You are ready to shower. You have no hot water. You go to check on the problem. You discover your utility room floor is flooded. As you stand there ankle-deep in water, you think, “When is a good time to replace my water heater?”
That’s a great question, but maybe not the best time to ask it.
Unless you’ve just run out of hot water, you normally don’t think much about water heaters. But, if you own one, you will eventually need to think about it. The amount of thought we recommend you give to water heaters depends on the age of your unit.
Is your water heater less than 5 years old? If so, you probably still have a few years before you need to consider the “When to replace water heater?” question. The average lifespan of a storage tank-type water heater is 6-8 years for gas units and 8-10 years for electric units.
Water heater more than 5 years old? It’s time to start thinking about the “Replace?” question.
If your water heater is more than 10 years old, it’s definitely time to develop a replacement plan.
If you properly maintain a tank-type water heater with fairly low usage and soft water, your unit could last 10-15 years or more. However, the problem with keeping major appliances too long is that you lose the benefits of energy-saving technology.
Each generation of home appliances becomes much more energy-efficient than the previous generation. If your current water heater (or refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.) is older than 10 years, it is nowhere near as efficient as a new model. The long-term savings derived from new energy-efficient appliances help offset their inevitable upfront cost.
Keep an eye out for these signs that it might be a good time to replace your water heater:
No one likes to buy a water heater. Yet, $2 billion is spent each year on new water heaters. Reality dictates that most people will need to consider buying a water heater sooner or later. So, let’s deal with some realities:
If you are ankle-deep in water and holding a mop, now is the right time to replace your water heater. If you are still on dry land, the best time to replace your water heater is based on a combination of the signs and realities above. The lifetime of any unit depends on its usage, care, and the condition of the water.
If you are faced with a potential repair bill that’s near 50% of the replacement cost, you’re probably better off long-term with a new energy-efficient water heater. If your water tank is not too old and is still in good shape, the right plan for the next few years might be continued maintenance and minor repairs.
An important part of making a decision to replace your water heater at the right time is that you pay attention to it. Show it some love every once in a while, in exchange for those nice hot showers you enjoy so much. If you would like more information about repairing, maintaining, or replacing your water heater, please contact us.