Water Heater Costs: Replacement and Repair

2022-08-08 05:43:20 By : Ms. Weiya Wei

Nafeesah Allen, Ph.D. is a multi-lingual author, independent researcher, and content strategist who contributes to various national publications. She has over fifteen years of experience in government communications, editorial, crisis response, and team-building roles on four continents. She also works with funders, founders, and startups to offer thought leadership and brand marketing strategies. As a global real estate investor, she absolutely loves everything from scouting deals, underwriting, and interior design. In her stories, she shares perspectives from diverse investors, owners, renters, and designers who know the housing market from a variety of different angles.

Nafeesah has Ph.D. in Forced Migration from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa, a postgraduate diploma in Folklore & Cultural Studies at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in New Delhi, India, a Masters of International Affairs at Columbia University in 2009 and a BA from Barnard College at Columbia University. She is a Visiting Researcher at Wits, and has a forthcoming book with Palgrave. She has released numerous book chapters, articles, and a self-published bilingual children's book.

A water heater is an important appliance that is just as essential as your stove or refrigerator. If you've never gone a cold winter's day without hot water, trust me, now isn't the season to start. When your water heater is on the fritz, you'll be eager to install a new one, so make sure you've budgeted appropriately for a speedy repair.

According to HomeAdvisor, the typical price range is $822-$1,611 to install a new hot water heater. Depending on where you live and the tank you choose, the final price tag could be very different.

If your current water heater is more than 10 years old but still kicking, you should start saving up for a replacement. The typical lifespan of a tank water heater is eight to 12 years, while a tankless heater usually lasts 15 to 18 years. When it starts to be unreliable or finicky, it's likely on its last leg.

How will you know when it's time to replace your water heater? You'll notice that the water doesn't get nearly as hot or the water pressure is odd. Some people notice a change in the smell or color of hot water in their tap. These are all signs that the appliance is nearing the end of its life expectancy. Of course, you could call a contractor out to do a repair. Maybe the tank needs to be cleaned or you need a new thermostat. But if the heater is already well beyond its reliable years, most people find that it is cheaper to replace the heater rather than repair it.

Ask neighbors to recommend a reputable and reliable plumber or HVAC technician. Search online for a contractor in your zip code. Reach out to the available vendors and share a photo of the label on the outside of your heater.

The pros will be able to do some research before they even drop by your home; they'll likely know if parts for your appliance have been discontinued or difficult to find. And they usually know if there's been a recall or trends with faulty brands or models. This could be the easiest way to estimate costs and be prepared when the technician arrives.

Remember that your hot water heater could be faulty for a number of reasons: the water source, the appliance itself, or a plumbing issue behind the walls. If you're seeing leaks or dripping around the shower or sinks, know that the problem might require more than one kind of fix. You might need both a plumber and an HVAC tech.

For that, again, disclose all the issues that you've been experiencing and take recommendations. It's easy to check customer reviews on sites like Yelp and Better Business Bureau, so don't skip this step if you want to get feedback from people outside your circle. Here are some basic questions to ask if you're choosing between contractors:

When you inquire about water heater costs for a new unit, you must also factor in the long-term costs of energy. It is likely that the contractor will give you the option between a tank and a tankless water heater, so it is important to know the difference.

A tank water heater comes with a container that stores a limited volume of heated water, generally 30-120 gallons. Even when you're not in the shower, the water is being heated and held in the tank until you need it. Most Americans use a tank water heater because it costs less, but these models may also drive up your energy bills.

On the other hand, the technology behind the tankless models allows for an endless supply of hot water. The U.S. Department of Energy website explains that "tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, provide hot water only as it is needed... When a hot water faucet is turned on, cold water flows through a heat exchanger in the unit, and either a natural gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water." This is ideal for big families and multi-unit residences.

For those living on solar, there are also two active solar water heating systems that might work well in your home. The cost of initial installation tends to be significantly higher than costs associated with a conventional tank heater but, over time, years of low energy bills make up the difference.

There are three simple ways to get ahead of a costly and untimely bill.