Replace Your Water Heater, Plumbing Task

My Broken Water Heater Do I Repair It Or Replace It?

Big B's Plumbing - Your Plumber for Life!

Our water heater is one of those appliances that we take for granted. Year after year, they sit in the corner of our garage providing hot water. It isn’t until something goes wrong that we take notice. Most people with old water heaters don’t just replace them because they’re old. We usually wait until the water heater has seen its final day, then we replace it with a new one. We understand, “If it’s not broke, why fix it?” 

Some Signs Your Water Heater Needs Replacing Or Repairing

Consider the age of your water heater when you are deciding to repair it or replace it. Most storage-tank water heaters will last 10 to 12 years. Tankless water heaters have a life expectancy of 20 years or more. But in both cases, you’ll need to consider the maintenance completed.

Rusty hot water can be a sign that your water heater tank is rusting from the inside. Rust in your water heater usually means your anode rod is no longer working. Its purpose is to protect the metal lining from corrosion. It does this through a process called electrolysis. The rod is made of magnesium or aluminum and attracts ions that normally cause rust to the walls of your storage tank. The anode rod will eventually wear out, so homeowners should replace them as part of regular maintenance. 

A rumbling sound in the water heater is another common problem that could occur in your heater. The rumbling sound comes from sediment built up in the tank, and boiling water becomes confined within the sediment producing the rumbling noise. When the water heater DOES NOT receive annual maintenance, sediment will build up, jeopardizing the tank’s efficiency. 

Leaking tank– If your tank is leaking, it could be a faulty temperature-pressure relief valve, also known as a T&P valve. If the leak is coming from the storage tank, it is time to replace your water heater. 

Leaking Hot Water Heater do I replace it or repair it

My Broken Water Heater – Is It Worth The Cost Of Repair?

Age is number one. If your heater is too old, you may not want to invest in it. With that said, if your water heater is less than ten years old and has seen proper maintenance, it may be worth a small investment to have it repaired. Below are some common fixes for a water heater.

  • Heating elements can fail but are easy to replace. Heating elements that exist in electric water heaters can fail, but you can easily replace them. They are responsible for heating your water. The electrical energy passes through the heating element, which heats the water. They could fail well before your heater needs replacing.
  • The pilot light goes out. This too is an easy fix. You don’t have to be a do-it-yourselfer to start your own pilot light. You can see how to start your pilot by following the instructions on the inside door of your water heater.
  • Bad thermocouple. Unless you’re very handy, this is best left to your plumbing contractor. The thermocouple is a safety device that shuts off the gas if the pilot goes out. A bad thermocouple will not allow you to relight your pilot. Without it, your heater cannot generate hot water.
  • The pressure relief valves can go wrong, but they are simple to replace by your plumbing professional. The purpose of your T&P valve is to relieve built-up water pressure in the storage tank. If the relief valve is working as intended, water will be draining to reduce the pressure. However, the T&P valve will also drain if your T&P valve is faulty and needs replacing. In the case of a faulty T&P valve, it’s usually a broken seal; this is another common fix.
  • Replacing the drain valve may be as simple as tightening the valve, or in some cases, it may need replacing. The drain valve is used to drain your tank for maintenance to remove the sediment. If your drain valve is leaking, have the problem diagnosed promptly. 

Water Heater Technology Has Seen Great Advancements

Whether you repair your water heater or replace it, there is still more to know—water heater technology has seen great advancements over the last ten years. Heater manufactured today is as much as 30% more energy-efficient than heaters produced ten years ago. Additionally, they don’t require as much maintenance. Whatever your situation, Big B’s Plumbing will always diagnose the problem and give the customer all options available. We also know that a water heater can break down when you least expect it. So we provide one-year financing with 0% interest, the same as cash. We also have 5-year financing starting as low as 6.99%. We’re an accredited A+ rated plumbing company with the BBB with hundreds of 5-star reviews.

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Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

10 thoughts on “My Broken Water Heater Do I Repair It Or Replace It?”

  1. Just last Wednesday night, I noticed how my water heater was not working during my shower. Now, I am looking to hire services that repair water heaters. I wanted to do some research online first and luckily for me, I came across your very interesting post here. I am most fond of where you elaborated on how the heating elements heat the water, where this may be the issue for me as the water is not being heated up. A great point here, which just goes to show the importance of hiring quality repair services to handle issues like these. Thanks!

  2. We are still deciding whether or not to install a new water heater or repair it. The replacement may be the best option since over the last ten years, heater manufacturing has improved as much as 30% in energy efficiency. This is compared to water heaters produced ten years ago.

  3. I turned on the hot water in my bathroom this morning and the water was rust color. It was the same in my kitchen. Thank you for the advice that this means a water heater needs to be replaced or repaired. I will be sure to contact a professional to help me diagnose the problem and replace the water heater if needed.

  4. I lost pressure on our combo boiler so re pressurized it. Whilst doing this I notice the valve behind the pressure gauge was crusted up. After turning it a bit I’ve noticed a drip every 30 seconds or so. Pressure and system are working fine and this is the first time I’ve had to do this, is this a problem and shall I get someone out or is there anything I can do myself? Thanks

  5. Phew! You have no idea just how grateful I am the moment I read that there are various replacements of our water heater valves in case we find repairing them to be even more costly eventually. I’ll let my sister know about this so she can solve her problem quickly. The heater in her apartment bathroom has been broken since the day before yesterday and she doesn’t really know what to do now.

  6. Thank you for explaining how you may want to invest in a new water heater if it’s too old. I’ve been thinking that it might be time to replace our water heater since it has been repaired a lot and with more frequency in the last few years. I think that it might be around twelve years old so I’ll start looking into some replacements.

  7. It was good to learn that another frequent issue that could affect your water heater is a rumbling noise. The heater in my room hasn’t worked properly since last week, and I have no idea how to fix it. I’ll need to consult with a specialist to seek advice on maintaining and repairing my heater. I really like the article.

  8. Thanks so much for talking about different common problems your water heater could have. My aunt has had trouble with her water heater leaking and she can’t figure out why. She’s hoping the tank isn’t broken but she’s been thinking about calling a professional down to see what the problem is and possibly fix it.

  9. It’s good to know that most tank water heaters have a life expectancy of 10-12 years. My husband and I have noticed recently that our water heater hasn’t been working very well lately and is starting to not work at all on some days. Since it is about 10 years old, we’ll have to look into having it replaced soon so we can have hot water again.

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I called Big B's Plumbing because I the hot water would not turn off in our master bathroom. I tried to turn the valve off under the sink and it broke off, so I had to shut off the main water to the house. It was noticeable the valves were original to the home. When I called, the rep stated that I would be informed about the service tech and their experience along with services offered "On The Spot". I was on a bit of a time crunch...
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Found them on Google and they had good quality reviews. Made the call and set up the appointment for same day. Dispatch called me a few hours later to confirm our appointment and let me know that the technician Mathew was on the way. This was supposed to be an easy job once Mathew arrived. But it turned out to be so much more than that. Without hesitation or a sour look on his face, he dove deep into his van...
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Randy was very knowledgeable and professional. He helped us figure out what we could do with the space given for our bathroom with our remodel. He picked out perfect fixtures and the work he did was beautiful. The cleaned up properly when they were done and everything was handled in one day! I will be calling for Randy anytime we have any plumbing needs. Thank you for doing such a great job!
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