We earn a commission from brands listed on this site. This influences the order and manner in which these listings are presented.
Advertising Disclosure

A Guide to the Best Warranty for Water Heaters

Sunday Odudu Bio
A Guide to the Best Warranty for Water Heaters
What if your hot water suddenly stopped? Do you feel confident that any problem, big or small, will be fixed quickly without hefty bills? If not, you need a warranty plan for your water heater.

Your water heater typically only lasts up to a decade. Whether you own or rent, understanding what your contract covers is crucial for peace of mind. As a seasoned insurance producer and renovation specialist, I'll use my expertise to take you through the details of water heater warranties.

We'll review their coverage, what factors affect your appliance life spans, and the differences between these guarantees and home warranties. Whether you're looking for protection for a new installation or your existing unit, you should be prepared for any unforeseen issues.

» Want to improve the quality of your drinking water? Use these water-softening tips from a plumber.

How Does a Water Heater Work?

A water heater warms up water in a tank using gas or electricity. When you need hot water, a burner or element heats the incoming cold water. The warm water then moves to the top and goes out to your appliances, taps, and showers via a pipe.

Afterward, the heater takes in more cold water to heat up, keeping hot water ready for use. Regular water heater maintenance strategies, like leak inspections, are the best way to make sure it stays in working condition. But even then, issues can occur, and that's when you'll need cover.

What Is a Water Heater Warranty?

A water heater warranty is a contract between you and the product provider or manufacturer. It covers repairs or replacement if your water heater has problems during the protection period—usually one year. There are three main types depending on the water heater's age:

Manufacturer Warranty

The company provides a five to six-year warranty covering defects. Generally, a licensed plumber must install the unit for it to be valid.

  • Pro: This cover includes the cost of your goods. It also covers flaws caused by the manufacturer and provides peace of mind. Plus, the transferrable nature of this warranty may increase the value of your unit at auction.
  • Con: It may only cover a portion of damages and have restricted coverage periods.

Extended Warranty

Some manufacturers offer coverage that starts after the original warranty expires. It typically lasts from one to three additional years.

  • Pro: This option increases coverage over the manufacturer's warranty. Also, it often guards against wear and tear or unintentional damages.
  • Con: Since they come from manufacturers or sellers, they're extra and might include fees or deductibles.

Home Warranty

Your water heater can be included in or added to a home warranty plan from companies like American Home Shield or Liberty Home Guard after any other warranties end. This gives you continued protection.

  • Pro: This plan covers repairs and replacements for home systems and appliances due to wear and tear. It can save you money on unexpected expenses and provides convenience and peace of mind.
  • Con: It may include service fees for each repair. There are also limitations and exclusions in coverage, such as preexisting conditions. (Specific details depend on the plan.)
What Is a Water Heater Warranty

Compare Water Heater Warranty Companies

Choice Home Warranty (CHW)

Choice Home Warranty covers water heaters regardless of age and works with a network of skilled technicians to ensure quality service. Its plans also protect other essential systems like refrigerators, dishwashers, and plumbing. Additionally, the company has quick response times to minimize inconveniences should you need repairs.

American Home Shield (AHS)

American Home Shield is one of the US's oldest and most experienced home warranty providers. AHS offers 24/7 emergency service for urgent water heater issues. Plus, the firm doesn't ask for any maintenance records when you sign up for its services. It also often has promotions like $200 off and two months free.

First American Home Warranty (FAHW)

First American Home Warranty's competitive pricing makes it an affordable choice if you're on a tighter budget. It covers water heaters regardless of age. Its contracts also have a 30-day waiting period waiver, which is helpful if you need instant cover. And the service provides discounts for multiple-year contracts.

American Residential Warranty (ARW)

American Residential Warranty includes coverage for your water heater in most of its plans. If you need any repair services, you can choose your own technician. You just need to call the firm to get authorization. Additionally, you get a 30-day guarantee on any fixes and 60 days for any replacements.

Select Home Warranty (SHW)

A helpful feature of Select Home Warranty is that it covers your water heater without requiring a pre-inspection. You can also get protection for your heating system, ductwork, and plumbing stoppage. Plus, SHW offers a 30-day free trial and will give you a $150 discount and two months free.

Choice Home Warranty
American Home Shield
First American Home Warranty
American Residential Warranty
Select Home Warranty
Average premium
From $35/month
From $20/month
From $39.99/month
From $25/month
From $36/month
Service call fee
Payout cap
Up to $1,500
Up to $3,000
Up to $3,500
Up to $3,500
Up to $2,000
BBB rating

What Is the Average Life Span of a Water Heater?

Typically, water heaters last for about 10 years. But the water's grade, how you use the unit, how well you maintain it, and its original quality can change this. Hard water minerals can also shorten a water heater's life by causing clogging and corrosion. However, prompt repairs and regular checks can extend its life.

What Is the Average Life Span of a Water Heater

» Not sure if your systems are protected? Find out which appliances need extended warranties.

