Your water heater, like every part of your plumbing, requires regular maintenance and possible repairs.
When you don’t have the experience to handle a stubborn water heater issue yourself, you can call for the assistance of a professional.
Who do you call when you have a water heater problem? Does it matter if you have a gas water heater compared to an electric water heater or tankless water heater?
In this PlumbingNav guide, we cover:
- When do you need to call for help with hot water heater repair?
- Who works on water heaters?
- Who installs a water heater?
- How much do common water heater repairs cost?
|What's In This Guide?|
When Do You Need To Call For Help With Hot Water Heater Repairs?
Every water heater can benefit from annual maintenance, and it becomes more important as the water heater gets older.
A professional can come to perform water heater service for you every year so you don’t need to worry about it.
For a storage tank water heater, the plumber will flush the tank and tighten all connections after a visual inspection.
Tankless water heaters require a subversive 3/16 hp circulating pump, a bucket, and vinegar to flush the unit, and they may also have a filter you need to clean.
Homes with hard water may want to perform maintenance more often than once a year since hard water contains more minerals, leaving behind more calcium deposits that damage the components in the unit.
Leaking Water Heater
A water heater leak can occur at the top of the water heater, the bottom of the water heater, or the tank itself.
If the water heater leak occurs at the tank, you will need to replace the entire unit. The tank must have experienced enough corrosion for it to eat through the tank, causing the leak.
A patch will only put a bandaid over the problem for a limited time as it continues to get worse and possibly cause water damage to your home.
If the leak occurs at the top or bottom, it may be the result of a damaged valve. A plumber can replace the damaged part and possibly even upgrade the quality to a more durable material to ensure it doesn’t become damaged again so quickly.
Water Gets Too Hot
Sediment buildup inside a water heater can damage the thermostat and its sensor, making the heating element work harder. This results in heating the incoming cold water higher than the water temperature setting. If you suspect this, read more about how to test your water heater’s thermostat.
The excessively hot water may scald someone in your home. Plus, high temperatures create more pressure inside the water heater tank. If the pressure relief valve fails to release the pressure automatically, the water heater can actually explode.
Low Water Flow
Not getting the same amount of hot water as before? It’s a possibility that you have a clogged pipe somewhere along the way. If you’re experiencing low pressure throughout your home, ensure you don’t have a slab leak.
Poor Water Quality
As part of the water heating process, the water supply may come into contact with corrosion and rust that isn’t safe to drink. The rusty water may be discolored and smell like rotten eggs. Experienced plumbers can improve your water quality by replacing the anode rod and flushing the unit, making it healthy again.
Who Works On Water Heaters?
When you need repair or water heater maintenance, you need to call a plumber who specifically advertises water heater services.
A plumber can handle anything related to a currently installed water heater, but they may not have everything necessary to perform a complicated water heater installation, such as an upgrade to a tankless water heater.
Who Installs A Water Heater?
A plumber can install a water heater that mimics the previous water heater in style and electrical or gas supply requirements. A plumber can adequately handle any new ventilation work for a gas water heater that you want to vent differently from the last device.
However, you may need to enlist the help of two plumbers if they need to move a heavy water heater tank to the desired location, which may increase the price.
If you need to upgrade your electrical wiring at your circuit breaker to accept 240v instead of only 120v, you will need the help of an electrician. The electrician will provide the electrical foundation for you to safely power the new water heater.
Alternatively, you may decide to stick with a water heater that only requires 120v to keep things simple, but that limits the amount of power it will generate.
If you get a gas water heater but your gas meter can’t produce the required amount of gas for all of your home’s devices, a technician from the gas company will need to upgrade your gas meter.
How Much Do Common Water Heater Repairs Cost?
The national average water heater repair service costs $450. Maintenance costs $100 to $200.
Gas water heaters sometimes run into more expensive repairs than electric water heaters.
Gas water heaters may require more repairs if the pilot light constantly blows out, or if the appliance isn’t ventilating the toxic gases it generates properly. Pilot light repairs cost between $75 to $175.
If you reset an electric water heater, but it still doesn’t work, it may have a broken heating element or a broken thermostat. Thermostat repair costs between $75 to $150.
Tankless water heater repair tends to cost slightly less than tank water heater repairs, with hybrid water heaters having the highest repair costs at up to $900.
Bradford White and GE have some of the highest repair costs by brand, with Whirlpool and Kenmore falling on the lower end of the spectrum.
FAQs For Who To Call For Water Heater Repairs
Do plumbers replace water heaters?
Yes, plumbers repair and replace water heaters.
You can call your plumber for a water heater replacement. However, they may need additional help if you decide to upgrade from a tank water heater to a tankless heater.
When should you call a plumber for a water heater?
Call a plumber for a water heater for:
- Scalding hot water
- Low Water Flow
Is it worth repairing a water heater?
If a water heater still has some time on its life expectancy, an emergency water heater repair can keep it running properly for several more years.
However, if the tank leaks or the unit far exceeds its estimated life expectancy, you should replace the unit.
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