If you're in need of some hot water heater repairs, you'll typically be looking at a cost of $200 - $770. A hot water heater repair cost will vary, based on:
- cause of the problem
- size and type of heater (tank or tankless water heater, gas water heater, electric water heater, or hybrid)
- heater's condition
Troubleshoot Water Heater: Repair or Replacement?
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 replacement or repair.
Water Heater Problem
Water doesn't heat up.
1. Pilot light is out or malfunctioning.
2. Circuit breaker was tripped.
3. Broken thermostat.
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 plumbing contractor.
Heater makes rumbling noise.
1. Noise is caused by sediment or scale deposits.
1. Have the heater flushed annually.
Water Heater Repair/Replacement Cost Breakdown
A water heater repair cost will normally include:
- Supplies -- Small parts and supplies are usually included in the repair job's cost.
- Labor -- Your plumbing contractor may calculate an hourly fee (with a minimum) or a per-job charge for repair. If it is necessary to perform a new water heater installation to replace your old hot water heater, expect to pay extra for the labor involved in installing it, as well as the cost of the new water 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. The easiest way to accomplish this is to have a local plumber near you either assist with the repair or installation, or have them perform the job themselves. Having them work on your water heater may be a bit pricier, but for more difficult jobs or replacements, it can end up being more economical as you can be assured that the project is done correctly.
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.