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How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Water Heater?

Most homeowners don't give their water heater a second thought until something goes wrong, and an unexpected blast of cold water shoots forth from the shower head, or the hot water tap only runs cold. Whether the unit has started to leak or has stopped heating, a prompt repair is essential for your comfort and well-being. Before calling a plumber to fix the water heater, there are a few things you should know.

National Repair a Water Heater Costs

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by ImproveNet members.

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Average reported cost

based on 6961 cost profiles


Minimum cost


Maximum cost

Most homeowners spent between:




National Repair a Water Heater Costs
Average reported cost $463
Number of Cost Profiles 6961 cost profiles
Minimum reported cost $52
Maximum reported cost $1,135
Most homeowners spent between: $240 to $549

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The Average Cost to Repair A Water Heater 

When a water heater breaks down, the average cost of a repair is $455. Most homeowners pay between $365 and $540 to have their broken hot water heaters fixed. The final cost of having a water heater repaired will depend on the type of water heater, the scope of the problem and whether additional repairs to the natural gas supply, plumbing or electrical systems are needed. Water heater repairs should only be done by an experienced, trained and licensed professional. 

Common Water Heater Problems 

In water heater tanks, one of the most common problems is corrosion. Hard water can cause corrosion of the tank from the inside out, resulting in leaks. Minerals can also damage the heating element. Other common problems include thermostat issues, dirty pilot light sensors, a broken thermocouple or electrical wiring problems. Tankless water heaters may experience problems with sensors, fuel supply or the thermostat.

Water Heater Repair Considerations 

An average water heater tank lasts for eight to 10 years. If your water heater is old and breaks down, you may be better off replacing it, as the average repair costs more than half the average cost of replacement. If a costly part has broken, replacement may be a wise decision, as more parts could soon fail. When water heater tanks begin to leak, a repair usually isn't an option. A new water heater is likely to be more energy-efficient than your older heater, so a replacement could yield savings on monthly energy bills. Some homeowners find that local building codes have changed and that after their water heater is repaired, upgrades to the venting system, drain pan and other components are needed. This can add to the project cost.

Last updated on May 19, 2016

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