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To Repair or to Replace, That is the Question - Water Heater Edition

Water heaters are a very tempermental piece of equipment and it is pretty difficult to make general statements about them; but we thought we'd try to go over some points of when you might need to start thinking about replacing your water heater. While there are exceptions to every rule (you can always end up with a lemon), water heaters will usually last you from 10-20 years if they are taken care of properly. But one day, your water heater will reach its expiration date, and these are some indications that you are either nearing, or at that time:


One of the most-telling signs that your water heater needs to be replaced is if the tank itself has sprung a leak. Most times you will find a fairly large amount of water around the heater, and unfortunately there is really no other viable option than to replace it. With the tank being filled with water for years on end, it just eats away at the tank and eventually will one day leak; unfortunately it is impossible to know how long each tank will last.


We recommend our customers be wary of putting money into things that may not be worth it. Sometimes you can put a couple hundred dollars into a smaller repair of a leaky connection or pipe, and then a year later the tank finally reaches its breaking point and you have to spend an additional couple thousand dollars this time to replace the whole thing. So when you are making a decision about a water heater, take into consideration if the water heater is over 10 years old; that is a good age to start considering replacement as a reasonable option.


The size of your water heater installed in a home is usually dependant on how many water fixtures in your home need warm water. Most residential heaters in this area are either 40, 50, or 75 gallons. If you have a sizable change (up or down) in number of people in the home, or remodel by adding or taking away fixtures, you may need to look into replacing the water heater to a different size.

On a related note, make sure to check your water heater's warranty. If it is only a couple of years old, you may be able to get a new replacement water heater for free, although you may have to pay for installation

As always, there are exceptions to every rule, so if you have any questions about your water heater or any other fixtures in your home, always feel free to give us a call at our office at 949-858-3818!

Santa Margarita Plumbing, Heating & Air is pleased to serve the communities of Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Robinson Ranch, Foothill Ranch and Rancho Cielo.

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