Does a home warranty cover plumbing?
Most of us don’t think twice about turning on the tap and getting access to clean water whenever we need it. But when something goes wrong with the plumbing in our homes, we suddenly notice how much our daily lives rely on that convenience.
Plumbing issues can be both disruptive and expensive. That’s why a home warranty plan that covers your plumbing system is so valuable.
To help you navigate the murky waters of plumbing problems, this article tackles the ins and outs of home warranties and explains how they protect your family and save you money when your home’s plumbing needs repair.
Plumbing issues that are covered by a home warranty
Most people are aware that a home warranty plan covers the cost of repair or replacement of your home’s kitchen appliances, such as stoves and microwave ovens, as well as other major appliances, like your washer and dryer, water heater and air conditioner.
But you may not be aware that a home warranty covers plumbing systems too. Warranty coverage for plumbing can include the following:
- Leaks and breaks of water, drain, gas, waste or vent lines
- Toilets and their mechanisms
- Faucets, showerheads and shower arms
- Valves, hoses and seals for toilets, showers and tubs
- Permanently installed sump pumps
- Built-in bathtub whirlpool motors, pumps, pressure regulators and other components
- Clearing of a sink, bathtub, shower or toilet stoppage
- Clearing off some mainline and lateral drain and sewer stoppages
- Spas and pools (typically available as optional add-on coverage)
- Components of well pumps used as a source of water for your home
While regular warranty coverage is primarily for repair issues on your home’s current plumbing system, add-on coverage may also be available to cover upgrades. For example, Cinch Home Services offers optional coverage for your home’s plumbing system.
Plumbing issues a home warranty may not cover
There are limits to what a home warranty covers for plumbing because certain types of water damage may be covered under other kinds of coverage.
To determine which parts of your plumbing system are covered by warranty vs. insurance, keep in mind that a homeowners insurance policy is designed to protect you when major disasters or accidents occur.
But a warranty plan covers the cost of repair needed from regular wear and tear rather than major incidents. Home warranties also cover your appliances and systems after the manufacturers’ warranties expire.
There are some parts of your plumbing system that may not qualify for home warranty coverage. Warranties usually do not cover the following:
- Stoppages caused by collapsed, damaged or broken drain or sewers lines outside the home’s main foundation
- Repair for lines broken, infiltrated or stopped by roots or foreign objects
- Costs associated with locating inaccessible cleanouts such as the fee for photo/video equipment
- Bathtubs, sinks, showers, shower enclosures and base pans
- Toilet lids and seats
- Caulking or grouting
- Septic tanks
- A water softener or water filtration/purification systems
- Holding or storage tanks
- Saunas or steam rooms (optional additional coverage may be available)
Home warranties also do not cover pre-existing conditions or water damage that results from failure to keep up with regular maintenance. If your home’s structural integrity weakened and damaged your plumbing system as a result, then you should reach out to your homeowners insurance to file for coverage.
Perform these plumbing maintenance tasks to help ensure that you will qualify for warranty coverage when you need it:
- Check for small leaks regularly.
- Inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Keep your appliances that utilize water, such as your water heater, in good repair.
- Check your water drain for obstruction.
- Prevent kitchen and bathroom drain clogs with regular cleaning and proper use of disposal systems.
- Perform seasonal maintenance on your water heater to flush sediment and monitor the temperature.
There are limits to how much a warranty company will cover if additional work is required to gain access to plumbing for repair. For example, if the plumbing components are only accessible through concrete, there may be limits to how much repair work is covered to restore the area to its original state.
The limitations and exclusions of each warranty plan will be different, so it’s important to read the fine print on your warranty contract.
Why call your home warranty provider for plumbing issues?
Contact your warranty company as soon as you notice a leak, a stoppage, changes to water pressure or any other issues with your plumbing systems. It’s important to make a claim as soon as possible because even a small leak could lead to thousands of dollars of repair work. Small leaks also slowly add up to a lot of water waste that impacts your utility bill and your home’s efficiency.
Plumbing issues can also damage drywall, carpet and wood finishing; cause mildew, mold and rot; and even create dangerous situations where electrical systems are involved. Since most warranty coverage does not cover damage caused by the failure of other systems, make a claim for plumbing repair immediately so that you don’t incur further water damage that won’t be covered.
The small service fee you pay to the service contractor that does the repair will be minimal compared to the large cost of ignoring or delaying the problem.
How to file a home warranty claim for plumbing issues
While every warranty company has its own claims process, most companies allow you to make a warranty claim online or over the phone. Find a home warranty company that offers customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to handle pressing claims.
Once you report the repair issue, the warranty company will refer you to a qualified service provider in your area, and you can arrange the repair as soon as possible.
At Cinch Home Services, we connect you with a service provider within just two hours of your service request if it’s made during normal business hours and within 24 hours if it’s outside business hours. Because plumbing issues are often serious enough to interrupt your family’s daily life and the function of your home’s appliances, we can expedite your request if it is an emergency situation.
Once you arrange for the repair service, you will pay a small, up-front service fee to the service contractor who does the repair, and your warranty coverage will usually take care of the rest of the cost.
A home warranty plan is an affordable and easy way to protect yourself from the unpredictable and potentially expensive cost of plumbing problems. It also gives you peace of mind that even minor issues can be tackled immediately to prevent more serious damage to your home. Plus, you’ll have an incentive to keep up with the regular maintenance of your appliances and plumbing system, which will also save you money in the long run.