How To Affordably Replace Your Hot Water Heater

Energy use is a significant part of the monthly budget for most homes. Does, spending few minutes to check your water heater is essential.
May 30, 2021

Energy use is a significant part of the monthly budget for most homes.

A large portion of your household energy bill is dedicated to heating your water.

The Department of Energy says heating water accounts for 18% of your household energy usage.

When your water heater no longer works, things around your home can get a little uncomfortable. You cannot take a shower, wash your dishes or clothes, or run your dishwasher; your water heater suddenly becomes an emergency replacement.

Some preventative maintenance can lengthen the lifespan of your water heater so that you can begin to save for a new one. If your water heater is going to go sooner than you can afford, you might be able to use a financing option.

How can you replace your water heater so that it does not overwhelm your budget?

Check The Age Of Your Water Heater

Vintage Water Heater - Majewski

Having hot water on demand is necessary for our modern homes, but we also take it for granted.

If you fail to think about your water heater until something catastrophic happens, you're not alone.

Water heaters have a lifespan of about ten years, and even if you do not have a hot water emergency, your water heater's performance may have been deteriorating undetected for some time.

If your heater is coming close in age to ten years, start building the cost of a new one into your monthly budget, or begin looking into financing options. Buying and installing a new water heater will range from $800 and $1,550.

On average, you can expect to pay around $1,200, which includes the cost of the unit and the labor to install it.

You can also consider tankless water heaters, which range from $1,000 to $3,000. Depending on the unit that you are getting, water heaters can cost as low as $300 all the way up to $2,000 or more. You’re then looking at paying from $45 to $150 per hour for labor to install the unit.

Your water heater might be working at this time, but when you start to approach about ten years, it is a good idea to prepare yourself for the cost of replacing your heater.

Stay On Top Of Regular Maintenance

If you have not been planning on replacing your water heater, then buying a new water heater might throw your budget off-kilter.

But, if you can prepare for a water heater replacement early on. Develop a budget and then stick to a regular maintenance schedule and you will be in a better financial position.

Consider regular maintenance or water heater updates so that replacing your water heater is not incredibly expensive.

You will also avoid more emergency repairs, which will save money in the long run.

Drain The Tank

Gradually (and dependent on the water hardness in your home), the calcium in the water will scale and then settle on the bottom of your water tank.

This buildup is called sediment, and it leads to many problems with your hot water tank.

Most importantly, though, residue acts as a barrier between the heat source located at the bottom of the tank and the water itself.

When sediment is left in the bottom, your water heater is forced to work harder to heat the water. This also causes damage to the integrity of the tank floor.

Regular draining of your hot water tank will remove the sediment buildup and prolong your hot water heater's life. It will also run more quietly.

If draining your hot water tank is not something you feel comfortable with, give your plumber a call. This type of maintenance is something that can be completed every 4-6 months.

Calling a qualified plumber to maintain your water heater will cost less than paying for emergency repairs.

Adjust The Thermostat

One bit of maintenance that you can complete without the help of a plumber is lowering the temperature on your water heater thermostat by at least ten degrees.

You will save up to five percent in energy costs for every 10 degrees your lower the temperature.

Perform A Technical Inspection

The following is maintenance that you can complete on your own.

Let Your Water Heater Breathe

Your appliance needs to breathe correctly and safely, and a considerable amount of airflow is required for the combustion and ventilation of the water heater.

Blocking it with junk or debris will shorten its lifespan by making your heater work harder. So, unless your appliance's manual states otherwise, leave space around your water heater. Your hot water tank should always have two feet (or more) of clearance around the appliance.

Test The Temperature-Pressure Relief Valve

The temperature-pressure relief valve test is usually completed annually by discharging it a few times. Once you have tested the valve, remember to watch for leaks.

Again, if this is not a test you are comfortable completing, call a plumber for help and add the temperature-pressure relief valve test as part of your water heater maintenance plan.

Check The Sacrificial Anode Rod

When it comes a time, check the sacrificial anode rod by gently removing it. The rod will need to be replaced if the following is evident:

  • the rod is less than 1/2 inch thick
  • the rod is coated with calcium
  • more than six inches of the steel wire is exposed

This check should be added to your regular maintenance checklist to be completed every two to three years.

Finance Your Water Heater

Maintaining your water heater is essential, but it is often neglected. Spending a few minutes of your time will make a significant improvement in the life of your water heater.

However, sometimes, even with preventative maintenance and planning, replacing a significant appliance like your water heater does not fit into your budget.

Luckily, Majewski Plumbing offers excellent financing options through a partnership with Hearth. Hearth provides personal loans (O.A.C.) that help you pay for your HVAC upgrade quickly. You will:

  • Pay the same amount each month, regardless of the interest rate
  • Finance your project without using a home equity

Majewski Plumbing and Hearth help you find great deals on personal loans quickly and securely.

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Villas, NJ


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