Average Cost to Repair a Water Heater

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How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Water Heater?

If you need your hot water heater repaired, you'll typically be looking at a cost of $200 - $770. The cost to repair a hot water heater will vary, based on:

  1. cause of the problem
  2. size and type of heater (tank or tankless; gas, electric, or hybrid)
  3. heater's condition
  4. accessibility

Troubleshoot Water Heater Repair

Stay safe: Turn off the electric power supply and shut off the water before attempting to check or repair your water heater. Hire a professional plumber for any major water heater repair or replacement.

Water Heater Problem

Possible Causes

Possible Solutions

Water doesn't heat up.

1. Pilot light is out or malfunctioning.

2. Circuit breaker was tripped.

3. Thermostat is broken.

4. Heating element is broken or defective.

1. Relight pilot if possible.

2. Check electric outlets and reset circuit breaker.

3. Fix thermostat.

4. Replace element.

Heater is leaking.

1. Threaded fitting is loose.

2. Supply pipe has developed a hole or crack.

3. Drain valve is loose or defective.

4. Temperature and pressure release valve is dripping or was activated.

5. Tank itself is leaking.

1. Tighten fitting's nut.

2. Replace pipe.

3. Tighten or replace valve.

4. Call your plumber; this is not a DIY job.

5. Close gas, power, and water. Then call your plumber.

Heater makes rumbling noise.

1. Noise is caused by sediment or scale deposits.

1. Have the heater flushed annually.

Cost Breakdown

The cost to repair a water heater will normally include:

  • Supplies -- Small parts and supplies are usually included in the repair job's cost.
  • Labor -- Your plumber may calculate an hourly fee (with a minimum) or a per-job charge for repair. If it is necessary to replace your hot water heater, expect to pay extra for the labor involved in installing it, as well as the cost of the new heater.
  • Cleanup -- Haulage costs for your old water heater, if necessary, may add to the expense of this project.

Get the Most for Your Money

Make sure that your water heater repairs will conform to your local building code in terms of the venting system and other components.

If your water heater is already 8-10 years old when it breaks down, replace it. It's at the end of its useful lifespan anyway, and newer models -- especially tankless heaters -- are much more efficient.

Cost to Hire a Plumber

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