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Should You Repair or Replace Your Water Heater?

Water Heater
Generally, water heaters have a lifespan of eight to ten years and with time, even the most well-maintained heater will succumb to normal wear and tear. Standard repairs can fix many water heater problems, but sometimes replacing your heater might be a smarter investment.
Here are important considerations to make if you are weighing between repairing and replacing your hot water heater.
Capacity
A water heater should provide enough hot water for your home. If your family has grown and your daily hot water needs have increased, consider installing a new heater with the capacity to provide sufficient hot water.
To choose the right size heater, consider the first-hour rating and the energy factor. The first-hour rating defines the amount of water the heater can provide during the high-peak times in your house, which is typically mornings and evenings.
The energy factor is an indication of the heater's energy efficiency. A heater with a high energy-factor will warm water more efficiently. You will find both ratings on the appliance's label.
Be careful not to buy a heater that is too large for your hot water needs. An excessively large storage water heater will require energy to warm water that you will not use, costing you more in utilities.
Efficiency
The U.S. Department of Energy says that on average, water heating makes up 18 percent of a home's energy costs. With time, your water heater will become less efficient at warming water to the desired temperature. 
If you have to turn the shower further to get the water to warm up, the heater may be losing its efficiency. An inefficient water heater will certainly put a dent in your pocket as you contend with unusually high energy bills.
A wrongly calibrated or malfunctioned thermostat or a faulty heating element could impede on the heater's efficiency. A professional plumber can repair these faults and restore your hot water supply in no time.
If the components are working properly but the heater still takes an unusually long time to warm water, the appliance might be at the end of its service and you should consider installing a new one.
Ownership Cost
The ownership cost refers to the cost of operating, maintaining, and repairing an appliance. A relatively new heater is typically low-maintenance and requires only a few occasional repairs. The cost of ownership tends to increase as an appliance nears the end of its life.
If your heater breaks down too often and you are increasingly paying more out-of-pocket costs for repairs, now might be a good time to install a new water heater. Expensive repairs may not be the best use of your money especially if the heater is more than a decade old. A reputable plumber will tell you the type of repairs that will provide better value.
Technology
Tankless water heaters are an increasingly popular option for availing hot water in the home. When repairing your storage water heater is no longer feasible, consider upgrading to a tankless water system for on-demand hot water.
Admittedly, the upfront cost of a tankless water heater is comparably higher. However, you will benefit from instant hot water, space saving, and greater energy efficiency, which will reflect on your energy bill. 
If yours is a relatively new heater with minor occasional breakdowns, localized repairs should restore your hot water supply. However, if the appliance is old, clunky, and inefficient, replacing might give you a better return on investment.
If you are looking for professional water heater repair or installation in San Leandro and surrounding areas, call Souza & Viviani Plumbing today. We will provide a free consultation and estimate before recommending solutions for your water heating system.
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