Water Heater Repair: Do it Yourself Or Call a Professional?

If you own an electric water heater and it is more than ten years old, it could be time to consider replacing your appliance. A lot of people, including some in the repair business, think that water heaters are only useful during the summer months. While they work to keep water inside your home during those months, they do not do as good of a job keeping water inside in the winter when the temperatures dip below freezing. In fact, if you live in part of the country where winters are cold and summers are hot, you may find yourself constantly needing to use your heater to keep the water inside the house warm enough to use it.

With all that said, let’s look at the different ways water heater repair can be done. The initial cost of your hot water heater repair job, one of the more important aspects will likely be what part needs work. The cost of each individual part can vary greatly depending on different things such as model and make. In this section, a general cost for replacement parts will be provided. As always, you should consult with a trained plumber for the best estimates.

One possible way to repair the heater is to simply replace the tank that holds the liquid. The tank typically consists of a copper tube and a brass cover. If there is an obvious problem, such as rust forming around the brass cover, it is often possible to just remove the metal and replace it with new. If you are confident about the integrity of the brass cover, you could try a hot water test to determine whether the cover will warp before having it replaced. Of course, this will cost you extra since you will need to buy a new tank and install it.

If the problem is more severe, you may have to replace the entire tube or at least some of the parts that were damaged. Sometimes, water heater repairs involving replacing the entire unit will include replacement parts such as valves and thermostats. Your plumber may charge you for the parts separately.

There are many situations that will indicate when it is time to consider replacing your water heater. If it is more than seven years old, it is probably too old to provide adequate heating for your home. Other common reasons include low efficiency, high initial cost, and poor performance over time. If your unit does not run very efficiently or effectively, it may actually be a good idea to replace it. Otherwise, you will likely only be paying for the high cost of repairing it.

Another situation that may indicate repairing the unit is if the pressure valve or the tank seals develop cracks or leakages. This can sometimes be fixed by simply installing some new gaskets. However, if the damage is more severe, it may require removing the tank entirely and replacing it with a new one. You should never attempt to repair any damage to the pressure valve or the pressure tank unless you are an experienced professional.

In most cases, repairing heaters is going to end up costing more than replacing them. For this reason, you should make sure that you understand exactly what you are doing before attempting to repair it. The cost can be significantly higher than purchasing a new one, and you can avoid wasting money if you take the time to do a little research before making your decision.

There is no question that the majority of water heater repairs are relatively simple. If you can follow simple instructions and perform basic maintenance, you can usually fix most problems yourself. However, it is also important to remember that repairing your system can void any warranty you might have left. If you need immediate service, it may be a good idea to contact a professional water heater repair service to make sure that your heating unit is properly functioning.