Water Heater Cost Calculator

Average Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $895 - $1,137
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Use the Water Heater Cost Estimator to get a quick & accurate cost estimate to install/replace a Gas or Electric water heater in your home.

Calculate costs for either tankless or 40/50/75 gallon tank water heaters installation in VA, with local cost of living adjustments.

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Cost estimates include materials and professional labor by a licensed local plumbing contractor.

Water heaters are an essential part of any home, and are used to heat water, so you can wash dishes, take warm showers, etc.

Bad News: Water heaters have a “habit” of lasting between 5 to 10 years, at which point they usually start leaking.
Good News: Water heaters are fairly inexpensive to install/replace, and the process usually takes 3-5 hours. So within 1 day, and usually for less than $1,500 you can have a new water heater (tank) installed.

What’s the typical cost of a water heater?

Most water heaters installed in the US are TANK style, and usually come in 40, 50 or 75 gallons capacity.

These are pretty simple devices, designed to heat and store hot water, for use on demand.

Usually, the water is heated using gas or electricity. A simple replacement of an average size (50 Gallon) water heater will cost $1,200 – $1,450.

Typical Cost To Install Hot a Water Heater Average: $925 - $1,330
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Gas water heaters are more expensive than their electric counterparts. However, they are also more efficient and cheaper to operate. So if you have a choice, we recommend going with gas.

Next item that determines the cost of a water heater is its “warranty” or expected lifespan, which is usually 6, 9 or 12 years, and it will cost more to buy a 12 year tank vs a 6 year tank.

PRO TIP: In “most cases”, a 6 year water heater is IDENTICAL in every aspect to a 12 year tank of the same size/model type. The price difference is for a “warranty” period. However since you get “prorated” warranty coverage, it might make sense to just go with a 6 year option. While we are not “recommending” this option, we feel that homeowners should be aware that a 12 year tank is not different from a 6 year tank in any way other than manufacturer’s warranty.

Water heaters are usually purchased from local plumbing suppliers or home improvement stores such as Home Depot & Lowe’s.

A typical 40 gallon gas water heater will cost around $550 for the tank itself, and $1100-1300 installed. Electric 40 gallon tank will cost $100-130 less, and the main difference is the cost of the tank itself.

To upgrade to a 50 gallon tank, you will have to pay about $200 more. Thus, installation cost will range $1300-1500

Finally, a 75 gallon take will cost $250 more or $1550-1800 installed.

These prices are for a basic “in-and-out” replacement of an old tank with a new one. It does not include any additional parts, power vents, electrical work, etc.

Of course you can go with a fancy “Heat Pump” water heater that will cost over $2500 to install.

However for most homeowners, the energy savings will not be worth the extra $1,000 – $1,300 upfront cost. Even more so, if the fancy water heater will only last 5 years.

Typical Cost To Install Hot a Water Heater Average: $925 - $1,330
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What size water heater do you need?

Typically a household with 1-2 people should be fine with a 40 gallon tank. A 50-gallon tank for 3-4 people households, and 75 gallon tank for families with more than 5 people. However, if you have a family member who likes 1 hour long HOT showers, or you have a Jacuzzi, a bigger tank is recommended.

My wife likes long showers, while I usually take 5-minute long “lukewarm” showers. And even with kids, our 50 gallon tank usually has enough hot water. However, every now and then, we run out of hot water, and I really wish we had a 75 gallon tank, as it can take as long as an hour to reheat a cold tank.

When I replaced my tank 7 years ago, I went with a 6 year warranty, so technically its “about to go” any day. However I have a feeling it will chug along for another 6 years 🙂 … So we will have to take shorter showers.

Is a tankless water heater worth the extra cost?

While most homeowners with tankless water heaters love them, and would probably never switch back to a tank, you need to keep a few things in mind, before deciding to upgrade. I want to split this into two parts – GAS and ELECTRIC, as depending on fuel type, tankless water heaters have major considerations that will affect cost and viability.

GAS Tankless Water Heaters: These units must be POWER-VENTED using a high temperature PVC pipe. Some manufacturers (Navien) require the use of proprietary vent pipes, or you lose the warranty. These can cost $200-300 extra, and can only be vented outside the exterior wall (not chimney-vented).

As most gas tank water heaters are chimney vented, you may run into a situation where your plumbing and gas pipes might need to be relocated closer to an exterior wall, if running a vent pipe from the current location is not feasible. This can easily add $1200 – $1800, and is exactly why I did not install a tankless water heater.

PRO TIP: If you have Natural Gas and install a condensing boiler to heat your home – these heating systems are usually equipped with a tankless domestic water heater, so you aren’t paying much more!

ELECTRIC Tankless Water Heaters: These units use a lot more electricity than a traditional electric tank (as much as 27KW for a tankless, vs about 5-7KW for a tank). Therefore, if you are upgrading from tank to tankless, in most cases you will need to also upgrade your wiring and install new circuit breakers, and likely will need a Panel Upgrade. This can cost as much as $2000 – $3000 extra, just to provide enough “juice”.

Therefore, you should consult with a professional before deciding on a tankless water heater.

Typical Cost To Install Hot a Water Heater Average: $925 - $1,330
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