Hot water is something you don't want to mess around with. Aside from being a necessity of modern life, it's also potentially dangerous if you have a hot water appliance that isn't working right. So, here are some tips on when to consider replacing your water heater:

When It's Ten Years Old

A good rule of thumb is to consider replacing your water heater once it has been in operation for ten years. But, this varies by product. If you look in your water heater manual, it should list the capacity of the water heater (such as, how many hours per year it's designed to operate and how much power it can sustain) and also the expected lifespan and warranty of the product. When you start having problems with the water heater outside of its expected lifespan, it might be wise to cut your losses and get a new one.

When Repair Costs Are High

Before you replace a water heater, you probably at least want to get an estimate for repairs from your heating contractors. The problems that come up with water heaters can be easy fixes, or they can be almost as expensive as the machine itself. For example, a broken thermostat is an easy fix. Cleaning out sediment from the bottom of the tank so that it doesn't make a crackling sound when it operates will take a little bit more effort, but it is still quite repairable. Thermal expansion in the pipes is a more complicated problem that can be expensive and dangerous to fix. Let the professional's decision guide you, since they have a lot more experience when seeing the outcomes of people who replaced their tanks versus people who repaired theirs.

If You Can Afford a Better System

If you are ready to make an upgrade to your water heater, there are several things you could consider. A tankless water heating system often has better energy performance, so they are popular choices for modern buyers. Perhaps you need a bigger tank, or even a smaller one, for your next water heater purchase. That all depends on the number of people in your home and the amount of water usage. Maybe you want to change your heating system altogether and go for one that's powered by electricity instead of gas, or vice versa. There are even water heating options that rely on solar power first and foremost.

Contact local heating contractors for more information and assistance.