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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 heaters 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, Electric Water Heater

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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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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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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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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Water heater
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: Homer in Bloomington, MN.Posted: February 3rd, 2013 07:02AM
Capacity: 40 galBrand: GE
Installer: Me
18 yr old water heater went out on Sunday and I would be gone all week. Wife said fix! Didn't shop around. Went right to Home Depot. Took a few hours to install and couple of trips to hardware store. Found receipt for old heater-$158. Maybe I should have shopped around.
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Micheal and Sons Ripped Off Customer
Amount: $2,800.00
Posted by: VD in Sterling, VA.Posted: December 26th, 2012 06:12PM
Capacity: 50 GallonBrand: State Select
Installer: Micheal and Sons
I had a leak in the ceiling and so called Michael and Sons to check it out, it turned out that it was an open pipe that could be capped. The MS guy told me he would waive off the $200 bucks if I would install a new water as my current water heater had nearly overdone it's time.

He quoted me $2300, for a 6 year warranty 50 Gal State Select Water heater, with 1 year complete warranty on all repair, and 5 years of parts and pay for labor charge,it included 2, 3/4 valve replacements, a plumbing permit and 3 complimentary flushes.

I had not done my research and was thinking about saving $200 bucks and agreed for the $2300 job down the reapir, he mentioned the main valve and pressure divertor were dying and quoted me another $550 bucks for a total of $2800.

After having read the reviews her I feel disappointed, I am never going to call Micheal and Sons ever again for anything. They are a total rip off, please stay away from them.
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Electric water heater replacement 40 gallon
Amount: $588.00
Posted by: Mathis in Clearwater, FL.Posted: November 20th, 2012 02:11PM
Capacity: 40 gallonBrand: Rheem
Installer: Dunedin Plumbing, Inc
I was never told how much the actual heater costs; checking online the one I had installed was around $420, so I assume the balance was labor. Home Depo was about $120 over this cost. Another plumber wanted $288 for instalation.
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Customers have no clue
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: plumber in Edmond, OK.Posted: November 12th, 2012 05:11AM
Capacity: 40-50 gal hwtBrand: any
Installer: licensed plumber
customers really have no clue what they are talking about with these prices. they are giving all these people bad advice go buy a tank and call a handy man to install it? Really folks take that approach with an attorney, or a doctor, or a car repair. Water heater cost are the same across the board just call home depot or lowes they will tell you the price but what are the other cost involved? Well if the tank cost an averge of 400.00 dollars and the average install is 1000.00 to 1500.00 that leaves 600.00 to 1100.00 for installation of a pan,stand, 3/4 ball valve, thermal expansion tank or valve, water flex lines,t&p drain, vent pipping through roof with cap and collor with new flashing, permit and disposal, any type of water line modification, gas lines and drip legs, and gas cocks. It takes three yrs to get licensed, understand that its not the cost of the parts that should be looked at for the price of the job but how many people it takes to operate a company that you can call and talk to someone and to warrenty your water heater. Tht truck they pulled up in with all these tools on it, insurance,work comp, truck insurance, individual insurance for the technition and there family. Do you want a 10 dollar an hour so called plumber trying to install a new water heater. Really folks get a clue, take my advise call a real plumber and just get price quotes dont settle on the first guy that walkes in your home. If you dont mind risking your property or your families life settle for a handy man service. But for me I will always call a professional.
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Replacing gas water heater to electric
Amount: $250.00
Posted by: RonOmaha in Omaha, NE.Posted: November 9th, 2012 09:11AM
Capacity: 40 galBrand: GE
Installer: My self
I have worked in heavy construction in long time but never replace my own heater and when I ran into trouble all Im thinking is I can do this. I googled it first and surprise to find out how much it would cost for contarctors to do it. heres my break down cost.. electric water heater 204 + tax = to 218 , breaker 30 amps 12 dollors and 20 ft wire 10 gage for 220 which is around 20 dollors and 10 dollors pvc pipe and one day of work including electrical saves me money..Just always remember to make sure your tank is full of water before making electrical connections to avoid burning off your heater. Theres a procedure of doing this like turning your faucet on after you make your connections on cold and hot water and turn your main water switch. watch steady flow of water in the hot water faucet this will indicate the tank is full then shut it off to do the rest of work. And use teflon tape when making connections on your pipe securing a proper connections and to avoid all hassles makes sure to get the same height of the old heater your replacing so you can fit the new one right in place with out having to add new pipe.. and among other things make sure the breaker is off when making electrical work of somekind to avoid hassles and check the code for proper installation good luck. is this helpful
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Expensive but quick fix
Amount: $1,870.00
Posted by: a user in Oak Harbor, WA.Posted: October 10th, 2012 04:10PM
Capacity: 40Brand: GE
Installer: Home Depot/Fast Water Heater Company
Our gas water heater burst so we went to Home Depot since I generally trust the contractors that they use. The cost of the tank was around $464 and the plumbing company quoted us $839 over the phone for the combined cost of the water heater and the basic installation and removal of the old unit. We had to pay another $50 to pull the permit and the rep warned me that there may be additional costs to bring our water heater up to code. Now, our old heater was the original unit installed in the late 80s so we were expecting some additional cost, but after the final estimate ($833 in additional charges), we were speechless! Here is what we were charged for: $79 for earthquake straps, $99 for a shut off valve, $179 for an expansion tank, $89 to bond water and gas pipes with 6 awg wire and clamps, $240 to increase vent size to 4", $69 for 2x4 bracing (really?), and $39 to adapt hard plumbing to 3/4" fittings. I'm sure we overpaid, but we had to make a hard decision having no hot water and other plumbers were either unresponsive or unavailable for at least a week.
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