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Johansen & Anderson Inc Blog

Should I Repair or Replace My Water Heater?


Water heater problems are a huge inconvenience! Whether you’re experiencing basement puddles or cold showers, you can’t just let the problem keep getting worse.

But it can be hard to tell exactly what needs to be done. How can you tell whether you should have your water heater repaired or replaced? Here are some key things you should know that can help with your decision.


A tank water heater’s life expectancy is 8-12 years, while a tankless system can last for 15 years and maybe longer. Do keep in mind that maintenance is essential, and without it, your water heater won’t survive the full estimated lifetime.

If you’ve got water heater problems and the system is at an age when you know it won’t last much longer anyway, you should consider replacement unless the necessary repairs are inexpensive.

Low Hot Water Pressure

If you’ve got a nice strong blast of cold water, but your hot water is only a trickle, chances are all you need is to have the system flushed. A buildup of sediment and mineral scaling can diminish the space that water can be heated in or flow through. This is regularly done as part of maintenance, so if you haven’t had it done in quite a while, this could resolve your problem.

Low Hot Water Temperature

Sometimes one of the heating elements fails while the others continue working. This results in cooler, but not cold, water. Your plumber can replace the heating element and get your water back to an ideal temperature.

Discolored or Smelly Water

A component called the anode rod attracts minerals and sediment to protect the inside walls of the water heater. If the anode rod fails, it can alter the color, smell, and taste of your water as well as potentially creating health risks. The system can be flushed and the anode rod replaced to resolve the problem.


This is a tricky one. Rust is the main factor in most water heater replacements because once the tank itself begins to corrode, there’s no saving it. But if there’s rust only on exterior components, fittings, or connections, those pieces might be replaceable. You’ll need water heater repair in Joliet, IL very promptly to prevent the corrosion from spreading to the rest of the system. 


Again, this is dependent upon location. Leaks from the pressure release valve may just indicate that your water heater’s pressure needs to be adjusted. Leaks from connection points may just mean that connections need to be tightened. However, leaks from the tank itself mean that it has lost structural integrity. It must be replaced to avoid catastrophic leaks and major water damage.

Trustworthy Professionals

The way to get the clearest answer about whether replacement is necessary, or whether you should continue to invest in repairs for your water heater, is to rely on trustworthy professionals. Your highly-trained, qualified plumber can assess the age and overall condition of your water heater and determine the exact nature of your issues in order to make the best recommendation.

Call J&A today, Sleep-tight tonight!

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