Repair vs. Replace Hot Water Cylinder

A storage tank water heater can last for 15 years, whereas a tankless water heater may last more than 20 years before the performance gets affected.

With time, even a properly maintained hot water cylinder may start losing efficiency or develop issues related to tear and wear.

If you start experiencing hot water cylinder issues, it will be worth considering whether replacement or repair is a perfect solution.

When to Replace or Repair Your Hot Water Cylinder.

Normally, most homeowners want to fix their hot water cylinders before replacing them. New hot water cylinders, including installation, may save you thousands of dollars.

It makes more sense to repair the hot water cylinder before you replace it. Based on the issue, this may not always be achievable. 

You will need to consider several factors before you decide to replace to repair your hot water cylinder. Some of these factors may include the following:

1.  Cost and Repair Frequency.

Consider performing a simple cost-benefit analysis when your hot water cylinder breaks down. This will help you determine whether replacing or repairing is a smart option.

Among the best ways to achieve this is through the 50% rule. This 50% rule basically states that if the repair costs 50% of what it will cost to replace hot water, then replacing it will be a viable option.

But even if the current repairs don’t add up to this 50% of replacement, you might want to consider the repair frequency.

2.  Age of the Heater.

On average, hot water heaters’ lifespan is about ten years. If you have replaced the heaters for the past ten years, then replacing them will be the best option. However, you can repair the unit if the heater is still new.

Some heaters also last longer compared to others. And according to the Department of Energy, an indirect water heater and tankless coil can last for ten years or so.

In general, a hot water cylinder’s lifespan gets affected by several things. These may include maintenance, how frequently you have flushed/drained it, and location. So if your cylinder is corroded or rusty, you might want to replace it, even if the tank is not yet ten years old.

3. Warranty Validity.

Many new hot water cylinders come with a warranty from a manufacturer. This covers the replacement costs of faulty parts for five or ten years.

The repair costs can be fully or partially covered if you have a warranty. That makes repairing a hot water cylinder a better option.

But if your warranty has expired, it means you will be completely liable for the costs that come with repairs. Based on the broken part, it is a good idea to replace the whole unit instead of repairing it.

Concluding Remarks!

A hot water cylinder might only be on your mind until you start showering with cold water. That said, a hot water cylinder is an important component of many homes. So you might want to keep up with the upkeep and maintenance services to ensure it lasts for years. And if the need for replacement arises, ensure you replace the unit.