Water heaters are a critical home system since no one wants to take a cold shower on winter days. Unfortunately, they break down over time and need to be repaired or replaced. Replacing a water heater is not cheap but a home warranty plan might make it more affordable. Most of the home warranty companies offer coverage that protects your major home systems and appliances breaking down due to regular wear and tear.
Hence, most home warranty companies include water heater repairs and replacements, regardless of whether you own tankless water heaters, hot heaters, electric, or gas heaters. For a better understanding of heater coverage, we have made a detailed guide to the home warranty plans, how they work, and the most common issues that might need repair or replacement.
A water heater may suddenly stop working without any warning. Hence, it is prudent to spot the early signs of failure before it completely breaks down and requires costly repairs.
Here are the following common signs that indicate your water heater will fail soon. It helps to recognize the starting phase of failure and have your action plan handy before it gets to the point of complete damage.
A leak in the water heater may be an indication that it needs to be replaced. A leak from the tank might cause water to drip or pool under the unit and is hard to repair. It could also indicate the presence of leaks in pipes.
In some cases, however, leaks are simply due to loose connections, incorrect pressure, or a faulty valve. Therefore, they may be a signal that the water heater tank is busted or cracked.
If you hear popping or rumbling sounds, this indicates the accumulation of sediments in your tank. Water becomes more difficult to heat up when there is a heavy accumulation of sediments. Eventually, the extra work by your water heater can result in cracks and leaks. Hence you should get a professional evaluation to figure out the trouble.
A water heater’s most common issue is the rust caused by the anode rod’s deterioration. This rod is made from magnesium or aluminum, and fitted inside the water tank. The rod weakens over time due to regular usage, eventually resulting in hot water corroding the inside lining. This results in a heavily rusted water heater.
It is always wise to seek professional assistance when installing any home device. In most cases, water heaters need to be installed at a pressure higher than what the manufacturer has recommended, for its proper functioning. The wrong installation can completely ruin your water heater tank.
When the showerhead starts to release cold water instead of hot water, it means that the heating elements are not working. It is a common sign of a water heater defect that can be easily detected.
The average lifespan of a water heater is 10-15 years. Even if your water heater is of high quality and maintained well, it won’t last forever. So, if your unit is within this age bracket or older, then you should consider getting a new one. You should also maintain your plumbing system as its problems tend to reflect on water heater performance.
When you buy a home warranty plan that covers your water heater, there may be a waiting period. Thereafter, whenever the device breaks down or stops working, you can call the warranty company and explain the problem. The company representatives will schedule a visit at the earliest possible time. Home warranty companies have a large network of qualified and licensed repair contractors and they depute a suitable one to your home.
A highly qualified technician will visit your home at the scheduled time to diagnose the problem. The company will then decide whether a repair or replacement is needed and pay for it accordingly. You may also have to pay for each service request which is also called a Trade Service Call Fee.
Most home warranty companies offer plans that cover your major home systems and appliances with add-on options for covering less critical devices. Some companies offer plans that cover various home appliances only while systems are in separate plans. Few companies also offer customizable plans that give an option to choose the items needing coverage.
You can follow this process if you decide it’s time to replace your water heater:
However, do note that the company may decide to perform a repair if they deem a replacement unnecessary.
The average repair cost of a water heater can be around $200- $1300, while the replacement may cost you $600- $3500, depending on the type of water heater you want.
|Water Heater Types||Repairing cost||Replacement cost||Maintenance cost|
|Hot Water Heater||$150-$700||$600-$1800||$100-$350|
|Tankless Water Heater||$300-$1300||$800-$3500||$75-$300|
|Gas water Heater||$50-$600||$880-$1525||$150-$450|
|Electric Water Heater||$100-$350||$800- $1000||$75-$250|
In such a situation, getting a home warranty is a good deal. A home warranty offers a plethora of plans starting from the basic to the higher end ones. The average basic home warranty monthly plan may cost you around $25-$60. If you want to include add-ons to your coverage, it will also form part of the premium. There are also more expensive plans that offer more comprehensive coverage options and a higher coverage cap.
In addition to your premium, you will be required to pay a deductible of $50-$200 to the service technician when your water heater breaks down. You can learn more about the cost of home warranties by reading the sample user agreement and a detailed guide.
There are various home warranties companies that offer coverage plans for your water heater. The following companies are rated well for their services:
Choice Home Warranty offers two water heater coverage plans: Basic, and Total Plan. Their coverage is for both electric and gas water heaters and includes all parts and components, except vents, flues, storage tanks, thermal expansion tanks, etc.
