How Do Water Heater Warranties Work?

You depend on your water heater for showers, dishes, cooking, and more. Water heaters usually last between 8 to 12 years, but replacing a water heater is not cheap. Luckily, many warranties provide coverage on parts and labor to eliminate that cost. When you start experiencing issues with your water heater, you might still be covered by your warranty. 

Water heaters, just like any other large purchase, are often accompanied by a repair or replacement warranty to make sure that your purchase is covered in the event that a problem occurs. There are often stipulations within the warranty information, such as the warranty only applying if the error is the fault of the manufacturer, not the user.

Oftentimes, the language behind warranties can be convoluted, confusing, and unclear as to what the warranty itself actually covers. Whenever you need help figuring out what exactly your warranty does or does not cover, get in contact with a professional that has experience with warranties on systems just like yours. 

The plumbing professionals at B&W are here to help you navigate around warranties that are commonly complicated so that you know if your water heater issues are covered. This way, you can make sure that you’re not stuck with a hefty bill at the end of the day. 

Water Heater Warranties Simplified

When you purchase a new water heater, you must register your system’s serial number to be covered by the warranty. Often times, you only have 30 days after installation to register it. If you inherited a hot water tank when you bought a new home, your water heater may not be registered properly by the previous owners. 

Most brands of residential water heaters have six (6) year tank and a six (6) year parts warranty.  This will vary with different models and manufacturers.  The labor warranty from the manufacturer is one year. If the water heater is purchased and installed by B&W Plumbing and Heating, then we give the customer a two (2) year labor warranty from the date of installation.  Once the labor warranty has expired, the customer will have to pay out of pocket for labor and the parts to be replaced.

Wherever the water heater was purchased, your water heater’s warranty will likely be honored there. If the water heater was purchased at a home center or hardware store, the part must be returned to the store where purchased for the part warranty to be honored.  B&W will be happy to remove and install any parts for the customer, but the customer will have to go to the store for the replacement parts.

“Old Design” Vs. “New Design” Water Tank Warranties

There are two different types of water tanks, and they have different warranty coverage. Several years ago, a law was passed requiring that every tank-type gas water heater produced after July 1, 2003, to incorporate a Flammable Vapors Ignition Resistance design. This prevents the gas burners from igniting flammable vapors from liquid spills near the water heater.  There were many “Old Style” water heaters manufactured and installed after the deadline.  Any gas water heater produced after that date is the “New Design.”

If you have an “Old Design” water heater with tank leaks, while still under warranty, you can upgrade to a “New Design” water heater. The homeowner will have to pay for the installation and an upgrade fee, but the water heater warranty will be extended for another six (6) years. 

“New Design” water heaters come with a warranty of six (6) years from the date of installation. If a “new design” water heater starts leaking after four (4) years, then the replacement will be covered under the warranty. But now the warranty only covers from the date of the original installation, meaning the warranty remaining on the new water tank is only two (2) years now. 

Not All Water Heater Brands Have the Same Warranty

At B&W, we work with you to install electrical or gas water heaters from a variety of manufacturers. But it is important to know that not all manufacturers have the same warranty. When shopping around for water heaters it is important to not only compare features of the water heaters but also compare Water Heater Warranty terms. You’ll want to pay for more water heater coverage on a newer storage tank so you will be covered whenever there is a problem.

If you’ve moved into a home with a water heater or tank with an expired warranty, you might want to consider extra protection with a home warranty so you won’t have to pay to replace a whole water tank out of pocket. This might seem like an added expense that you don’t necessarily have to pay, but in the long run, paying for extra protection can save you money in the event that your system stops working.

B&W Plumbing Services Is Here to Answer Your Water Heater Questions

Whenever you’re in the market for a new plumbing system of any kind, make sure to pay attention to the warranty attached to the system. Warranties are critical to the purchase of any home systems. Ensure that you’re covered if your system stops working out of nowhere with a warranty that will guarantee a replacement in the immediate future.

If you want to learn more about your water heater warranty, or the warranty on any of your plumbing systems and appliances, the plumbing professionals at B&W can help. All we need is the Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number, and Date Installed to learn about your warranty status. For any other water heater problems, such as if your water heater isn’t producing hot water, contact B&W for service today.