Agony 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 The industry shows that the average water heater lasts 12 years. With regular maintenance and routine repairs, some keep operating for two or three times as long. Water heaters come with internal sacrificial anode rods to protect against rusting. An anode's sole purpose is to corrode away so the steel of the tank can't. Replacing the anodes every 3-4 years (more frequently if the water is softened) will add considerably to the life of a water heater.

Another main cause of failure is overheating from sediment build-up inside the tank. Ask All Clear Plumbing & Drain Service technicians to inspect the anodes and sediment periodically.

Some plumbing firms also offer extended water heater warranties lasting 10 years or even a lifetime. If you plan to live in your home for quite some time, these warranties may be worth looking into.

Disposal - Stoppages and minor malfunctions are worth repairing. But if the motor goes out, or the blades break, you are better off replacing 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 mechanisms comprised of moving parts. Leakage may occur from the wax ring seal by the floor, but that can be fixed short of replacement.

Toilets commonly get replaced for reasons other than malfunctioning. 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 than necessity.


Faucets - Replacing a cartridge, washer or another 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. 

Decades ago plumbers repaired more faucets than they replaced. For most companies now holds.

Dishwashers - Automatic dishwashers are another appliance that should last a decade or more - though here, too, you're often can save money by buying a newer energy-efficiency 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.

Helpful Hints To Consider Before You Repair or Replace It! 

When to Service, When to Replace:

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