How Much Does it Cost to Install a Water Heater?

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Water Heater?


Water Heater Installation Costs

Imagine you wake up in the morning and your shower won’t warm up. After a minute or two, you realize the problem is bigger than you had initially expected. Your water heater is having problems and you know it’s going to be an expensive job. How expensive, though? If you’re not just dealing with a simple repair, it’s likely that you’re going to need a full replacement and installation. So the question is, how much does it cost to install a water heater? We’ll take a look at some of the price ranges and a few factors that will affect the price you pay.

Do I need a new water heater?

Before we jump into some factors and different prices, you might be thinking, “do I really need a new water heater?” It’s a very reasonable question to consider and you should ask it before you actually spend your hard-earned money on the job. Here are a few of the most important things to consider.

  • If the water is coming out rusty or a non-clean color, it’s likely that you need a replacement.
  • If the water isn’t getting hot enough, the water heater might be on its last leg.
  • When your water isn’t getting hot at all, the entire heating system may have failed. Before assuming the worst with this scenario, make sure the pilot light didn’t go out or the circuit breaker wasn’t tripped.
  • If you smell a strong odor or encounter a metallic taste with the water, the water heater is likely breaking down.
  • When a water heater operates, it’s normal for it to make noise. If you hear loud popping or cracks, don’t expect it to last much longer.
  • If you notice leaks around the water heater, it is likely a major failure is taking place internally. Immediately turn off the gas or electricity to allow the system to cool down before replacing it.


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How much is a new water heater?

After some research and assessment, you have come to realize you need a new water heater. Let’s take a look at some different factors that will affect prices so you know what you can expect to pay.

First, you will need to decide whether you want a tank or tankless system. For a 40 to 50 gallon tank water heater, you can expect to pay $350-$700. Keep in mind, that is for the water heater alone without labor. A tankless system is going to be much more expensive and you should expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000. Because the price difference is so drastic, let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of each system.


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Tank vs. tankless water heater

Tank and tankless water heaters have a few very distinct difference that justifies the range in price Let’s take a look at some of those key points.

  • Tank water heaters have an average lifespan of 12 years. Tankless heaters have a much longer lifespan and last for around 20 years. If you plan on staying in your home for more than 10 years, it might be a good idea to go with tankless to avoid the future headache of another replacement.
  • Installation for a tank water heater is much easier than tankless. A tank water heater will take about 2 hours to install while a tankless system can take up to 10 hours! Expect labor costs to be 4-5 times higher with a tankless installation.
  • Tank water heaters are constantly heating water, even when you don’t need it. Because of this, you can expect to pay more for water heating costs. A tankless system can save about 25% on water heating costs annually.
  • When there is a higher demand for hot water or you have a large family, tank water heaters can supply more warm water in a short period of time. Tankless is a great option for a small family, but you may still run into problems of running out of warm water.

Gas vs. electric water heater

Deciding between a gas or electric heater will depend on your situation. Electric systems are much better suited for a small family. Families with more than 5 people should more than likely decide to use a gas heater. When making your decision, consider a few key components each option has to offer.

  • Electric water heaters will provide an energy efficiency of about 90%. This will allow you to save on your energy costs. Gas water heaters provide efficiency between 60%-70%.
  • While the energy efficiency may be lower, gas water heaters recover much quicker and can produce about 50 gallons per hour. This is much higher compared to an electric system which only recovers with about 14 gallons per hour.
  • Lastly, electric water heaters are slightly more expensive per unit. Keep that in mind if you are looking to save money upfront.

Conclusion and total costs

Whatever decision you decide to make, a water heater replacement is going to be one of the more expensive home services. Because of all the options and different factors to consider, your total cost with the unit and labor included will range anywhere between $500 and $5000. Unless you choose a tankless heater, you can expect to be near the $1000 range. The best way to receive a realistic price quote is to let Great Pros know exactly what you need. By clicking the link or the button below, we’ll provide you with free price quotes for any job related to water heaters.


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