$25 – $450
Average Cost Estimate
$750 – $1,600
$2,500 – $10,000
|Tank Size||20 – 40 Gallons||40 Gallons||40 – 70 Gallons|
|Gas or Electric||Electric||Gas / LP / Electric||Gas / LP|
|Location Accessibility||Easy||Easy / Average||Average / Difficult|
|Code Updates||None||None / Few||Few / Many|
|Brand Rating||3-5 Star||3-5 Star||5 Star|
|Completed By||DIY / Plumber||Plumber||Plumber|
|Water Heater Cost||$215 – $325||$325 – $475||$325 – $750|
|Cost of Tools & Supplies||$25 – $100||None / Included||None / Included|
|Permits, If Required||$0 – $250||$0 – $250||$0 – $250|
Tank-style water heaters remain the most common type installed in homes. Standard gas and electric models are affordable compared with tankless water heaters despite not being as efficient. That’s the trade-off – upfront vs. operating costs. Electric tank-style water heaters are the cheapest, but have the highest operating costs and don’t heat water as quickly. Gas types cost a bit more for the unit and installation, but cost less to run and heat significantly more water per hour.
This Costimate details tank-style, or conventional water heater prices for gas (natural gas and propane) and electric models for you to compare. The cost for the water heater only and for installation are covered, so you can see the cost savings possible with DIY installation. Reader-submitted water heater costs are found below, and we invite you to return once you’ve installed a water heater to add your cost details for the benefit of other readers. We also discuss DIY vs. Pro installation for those considering doing the work themselves, and provide a table of costs from other leading home improvement cost comparison websites.
The type of tank-style water heater you select is the top factor in the total cost you pay. Most residents still install standard electric or NG/LP gas water heaters. However, ultra-high efficiency gas water heaters and heat pump/hybrid electric water heaters are available, both with much higher equipment costs but lower operating costs. One of these types might be worth considering if you use a large volume of hot water, but you should realize that it will take most homeowners 8-12 years to recoup the higher equipment cost through lower utility bills. Here are the cost factors for tank-style water heaters:
Here’s the cost ranges for the various 40 to 80-gallon tank water heater types:
Water heater installation supply costs:
Once you’ve purchased your water heater and installation supplies, you might have additional costs related to installation. Even if you’re planning DIY installation, you might want to consult a licensed plumber for tips and to learn of potential pitfalls. For example, electric units that require 240V power, present the risk of serious injury or electric shock. Gas units create the risk of gas leaks and explosion or exhaust leaks that contain deadly carbon monoxide. In short, it is important that installation be done safely and correctly, and the best way to ensure that is with professional installation.
Permits and Inspection Cost
Replacing a water heater may not require a permit in most areas unless its location is different or you’re changing types, for example replacing an electric water heater with a gas model. Additionally, many states allow homeowners to get a permit or inspection themselves if they did the work. If you’re unsure whether you need a permit, ask your local building code official. Installing a water heater in a new home will need one or more permits – plumbing, electrical, mechanical – depending on the type of unit being installed.
Related Costs and Installation Time
Flat fees are common when replacing a water heater with the same type of unit. When changing types or installing a water heater in a new construction, the estimates you receive will vary based on the time and materials the installer believes will be required. Use these cost and time figures to get a ballpark estimate for your installation.
Water Heater Installation Time Schedule
This is really a choice for you to make yourself. I’ve installed my own water heaters, both gas and electric. I do have friends in both plumbing and HVAC who have helped to assure it was done properly. The last time I installed a gas water heater, I called my local town for a permit and they told me I didn’t need a permit (Since DIY) but did need to have it inspected, which I did a week later.
The main reason I installed my own heater last time, was due to a remodel of the laundry-room where it’s located. It was already removed and only made sense to replace. If the water heater failed separately, I’d likely use a pro to do the job. It’s not hard, but still a pain and inconvenience.
|Costimates||$1,150||$250 – $8,000|
|FixR||$700||$400 – $10,000|
|HomeAdvisor||$1,020||$300 – $13,000|
|HomeWyse||$1,150||$400 – $12,000|
|AngiesList||$1,950||$550 – $4,800|
|Suggest a Cost Comparison from Another Website|