emergency hot water repair

Repairing Hot Water Heater

The hot water heater is arguably one of the most important appliances in your home. But it’s also the most neglected. Tucked away down in your dark, damp basement is the one thing standing between an ice cold shower and clothes and dishes that just won’t get clean.

And if it’s been a while since you gave your water heater an inspection, it might be high time to do so. In fact, routine inspections can save you hundreds in hot water heater repair costs.

Speaking of hot water heater repair costs, the national average currently sits at right around $525, with the range running from $206 – $845 for repair.

While costly, a malfunctioning hot water heater is something NONE of us want to go without. Imagine this, you wake up to a cold winter morning. To warm up you thought a nice hot shower would do the trick…but to your shock and awe, the water hurling towards you is nothing but ice cold!

In fact, cold water that will not warm up despite you turning on the “hot” water nozzle is a clear-cut indication that your hot water heater is in dire need of repair. The good news is that conventional modern heaters are fairly straightforward and simple. That being the case, there are only so many things that can go wrong with them and it isn’t all that difficult to troubleshoot the cause.<

Here’s how it works:

Cold water enters the take via your cold water line. This cold water is then heated by an electric element or gas burner depending on your setup. As the water heats up, the pressure inside of the unit builds. When you open your tap, pressure from the unit delivers hot water up the pipes and to your faucet or showerhead.

Common causes of hot water heater failures include:

  • Pilot light has gone out
  • Gas or water leak
  • Disconnected or corroded electric power wire
  • Tripped circuit breaker
  • Broken or malfunctioning thermostat
  • Tripped pressure relief valve
  • Burner or element failure

As you can imagine, some of those are “easy” repairs, and a few may actually warrant investing in a new hot water heater altogether.

Types of Water Heaters

There are only three main types:

  • Gas
  • Electric
  • And “on demand” which can be either gas or electric powered

Gas units heat the water with a flame, and electric units heat it with an “element” or coils. Both have similar life spans and both are similar in cost to repair.

When to Repair and When to Replace

That is the key question. When is it appropriate to replace and when is it more cost effective to simply repair your hot water heater? 

A new unit may run you $750-$1300 USD, with new tanks having an estimated life span of around 10-15 years. However, if a repair is all that’s needed, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars in unnecessary costs.

This is where it makes sense to call in the pros. A hot water heater specialist or plumber will know exactly what to look for and what you need. They can advise you on the pros and cons of each approach and will help consult you to make the right decision.

Will Repairing my Hot Water Heater Result in Lower Bills

Depending on what was wrong with your heater in the first place, it most certainly can. A unit that is not functioning at peak or optimal capacity often requires more energy (gas or electric) in order to heat the same amount of water. As such, tuning and repairing your hot water heater can often end up saving you a load of cash on your utility bills.

About Muccia Plumbing and Heating Inc

For more than 40 years, we have proudly provided our Bergen County, NJ customers with the best service, extraordinary reliability, and affordable pricing. Muccia Plumbing technicians use only the highest quality products, and we back every job with an unconditional satisfaction guarantee.
Michael Muccia is a Master Plumber and the owner and operator of Muccia Plumbing. Muccia Plumbing is a full-service Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) service company based in and serving Bergen County, NJ since 1978. The Muccia Plumbing team of trained and certified service technicians offers a variety of services including general plumbing and heating maintenance, for both residential and commercial clients.