Prevent Costs By Replacing Items Before They Fail

It is nearing time for us to replace a couple of critical items.  They both live in our basement and they both tie with water.  Those aren’t the only things they have in common.  Both items currently work well.  But, both of them are on my list to get replaced.  We plan on replacing both our hot water tank and sump pump.  Why are we replacing them if they are working?  Simple.  We want to get these done before they fail.

tools water heater replace
It’s time to replace some items before the fail and cause bigger costs.

Water Heater

Our water heater is original to the house.  The house was built in 1999, so it’s now 20 years old.  That is past the considered expected age of a water heater.

I’ve had to replace one water heater in my life. At my previous residence, the water heater let me know it was about to fail before it did.  It started bulging.  I let it go until eventually I came home one day and heard the sound of water from the basement.

Replacing it wasn’t that big of a deal.  Still, I’d like to make sure we replace this one before it fails.  We go camping a lot and are gone for a few days at a time.  We don’t always turn off the water.  I’d hate to have it spring a leak while we’re gone.

On top of that, the water heater is near a portion of our basement that is finished.  If it leaked, most of the water would go down a nearby drain, but I am sure carpet in the finished area would get wet.  That could be costly if it had to be replaced.

We have been hearing a clanging noise on occasion when running hot water.  It seems that enough sediment has settled in the bottom of the tank.  Air bubbles get trapped under the layer of sediment that’s formed, and causes a momentary force on the bottom of the tank.  That’s the clanging noise we hear.  Unfortunately, draining the tank and removing the sediment isn’t advised at this point.  People who have tried this have often experienced leaks that start.  At this point, it’s better to leave the sediment there until it’s replaced.

Sump Pump

The sump pump is another item that, if it failed, would be vastly expensive.  I’ve had the sump pump float get stuck before.  This resulted in a small amount of water backing up.  We now have water alarms to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

Still, the sump pump is twelve years old.  It runs a lot during rain and snow melts.  While we do have a battery backup system in place, it would likely not keep up during major rainstorms.

We replaced the old sump pump shortly after we moved in. It started running once and wouldn’t shut off.  That was in 2007.  So, that was eight years old.  This one is twelve.  It’s a fairly cheap replacement.

I have a handyman type guy that I’ve worked with for many years.  In fact, he replaced the water tank in my old condo, and the sump pump back in 2007.  I figure I can call him up and we can knock both out in an afternoon.

Replacing these items before they fail will offer me peace of mind.  Also, by taking care of them before they fail, we would avoiding any costs resulting from water in the basement.  The sump pump backing up could be very costly.  We do have a rider on our insurance in case this ever happens.  Still, who wants to go through the hassle?  That’s one insurance payment I’d much rather pay and never use!

Those are are two things we plan to replace before they fail.  What items do you put on your list that follow this strategy?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

7 thoughts on “Prevent Costs By Replacing Items Before They Fail”

  1. I usually keep a close eye on the water heater tank when it’s getting old. As soon as I see moisture, I get it replaced ASAP. The last 2 worked okay this way.
    The current item on my watch list is the bathroom fan and washer. They are very noisy.

  2. I would suggest replacing the water heater with a “hybrid”. I went hybrid a couple of years back and with the rebates and incentives from out utility it was cheaper than a regular water heater. The savings are significant on the electric bill…

    • Thanks for the tip. Our water heater runs on natural gas so I am not sure that would offer the same type of savings. Will definitely look into different options for sure though.

  3. I had my water heater fail. We had no idea how old it was since the house was a foreclosure, so we had no way of guessing when it would go. Luckily, nothing was damaged when it leaked, but it was still a hassle. And of course you can’t shop for deals if you’re in a rush to get it fixed. So I’m sure we paid more than we technically needed to if we’d shopped ahead of time. At present, the heater is only about three years old, but this is a good reminder to start keeping an eye on it in a decade or so. Just to make sure it doesn’t get any funny ideas…

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