Aah, yeah. The “repair or replace” debate. We know this well and have offered our opinions on when to replace toilets and pipes in the past. Questions about whether it is more reasonable to repair or replace the plumbing system are among the most common we receive.
Plumber Dudley: It’s not hard to see why. Nobody wants to replace something they could fix, but nobody wants to fix something that constantly breaks. It can be difficult to know which decision is right, and the stakes can be high. That’s why we’re going to give our best general advice to “fix or replace” any borderline case in your life. Here are the things you should consider when weighing your options.
Is it made of obsolete materials?
If your answer to this question is “yes”, it supersedes all other considerations. Older plumbing hoses aren’t just inefficient and prone to breakage; they can be dangerous for the health of your family. Pipes that were installed in the 1980s or earlier may contain lead components that can poison water. Find out what your damaged pipe is made of before making any other decisions.
Repair or replace?
This is still an important question if you are looking to repair or replace a hoseless plumbing system. An old water heater, a water softener, or even a shower head or faucet will probably not work as well or will have the characteristics of the new ones. Consider whether a new appliance could save you money in the long run, especially if you plan to stay home for a long time.
How often do I have a problem with it?
A single, first loss is one thing. Seven losses in one year are completely different. Keep track of how often you need to repair the device. If you fix the leak, will you face any other plumbing repair issues in Dudley right away?
Each plumbing system has its own “canary in the coal mine” repair problems. Plumbing lines frequently clog, leak or corrode. Bathrooms clog up even more than plumbing and can leak or run constantly, regardless of the number of parts replaced. The shower heads discolour the water or stop working even after cleaning them. Water heaters heat unevenly, leak or overheat. Find out what kind of problems you have and how often you have them. Fixing an appointment doesn’t make much sense if you’ll be back to square one in less than a month.
How long will it last longer?
Even if you’re sure a repaired device won’t bother you for a while, it’s worth figuring out how old it is and how long you think it will hold up. Unfortunately, even the toughest plumbing systems have a limited lifespan. Repair problems could be one-off, or they could be the first signs of a system failing at its age. If you can, you should try to figure out how old the plumbing problem is. When did you install it? When was the house built? How often do you use it?
If you can figure out how old your device is, you will have a much better idea of the type of problem you are facing. We are not saying that you should always replace old appliances, but the idea that you will have to replace everything in the end should be a consideration. For us, it often comes down to maths: How long will it take to fix this appliance? What will happen the next time this equipment has a problem? Considering these two questions brings us to the next one:
How much does it cost me not to replace?
This is the natural thing to ask yourself after realizing how often you have a problem. Will the plumbing repair last long enough to justify the cost? Will you live here long enough that you will eventually have to replace it again? If and when that time comes, will you regret spending money on a repair?
Of course, it is virtually impossible to know exactly how much money these decisions will save or lose. You will have to formulate a hypothesis based on the information you have: how long you will be in your home, how old the device is, how serious or frequent the problems are, and how much each job would cost. If your appliance has a minor problem, is relatively new, or you won’t be around for long, a repair is probably the solution for you. If you are in your “forever” home, then replacement is often the way to go.
You probably have a pre-existing opinion on the “repair vs. replacement“. It’s a bit like “double-down vs. quit while you’re ahead “in this respect. Just like in that case, however, repair and replacement feel totally different when it happens to you, and there is often no easy answer.
The next time you’re struggling with yourself about how to fix a “repair or replace” problem, clear your head and follow these steps. Above all, remember that you have help. You can always call Dudley Plumber Emergency Service for plumbing repair services in Dudley. We will not hoist a job or another on you. Instead, we’ll help you figure out what your best option is with unbiased advice and expert plumbing advice.