Most of us take hot water for granted, so when your hot water heater fails, it can feel like a big deal, and estimating what you’ll have to spend on repairs or a replacement might have you overwhelmed. We’ll lead you through the basics, so you know what your wallet can expect should your hot water heater fail to deliver.
If you’re unsure whether you need to replace or repair your water heater, don’t hesitate to call C&W Plumbing. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!
Replacement: What to Know About the Cost
If you choose to replace your water heater, you have two main options:
- A conventional tank heater
- A tankless heater
There are several aspects of a new water heater that can impact the cost. These include:
- Gas vs. electric – Gas tends to be more expensive,
- Manufacturer of unit – Some units are known to be cheaper, but the old adage does apply that you get what you pay for. Cheaper units tend to have plastic parts rather than metal parts.
- Size of the tank
- Any warranties included – C&W’s warranty covers up to five years.
- Installation – The price of a water heater almost always includes the cost of installation, but may not include things like haul-off, parts needed for the installation, and permitting.
Conventional Tank Heater: Factor This In
A conventional tank water heater is a great option if you’re looking to keep costs low by way of the installation. Tankless systems often require a home retrofit, which isn’t usually necessary for tank heaters. Thanks to new technology, conventional tank heaters are more efficient than ever and can handle larger demands of hot water for larger households than they used to, without as much waste.
Heaters with tanks typically have shorter lifespans than tankless heaters—about 10 years. This means you may need to replace a conventional tank system before you would need to replace a tankless system.
Tankless Heater: Factor This In
While a tankless water heater will be more expensive than a tank system to install, it brings plenty of pros along with it:
- The typical lifespan of 20 years is longer than the typical 10 years of a tank system.
- It can be installed inside or outside your home. Indoor installation requires venting; outdoor versions use free air flow.
- It can save you about 25% on water heating costs each year depending on your usage, since a tankless heater only heats water as you need it, meaning no heat is wasted. Tank water heaters constantly heat water, whether it is used or not.
The unit and its installation can be about twice as expensive as a conventional tank system, but in some cases, it can replace multiple units, which can be more cost-effective and efficient. Installing a tankless system may require retrofitting your home in addition to installation, which can add cost.
Repairs: What to Know About Their Cost
Issues with your hot water heater don’t always point to the need for a replacement. Often, repairs can be made to save you money and extend the life of your unit.
The cost to repair your water heater depends on a lot of factors, including its:
The minimum for a repair tends to be around $50, while an extensive repair may run over $1,000.
When you’re considering repairs for a water heater, ask yourself these questions:
- How old is my water heater? – If your water heater is over 10 years old, especially if it’s a conventional tank system, it could be time for a replacement, rather than a fix.
- Does my water heater meet my family’s needs? – If you don’t think it does, consider what your family’s specific needs are, and consult a licensed plumbing technician like those at C&W Plumbing for advice.
- Will the cost of repairs over time be more than the cost to replace?
- Could I save on my utility bill by upgrading?
What’s Best for Your Wallet?
Determining whether a conventional tank water heater or a tankless system, or a repair or a replacement, is better for your wallet depends on your individual financial situation as well as your home and your family’s needs.
If you suspect your hot water heater is on its way out, or it’s just not performing the way it used to, give C&W Plumbing a call. Our licensed technicians do guaranteed work, and you can reach us 24/7 at 972-395-2597 for any of your water heater cost questions or problems.