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When to Invest in Water Heater Repair vs Replacement

Is it time to install a new water heater in your home, or do you just need to schedule a water heater repair in Collierville, TN? It really just depends on your water heater’s age and the seriousness of repair needs. There are many times that we can make repairs to your water heater to get you a little extra life out of it. 

But other times a total upgrade is the only real solution. You can keep reading to learn more about how to tell when you need water heater repair versus a replacement. Then give our team a call to schedule your service. We can help you decide between repairs or an upgrade. 

Water Heater Age

The first indication that it may be time for replacement is the age of your current water heater. A gas water heater usually lasts for anywhere between 8 and 12 years, depending on how well it has been cared for. Electric water heaters on the other hand usually last for between 10 and 15 years. 

If you’re not sure how old your water heater is, you can take a look at the label on the side of the unit and find the serial number. Then search online for the water heater brand name and the serial number to find out how old it is. As you get closer to the high end of the expected lifespan, it becomes more and more likely that you need to replace your unit.

Changes in Water Temperature

As your water heater gets closer to the end of its expected lifespan, you may notice that it is not as effective at heating water. You may have to adjust the thermostat to have water that is as hot as you expect it to be. Even that may not be enough to have consistently hot water. 

You may find that you don’t haven’t water for as long during a shower, or when you are doing something like washing dishes. Alternately, there may be times when you don’t adjust the faucet, but there are sudden surges of very hot or very cold water during use.

This is a red flag that your water heater is reaching the end of its lifespan. In some cases, the heating element or burner may need to be replaced. But if your water heater is already older, it may make more sense to go ahead and upgrade the entire unit.


If you have a tank water heater, it has a sacrificial anode rod inside that helps to prevent rusting. This rod needs to be replaced every few years to prevent corrosion inside the unit. If you’re noticing that hot water has a rusty or orange tint to it, there’s a good chance that the sacrificial anode rod needs to be replaced. 

If your water heater is already older, it may simply be time to upgrade the tank to a newer model. If corrosion has spread into the tank, it cannot be repaired or reversed. Plus, newer water heaters are much more efficient when it comes to energy and water used, so you can actually save some money each month on utility costs by upgrading to a newer model.

Since 1943, it’s been Automatic in Memphis! Contact the experts at Automatic Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing to get started on your next water heater replacement and installation.

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