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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Plumbing & Waterproofing > Replacing a Water Heater

Replacing a Water Heater Cost

How Much Does Replacing a Water Heater Cost?

average costTraditional Water Heater: $300-$3,500+, Installedhigh costSolar Water Heater: $1,000-$5,000+; Tankless Water Heater: $1,800-$5,000+, Installed
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There are two basic types of water heaters: the traditional kind with a storage tank and tankless water heaters, which heat water as needed.

Typical costs:

  • With all needed parts and labor, hiring a plumber to install a traditional gas water heater costs $300-$3,500 or more, depending on capacity (with 40 or 50 gallons the most common sizes); length of warranty (typically 5-12 years); and the amount of repairs required to meet current building codes. CostHelper readers report paying an average cost of $948 for a 40 gallon unit (ranging $360-$2,800); an average cost of $1,211 for a 50 gallon unit; and an average cost of $1,937 for a 75 gallon unit (ranging $1,300-$3,588).
  • A tank-style gas water heater can also be purchased at a home improvement store, plumbing supply house or online retailer for $230-$2,000 or more, with installation done separately. Installation costs vary significantly depending on who does the work; the condition of the water heater hook-ups, and if any adaptations are needed to install a new, larger unit in the space. If extensive work is required, installation can cost as much as or more than the water heater. CostHelper readers report paying $70 -$1,706 for installation, for an average expense of $630.
  • An electric water heater can cost $400-$3,000 or more for complete installation of a conventional storage-tank model and $1,800-$4,500 or more for a tankless model (including a 220V/240V outlet). Electric water heaters typically cost less than gas units but are more expensive to operate.
  • Solar water heaters cost $1,000-$5,000 or more, with installation usually included in the purchase price.
  • A central, whole-house, gas tankless water heater can cost $800-$3,000 or more, without installation. Because tankless systems typically require the addition of a 220V/240V outlet and/or larger-diameter gas pipes than found in an average home, installation can bring the total cost to $1,800-$5,000 or more.
Related articles: Re-Piping a House, Replacing Copper Pipes, Replacing Galvanized Pipes, Tankless Water Heater, Plumber, Flooded Basement

What should be included:
  • Generally, a one- to two-person household needs a 30-40 gallon water heater while a household of five or more needs 50-80 gallons. However, a tank that puts out more than the household uses hourly wastes money and energy heating extra water. Tankless systems avoid that cost and take up less space, but more than one unit might be needed to shower and run a dishwasher at the same time. The U.S. Department of Energy describes the different types of water heaters[1] .
  • Replacing an old water heater with a similar but updated model is relatively straightforward, but new and more-energy efficient units are often larger, and might not fit the existing space or hook-ups.
  • Check with the local planning department; a permit and inspection may be required. Replacement water heaters typically are required to meet current building codes, which may mean upgrading the existing water and gas lines, installing new valves and other parts, and the addition of an expansion tank[2] to minimize pressure build-up.
Additional costs:
  • Less expensive units may cost the most to operate. The U.S. Department of Energy explains how to estimate and compare water heating costs[3] .
  • Do-it-yourself installation is possible, but can be challenging. This Old House explains how to replace a water heater[4] , calling it a moderate-to-difficult project that takes 2-4 hours and requiring basic plumbing skills plus the strength to wrestle out the old unit and carry in the new one. CostHelper readers report paying $385-$750 for do-it-yourself installation of new water heater, at an average cost of $574, while a New Jersey reader reports paying $2,500 a plumber (triple the normal rate) to fix the botched do-it-yourself installation of a 40-gallon water heater.
Shopping for replacing a water heater:
  • lists tips for selecting a new water heater[5] .
  • lists tips for choosing a plumber[6] .
  • Get several estimates. Request and check references, and be sure the company is properly bonded, insured and licensed[7] . Search for any complaints with the>AA>Better Business Bureau.
