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A Guide to the Best Water Heater Warranty (2024)

Author Image Written by Dana Getz + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by Michael Mansueto Updated 06/19/2024

A residential water heater is a home system that’s responsible for heating up water for cooking, cleaning, bathing, and space heating. If your system fails, you could be without hot water—but a home warranty can protect against the unforeseen costs of a water heater breakdown caused by wear and tear.

In this review, we’ll discuss the importance of protecting your water heater, how to find the best water heater warranty, and which of our highest recommended home warranty providers offer this type of coverage.

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Monthly Cost $49–$59
Service Fee $65–$125
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States Covered 50
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Monthly Cost $29–$89
Service Fee $100–$125
BBB Rating B
States Covered 48
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Monthly Cost $44–$47
Service Fee $60–$75
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Monthly Cost $35–$94
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States Covered 49

Cost Breakdown of Common Water Heater Repairs

If your water heater unexpectedly breaks down from wear-and-tear damage, a home warranty can save you money on costly repairs or an entire system replacement. Below are some of the most common causes of water heater breakdowns, what can be done to resolve the issue, and the average cost of related repairs and maintenance.

Malfunction

Solution

Average Cost

The pilot light will not ignite on gas heaters

Replace the valve or thermocouple

$50 to $150

Your water has a rusty color and a strange odor or taste

The anode rod may have extensive corrosion and requires replacement

$20 to $50, plus labor costs

The water in your home won’t heat to the specified temperature

It’s possible that the dip tube is broken and needs to be replaced

$150

Life Span of Water Heaters

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors states that tankless water heaters typically last for 10 years, while conventional systems degrade between six and 12 years. The cost to replace a water heater is typically between $600 and $1,800. If you don’t have a water heater warranty when your system starts to fail, you could be out hundreds of dollars on necessary repairs and replacements.

Get Estimates from Approved Water Heater Pros
Typical costs between $820 and $3,000

Water Heater Warranty vs. Home Warranty

Most manufacturers include a water heater warranty whenever you purchase a new system. You’ll often have to register your system’s serial number, which is found in your warranty information packet, within 30 days after installation to receive coverage. This may cause problems for homeowners who purchase a home containing a water heater that the previous owner didn’t correctly register.

Once the manufacturer’s warranty expires, homeowners face the risk of paying for repair or replacement costs completely out of pocket; this can become expensive as water heater installation costs can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Sometimes, a manufacturer will offer an extended coverage plan to lengthen a warranty. However, this extended protection may not cover both parts and labor for repairs or replacements. Additionally, manufacturer’s warranties typically only cover defects, not damage sustained in the course of using the water heater.

To guarantee that the essential parts of your system are protected, consider investing in a home warranty. A home warranty is an annual service contract that protects major systems and appliances in your home, including your water heater, whenever they break down due to normal wear and tear. Note that home warranties don’t typically cover damage from rust, corrosion, or sediment.

Read more: Home Warranties Explained

Making a Claim with a Manufacturer’s Warranty vs. Home Warranty

To request service under a manufacturer’s warranty, the policyholder must locate a licensed dealer in their area. While most qualified technicians can repair a water heater, many manufacturers limit who can perform the work. If there’s not an approved repair technician in your area who can tackle the necessary repairs, you may experience delays in resolving the issue.

However, most home warranty companies have a dedicated network of experts who are qualified to repair water heaters and other covered home systems and appliances. After a claim is filed, the provider will generally respond within 48 hours.

Cost Difference Between Manufacturer Warranties and Home Warranties

On average, a home warranty costs around $540 per year for basic protection and $825 per year for more comprehensive packages. Homeowners are also responsible for paying a service trade fee to a technician once they arrive to diagnose or make a repair. These fees generally range between $75 and $125 per service visit.

Water heater warranty costs will differ dramatically between manufacturers and vendors. For instance, Home Depot offers a five-year warranty for $69 on systems that are purchased from the store. Rheem also provides an extended water heater warranty for $115 when the installer uses an upgrade kit during installation.


Best Water Heater Warranty Providers

Of all the home warranty providers in the industry, the following two are the best for offering water heater protection.

Provider

Liberty Home Guard

American Home Shield

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Get Estimate

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Water heater coverage

Covered under Systems Guard and Total Home Guard

Covered under ShieldPlatinum™, ShieldGold™, and ShieldSilver™

Monthly premiums

$55–$70

$20–$150

Service fees

$65$125

$100–$125

Liberty Home Guard (LHG) offers extended protection for essential systems and appliances, including water heaters. Along with its specialized coverage options, Liberty Home Guard stands apart as our preferred provider for the following reasons:

  • Covers 50 states
  • Provides 24/7 claims processing via phone, online portal, chat, and mobile app
  • Offers 38 unique add-on coverage options
  • Responds to service requests within 48 hours
  • Includes a 60-day workmanship guarantee, double the industry standard of 30 days
  • Maintains excellent customer review scores
  • Read more: Our Expert Liberty Home Guard Review

Get a customized quote for coverage from Liberty Home Guard by completing this online form or speaking to a customer service representative at 866-452-9107.

American Home Shield (AHS) offers extensive coverage for water heaters and other home systems and appliances. In addition to its affordable coverage, American Home Shield offers the following key features:

  • Covers 49 states (all but Alaska)
  • Has a claims center that’s open 24/7/365
  • Provides generous coverage cap of $5,000 for water heaters
  • Covers rust, corrosion, and sediment damage
  • Responds to service requests within 48 hours
  • Allows policyholders to select service fees of $100 or $125—a higher fee results in lower monthly payments
  • Boasts a B rating from the BBB

To receive a personalized quote from American Home Shield, simply fill out this online form or you can discuss the policy’s terms with a customer service expert by calling 844-529-9298. To learn more check out our full analysis of American Home Shield.


FAQs About the Best Water Heater Warranty

What are the different types of water heaters?

There are several water heater models that all function slightly differently.

  • Storage tank—Water is stored within a reservoir and kept at a hot temperature.
  • Tankless—Also known as on-demand heaters, tankless water heaters directly heat water without the use of a reservoir. They’re generally smaller and may be wall-mounted.
  • Heat pump—These transfer heat into stored water, rather than generating that heat directly.
  • Indirect—These use a home’s space heating system to create hot water.

What’s the difference between a gas and electric water heater?

The primary differences between gas and electric water heaters, other than the fuel source, are the heating components. A gas unit includes its thermostat on the control valve, while electric models feature a separate temperature controller. Gas water heaters are also equipped with safety features like a heat-limiting device to prevent overheating and a thermocouple to disconnect the fuel during an emergency.

Which water heater is best for my home?

The type of water heater that makes the most sense for your home largely depends on the space you have. For instance, a tankless model has a much smaller footprint and is ideal for small, single-family homes as opposed to a unit with a large storage tank.


Our Rating Methodology

We back up our home warranty ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each provider. We conduct research by speaking with company representatives, requesting quotes, analyzing sample contracts from each company, and conducting focus groups and consumer surveys. We then score each provider against our review standards for coverage, value, trustworthiness and transparency, availability, and customer service to arrive at a final score out of 100.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.