Since your water heater provides essential hot water for a number of household uses, keeping it in good repair is vital. A number of issues can cause problems with a water heater, but your plumber can evaluate your heater’s symptoms to plan an effective repair. The age, location, and type of your water heater may influence the difficulty and cost of service, as well as the nature of the repair.
Residential and Business Water Heater Repairs
Depending on the nature of a business, the size and location of a water heater may influence the extent of repairs. While some commercial locations may use a small appliance to provide water for basic cleaning and restroom use, larger facilities may use multiple or substantial water heaters. Water heater repairs at businesses can vary widely in scope, but average $207 to complete. Similarly, the difficulty of water heater repairs in apartments may depend on whether the heater is located in a central utility area or in the unit, and cost about $164. Water heaters in single family homes are generally accessible and have consistent repair issues, costing an average of $147 to repair.
Water Heater Size
The size of your water heater may influence the cost of repairs, since accessing, emptying, or maneuvering the appliance can become more difficult as size increases. Average repairs on a small 30 gallon tank heater cost $122, compared to $156 for a 40 gallon unit and $171 for a 50 gallon tank. Tankless water heaters do not store supplies of hot water, but are available in a variety of sizes to meet the needs of your household. The design differences between tank style and tankless water heaters influence repair techniques, with tankless repair rates averaging $138, regardless of size.
Types of Water Heater Problems
Understanding the issues you experience with your water heater will help your plumber diagnose problems for an efficient repair. Leaks can be repaired for an average of $108, depending on their origin. Replacing or repairing valves and pipes is generally straightforward, while stopping a leak from the storage tank may require a full replacement of your water heater. If your water heater makes unusual sounds, the source of noises could relate to normal operation and maintenance, or indicate the need for adjustments to regulate pressure or performance, and may cost $119 to correct. Performance issues may relate to a number of problems, with repair costs for water heaters that do not heat at all averaging $144, compared to $163 for those that work intermittently, and $138 for problems with pilot lights on gas units.
Whether your water heater is tankless or a storage unit, the type of fuel it uses can be an indicator of the complexity and expense of repairs. Electric water heaters can typically be serviced for about $124, while it may cost $147 to repair a natural gas heater or $133 for a propane-fired appliance. The condition of wiring, fuel supply lines, and ventilation-- as well as fuel-specific maintenance and repair techniques—can help your plumber determine how your heat source will affect the cost of water heater repairs.
Planning for Water Heater Repairs
Though a number of issues can cause problems with water heaters, the nature of problems and the characteristics of your unit can help you plan and budget for repairs. Your water heater’s location and general condition can also help your plumber plan for and complete repairs that will restore its safe and efficient operation.