Cost to Replace a Gas Valve on a Water Heater

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

When your hot water heater stops functioning properly, it can really become a major hindrance in your life. And water heaters aren’t the simplest appliance in the world to deal with. There can be a number of different things that can go wrong.

The average cost to replace the valve on a water heater is $220 for the part and labor. Replacement valves cost an average of $110, and labor costs another $110. Homeowners spend an average of $35 to replace the anode rod, $150 to replace a dip tube and $100 to clean a water heater tank.

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What Will it Cost to Have my Water Heater Fixed?

Depending on the issue, it could cost you as little as $20 or well over $1,000. This comes down to the part required and whether or not you will be performing the repair or if a professional will need to be brought in to do the job. Here is a better idea of what your costs may look like through a professional service:

Heating Elements$200-$300
Anode Rod$20-$50
Pressure Relief Valve$20-$200
Cleaning or Flushing$75-$200
Dip Tube$10-$50

Cost of Getting a Pressure Relief Valve Fixed

The costs outlined above are all dependent on whether or not you go through a professional. Doing the job on your own is certainly possible, in which case you would only be on the hook for the cost of the part and can save a ton on labor.

Just keep in mind that a professional typically will do a better job. So, while you could save in the short-term on labor costs, you may wind up costing yourself in the long run if you do the job improperly or do more damage to the unit.

With the pressure relief valve, calling in a professional not only means getting a proper installation, but a proper diagnosis. One of the biggest issues with do-it-yourself water heater repairs is a misdiagnosis that leads to additional costs.

The valve is there as a safety measure in the event that the pressure inside of the tank gets to be too high. If you notice that there is moisture leaking out of this valve, it could mean that the pressure in the tank is too high, there could be sediment built-up on the interior of the valve, or you may have to replace the thing entirely.

For those adamant on doing the job themselves, this is one of the safer repairs that you could make on your water heater. Before attempting any self-diagnosis, make sure that you turn the unit off first, followed by the gas, and allow the unit the proper time to cool.

Other Heating Elements

While the gas valve is one of the easier and safer parts to replace on your own, it may not be as simple as that. Depending on what the problem may be, you may be better off going with a professional service instead. It may cost you more in the short-term, but it will give you peace of mind in knowing that the proper repairs have been implemented.

Dip Tube

The dip tube is a pipe made of plastic that is located inside of the water heater tank. This is what delivers the cold water down into the bottom of your tank, thus forcing the hot water out of your top connection. Over time, the plastic can start to wear. This can force plastic chips and other small pieces of debris into your home’s plumbing system.

The dip tube itself is only about $10 for the part. Bringing in a professional to do the job can run you right around $150 based on the national average. They are very common as well, since both gas and electric water heaters implement them to carry the cold water. When it is broken or completely disintegrated, the water in your home will not get very hot at all.

Anode Rod

The anode rod, which is a temporary steel core wire that has either zinc, magnesium, or aluminum around it, is there to protect the metal lining on the inside of the water heater from corrosion and even explosion.

Generally speaking, plumbers will recommend that you replace your anode rod every five years. This will prevent it from becoming too worn down or broken to function. The part itself will run between $20 and $50 and it is easy enough that do-it-yourself repairs are totally reasonable.

You may notice that your water is rusty in color and may even have a distinct taste or odor to it. This can be an indication that the anode rod has deteriorated substantially and may need replacing.

Cleaning or Flushing the Tank

Depending on how often you have maintenance performed on your water heater, it is entirely possible that it could become clogged up with debris, sediment, and other things that inhibit the flow and proper functioning of the unit.

Flushing or cleaning the tank can be a good idea to prolong the life of the unit while allowing it to perform in a much better capacity. You can generally expect to pay in the neighborhood of $100-$200 to have your tank flushed by a professional.

While that may seem like a steep cost, having your tank flushed can actually help to improve the energy efficiency of your water heater. This can save you money over the life of the unit if it is properly maintained.

A sure sign that you need to have your tank flushed is that you notice a distinct noise coming from the water heater tank. The reason for this noise is a buildup of sediment on the bottom of the tank. That sediment may not be a big deal initially, but over time it could lead to the heating element to fail, leaks to begin, or even failure of the entire water heater.


Sometimes, it may not be the aforementioned components that are the cause of your water heater problems. When this is the case, the most likely culprit will be the thermostats. Electric water heaters have two of these; one for each of the elements in the unit. When one of them fails to work properly, the water heater will not do its job as effectively or efficiently.

In most cases, the lower of the thermostats will handle the majority of your water heating. Whenever you have a higher requirement level, that is when the upper thermostat will start working. When one of them goes out, you might start to get cooler water, particularly when you have increased water usage.

The parts are relatively cheap, averaging out at about $20 or so. This is one of those repairs that will likely require a professional, however. Depending on the plumbers in your area, it could run you around $200 for the replacement or installation of your thermostat.

What Causes a Gas Valve to Go Bad?

Generally speaking, there are a few different reasons why your gas valve may have stopped working and requires replacing. The first is that it may have simply worn down or become damaged over time. It could also be that one of the components from the electronic gas ignition or potentially a safety circuit could be to blame.

On gas heaters, the system may be built differently to prevent the building from filling with gas should any of the other components become compromised or start to malfunction. Figuring out the problem can be difficult unless the valve itself is noticeably deteriorated.

Why is My Furnace Not Getting Gas?

While there are quite a few reasons why your water heater may not be getting gas, the most common reason is due to the pilot or the electric ignition not working properly. Should the pilot light fail to stay lit, it can be due to a faulty thermocouple, clogged orifice, or a defective safety valve. Also, make sure to check out the pilot’s flame as it is possible that it could have been set too low to begin with.

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How Do You Test a Gas Valve on a Water Heater?

In most cases, your water heater should have several instructions – as well as necessary safety precautions – in a large label that is right on the tank itself. If you can’t locate this label, you may also be able to find a PDF of your water heater’s instructions somewhere online. Referring to the instructions is always a sound move and will take the guesswork out of the process.

Keep in mind that your gas valve cannot be repaired. If, during the troubleshooting process, you determine that the valve is bad, it will need to be replaced. You will need to turn off the power and gas to your water heater before doing any testing as it can lead to major safety issues should something go awry.

And when you are in doubt, calling a professional should be one of the first moves that you make to ensure that the entire process is handled carefully and adequately.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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