Water Heater Warranty vs. Home Warranty

Water Heater-Specific Warranty

A water heater-specific warranty is a targeted cover that protects your water heater. This specialized warranty means you can get fixes faster without digging through a more extensive home warranty for details. It makes it easier to handle water heater trouble.

Usually, a new water heater has a serial number and a warranty. If you buy a house, you can only use the warranty if the last owners registered the heater correctly. If they didn't follow the guidelines, you won't be able to extend the warranty, and any repairs will come out of pocket.

Home Warranty With Water Heater Coverage

A water heater is just one of the many items a seller's home warranty covers in the house sale. So opting for a home warranty from firms like The Home Service Club protects different systems in your house. You have comprehensive coverage for air conditioners, plumbing, electrical systems, and more under a single plan.

If you expect repairs on multiple systems, one home plan covering everything is cheaper than individual warranties for each appliance or system. This means that when you need to claim, there's only one service number to keep track of instead of multiple contacts for each warranty.

» Upgrade your home protection with these American Home Shield alternatives.

What to Consider When Choosing a Warranty Provider

There are many things to consider and questions to ask when purchasing a home warranty. Here are the key factors to keep in mind:

  • Options for coverage: Evaluate alternative kinds of coverage that are available. Many home warranties also cover water heaters.
  • Reputation and reliability: Examine your provider's track record, client testimonials, and degree of dependability when upholding guarantees.
  • Cost vs. value: Compare the warranty price to the protection and peace of mind it offers. Does the cover meet your specific needs while staying within your budget?
  • Customer service: Take into account the level of customer service presented by the warranty provider. How prompt are they, and how simple is it to file claims?
  • Terms and conditions: Review the warranty's terms and conditions carefully. There may be restrictions or hidden fees like deductibles, transfers, and cancellation charges. Also, check for additional requirements or exclusions of different parts or damages.
What to Consider When Choosing a Warranty Provider

What's Included in Water Heater Warranties?

Common components covered under tank-type water heater warranties include:

  • Anode rods
  • Gas burners (in gas-powered units)
  • Heating elements
  • Pressure relief valves
  • Tanks
  • Thermostats

Tankless water heater warranties usually focus on specific components like:

  • Electronic controls
  • Heat exchangers
  • Venting systems

What's Excluded From Water Heater Warranties?

Certain parts or features of your water heater may be subject to particular exclusions stated in your contract. To understand these details, you need to read your warranty carefully. Common exclusions could be:

  • Damage resulting from overuse, abuse, or inappropriate handling
  • Regular wear and tear
  • Unauthorized modifications or repairs
  • Unintentional damage or acts of nature, such as fires or floods
  • Theft or loss
  • Damage caused after the end of the guarantee period

Common Water Heater Repair Costs

A warranty can save you from high, unexpected expenses when something goes wrong with your unit. Here are some of the most common causes of water heater system failures, how to resolve them, and the average price of repairs without a warranty.

System Issue
Average Price
Water is unable to heat to set temperature
A broken dip tube needs replacing
Water is discolored with an odd taste or smell
A corroded anode rod needs replacing
Pilot light won't ignite on a gas heater
A broken thermocouple or valve needs replacing

Average Cost of a Warranty

Warranty costs can vary depending on the kind of product or services covered and who provides it:

Lowest price
Average price
Highest price
 Common Water Heater Repair Costs

How to File a Warranty Claim

If your water heater has issues within the warranty period, you'll need to file a successful home warranty claim. To do this:

  1. Check your warranty documents: Find your warranty information and review the coverage, exclusions, and how to make a claim.
  2. Identify the problem and make sure it's covered: Clearly describe the issue with your product and ensure your problem falls under the covered items. Refer to your policy documents or contact your home warranty company for clarification if you're unsure.
  3. Gather necessary information: Collect required documents like proof of purchase (receipt, invoice, online confirmation), your warranty card with its serial number, and photos or videos showing the trouble.
  4. Contact the warranty service: Find contact details for making a claim, which could be on the service's website—under claims or customer service—or in your warranty documents.
  5. Initiate the claim process: Follow the steps the company gives you. You may need to fill out online forms, send an email with your claim and supporting documents, or call customer service for guidance on the claim process.

Once approved, a technician will evaluate your water heater. If the consultant can't repair it, the warranty company will likely replace it for free.

Protect Your Investment With a Warranty Plan

A warranty plan is a smart investment. With potential issues always looming, having reliable coverage can save you from unexpected expenses and hassles. So, consider your peace of mind and practical benefits when weighing up the reasons for getting a home warranty plan.

Picking the right warranty helps take care of your home and keeps things running smoothly. It's not just about fixing problems; it's about preventing them and making home life easier.

» Need to repair a water leak? Call our best home warranty companies for plumbing coverage.

Sunday Odudu Bio
Sunday Odudu, a top 10 writer and an expert in home warranties, has over a decade of experience in sales and public administration. As a seasoned insurance producer and former lead renovation specialist, he has collaborated with start-ups, global corporations, and governmental bodies.