  • A written contract should include a detailed outline of the work required and materials to be used, and dates within which the project will be done.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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Hot Water heater
Amount: $1,599.00
Posted by: Huang in Boise, ID.Posted: October 3rd, 2015 06:10PM
Capacity: 50Brand:
Installer: A1
Bradford and white Defender series
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Bradford White 50 gal gas water heater
Amount: $1,004.00
Posted by: Handymam in Hammond, IN.Posted: September 30th, 2015 02:09PM
Capacity: 50 galBrand: Bradford White
Installer: Whiting Plumbing
Our 16 year old Bradford White water heater started leaking last night. I read these comments so I was prepared when I called my plumber this morning. He quoted me 875 for a 40 gal or 950 for a 50 gal. I went with 50 gal since we have a jetted tub now. Work was done within 3 hours and hope to get at least another 16 years from this new water heater.
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Gas Water Heater
Amount: $1,875.00
Posted by: GaryIF in Bethesda, MD.Posted: September 27th, 2015 06:09PM
Capacity: 75 gallonBrand: Ruud Pro+G75
Installer: Leahy Plumbing
Straightforward replacement of a nearly 20 year-old unit. Did so as preventative maintenance, figuring the old one more than lived out its typical life and it was easier (and cheaper) doing it when convenient than amid a crisis (e.g., leaking tank).
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Water heater
Amount: $1,250.00
Posted by: Cjv in Hesperia, CA.Posted: August 4th, 2015 02:08PM
Installer: Thompson plumbing
Replaced leaking water heater with 50 gallon water heater. Installed with new piping, fittings and expansion tank.
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Replacement of water heater
Amount: $1,075.00
Posted by: LV in Phoenix, AZ.Posted: July 27th, 2015 10:07AM
Capacity: 40 gallonBrand: RUUD
Installer: Element Plumbing
1/2 day job complete with draining and removal of old WH (11yrs old and rusting out on bottom) and installation and clean-up of area where it sat and any other messy area included in the install and removal. Has a 6 yr warranty on parts and 2 yr on labor. Also gave me some info regarding other potential plumbing problems with water pressure I may be facing in future as well as sewage lines with tree roots too close for comfort.
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over charge
Amount: $2,117.00
Posted by: A Castro in Canyon Country, CA.Posted: July 10th, 2015 11:07AM
Capacity: 50 gallonBrand: bradford white
I was checking prices, for water heater. them I realized I paid too much , I should check prices before. it was done on a weekend day. but still
sound terrible high price.
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wholesale VS retail difference in quality
Amount: $750.00
Posted by: jph plumbing & heating in johnsonville, NY.Posted: April 24th, 2015 09:04PM
Capacity: allBrand: all
When purchasing from a retailer like lowes and home depot. You are purchasing a lower grade appliance. For example the guage thickness of the tank or heat exchanger. There is a tremendously big difference. If not believer weigh out a tank from a wholesaler, then weigh the same tank from a place like lowes or home depot. There is big difference. I install reheem water heaters quite a bit. And yes some of my costomers want resale quality. But don't bitch when it dies 1 to 2 years after the warranty runs out. Basicly you can compare outfits like home depot to a HVAC wholesale supplier and installer. Its like buying a GMC truck compared to a Chevy truck look the same but the parts are made heavier on the GMC. You get what you pay for.
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Hot Water Heater
Amount: $1,725.00
Posted by: Boston Ed in MA in Boston, MA.Posted: March 9th, 2015 10:03AM
Capacity: 40 GallonBrand: Bradford White
Installer: ARS Boston
My 40 gallon Bradford White was about 12 yrs old and was leaking some at the base. I decided to get it replaced last week, March 2015. I was quoted $2,100 to install, dispose, & 6 yr warranty. We negotiated down to $1,725. Still very high in my opinion but I went with them. I feel a bit disgusted after googling the BW tank and realizing it costs around $600. My mistake is in not getting at lease two other quotes.
