03.3 - how to proling the life of your water heater

When to Repair or Replace Your Water Heater: A Complete Overview

Your water heater may not be the most glamorous appliance in your home, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most crucial. It’s the unsung hero that provides you with hot showers and warm water for various daily tasks. But how can you ensure it remains dependable for years to come? In this straightforward guide, we’ll reveal the secrets to maximizing your water heater’s lifespan, whether you’re in North Bergen, NJ, or anywhere else in the world.

Getting Acquainted with Your Water Heater

Before we jump into maintenance tips, let’s take a moment to understand the different types of water heaters. This knowledge will empower you to make informed decisions about maintenance and potential replacements.

1. Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters run on electricity, making them eco-friendly as they don’t use gas.


  • Environmentally conscious.
  • User-friendly operation.


  • May require occasional part replacements.
2. Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters depend on natural gas for heating and are often budget-friendly.


  • Cost-effective.
  • Typically reliable.


  • Efficiency varies between models.
  • Periodic flushing is necessary for maintenance.
3. Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters heat water only when needed, saving space compared to traditional tanks.


  • Highly efficient.
  • Compact and space-saving.


  • Initial installation can be complex.
  • May come with higher upfront costs.
4. Hybrid Water Heaters

Hybrid water heaters combine electricity and heat pumps for energy-efficient heating.


  • Energy-efficient.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Eligible for rebates in some areas.


  • Initial costs might be higher.

The Golden Rule: Water Heater Maintenance

Irrespective of your water heater type, regular maintenance is the key to an extended appliance life. Here’s your simple checklist:

  • Annual Check-Ups: Consider scheduling an annual check-up with a professional plumber. They will inspect your system, identify potential problems early, and perform necessary maintenance tasks.
  • Flushing: Regular flushing benefits both electric and gas water heaters. It helps clear out sediment buildup, boosting efficiency and preserving your heater.

When Repairs Are the Only Answer

Facing a water heater hiccup doesn’t always warrant replacing the entire unit. Sometimes, targeted repairs can save you time and money. Here’s a breakdown:

For Gas Water Heaters

Control Valve or Thermal Ignitor: If these parts malfunction, repairs are often the solution.

For Electric Water Heaters

Temperature or Pressure Release Valve: Replacing this valve can resolve issues without the need for a complete unit replacement.

Red Flags for Replacement

While repairs can often do the trick, some warning signs suggest it’s time to invest in a new water heater:

  • Leaks: The presence of leaks at the top or bottom of the unit might signal a significant problem.
  • Strange Noises: Unusual sounds emanating from your water heater could indicate trouble.
  • Lack of Hot Water: Consistently insufficient hot water might be a sign that it’s time for an upgrade.
  • Rusty Water: If rusty water flows from your taps, internal tank corrosion may be to blame.

The Wisdom of Seeking Professional Help

Seeking professional help for your plumbing needs is a prudent decision that can’t be stressed enough. Professional plumbers bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, making them your most dependable allies in maintaining a healthy plumbing system. Their expertise allows them to diagnose plumbing issues accurately, while their cutting-edge tools unveil hidden problems that might escape the untrained eye. 

When it comes to solutions, professional plumbers not only fix issues but also offer cost-effective remedies tailored to your specific plumbing needs. They differentiate between essential repairs and unnecessary expenses, ensuring you make the most economical choices to protect both your home and your finances. In essence, entrusting your plumbing to professionals is an investment in its longevity and efficiency, ultimately providing peace of mind that your plumbing system is in capable hands.

Your water heater may not receive the accolades, but it undoubtedly deserves your attention and care. By understanding your water heater type and embracing regular maintenance, you can extend its life and enjoy reliable hot water for years to come. If you’re facing water heater woes or wish to schedule maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact us at BJC Plumbers North Bergen. We’re available 24/7 to offer expert advice and keep your water heater running seamlessly.