Dealing with an unexpected cold shower due to a failing water heater is dreadful. And figuring out your repair needs and costs can be just as shocking—especially if this isn’t the first time. Fortunately, most water heaters are already under warranty, protecting you from high costs of unexpected repairs or a full replacement. That’s why it’s so important to check in on your system’s warranty coverage and length.
To cut back on these chilling surprises, we’ve laid out the basics of water heater warranties, how to determine your coverage, and where to turn for better options.
How Do Water Heater Warranties Work?
A water heater warranty will protect you from manufacturer error or pricey fixes later. For most water heater purchases, the manufacturer will already include a warranty that often requires registration by serial number within 30 days of purchase. Upon installation, your warranty will last from that date to whatever coverage length you have provided.
While warranties vary in the extent of coverage they offer, most include the following:
- Labor (usually only one year, or sometimes none)
- Inner tank lining
- Defective parts
- Heat exchanger
- Replacement (usually not including upgrading costs or installation)
Specifications vary between warranty options and providers, but most water heater warranties limit or exclude coverage of the following:
- Improper installation or use
- Natural disaster
- Environmental damage
- Relocation of unit
- Work performed by unauthorized dealers
How Long Is a Water Heater Warranty Good For?
In most cases, the warranty length is an indicator of how long a manufacturer expects that specific model to last. The most common coverage lengths are 6, 9, or 12 years. Standard gas and electric water heaters are usually covered for 5 to 6 years, and more advanced or tankless models will typically have a lengthier plan of 10-12 years. However, choice of coverage should also be determined based on several other factors including system use, anode rod type, water type, supporting home systems, residential or commercial use, and more. All these factors will affect how often your water heater system may need repairs or part replacement.
But with regular maintenance and care, your water heater system will last far longer, which can justify having a longer warranty regardless of your model. Also, if the manufacturer provides it, a warranty extension can be made on the original plan. Another option is to add a home warranty instead. These plans often provide long-term labor coverage, unlike most water heater warranty plans.
Related Topic: What Temperature Should a Water Heater Be Set At?
How Do I Check My Water Heater Warranty?
To figure out your current warranty type and length, you’ll have to determine your unit’s year of manufacture and installation date.
Find the owner’s manual that lists your system information and the paperwork for your installation date.
If you can’t find either, check the side of your water heater for a manufacturer label that lists the date of installation.
If the installation date is missing from the label, use the first four digits of your serial number to determine the month and year of manufacture. The first two digits represent the month, and the second set of two digits indicate the year (MMYY).
Visit your manufacturer’s website to insert your serial number and check your warranty coverage.
If you’re still uncertain or find you are without coverage, contact the manufacturer or nearby plumbing company to assist you.
Get Your Water Heater Warranty Check
Unexpected cold shower or not, your water heater should be protected by the right warranty. By checking your coverage with your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing, you can ensure that an expertly matched plan will help you get the most out of your water heating system. To get started, call us at (855) 982-2028 or request a job estimate online for service.