Are you researching the average costs of replacing a water heater? You’re not alone – as one of the most important appliances in your home, keeping it in tip-top shape is an integral part of maintaining your day-to-day comfort and wallet.
In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the factors that go into replacing a water heater so you can make sure you’re getting exactly what you need without breaking the bank.
Water Heater Replacement Cost
While you may be concerned about replacing an old water heater, the good news is that replacement costs can range significantly depending on the type and brand.
According to Home Advisor most tank storage water heaters usually cost around $1,217 for all labor and installation costs.
If you’re looking for something more high-efficiency or eco-friendly, that price can rise significantly due to labor costs, but it could save you money in the long run.
A tankless model, for example, runs from $150 to $450 for installation and labor – although upgrades can push the cost into the thousands.
Factors that Impact the Price to Replace a Water Heater
There are a few key factors that have an impact on the overall price of replacing a water heater.
Tank vs. Tankless Unit
While typically more expensive, tankless water heaters offer several advantages over storage tanks.
With a tankless water heater, you don’t need to worry about running out of hot water as it heats up as it enters the unit. This means hot water is available and no wasted energy heating extra gallons throughout the day.
Tankless heaters are also significantly more efficient than tanks, saving homeowners money on energy costs in the long run.
Tank-style water heaters have average costs ranging from $650 to $2,500 for labor and materials, with an 8-12 year lifespan. They’re versatile, able to operate on gas, propane, electricity, or solar energy, and relatively easy to install.
A tank water heater takes up a lot of space, because they’re always in constant use, and they consume more energy over time. A tankless unit lasts much longer (over 20 years), but it comes with a higher cost—anywhere from $1,200 to $3,500.
Replacing your hot water heater can be expensive, but the cost of your new unit largely depends on its size. Tank-style heaters typically range from 20 to larger than 100-gallon capacities.
A 40-gallon tank is the most popular choice for families of two or less – any bigger, and you’re likely wasting money and resources. On the other hand, households with more than four people will likely benefit from larger tanks like 60, 70, or 80 gallons.
Prices range greatly depending on capacity and manufacturer, though a ballpark estimate would be anywhere from $550 for a 30-gallon unit to upwards of $3,500 for an 80-gallon tank.
Research brands, compare costs, and find the best fit for your family size – because when it comes to hot water heaters, sometimes bigger is better.
Natural gas is usually more expensive than electricity up front, but electricity can end up costing more in the long run, thanks to high utility bills.
On average, natural gas water heaters range from $600 to $2,700 for a replacement, while electric water heaters replacements range from $600 to $$3,500 – and that doesn’t even account for any labor costs.
Though they are not energy efficient, natural gas water heaters may be the best option when considering everything. Electricity can also be great if you don’t have sufficient space; they don’t require venting as natural gas models do.
You may not think much about the manufacturer when choosing a new device, but trust us – it matters. Nowadays, there are a few big players in the water heater market, with some brands offering top-notch quality and other cheaper models that may be lacking in build quality.
Generally speaking, higher-end names are always pricier than generic versions. However, don’t just decide based on price alone; get advice from your local plumber or research consumer reviews.
Do this to ensure the brand of water heater is reliable and has a good track record with regard to customer service and warranties.
Here are the most popular brands and their price ranges.
Whirlpool: $350 to $1,500
AO Smith $400 to $3,500
Bradford White: $400 to $3,000
Rheem: $400 to $2,300
Kenmore: $350 to $1,000
In most cases, replacing an aging or broken water heater requires the skills of pro plumbers and electricains. The labor cost impacts the price of repairing or replacing a water heater, be it tank-style or a newer tankless model.
Plumbing work generally runs from $45 to $200 per hour, depending on the geographic location and plumber’s experience level.
Electricians charge an average of $50 to $100 per hour for their services. These services include, installing gas lines, electrical wirng etc. The total bill depends largely on what type of water heater is installed.
Water heater installation cost of a tank-style model may only be as high as $450 for labor costs while converting one to a tankless version can jump to around $2,500. It pays to shop around and compare prices before making that call.
A direct vent unit expels exhaust gases through an external pipe or chimney, while a power vent unit has an internal fan or blower that pushes the gases out of the home.
Direct vent units, including installation, are less expensive, averaging around $350-$4,000. Power vent units, on the other hand, typically cost between $1,050 and $5,000 due to the additional electrical work required for installation.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When replacing your water heater, there are a few other costs and considerations that you should factor in.
Most water heaters come with a warranty that lasts between 8-12 years, and an extended warranty may be available for additional protection.
On top of this, home warranties may include repair and replacement of the water heater, so it is worth considering when deciding what kind of coverage you need.
Some plumbers offer their warranty on repairs which might cover more than the manufacturers. Lastly, remember all warranties can become void if regular maintenance isn’t done for the units.
