estimated cost of operations per year. It would help if you also looked at the R-value of your storage tank. The R-value is an indicator that shows how well your heater can resist heat. If the R-value of your water heater isn’t high enough, you may consider repairing it. However, replacement is a better option if the R-value is less than 24. 


The age of your water heater often determines whether a repair is worth it. The average lifespan of many water heaters is about ten years. If your heater has passed that mark and keeps getting faulty, the repair option is out of the matter. But if your water heater is still new, you can repair it. 

Many water heaters have various lifespans. For instance, an indirect water heater lasts for about ten to eleven years. Meanwhile, a solar water heater lasts for about 20 years. You have to know the average lifespan of your water heater and consider the number of years you have been using it before deciding whether you should repair your water heater or not. 

Ten years is a general guideline. If the tank gets corroded or rusted before ten years, you should consider a replacement rather than a repair.

Cause of Damage

The cause of damage will determine whether your water heater should be repaired or replaced. When damages happen, you should call a technician to inspect the problem and let you know what is truly happening. If a leak requires tightening around the valves, you could get away with a repair. Or if your water heater heats too slowly, a repair is worth it. However, a repair is out of an option if the problem is a rusty tank.

Frequency and Cost of Repair

The frequency and cost of repair are other factors. Here, the general guideline is the 50% rule. The rule states that if the repair costs 50% of the replacement fee, you should consider replacement rather than repair. However, if the repair fee isn’t up to 50% of the replacement fee, then go for the repair. 

Hire a Professional Plumber

Repairing a water heater is good if the odds are in your favor. It would help if you considered the factors discussed here to determine whether a repair is genuinely worth it or not. Otherwise, you may need to speak to a professional plumber to help you decide if it is worth it to repair your water heater.


Master plumber and owner of Butler Plumbing Inc.

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