The cost of installation is one factor to consider when considering a water heater installation project. Installing a 40-50 gallon water heater with a tank costs between $400 and $900. A tankless water heater typically costs between $1,470 and $2,500 to install. The total cost of owning a water heater is determined by a variety of factors, including the number of people who will use the heater, running costs, and home modifications.
Water Heater Costs
The usual cost of replacing a water heater is $1,200, which includes the cost of the new unit as well as labor. Bargain seekers can get it done for as little as $815 on the low end. High-end systems can cost up to $10,000 or more, depending on the type of water heater, installation site, and other factors that we'll discuss shortly.
Hot Water Heater Installation Costs
Starting with the size and kind of unit, the cost of replacing a water heater is influenced by a number of factors.
Tank vs. Tankless
For more than a century, tank-style water heaters have been the industry standard. They keep the hot water in tanks ranging from 30 to 80 gallons. In the United States, this design accounts for more than 85% of all domestic water heaters. Installation costs for tank-style hot water heaters range from $650 to $2,100, including the new water heater, supplies, and labor. They last 10 to 12 years and run on electricity, gas, propane, or fuel oil.
Tankless water heaters have shown to be quite efficient over the last few decades. Rather than storing hot water and wasting energy to keep it hot, they give a limitless supply of hot water on demand by heating it as it passes through the waterline. Installed, tankless water heaters cost between $1,000 and $3,500. They can run on gas or electricity and have a lifespan of more than 20 years.
Tank Size or Tankless Water Heating Capacity
The size of the water heater has an impact on the price. Tank-style heaters have storage capacities ranging from 20 to more than 80 gallons, with most houses opting for a 40 or 50-gallon model. The size of a tankless water heater is determined by the flow rate, which ranges from two to six gallons per minute (gpm). For most households, a greater flow rate of four to six gpm is advised.
Gas vs. Electric
Gas (natural gas or propane) or electricity are used to power water heaters. A gas flame or an electric coil is used to provide heat. Electric water heaters are less expensive than gas water heaters by $100 to $200.
However, because of the greater cost of electricity in many parts of the country and the lower cost of natural gas and propane in others, gas water heaters are generally more affordable over the long term. Electric water heaters, which do not require venting, are still a good solution for tiny or limited spaces.
Direct Vent vs. Power Vent
Gas water heater produces exhaust that must be vented either directly overhead or via a power vent blower. Water heaters that are vented directly vent their exhaust through a flue pipe located above the device. Expect to pay an extra $500 to $1,000 to install a vent pipe if you replace an electric water heater with a direct vent gas unit.
The exhaust from a power vent water heater is forced out through vent pipes by a fan. They can discharge exhaust horizontally or vertically, and they can do so with less expensive PVC pipe rather than more costly metal flue pipe.
When compared to a direct vent model, this system allows for more flexibility in unit placement and is more energy efficient. Power venting units are $300 to $600 more expensive than direct venting units, and cabling and electrical work adds another $300 to $500 to the total cost of installation.
Installing a Hot Water Heater: How Much Does It Cost?
A significant component of the installation cost, in addition to the unit's price, is the labor charge. Labor charges could range from $150 to $1,000 or more. They differ depending on the hourly rate of the installer, the size and kind of water heater, and the location of the installation.
Cost Per Hour
Installing gas or electric water heaters is a job best left to plumbers. The hourly wage ranges from $45 to $150. You'll also need to employ an electrician for $50 to $100 per hour if the job involves extensive electrical work, such as adding a new circuit or converting from gas to electric.
Average Hours Per Water Heater Type
Water heaters with tanks, both gas and electric, take about three hours to replace. It takes eight to ten hours to install a tankless water heater. Converting from gas to electric, or vice versa, or transferring the water heater to a different place in the house, might greatly lengthen the project and even necessitate the hiring of additional laborers such as carpenters or drywall installers.