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Amount: $300.00
Posted by: Garland Cole in Florence, SC.Posted: March 5th, 2015 07:03AM
Capacity: 40 GallonBrand: Whirlpool
Installer: Me, myself and I
Water Heater-$239.00
Installation kit-$15.99
Eye bolt-$.89
If you have any concept of tools, you can do this and feel confident when you are finished. The hardest part was getting the new water heater in the attic. Turn your power off and drain it. Depends on the contractor and the shabby job they have done putting the original water in will determine if you need an extra fittings or pipe. Take a picture with a phone before you begin so you will see how everything goes back together. The kit has everything you need to reassemble the water heater. Took me an 1 1/2 to uninstall and reinstall. But i had to have help getting the new one up so I had to wait a bit. When in doubt, GOOGLE!!
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Electric hot waater heater replaced 50 gls, for $185 what you gays thnik about it's chip or espensed
Amount: $285.00
Posted by: Johnny's services. Inc. in Alexandria, VA.Posted: January 27th, 2015 03:01PM
Capacity: 50Brand: whirpool
To replaced this low boy electric hot water heater we have to remove counters and two cabinets and our fee
is $185. what you gays, think it's fear or not.
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Hot water heater replacement
Amount: $850.00
Posted by: Andy McAndrews in Northville, MI.Posted: January 15th, 2015 10:01AM
Capacity: 40 gallonBrand: Rheem
Installer: Anything Maintenance, LLC
Had Anything Maintenance, LLC come out for a gutter service and found out they do everything. Called them when my heater went out on me. Company was out the next day with a new Rheem water heater. Company is a Rheem dealer and was able to provide me a 6 year warranty on parts. Which is a huge plus to know I had a licensed and insured company install my heater. Thanks to them I have peace in mind knowing my heater is warrantied.
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Neerings Plumbing and Heating
Amount: $1,900.00
Posted by: a user in Salt lake city, UT.Posted: November 24th, 2014 12:11PM
Capacity: 40 gallonBrand: GE
Neerings Plumbing RIP OFF $1900 dollars to install a 40 gallon water heater which probably only cost $300-$400 dollars at Lowes. Took them 2.5 hours and a half an hour to 45 min the guys waited for parts. Should not cost $700/hr to install a water heater
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Hot Water Heater Replaced
Amount: $1,927.00
Posted by: Nevin Lemanski in Peoria, AZ.Posted: November 19th, 2014 03:11PM
Capacity: 80galBrand: AO Smith
Installer: Christian Brothers
In todays world where money is so tight hoe can people be charged like I was. Its on thing for a company to make money on all things, but I looked up the cost for the exact same heater 700.00 let them add even 300.00 my final charge was 1927.00 over 900.00 to install? are you serious 2 men less than 1 hour. it seems that's the norm no wonder theres so many plumbers. what is the going rate Plumbers can charge? 2014not2912
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Replaced 50 gal propane power vent same day
Amount: $1,850.00
Posted by: a user in Springfield, VA.Posted: November 14th, 2014 04:11PM
Capacity: 50 galBrand: State select
Installer: Potomac gas
It seemed a bit pricey but was done same day. Turns out power vent + propane costs more. Only came w/ 6 yr warranty which seems standard now (2014)
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ACE Plumbing = Not feeling comfortable
Amount: $1,801.00
Posted by: Dynamite in Chula Vista, CA.Posted: November 2nd, 2014 07:11AM
Capacity: 50Brand: Rheem
Installer: Ace Plumbing
I called Ace The repairer to repair my plugged toilet. I was told by Ace Plumbing that a repairer would show up 8-10 am, and actually one did show up at about 3:00pm. He immediately wanted to do an inspection of my house and asked a lot of questions about previous repairs in my house, he inspected all of the toilets, the washer, and the hot water heater. That is when he told me that he would do the unplugging of the toilet for free, because there was no back up in the other parts of the house. He immediately told me that the hot water heater should be repaired, and showed me where it was leaking and the corrosion at the top of the water heater. I felt the pressure and I allowed him to install a water heater that was already on his truck. He first wrote out the estimates on a piece of yellow paper, I actually took a photo of it, because he did not want me to keep a copy. He completed the job I an hour or less. Which I knew it was more than I expected to pay, but I did it anyway.
