When your water heater fails, you'll quickly run out of hot water. No hot water means being forced to take cold showers. That alone might cause you to panic. But this is now the time to decide whether you need to repair or replace your water heater.

If your water heater has failed, check the following factors to determine whether your best approach is to repair or replace your water heater.

Ascertain the Age of Your Heater

The average lifespan of a water heater, no matter what type it is, is about 10 years. When a water heater breaks down after that, a good first step is to find out how old that water heater is. If your water heater is old, replacing it may be the cheaper solution for you in the long run. A new water heater will require fewer repairs and be more energy efficient than an old water heater.

Check the back of your water heater for a sticker. On that sticker, you should find the manufacturing date. This will tell you how old your water heater is.

Calculate the Frequency of Repairs

How often does your water heater need repairs? If your water heater seems to break down a lot recently, then this is a sign that it is nearing the end of its lifespan. Keeping an old water heater that breaks down regularly will cost you more money in the long run than replacing that water heater with a new one.

Check the Efficiency of Your Heater

Over time, older water heaters become less energy efficient. This happens due to rust and sediment buildup, as well as aging parts. So if your water heater has broken down, and you have noticed that your energy bills have increased and your heater takes longer to heat your water, then you could choose to replace your water heater with a newer and more energy-efficient water heater.

In addition, newer water heaters tend to be more energy efficient than older models. So if you want to improve your home's energy efficiency, this could be a good time to do so.

Determine the Seriousness of the Damage

Some repairs are minor. Minor repairs don't require you to replace your water heater, such as a broken thermostat, a faulty valve, or a faulty heating element. However, if the damage is serious, replacement may be your best or only option. For instance, if your water heater has started leaking due to corrosion, then the time has come to replace it.

For more information about water heaters, reach out to a local service.