Service, When to Replace
is being told that a major household appliance is broken beyond repair. The job you thought might set you back $100 or so
is going to cost many hundreds or even thousands.
"Can't you just fix it?" is the complaint that we hear from
homeowners in this situation. Sometimes we can, but often we can't. OR we can, but it's not in the homeowner's best interest
to do so. The cost of a major repair for many home fixtures and appliances is creeping ever closer to the cost of replacement.
Water Heater - Industry
shows that the average water heater last 12 years. With regular maintenance and routine repairs, some keep operating two or
three times as long. Water heaters come with internal sacrifical anode rods to protect against rusting. An anode's sole purpose
to corrode away so the steel of the tank can't. Replacing the anodes every 3-4 years (more requently if water is softened)
will add considerably to the life of a water heater.
main cause of failure is overheating from sediment build-up inside the tank. Ask All Clear Plumbing & Drain Service techinican
to inspect the anodes and sediment periodically.
Some plumbing firms also offer extended water heater warranties lasing 10 years
or even a lifetime. If you plan to live in your home for quite sometime, these warranties may be worth looking into.
Disposal - Stoppages and minor malfunctions are woth repairing. But if
the motor goes out, or the blades break, you are better off replaceing the entire unit. Especially so if you deal with a plumbing
company that warrants the product for 5-10 years or even longer.
Toilets - Unless you crack the porcelain, a toilet can easily last a lifetime. What will wear out are the flushing
mechanisums comprised of moving parts. Leakage may occur from the wax ring seal by the floor, but that can be fixed short
Toilets commonly get replaced for reasons other
that malfunction. Water conservation is one. Modern toilets operate with 1/6 gallons per flush or less, compared with 3.5
gallons for older standard models. (A few 5-gallons and 7.5 gallon flush versions from many decades ago also are still in
operation here and there). Depending on water rates, sometimes you can save money by replacing a toilet.
Styling and quieter flushing
are two other reasons to replace. This is a matter of homeowner choice more that necessity.
Faucets - Replacing a cartridge, washer or other internal component can repair leaking faucets. Tarnishes
and nicks are harder to fix.
Good faucets will give
at least 5 and often 10 or more years of trouble-free operation. Plumbers can keep them operating almost indefinitely, but
most often people would rather pay a few more bucks for a replacement that offers better styling and convenience.
ago plumbers repaired more faucets that they replaced. For most companies now holds true.
Dishwashers - Automatic dishwashers are another appliance that should last a decade or more - though here,
too, your often can save money by buying a newer energy-effciency unit.
Brand new units can be bought for $400 - $600, while repairs of various operating mechanisms typically
run $150 and up. If your dishwasher is getting near the 10-year mark, a major repair may be a signal that other components
are also on their last legs. It won't take many service calls to pay for a brand new unit.