Water Heater Costs
The average price to replace a water heater, including the cost of the new unit and labour, is $1,200. Bargain seekers may do the task for as little as $815 at the low end. High-end systems may cost as much as $10,000 or more, depending on the kind of water heater used, where it will be installed, and other factors that we’ll discuss next.
Hot Water Heater Installation Prices
Replacing a water heater involves a range of variables that affect the final project cost, beginning with the size and type of unit.
Tank vs. Tankless
For more than a century, tank-style water heaters have been the industry norm. They use 30 to 80 gallon tanks to hold the hot water. In the United States, more than 85% of all home water heaters are of this kind. Installation costs for tank-style hot water heaters, which include the new water heater, supplies, and labour, range between $650 and $2,100 on average. They endure 10 to 12 years and may be powered by electricity, gas, propane, or fuel oil.
Tankless water heaters have shown to be quite effective over the last several decades. Instead of storing hot water and using energy to keep it warm, they heat water as it passes through the waterline, giving users an endless supply of hot water on demand. Installation costs for tankless water heaters range from $1,000 to $3,500. They often endure more than 20 years and may be fueled by gas or electricity.
Tank Size or Tankless Water Heating Capacity
The cost is also influenced by the size of the water heater. The majority of households use 40- or 50-gallon tank-style heaters, which have storage capacities ranging from 20 to more over 80 gallons. The flow rating of a tankless water heater is measured in units of two to six gallons per minute (gpm). For most households, a greater flow rate of four to six gpm is advised.
Make sure the new appliance you choose will provide adequate hot water for everyone living in the home. The average prices shown below only include the unit price and do not account for labour or other expenses.
Gas vs. Electric
Electricity or gas (propane or natural gas) are the two fuel sources for water heaters. Either a gas flame or an electric coil produces heat. Compared to gas water heaters, electric water heaters are $100 to $200 less expensive.
However, gas water heaters are often more cheap throughout the life of the unit owing to the greater cost of electricity and lower cost of natural gas and propane in many of the nation. Because they don’t need venting, electric water heaters are still a fantastic option for limited spaces.
Direct Vent vs. Power Vent
Exhaust from gas water heaters has to be vented either directly above via a vent flue or through a power vent fan. Direct vent water heaters emit their exhaust up via a flue pipe. To install the vent pipe when switching from an electric water heater to a direct vent gas one, budget an extra $500 to $1,000.
Water heaters with power vents employ a fan to push exhaust out of vent pipes. They may use cheap PVC pipe in place of more costly metal flue pipe to discharge exhaust horizontally or vertically. Compared to a direct vent model, this system gives more flexibility in the location of the unit and is more energy-efficient. In addition to the cabling and electrical work adding additional $300 to $500 to the installation cost, power venting systems cost $300 to $600 more than direct vent units.
Labor Cost to Install a Hot Water Heater
The labour fee makes up a significant amount of the installation cost in addition to the unit’s cost. The price of labour might range from $150 to $1,000 or more. They vary depending on the size, kind, and location of the water heater, as well as the hourly fee of the installer.
Cost per Hour
The majority of the work required to install a gas or electric water heater may be done by a plumber. Their hourly labour costs vary from $45 to $150. You’ll also need to employ an electrician at a rate of $50 to $100 per hour if the project involves significant electrical work, such as building a new circuit or switching from gas to electricity.
Average Hours per Water Heater Type
Electric and gas tank-style water heaters generally need three hours to replace. A tankless water heater installation takes eight to ten hours. Moving the water heater to a different place inside the home, switching from gas to electric, or vice versa, may all greatly lengthen the project and potentially necessitate the hiring of extra workers like carpenters or drywall installers.
Additional Water Heater Replacement Cost Factors
The cost of replacing a water heater could include other expenses outside the cost of the equipment and the work of the contractor. Permit fees, the cost of installing an expansion tank, removing and disposing of the old water heater, putting in gas or water connections, doing electrical or carpentry work, and material expenses are a few examples.
For most areas, changing a hot water heater requires a plumbing permit. The permit is necessary so that the work may be inspected to make sure it was completed in accordance with the most recent safety and quality requirements. Depending on the specifics of the project, many permissions may be necessary. Total permit charges might range from $50 to $500 or even as high as $1,500.
In the case that the water heater’s tank breaks, an expansion tank is a safety device that protects pipes from exploding. Although many cities have building rules that mandate they be added when water heaters are updated, many older houses do not have them. The price range for installing a new expansion tank is $40 to $350.
The old tank has to be removed in order to make room for the new one. Depending on the contractor’s fee, the size of the tank, and the accessibility, the price to remove the old tank might range from $100 to $500. Expect to spend extra if it’s large and difficult to remove.
Unit Relocation or Fuel Conversion
The price of installation may increase dramatically if a water heater is relocated within the home, switches fuel sources, or even gets a bigger tank. Rerouting a water line costs between $350 and $1,700; framing a wall costs between $200 and $400; hanging drywall costs between $800 and $2,500; adding a gas line costs between $250 and $800; and extending electrical wiring costs between $500 and $1,500. If you are contemplating anything other than an identical replacement, speak with your installer.
Extra incidental supplies, such as solder and pipe thread compound, as well as potential additional goods, such as venting pipes, connections, water or gas piping, pipe fittings, and more, are needed when replacing a water heater. These expenses might range from being little to being substantial, depending on the specifics of the project.
A water heater replacement is more costly than other equipment replacements and is not a DIY undertaking. The good news is that you can prepare for it since it’s a once every ten years undertaking. The price of the water heater and the supplies, permits, the work of a certified plumber, the removal of the old unit, the convenience of access, and other factors may all affect how long it takes to complete the installation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the average lifespan of a water heater?
The lifetime of conventional tank-style water heaters is eight to thirteen years. A tankless water heater may last up to 20 years.
Can I set up my own water heater?
An expert, highly trained DIYer may be able to get the necessary licences from the local government and install a water heater in their own house, but errors may be costly and deadly. If something goes wrong, the expense of cleaning and repairs might very well be more than what it would have cost to hire a professional in the first place.
A plumber should I get a water heater from?
An additional advantage of hiring a plumber is often a labour guarantee. In addition to any components or equipment warranties offered by the appliance’s manufacturer, the plumber could also issue a guarantee to cover any repair expenses resulting from poor installation work.