Considering a tune-up or flush for your water heater? If so, you’re probably wondering how much a maintenance visit will cost you.
The cost of water heater maintenance ranges from $75 to $300+, depending on the following factors:
- What the plumber checks during a maintenance visit
- Whether you choose a single visit or an annual maintenance plan
- The overall quality of the plumber
To give you a better idea of what you could pay for water heater maintenance, we’ll look at each of these factors in more detail below.
Cost factor #1: What the plumber checks during a maintenance visit
Most plumbing companies have a checklist of tasks a plumber is required to complete during a water heater maintenance visit. Generally, the more extensive and thorough the checklist, the more expensive the maintenance visit will be.
- At a minimum, the plumber should perform the following tasks during a maintenance visit:
- Flush the water heater to clear out sediment buildup (if you have a tank unit)
- Visually inspect the water heater for leaks, loose connections or signs of rust
- Test the pressure relief valve to make sure it works correctly
- Inspect burners and ignition system
- Check the anode rod and replace it if it has corroded
- Verify water pressure is at a safe level
- Make sure all electrical components are working properly
Before you hire a plumber, ask what they will check during a maintenance visit. If they do not perform the tasks above, we recommend looking for another plumber.
Cost factor #2: Single visit vs annual maintenance plan
A plumbing contractor can charge for water heater maintenance in one (or both) of the following ways:
- A single visit: This is where the plumber charges a set fee (usually anywhere from $75 to $150) for a one-time maintenance visit.
- An annual maintenance plan: Established plumbing companies generally offer an annual maintenance plan to their customers. A maintenance plan includes a certain number of water heater maintenance visits per year, and in exchange, the customer pays a monthly or annual fee. The cost of a maintenance plan is usually $200+ annually. Customers who opt into the plan usually get benefits such as discounts on repairs, waived diagnostic fees and priority scheduling.
While you’ll pay more for an annual maintenance plan compared to a single maintenance visit, because of the added benefits, it’s generally a better investment. Before you hire a plumber for a maintenance visit, ask if they offer a maintenance plan and what benefits are included. After you weigh the benefits, you can decide whether a one-time maintenance visit or annual plan is better for you.
Note: We offer one-time water heater maintenance visits as well as an annual maintenance plan. For more information about what’s included in our maintenance plan, check out our Home Care Program flyer.
Cost factor #3: The overall quality of the plumber
In general, high-quality plumbers charge more for their maintenance services. That said, higher quality plumbers also do more thorough maintenance work, which ultimately saves you money down the road.
You see, proper water heater maintenance reduces the frequency and severity of repairs, plus it makes your water heater run more efficiently, which cuts down your energy bills. Hiring a high-quality plumber will ensure you’ll get these money-saving maintenance benefits.
To verify if a plumber will do high quality maintenance work, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the plumber licensed? If so, it means the plumber obeys local codes and will follow established industry standards when maintaining your water heater.
- Does the plumber have a water heater maintenance checklist? Make sure the plumber follows an established checklist, and that the checklist includes the tasks we listed earlier.
- Does the contractor have positive customer reviews? You can check sites such as Google and Home Advisor to see customer ratings.
If you answered “yes” to the questions above, you most likely found a high-quality plumber who will do solid maintenance work for your water heater. If you answered “no” to one or more of these questions, continue searching for a high-quality plumber.