When to Repair and When to Buy: Water Heaters

Most people think of heater repair Los Angeles clients as being thin blooded, but Los Angeles dipped down into the low 20’s in early 2013. Heater repair Los Angeles calls are becoming more and more frequent during our winter months, but here are some tips on when it’s time to replace instead of repair:

1. You Notice a Loss of Hot Water

This is arguably the most obvious sign that you will need to replace your hot water heater; it is also the easiest to detect. If you suspect that your hot water heater isn’t providing the hot water it once did, don’t just take this as a sign that you need to cut your shower time down from 10 minutes to three. While you may be conservative and conscientious in your water usage, it is another situation to needlessly suffer through lukewarm showers on chilly days.

2. You Notice Dirty or Foul-Smelling Water

The first thing you should do if you notice dirty water or water that smells bad is to check with your neighbors to see if they are encountering the same issue. If it turns out that you are the only one who has been gifted with mud-colored water that you would rather flush than drink, it may be a sign that you need to replace your water heater.

3. Your Water Heater is Leaking

A pool of water, a puddle or signs of moisture surrounding other appliances is not normally cause for alarm, but if you cannot find or locate the source of a leak on a hot water heater, you risk causing extensive water damage to your home and injuries if anyone is standing nearby when the unit finally springs a leak. For these reasons, it is always a good idea to check your hot water heater for signs of leaks. Minor situations can be repaired, but in order to prevent any serious issues and ensure proper performance, it is often recommended that you replace your water heater completely if you notice major leaking.

4. Your Water Heater is Old

Electric water heaters typically last between 10 and 15 years while gas water heaters end their run between eight and 12 years. While tankless water heaters last the longest and are estimated to deliver service for up to 20 years, if your water heater is an old clunker, it may be time to replace the unit. Since you can’t slice the heater in half to count the rings and determine its age, take a look at the serial number instead. The first numbers indicate the year in which it was manufactured. For example, a four-digit serial number beginning with “1101” indicates that the unit was made in November of 2001. A two-digit serial number such as “99” tells you that the unit was manufactured in 1999.

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