Before choosing to repair or replace your water heater unit there are a few factors to take into consideration.
First, is your water heater out of warranty? If so, replacement could be the most efficient option. Often times the cost savings of a new unit will outweigh the cost to repair the lack of performance in your old water heater.
Second, is your water heater more than 8-12 years in age? Depending on maintenance, if your unit is reaching its 10-year mark it is probably time for replacement.
Common problems you will start to see in an aging unit are: leaking around the base of the tank, slow hot water recovery, loud popping or banging noises from inside the tank, the pilot light going out, an unpleasant smell when water is used, or even traces of metal or rust in tank’s water. If you are experiencing one or more of these problems – call a licensed professional immediately. Chances are you are overdue for servicing or in need of a new water heater.