A water heater is one of many critical pieces of home equipment that is always working in the background to maintain a comfortable and functional home. You may go days or weeks without thinking about it, but you will certainly notice if your water heater malfunctions and leaves you without hot water.
If your water heater does break down, repair does not come cheap. The average cost of repair is more than $500. This expense can double for complex problems in areas with high costs of living. If a full replacement is required, you can be on the hook for several thousands of dollars.
There are ways to mitigate these expenses. Namely, warranty coverage can prevent you from paying out of pocket for water heater repair or replacement. There are various warranty options available, however, and it can be a challenge to identify the plan that best suits your home and lifestyle.
We’ll clear things up in this article. Let’s review hot water heater warranty coverage and how you should go about obtaining it.
What Is a Warranty for a Water Heater?
A warranty, in a general sense, is a service contract to maintain and repair an expensive appliance or system. It functions similarly to insurance in that customers pay a premium to a warranty company to maintain coverage, and the warranty company in turn covers the costs of parts and labor when service is required.
You can purchase warranty coverage for virtually any major appliance or system. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to have coverage for their refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, dishwashers, HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical systems, and more. Coverage can come from the appliance’s original manufacturer, third-party warranty providers like Liberty Home Guard, or even big box stores like Lowe’s or Best Buy. Different providers often specialize in different forms of coverage, so there is significant variety among warranty policies.
A warranty for a water heater is, of course, specific to that appliance. It does not provide coverage for any other home appliances or systems. You may see it referred to as a hot water heater protection plan, extended warranty, or even insurance. These are all functionally the same thing, even if names and policy specifics differ from provider to provider.
How Do Water Heater Warranties Work?
There are countless water heater models on the market, many of which function in completely different ways. For the purposes of this explanation, however, the type of water heater you own is not important. An electric water heater warranty and gas water heater warranty operate in much the same way.
With an active policy, all a homeowner needs to do is submit a claim with their provider when water heater service or maintenance is required. The provider will arrange for a technician to visit the homeowner’s residence to inspect the water heater and provide a diagnosis.
If the water heater can be repaired, the technician will do so. In some cases, it may need to be replaced, and some policies cover this as well. The warranty provider covers the cost of parts and labor, saving the homeowner the significant out of pocket expenses of repair or replacement.
Will a Home Warranty Replace Water Heater Components Too?
How does all this compare to a home warranty? Well, a home warranty is also a service contract, but it is more expansive in scope. A home warranty most often covers a suite of major home appliances and systems, with water heaters often included. So, yes, a home warranty will cover the replacement of water heater components—or even the replacement of the entire unit—just as an appliance-specific plan will.
Bear in mind that this expansion of coverage means higher premiums, of course, but with this comes a greater potential for savings on home repair, maintenance, and improvement costs.
Which Plan Is Best for You?
Homeowners have the choice between an appliance-specific policy and a home warranty for water heater coverage.
For most people, the comprehensive home warranty makes more sense. While more expensive, it provides coverage for a host of home appliances and systems, so your convenience, savings, and peace of mind is not limited to servicing your water heater.
Consider, too, that a home warranty from Liberty Home Guard can also provide a variety of home services, from carpet and gutter cleaning to septic tank pumping and pest control. So even if you have new appliances elsewhere in your home that may not require warranty coverage (perhaps they are still covered under their respective manufacturers’ warranties, for instance),a home warranty can still provide a significant value.