When Is The Payback Period Worth It?

Say you have a leaky faucet.  You replace the washers and do all the standard stuff that normally fixes leaks, but this one doesn’t go away.

You measure the leak as costing $0.10 per day in wasted water.  You check around and estimate (and for the sake of this post, say the estimate is fact) the cost to fix this is $100

That means, barring any increase in water rates, you would have 1,000 days, or roughly three years, before this repair would pay for itself.This is the concept known as the payback period.

To put more succinctly, the payback period is the length of time required for an investment or expense to pay for itself in terms of cost savings.

A three year cost savings is kind of rough.  Something else could break.  You could decide to remodel and toss the old fixture anyways. On the other hand, it might be worth more to avoid hearing the constant drip, drip, drip every time you’re in the room.

What would you do in this particular situation?  Do you have any ‘thresholds’ when it comes to whether undertaking a repair is worth it or you just live with the somewhat working thing?