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When to Repair vs. When to Replace Your Tankless Water Heater

July 28, 2022
 Santana Bros Plumbing

Plumber installing a tankless water heater.

If your tankless water heater has been acting up lately, it can be hard to know whether you should have it repaired or replace it entirely. In some cases, a simple repair will restore your water heater to function as good as new, but in other cases it makes more sense to simply get a whole new unit installed. Here are the factors to consider when deciding if you should repair or replace your tankless water heater.


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Age of Your Tankless Water Heater


Tankless water heaters generally last about twice as long as hot water tanks, but they still fail with age eventually and need to be replaced. Hot water tanks usually last about 10 years, while tankless water heaters will last an average of 20 years. If your tankless water heater is around 20 years or older, it’s time to think about getting a new one.


Frequency of Repairs


If this is not the first time you’ve had your water heater repaired recently, that may be an indicator that you should have it replaced instead. As tankless water heaters near the end of their lifespan, they will start to have more and more issues until they eventually break down completely. If you notice that your water heater is requiring repairs more frequently, the most cost effective solution may be to cut your losses and get a new unit, as opposed to paying more and more to repair it over and over again.


Warranty Coverage


One of the most clear deciding factors of whether or not to replace your tankless water heater is its warranty coverage status. If your water heater is still covered under a warranty, it makes the most sense to simply have it replaced free of charge. If the warranty has expired and the cost of replacing your unit will be coming out of your own pocket, give more thought to repairing instead. 


Cost to Repair vs Replace


Generally speaking, when it comes down to it, you should do whatever makes the most sense in terms of cost. If the repairs on your tankless water heater are going to be very expensive and/or it seems likely that you’re going to have to keep repairing it frequently, then the cost to replace will be lower than the cost to repair. If you are not sure if your most cost-effective option is to repair or replace, ask your plumber’s opinion. They can inspect the problem and let you know if, in their professional opinion, it would be worth it to repair or if replacing will save you more money.


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Alexa Seleno
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