It is only natural to expect that over time a water heater will need maintenance. Among the signs that it needs repairing is hot water suddenly turning cold and pooling water under the heater itself. Even if you have not noticed any visible signs that the water heater is in disrepair, it is good to factor in its age before spending a lot to maintain it. Another thing that can help you decide whether to repair or replace the water heater is its warranty. Is it still covered and, if so, does it cover labor costs as well or is it just the replacement parts? Even if the parts are under warranty, labor costs can be very expensive. By way of example, the sacrificial anode is one part that commonly needs to be replaced. This is a difficult job that requires some skill, and the water heater can be damaged if it is not done right. Replacing this part may also void the warranty, so if your water heater is approaching the end of its lifespan and this part needs to be replaced, you might want to think about buying a new water heater instead.
How much money do you spend each year to maintain your water heater? This is a good question to ask yourself because if you are spending more than 10 percent of the amount it would cost to purchase and install a new water heater, then it may be a wiser investment to buy a new one.
A water heater inspection is a good way to find out what condition it is in. It will also give you an idea of how much longer you can expect it to last.