Should You Repair Or Replace A Leaking Water Heater? Find Out Here

Water heating systems are designed to operate for a certain number of years before requiring replacement. However, water heater failure is not an uncommon experience. Whether the water heater has been running well or not, at some point it will need to be replaced. For those who are contemplating repairing or replacing their water heater, the following article can help you make that decision more easily and efficiently.

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When should you repair the water heater?

There are some reasons why you would repair your water heater instead of replacing it. For instance, if you have a gas water heater and the control valve is leaking, then you might want to just replace the valve. More info on that can be found at, where professionals can provide you with more detailed help. Another reason people may opt to repair their water heater is if there’s something wrong with the heating element. This may be because the house was flooded or because of an electrical short circuit. The last thing you would ever want to do is buy a new water heater if there’s nothing wrong with the one sitting in your basement. First of all, think about the cost. One of the big advantages of getting a repair vs buying a replacement is the price. In most cases, it will be less expensive to repair than to replace. Yes, you will have to pay for the repair service, but it’s usually a fraction of what you’ll pay for a new water heater.

The convenience factor is another good reason not to go out and buy a new water heater when the one that’s working now can be repaired. What about all the time you’re going to waste trying to find a new water heater and having it installed? 

Repairing the water heater

Here are some steps that will help you repair your water heater. Call a plumber if you’re unsure of how to proceed.

Step 1: 

Turn the power off to avoid electrical shock or an electrical fire. This is done by flipping the circuit breaker in your electrical panel or shutting off the switch at your gas valve. 

Step 2: 

Find the leak. You can do this by turning on your water and letting it run for a minute or two. That way, you’ll see where the leaking water is coming from. Look at the joints in pipes for signs of cracks or leaks.

Step 3:

 If necessary, shut off the gas supply to prevent fuel spillage once repairs are made. Then, you can open the gas valve outside to reduce pressure and turn off the electricity before opening the access panel that covers your water heater tank.

Step 4: 

Dismantle pipes and parts if necessary. Do this slowly because there’s a lot of pressure in hot water tanks. You don’t want to accidentally let loose with scalding hot water!

Step 5:

 Look at the parts to find out why it’s leaking and which part needs to be replaced.

Replacing the water heater 

Replacing a water heater is advisable if any of the following problems occur with your current model:

  • Your heating elements are damaged or shorted (you’ll know if this is the problem if there’s a smell of burning plastic). 
  • There are leaks in any of your pipes. 
  • Your condensate overflow pan overflows regularly or at all

Steps to take before buying and installing another water heater: shut off your main gas valve and electrical breaker. Lower the water level in the tank by turning on an extra faucet and draining water (you can also drain it by using a hose). Drain the pipes from your tank. Disconnect the old heater and remove it once you’re sure everything is drained.

Steps to take once you’ve installed your new heater: Turn on the gas, then turn on the electrical breaker. Open faucets in the house to start filling the tank. Make sure that your pressure relief valve is working properly.

Final steps: Once the tank is full, check to make sure that there are no leaks. Do this by turning off all faucets and waiting for a minute or two. Turn on a faucet and see if it drips. As long as you don’t find any leaking pipes or water, then your new heater should work fine.

Replacing a water heater can be daunting work, especially if you’ve never done it before. The sad truth is that many people choose to replace their water heaters without knowing how to do it correctly, and end up worsening the problem they had in the first place! This article will help so you don’t make that same mistake and so that you’ll know what to do if your water heater needs replacement. Our tips will help you pick out the right equipment for your home, estimate the cost of installation, and show you how to get it done efficiently!

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