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How much does the water heater replacement cost?

water heater repair
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Water heaters are convenient yet complex systems with several mechanical parts. If any of their parts break down, a malfunctioned water heater can be a barrier to your long showers. So, if your water heating system is on the fritz, get the issue diagnosed and repaired or replaced at the earliest.

Some of the faults can be minor, but the significant ones necessitate the purchase of expensive components or labor. One common reason people complain about is leaking, which is not repairable and demands replacement. If you wonder how much does it cost to replace a water heater, it’s between $1300 and $5500.

Here’s a breakdown of various water-heater replacement costs.

Cost to replace an electric water heater

The cost of replacing a water heater is affected by the size and kind of unit. Certain parts of your water heater may cost more than others. Here, we have listed some major parts and replacement costs you may be required to pay.

  • Heating element: Electric water heaters have two heating components. One is at the bottom, and the other is located at the top of your tank. Each element is wired with an electrical current which causes them to get heated. These, in turn, warm the water within the tank. A variety of factors can cause the element to stop operating. If you encounter an issue with your water tank’s heating element, it will most likely cost $200 and $300 to replace.
  • Dip tube: It is a tube that carries cold water from the tank’s top to the bottom where the lower element reheats. This tube may become worn out over time and cause a leak. Due to the leak, cool water will be blended with hot water and eventually lower the overall temperature of the water. If you replace a faulty tube yourself, it may cost as little as $10. If you opt for a professional serviceman, it may cost you extra bucks.
  • Anode rod: Corrosion of units tends to happen. Anode rods help keep corrosion at bay. They increase the lifespan of your equipment. The typical anode rod has a lifespan of roughly five years after which, it should be replaced to help protect your unit from damage. An anode rod typically costs around $50. It might cost roughly $250 or $300 to replace the rod.
  • Pressure relieving valve: This valve relieves excess pressure in your tank. If it fails, the tank may leak, causing water damage. There are a variety of conditions that might cause the valve to fail. Sometimes it just wears out. In other circumstances, too much sediment may have accumulated. The valve might cost anywhere from $20 to $200 to fix.
  • Thermostat: Most heaters feature two thermostats. Each one relates to a different element. If either thermostat fails, the water will not heat up as efficiently. The lower thermostat is in charge of the majority of your water heating. The higher thermostat will activate if you have a massive load of hot water. If any of these fails, you may discover too much cold water mixed in with the hot water. A replacement typically costs between $150 and $200.

Cost to replace a gas water heater

Mechanical parts and components of a gas water heater are generally expensive which can raise the costs of replacing the water heater. So, if you use one, the average replacement costs of some major parts would be:

  • Thermocouple: Thermocouples have a pretty straightforward function. They detect whether or not the pilot light is turned on. It essentially acts as a gas pedal. The thermocouple will be unable to detect the pilot light if it fails to function. As a result, it won’t emit the gas. If you have a faulty thermocouple, the replacement may cost $200.
  • Pilot light: It is relatively unusual for a pilot light to fail but it can occur due to a momentary gas disconnect. A plumber can assist in relighting the pilot light. Technicians will charge an hourly rate ranging from $40 to $150. Fixing the pilot light is generally a quick project that takes an hour at max.
  • Gas control valve: Replacing a gas control valve is more expensive than other gas heater fixes. It may cost anywhere between $300 and $500.

Additional factors that influence your water heater’s replacement cost

Other than the problems mentioned above, some other things affect the replacement cost:

  • Your location: If the service professional needs to travel more than a few miles to reach your location, they may charge an additional amount.
  • Make, model, and age of your equipment: If your water heater is quite old, it may not be easy to find parts. Newer and more popular models are easier to find and usually cost less.

You can budget for such expensive replacements if your home warranty plan covers your water heater. You can request a service from the company when it goes down. After that, a service technician will arrive at your home to inspect your device. If they find the problem beyond repair, your water heater will be replaced as per the company’s terms.

Additionally, you would be expected to pay a service call fee to the technician. Depending on the home warranty company, the fees could be anywhere around $50-$100 or more. With a home warranty, you are not required to pay hefty amounts, just a small deductible, and monthly premiums to get things fixed quickly.

The bottom line

These are some common water heater issues and the costs of getting them replaced. If your water heater experiences any signs of decline, prompt replacement or repair is a must.


Story by Victoria Baeker. She is the senior editor at She enjoys finding ways to minimize her living costs and is a craft enthusiast. While she specializes in finance and insurance, she also likes to write long rants about books and movies.

augusta free press
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