How Much Does It Cost to Repair or Replace a Water Heater In California?

by Matt Schmitz
Downtown Los Angeles at sunset

Ahh, we love ya, California, all 39 million or so of you who populate our most populous state — so take it as the friendliest of gibes when we say that the only thing you like more than bragging about your warm weather is humblebragging about how expensive it is to live there. Well, save both boasts for another convo, because neither carries much water where water heaters are concerned. That’s because Cali folk like to take hot showers and sanitize their dirty dishes just as the rest of us who live in areas of the country with very cold winters — and from Silicon Valley to the San Fernando Valley, the average Golden State resident pays less for water heater repairs or replacements than the average American.

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Your water heater powers your dishwasher, clothes washer and the hot shower you crave at the end of the day. When it goes kaput, it's not so much a matter of whether you should have it serviced, but how much that service will cost. And if your hot water is already out, the last thing you want right now is to be blindsided by exorbitant water heater service fees. If you’re calling around for estimates, these figures should give you a ballpark idea of how much you can expect to pay in Californi-a.

Repair and replacement costs vary depending on where you live. For comparison, the national average for diagnosis is $99, for repair is $493 and for replacement is $1,741.

The following average prices are based on aggregated HomeServe data reported by our network of contractors across the state of California:

Water Heater Diagnosis: $71

The technician will charge you a fee to come out to your home, tell you what’s wrong with your system and determine whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. For Californians at large‚ this fee is about 28% lower than the national average.

Water Heater Repair: $340

Any number of things may be going wrong with your water heater — issues with the gas control valve, a faulty thermostat or a combination of several malfunctions. This average repair price includes replacement parts and the labor to install them. Water heater repairs in California cost 31% of what they do nationwide.

Water Heater Replace: $1,589

Water heaters don’t last forever, and a breakdown might be a sign that yours is on its way out. At the end of your water heater’s usable life (about 10 years), you'll need to spring for a new one. California’s average replacement price is about 9% less than that of the nation.

(Note that HomeServe water heater data should generally be assumed to refer to conventional “tanked” models — the most common type — as opposed to tankless or “on-demand” models, which can cost roughly twice as much.)

technician fixing water heater

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