Water heaters fall into two predominant categories: tank and tankless. Costs for operating, maintaining and repairing each type vary widely, but in general, tankless systems are ideal for additions, vacation homes, and guest bathrooms, while tank water heaters can keep up with a household's daily demands.
Being nearly equal parts electrical and plumbing, water heaters are installed, maintained and serviced in roughly equal parts by both electricians and plumbers. Angie's List has compiled a list of common problems:
Generally your first call for a balky water heater will be to a plumber, but if the plumber finds an electrical issue, you may need to call in a licensed electrician.
Tank or tankless water heaters cost between $216 to $903 to repair, with an average cost of $552.
Because the costs vary so widely, be certain you are getting a qualified repair person to look at your water heater. A problem one contractor might solve with an inexpensive replacement of a sacrificial anode could inspire another, less scrupulous contractor to solve by recommending a brand new (and expensive) water heater.
You can rely on the above list of water heater repair companies to find the top contractors near your home or business. You can also ask friends for the names of trustworthy plumbers or electricians, consult the Better Business Bureau and/or contact local license agencies.
No matter how you locate a water heater repair technician, make sure the contractor is qualified to do the job safely. Expect proper state licensing and evidence of insurance. Look for a contractor who has local roots, in case you need a followup visit.
Be prepared to pay slightly more for emergency service or late-night repair work, plus charges for repair parts, supplies, and the service call itself. Many plumber outfits offer maintenance agreements on expensive appliances like water heaters, saving money over time.