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Considerations When Deciding to Repair or Replace Hot Water Heater

You’ve probably been putting off many things until a later date, such as fixing a leaky sink, reshingling your roof, or repainting. However, making time to repair or replace your hot water heater shouldn’t be on this list.

While you use hot water year-round, the absence of a warm shower in the winter can feel like pure torture. That’s why you should rely on water heater repair services by Champion Plumbing for your water comfort needs. We are experts here in the Oklahoma City Metro area, and we will be there in a heartbeat to diagnose the issue and determine the next best step for you.

When to Repair Your Water Heater

Are you noticing a change in your showers, sinks, or toilets at home? You may be wondering if it’s enough to prompt a professional to repair or replace your hot water heater. Some of the key indicators that you’re looking at a repair rather than a costly replacement are:

  •       Brown or dirty-looking water
  •       Limited hot water
  •       Shifts in water pressure 

Don’t keep waiting and letting the issues worsen.  Immediately repairing these problems will prevent a pricey replacement.  

Brown or Dirty-Looking Water

Sometimes a muddy sediment-rich liquid will come out of the pipes when you turn on the shower or flush the toilet, which should instantly tip you off that you have a problem. Many factors can cause this discoloration, including rust buildup in older galvanized iron pipes, so you should have a professional check your hot water heater.

Typically, water heaters have an internal lining made of glass or porcelain enamel and an anode rod, which reduces sediment buildup. However, after years of use, the lining starts to break down, allowing rust from the water heater to seep into the hot water system.

To alleviate this issue, call an expert to flush out your hot water heater. They’ll do this by attaching a drain to the tank water heater valve and the other end to a bucket. They may replace the anode rod to prevent internal corrosion.

Limited Hot Water

If the water in your bathroom is shifting to a lower temperature mid-shower, this can also indicate that your hot water heater needs flushing. Unwanted cold water can result from sediment clogging the entire unit from the pipes to the inside of the heater itself.

A buildup of sediment can limit the amount of space you have for hot water. When the tank stores less hot water, you end up using the entire supply quickly. Draining the water heater will break down and wash away that pesky sediment. 

Shifts in Water Pressure

Sediment buildup is the cause of many necessary repairs, and a shift in water pressure is no different. Check your pressure valve if your toilet is flushing with less force or the water coming out of your showerhead seems lazy.

You may have leaky or rusty pipes if your pressure reads at 40 pounds per square inch (psi) or lower. Sediment buildup in the pipes or hot water heater can also block water flow, resulting in lower water pressure.

To pinpoint the problem and remedy it correctly, turn to a professional for your water heater repair needs. 

When to Replace Your Water Heater

A repair may be easier and more budget-friendly, but that does not mean a repair is always the most effective solution when it comes to water heater performance. In many cases, replacing your water heater might be the better choice to make. Replacement is often best in the following circumstances:

  •       Your water heater is more than fifteen years old
  •       Your water bills have been getting higher
  •       You’ve noticed a lack of efficiency in your water heater’s operation

Age of Your Hot Water Heater

Look at your system’s age when deciding to repair or replace your hot water heater. If your heater is over ten years old, it has already lived its full lifespan and will likely start surprising you with constant breakdowns. 

Shrugging off a general repair will only lead to more complications down the road. The many moving parts that will continuously need replacing or repairs include:

  •       Glass interior liner
  •       Pilot light
  •       Circuit breaker
  •       Valve
  •       Thermostat
  •       Burner

Each repair may only cost up to $300 at most, but constant maintenance can leave you spending more than opting for a new water heater installation would cost.

High Water Bills

Another indicator that you should replace your hot water tank is if your water bills are increasing drastically. High water bills correlate with the amount of water you use, so you should contact a professional if you’re noticing a spike for no reason.

The R-value may be at R-24 or under with older tanks, meaning poor insulation. Poor insulation allows heat to escape around the water tank, causing the hot water heater to require more heat, increasing your bills. The only solution to this concern is replacing your storage tank with a newer version with a higher R-value.

When looking for a new water heater, consider a solar option. Solar water heaters have double the lifespan of a hot water heater tank or a tankless heater and can last over twenty years!

Lack of Efficiency

Even if your hot water heater is less than ten years old, certain situations can make replacements the better alternative. For one thing, introducing new equipment like a dishwasher, washing machine, or other water fixture adds strain to the hot water system. More family members also add to the demand for hot water, leading to less water heater efficiency.

When issues like these occur, your current water heater size can become a problem. A professional can install a larger and more capable water heater to suit the needs of all family members. 

Champion Plumbing

At Champion Plumbing, we believe in expert service that will get you back to your life as soon as possible! Get assistance to repair or replace your hot water heater, quotes on the cost to replace your system, or ideas for a hot water heater enclosure. Call the best plumbing professionals in Oklahoma City at 405-504-3649 today!

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The next time you need a plumbing contractor, call Champion Plumbing if you’re in the Edmond, OK area at 405-342-3571 and give us the chance to earn your business.