Appliances have a limited lifespan. If your hot water heater warranty is for 15 years and you've crossed it, then don't wait till it breaks down and you're forced to make an emergency purchase. It's time to shop for a new one before the warranty period ends. Getting a good quality cheap hot water heater takes time, effort, and patience. Let's look at the best ways to find the best bargains for hot water heaters: Review your needs If your heater has been in use for more than a decade, your needs have probably changed over this period. Kids may have grown or left home, members may have been added to the family in the form of seniors or a baby. You may find lots of information telling you that tankless heaters give you big savings, but dollar for dollar, it could be years before you break even. Keep these factors in mind when you research for a new one. Buy directly from the manufacturer Manufacturers often mark-down prices for products with minor cosmetic defects like scratches, dents, or chipped paint. This can be a good way to nab a cheap hot water heater. Unboxed goods can be a steal too. Know the options available: storage, tankless, solar/hybrids, condensing, etc and match them with your needs. Ditch the extras features Unless you live in a very dusty environment, do you need an air-intake screen? Similarly, why pay more for Internet control, fancy touch panels, and the likes? You can get a sturdy, reliable and functional hot water heater for a sensible price. Look for essential features that you really need like warranty period, anti-scaling features if you live in a high-mineral deposit area, and a digital display if you want to keep a check on the operations and the efficiency. Used/Pre-owned appliances You can save big bucks if you don't mind buying a pre-owned appliance. Used appliance stores in your neighborhood, garage sales, and newspaper ads telling you that people are moving out are all great sources to buy a cheap hot water heater. Make sure you factor in delivery, shipping, and installation charges into the cost. Off-season and holiday sales These are the traditional hunting periods for buying a cheap hot water heater. Monitor manufacturing and new product launch cycles, these are times when companies offer great deals on their products. New models are expensive because they have additional features. You may not need these innovations unless the old model had a safety issue. Don't dump the old one You could sell your old hot water heater to a scrapper, get a good trade-in deal, or sell parts to an individual repair technician. If it's in working condition, place an ad online or in your local newspaper to cash in a few extra bucks to add to the budget for your new hot water heater.