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tankless propane water heater
Amount: $4,500.00
Posted by: syb in Hopkinton, MA.Posted: October 21st, 2014 04:10AM
Capacity: Brand: Navien
Installer: A & L Plumbing
7 year-old, 50 gal. propane hot water heater went last Thursday. No hot water until a new tankless hot water heater was installed (instead of a 6 year warranty, there is a 15 year warranty). It's supposed to be very efficient. Let's hope so at this price!!!
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Electric Water Heater Replacement
Amount: $610.00
Posted by: karoinnc in Winston Salem, NC.Posted: October 20th, 2014 03:10PM
Capacity: 40 GallonBrand: Whirlpool
Installer: Local Plumber
The water heater cost approx. $250. and the rest was for delivery, labor (licensed plumber and helper), installation, draining old heater, parts, removal/disposal of old heater, and one-year warranty on the work done. They also came out on short notice - both within 2 days of my call and on a Saturday. Lowe's Home Improvement had told me that I would have to pay for a permit and an expansion tank, but this plumber didn't get a permit and didn't install an expansion tank. Apparently either he or Lowe's is misinformed (?). Installation took just one hour. The plumber is the nephew of one of my sister's friends. He has done work for me in the past (moved my washer/dryer from my basement to my upstairs) and I was pleased with that work done by him.
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Water Heater Replacement
Amount: $1,312.00
Posted by: Joe in Wichita in Wichita, KS.Posted: September 30th, 2014 11:09AM
Capacity: 40 GallonBrand: Premier
Installer: Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
My 15 year old GE water heater finally gave went out. Never paid a dime in repair or servicing of the water heater in 15 years of services. The GE unit was a 9 year parts and labor warranty model that cost $187 ($250.00 installed) in 1999. Today, the new unit, a Premier unit with a 6 year parts and labor warranty and 6 years free service costs me $1312.00. I just hope it lasts as long as the $250.00 installed unit of 1999. Do you think it will????
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Micahel and Son rips off customers
Amount: $2,650.00
Posted by: in Springfield, VA.Posted: August 15th, 2014 07:08PM
Capacity: 50Brand: State
Installer: Michael and Son
I have a power vent 50 GAL water heater would not work. M&S came over, offer $900 to fix existing one, but may take 7-9 days because need get part from RUUD. Offer to install a new one at $2650. After the start to work, I learned that Home Depot sells a Rheem 50 GAL power vent for about $1000, plus installation fee of $295. Feel like stupid and being ripped off today. I could made about $1200 in a few hours myself.
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gas water heater replacement
Amount: $1,310.00
Posted by: Matt D. in Baltimore, MD.Posted: July 4th, 2014 05:07PM
Capacity: 40 galsBrand: Bradford White
Installer: BGE Home
My 9 yr old power vented gas water heater started leaking at bottom... got about four quotes ranging from $1200-2100. Plumb Crazy was high. Picked BGE Home - $1310 for a 40 gal Bradford White heater incl installation. Took the 10 yr warranty tank. Guy did job in one hour. Still thot it was quite expensive seeing as will be doing this again in 6-10 yrs.
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Price of 40 gal ELECTRIC hot water heater purchased at Lowes
Amount: $238.00
Posted by: daniel, rental condos in wilmington, NC.Posted: June 19th, 2014 08:06AM
Capacity: 40 galBrand: Whirlpool
Installer: pages
promised 2.5- 3 hrs. But, billed me at 3.5 x 85.00, plus cost of unit; so, $238 new Lowes Whirlpool, and $322 for labor/install= 560 total in Wilm NC to one bedroom condo, second floor.
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Called in a professional
Amount: $860.00
Posted by: candmlyell in Fayetteville, TN.Posted: May 22nd, 2014 04:05AM
Capacity: 50 gallonBrand: US Craftmaster
We went from a 40 to 50 gallon tank. Pressure gauge was installed. New water pan under tank was included in total cost.
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Natural Gas Hot Water Heater replaced
Amount: $1,054.01
Posted by: Michael Baggett in Mount Olive, AL.Posted: May 2nd, 2014 10:05AM
Capacity: 40 Gal.Brand: Amcerian Co.
