A repair may be more affordable if the unit is newer and the thermostat breaks, valve sticks, pilot light goes out, circuit breaker trips, or heating element fails. If the unit is leaking or is more than 10 years old, it is best to replace it.
The benefit of replacing an older water heater is that newer models are more energy efficient and save the user money over the lifetime of the unit. If a repair is necessary, a local plumber can usually fix the problem. To ensure the unit functions better and lasts longer, flush the tank at least once per year to rid the system of harmful sediments. The anode rod that collects harmful deposits and elements should be replaced every three years.