Replace? Or repair that water heater?

The water heater is the third largest energy-user in your house, but most of us never think about it until it goes on the fritz.

When that happens, you want your hot water back ASAP. So you grab the phone, call a plumber and say, "bring me a new water heater!"

Cheryl Reed with Angie's List says you'd be smart to slow down.

"Because it may well be that you can save yourself a lot of money and extend the life of that water heater with a really company that can give you good advice," Reed said.

So how do you decide whether to repair or replace the water heater?

"If your water heater is 10 years old or older, it probably running at only 50 percent efficiency. If that's the case and you're having problems, that's when you probably want to replace it, because there are a whole lot of options now for energy efficient water heaters, even tankless ones."

More Information:
Angie's List Guide to Hot Water Heaters