Installer: John's Plumbing
My 22 year old gas water heater started leaking badly from the bottom. I called a professional and they were here in about an hour and finished the job in about an hour. I had already turned off the gas and water to the hot water heater and drained the tank. By the looks of the average cost in these posts, I now feel like I came out really good. It's nice to have hot water! If you are reading this in expectation of replacing a hot water heater, be sure to open all of your hot water faucets in each room after the install to clear the pipes of rust and gunk. I was surprised at the gunk that came out of each faucet! You wouldn't want that junk on you taking a shower or on your first load of clothes washing clothes. Yes, turn the clothes washer to hot water and let it allow the dirty water to pass them too. To speed up draining a hot water heater, turn off water to hot water heater, duh... and turn on a hot water faucet. God bless.
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Water heater leak
Amount: $1,800.00
Posted by: Dzu Huynh in Lynnwood, WA.Posted: September 4th, 2013 07:09PM
Capacity: 50 GalBrand: Rheem
Installer: Washington Energy Services
I noticed my harwood floor in the hallway from the garage was warped. A week later, warping spreads further into the hallway. Checked water heater in garage which is next to hallway wall and found a small leak at bottom of tank in the rear. I was able to McGiver and direct leak to the front and into bucket. Got a few quotes and they were between 1500.00 and 1800.00 with a 10 year warranty. WES came out on same day of phone call and installed new tank, removed the old, new fittings, new expansion tank and permits. Work was completed 2.5 hours. I could go with a cheaper company but decided to go with WES due to excellent reputation in the area. Sale rep took time to explain all my questions and options. Other guys sounded like used car salesman trying to meet quotas.
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Water Heater Replacement
Amount: $1,300.00
Posted by: TE in Middletown, NJ.Posted: May 28th, 2013 04:05AM
Capacity: 50 gallonsBrand: AO Smith
Cost me about $1300 for new water heater and installation, including permit, removal of old heater and repairs to bring up to code. Work done by Peoples Plumbing
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Emergency - 40 Gallon Gas Water Heater leaked in basement
Amount: $1,075.00
Posted by: JH in Hillside, NJ in Hillside, NJ.Posted: March 20th, 2013 09:03AM
Capacity: 40 galBrand: GE
Installer: Local Plumber
Woke up in the morning and tried to take a shower and noticed no hot water. Went to the basement and heard the water leak alarm going off. I called a local plumber that I got off of Angie's List and used several times before. They always gave me a good price.

He came around 12:00pm and turned off the water to the house which stopped the water from leaking from the water heater that I was spending all morning trying to clean up.... He gave me a quote of around $1000 and would be back around 1:30pm to complete the job. Looking back it seems a little high. Especially since people were telling us that it should have cost around $450-$600. I think they used a handyman and did not get permits.
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pro water heater insall
Amount: $750.00
Posted by: David w w in Auburn, AL.Posted: February 28th, 2013 07:02AM
Capacity: 40 galBrand: ge
Installer: Ags (home depot)
I live in a rural area so I didn't have many options to choose from. Home Depot was the lowest bidder at 799. When the guy finally arrived (a day late) he dropped the price to 750 because I had drained the old one.
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Replacing water heater
Amount: $1,800.00
Posted by: R. Jimenez in Piqua, OH.Posted: February 22nd, 2013 12:02PM
Capacity: 30Brand: Rheem
Installer: Roto Rooter
The plumber replaced my water heater as well as some of the gas pipes and valves that were near it(within 24") and also replaced moved the house shutoff valve for the houses main water(again I say, all within 24" of water heater). I was given an initial estimate of $1600.00 and the final price was $1800.00. I personally think the cost is highway robbery but, it was my choice! The cost of replacing it 8 years previous was less than $700.00 and that was with a local plumber replacing it. If I need it done again I will hire a local plumber again.rnI will say this though, I have had Roto Rooter work done before and have up till now been pleased with the service received.
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