Existing Water Heater Removal
When considering replacing your water heater, consider the cost of removing the existing unit, which can range from around $100 to $500. Note that if your old heater is located in an awkward spot or is particularly difficult to access, you may have to pay more for its removal.
In any case, it’s worth setting some money aside so that when it comes time for replacement, everything goes efficiently and there are no hiccups along the way.
Depending on the type of water heater and the work required for the installation, your permit fee can range anywhere from $100 to $1,500. While it’s an additional cost that can quickly drive up repair expenses, it’s worth looking into. Compliant installations mean peace of mind and a protected home in the long run.
Replacing a water heater isn’t something the average homeowner can easily take on as a DIY project; it requires the skills of a licensed plumber and is likely to cost more than replacing other appliances.
Replacing a water heater may set you back with its initial higher cost outlay – unlike many other appliances, it’s not something you’ll need to worry about again for at least 10 years.
What’s more, added materials such as solder, pipe fittings, and thread compound all contribute to the total cost of installation. Plus, any additional expenses incurred due to permitting or complexity of access are also factors that should be taken into account when considering replacing your water heater.
Replacement Cost by Type of Water Heater
Water heater replacement costs can vary depending on the type of heater you choose. If you need help determining which type of water heater is right for your home, a professional can help you choose the correct one.
Gas water heaters tend to be more costly than electric ones but will save you money in the long run because electricity can be expensive. Another bonus is that they heat water quickly, and many models now come with energy-saving features.
It’s also good to know that your gas heater should still work even when the power goes out. Remember always to keep safety in mind when dealing with any gas-powered appliance. Prices for a typical gas water heater range from around $600-$2700, varying depending on variety and size.
In general, the average price of a new electric water heater ranges from around $600 to $3,500, depending on the size and efficiency of the appliance. There may be additional installation fees as well that should also be factored into your overall budget.
Purchasing an energy-efficient model can help you save on electricity costs, while higher-end models typically come with premium features like temperature sensors and adjustable heating settings.
Propane-powered units are gaining in popularity due to their versatility and energy efficiency. They might cost more upfront, but they last much longer than traditional heaters, making them a great investment for homes that don’t have access to natural gas.
Prices vary widely depending on your model and installation needs but typically run from about $700 up to $2,500 for an experienced technician to install it.
Solar water heaters are a great way to go green while also reducing energy costs, but the initial investment of installing one can be significant.
On average, it’s going to take around $3,000 up to $13,000 or more to replace your old water heater with a solar one. It’s pricey for sure, but in the long run, you’re likely save money on energy costs and help protect the environment.
Plus, if you want to avoid going all-in on with a dedicated solar water heater, you could always look at complementary options that can supplement your existing setup and ease the transition.
Water Heater Replacement: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Deciding whether to handle your water heater replacement or hire a professional can take time and effort. Doing it yourself can save money and give you a sense of accomplishment.
But DIY projects are often more complex than they initially appear, and attempting a water heater replacement may be more than the average homeowner is prepared to take on.
Hiring a professional contractor means faster results and usually prevents problems that could arise from mistakes on your part. You don’t have to worry about returning anything if maintenance or repairs are needed after the installation; contractors stand behind their work.
This makes it well worth your while to spend the extra money for quality work by an experienced and reliable contractor.
How to Save Money on Water Heater Replacement Cost
- Shop around for competitive quotes from contractors
- Consider the energy efficiency of models before making your purchase
- Apply for any available rebates or energy-efficiency incentives
- Look for discounts on the water heater and installation services
- Consider purchasing a refurbished, used, or open-box model
- Make sure to factor in the cost of any necessary permits
- Try to take on some of the installation tasks yourself
- Look into tankless water heater models if you’re interested in energy savings
- Talk to your local plumbing professional about options for financing
Questions to Ask About Water Heater Replacement
Replacing your water heater can be difficult, but it can help ensure you have reliable hot water for years to come. Before deciding on which water heater is best for you, be sure to ask yourself the following questions:
- What type of fuel does my current water heater use?
- Will I need any special installation components?
- How much will the new system cost install?
- Are there any rebates or incentives available?
- What manufacturer and model do I trust for this replacement?
- What energy efficiency rating does the water heater have?
- Do I want to install a tankless or traditional model?
Get Your Plumbing Issues Sorted Today
While the cost of a water heater replacement can vary, depending on the type of water heater and installation needed, by arming yourself with some knowledge of the process and average costs, you can be sure to make an informed decision.
Owners can save money by asking questions, taking measurements, and getting multiple bids before committing to new equipment.
If you have plumbing needs and need help connecting with a trusted professional at an affordable rate, don’t hesitate to contact Emergency Plumbing Squad. Our experts are trained to help you save time and money while ensuring you get exactly what you’re looking for. Rest assured – we’ve got your back.