The Home Service Club offers two types of plans that cover the water heater: Standard and Comprehensive Coverage. They cover power vent water heaters, gas water heaters, direct vent water heaters, electric water heaters, indirect water heaters, and tankless water heaters.
Select Home Warranty offers three plans: Gold Care, Bronze Care, and Platinum Care Plan that provide water heater coverage to homeowners, buyers, sellers, and real estate agents.
You can even check out the other best home warranty companies that cover water heaters.
When choosing a home warranty, it is important to find the right plan that can fit your needs. We know that choosing one company from a selection of many is not an easy task and have therefore outlined an easy process for you.
You can get feedback from your friends, neighbors or family about their experience with water heater coverage if they have purchased any home warranty plan.
Compare the home warranty companies that provide services in your area. You should also read reviews and the sample contract to get more information. Do your research and think carefully about the company’s offerings to see if they fit your budget and needs.
Getting a quote is always a good idea, as you will be able to find out about the home warranty plans that offer the coverage you desire, at reasonable prices.
Get all the information about how the home warranty works, what it covers, coverage limits and exclusions, the claims process, and customer service, and the costs. Now you can choose a home warranty plan that is beneficial for your home system and appliances.
A home warranty can save you from burning a hole in your pocket with your water heater’s costly repairs and replacement. The average repair and replacement of your water heater may cost you around $200 to $3500. But when you have a home warranty, it can cost less because the same premium applies to everything included in the plan. You can even get peace of mind when it breaks down due to normal wear and tear, since the repair professionals are skilled and qualified.
However, before purchasing a warranty, make sure to read about the water heater coverage in the sample contract.
What is the average lifespan of a water heater?
The average lifespan of a water heater depends on the water quality in your area, how often you use it, and how well you have maintained it. With regular maintenance and cleaning, you can expect a gas water heater to last between 8 to 12 years, whereas an electric water heater may last between 10 to 15 years.
Does a home warranty cover an aging water heater?
Yes, a home warranty does cover an aging water heater but if you are worried about pre-existing conditions affecting the claim status, get a home inspection done. A home warranty will provide coverage for most of the components and parts of your water heater, regardless of water heater type owns such as tankless water heaters, hot water heaters, electric water heaters, or gas water heaters.
Will American Home Shield replace my water heater?
Yes, American Home Shield may repair or replace your water heaters that break down due to normal wear and tear. They offer coverage plans that include circulating pumps and tankless water.
There are some restrictions and exclusions attached to the coverage for water heaters. They do not cover the water heater’s energy conservation units, auxiliary holding or storage tanks, and fuel storage tanks.
What voids a water heater warranty?
Your water heater warranty can become void if the device is installed incorrectly and breaks down due to lack of maintenance or wilful neglect and misuse.
You should always keep in mind that any damages to your water heater not specified in your home warranty contract, won’t be covered. We suggest you read the sample contract of any home warranty company before making a decision.
How long are warranties on water heaters?
The typical water heater usually comes with a five to six-year warranty, whether it is gas or electric. However, more expensive units come with longer warranties, sometimes as long as ten years. The cost may even vary depending on your choice of company and plan. It can also depend on the models and manufacturers of the home heater.
How can I tell if my water heater is under warranty?
There are various steps to find out that your water heater is under warranty:
How can I maintain my water heater?
You can follow these simple and quick tips to keep your water heater in good working condition:
How long will my water heater repair take?
When you file a claim for water heater repair, the home warranty companies try to schedule a repair visit as soon as possible. On average, the repair of the water heater takes about 2-3 hours, depending on the severity of the malfunction. However, in a situation wherein the appliance’s parts need to be ordered, it could take up to a week or two.
Should I buy an extended warranty on a water heater?
You can consider getting an extended warranty on a water heater after the manufacturer’s warranty expires just to extend its warranty. Typically, they offer one-year contract services for the repair and replacement of the appliances. However, a home warranty may be a better option since they cover most of your home appliances and systems and offer similar coverage.
Does homeowner insurance cover water heaters?
No, homeowners insurance does not cover the repair or replacement of major appliances, like a water heater, unless they break due to a covered peril like a house fire. But home warranty covers the repair and replacement of the water heater. Most people are likely to get confused between a home warranty and home insurance. If you want to learn more about their differences, check the Home Warranty vs. Home Insurance guide.
Should the seller replace the hot water heater?
Your seller may agree to replace the hot water heater if any defect is detected during the home inspection. Otherwise, you can ask for a reduced sale price to pay for replacement after closing.
Does First American Home Warranty Cover water heater?
Yes, First American Home Warranty covers water heaters when it breaks down due to normal wear and tear. A service technician is sent out to diagnose the problem and in case the water heater is beyond repair, the company may even pay for a replacement.