How much will your water heater installation or replacement cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

Water Heater Specialists on Thumbtack cost$70 - $80

Average price

  • Lowest price:$50
  • Most common low price:$70
  • Most common high price:$80
  • Highest price:$390

How much does a water heater cost?

A new water heater costs $1,180, on average, to install. Average water heater installation costs range from $604-$2,070, depending on the type of water heater you choose, fuel costs and the labor costs in your area. The low-to-high water heater cost is $427-$7,978.

Water heater cost:

National average cost

$1,180

Average cost range

$604-$2,070

Minimum cost

$427

Maximum cost

$7,978

Installing or replacing a water heater is a project that's best left to the pros. However, it's important to understand gas, electric and tankless water heater prices, the labor cost to install water heaters and other cost considerations so you can budget accordingly. Keep reading to learn more about water heater installation costs and how to get estimates from local professionals. 

Compare prices from water heater specialists near you.

Hot water heater costs

How much is a water heater? The cost to install water heaters ranges anywhere from $427-$7,978.

Water heater prices vary drastically because there are several types you can choose from,  including standard and tankless water heaters, as well as gas and electric water heaters. You also have the option to install a propane, solar or heat pump water heater.

You can purchase a new water heater unit at a home improvement or plumbing supply store. Or, your pro may supply one for you. 

Gas vs. electric water heater cost 

Type

Water heater installation cost

Gas $1,192
Gas (tankless) $2,070
Electric $854
Electric (tankless) $604

Gas water heaters cost $1,192 to install, and electric water heaters cost $854, on average. However, prices can range from $427-$3,070.

Electric water heaters tend to have lower initial costs, but they cost more to operate. That’s because, in some regions, natural gas is less expensive than electricity. That’s why where you live can play a big factor in the type of water heater you end up choosing.

Gas water heaters

Electric water heaters

Higher initial cost Lower initial cost
Lower operating cost Higher operating cost
Lower energy factor (EF) ratings Higher energy factor (EF) ratings

Tank vs. tankless water heater cost

Type

Water heater installation cost

Tank water heater $427-$3,070
Tankless water heater $590-$2,069

tankless water heater costs anywhere from around $590-$2,069. This cost estimate includes both tankless electric and gas water heaters. Standard tank water heater costs range from $427-$3,070. Tank water heaters are also called "conventional storage" water heaters. As their name implies, these water heaters have a storage tank; tankless water heaters do not.

Tankless systems heat water on demand and can save you money on energy costs in the long run. The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that a gas tankless water heater can save you $108 per year in energy costs. 

Consider both the initial installation cost and potential energy savings when deciding between getting a storage or tankless water heater.

Find the right water heater specialist for your project.

Propane water heater cost

Propane water heater installation costs range from $643-$1,169.  Propane and natural gas water heaters are similar; they both require venting through a chimney or wall. However, you'll also need a storage tank (and propane deliveries) to operate a liquid propane water heater.

Solar water heater cost

Solar water heating systems cost $1,256-$9,500 and rely on the sun to heat water. They tend to be more expensive than standard water heaters. However, you'll likely save money in the long run. The DOE reports that installing a solar water heater could lower your water heating bills by 50%-80%.

Heat pump water heater prices

Electric heat pump water heaters cost around $2,100-$2,650 to install. These heat pumps are "two to three times more energy-efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters," states the DOE. That's because they don't generate heat — they move it from one place to another.

Water heater prices by gallon

Gallon

Water heater price (unit only)

30  $348-$1,700
40  $399-$1,970
50  $379-$2,500

Water heater prices can vary based on the gallon and type. For example, a 65-gallon tall electric water heater may cost $1,120-$1,300, while a 65-gallon gas water heater costs $1,160-$1,340.

See which water heater specialists are top-rated in your area.

Labor cost to install water heater

When pros give you a cost estimate for installing your water heater, they typically quote a flat fee that includes the cost of the unit and the cost to install the water heater — also known as the labor cost, which may include any plumbing and gas line needs

After you buy the heater that suits your needs, you can pay a pro for installation. The average labor cost for the project typically consists of an hourly rate of $65-$85 per hour. In total, you can expect to pay anywhere from $70-$290 in labor costs

You may pay more for a complicated job that takes longer. For example, if you're getting a water heater installed in a newly constructed home, the job could cost more because the plumbing work required involves running new pipes.

Water heater installation cost considerations

There are many factors that can impact the cost to install a water heater. From the type of unit you choose, its size and other features, remember to factor in all of these considerations when creating your budget.

Water heater unit prices and labor costs

Water heater installation costs are made up of two parts: the cost of the appliance and the cost of labor, the latter of which can vary depending on where you reside. Typically, water heater labor costs are lower than the unit itself. 

Gallon size

How much you'll pay to replace or install a new water heater also depends on the type and size of the water heater (measured in gallons) and the rates charged by the installer or retailer. 

Tank-style systems range in size from 20 to 80 gallons, with the 40-gallon size being the most common. Larger water heaters tend to cost a little more. For example, a 50-gallon tank may cost about $100 more than a 40-gallon tank. If your household size is more than two, you'll need at least a 40-gallon tank. If it's more than five, look in the range of 60 to 80 gallons.

Brand

Water heater prices vary by brand. Popular brands include A.O. Smith, Bosch, Kenmore, Rheem and Whirlpool. If you have your heart set on a specific brand, compare prices from different retailers before you buy one. You can also ask your pro if they also sell water heaters or have any recommendations.

See which water heater specialists are top-rated in your area.

Energy efficiency

The higher the energy efficiency, the more expensive the unit may cost. On the flip side, an energy-efficient model can help you save money on annual energy and operating costs.

Accessibility

Another factor that can affect water heater costs is the location of the system in your home. If it's difficult for the pro to access your old water heater in an attic or basement, or if they have to haul your new heater up several flights of stairs, they may tack on an additional fee.

Special features

Some systems include integrations that notify you of leaks and other problems, which add to the hot water heater cost. 

Water heater replacement cost

The cost to replace a water heater ranges from approximately $680-$3,070, depending (of course) on the gallon, brand and type of water heater.

If your water heater is fixable, water heater repairs cost anywhere from $50-$1,500. When repair costs start piling up, it’s time to consider replacing your old water heater with a new one.

A water heater’s lifespan ranges from 10-15 years. Eventually, the anode rod that prevents corrosion inside a tank-style heater will wear out, making the water rusty and metallic-tasting. This means your water heater needs to be replaced. If you replace the anode before it completely fails, you can extend the life of your water heater.

Not sure if you should replace or repair your hot water heater? Ask a professional near you to give you an estimate of the cost to replace the water heater, as well as the cost to repair it.

Also read: Tips for troubleshooting your water heater.

Water heater maintenance tips

After you replace your water heater, take steps to avoid expensive repairs and ensure your new unit lasts as long as possible. For example, use these maintenance tips:

  • Check your anode rod every 2-3 years
  • Drain and flush the tank
  • Lower the temperature to 120 degrees

For more information on maintaining and protecting your water heater system, read our guide on plumbing maintenance.

How to hire a water heater installer

Do you need a new water heater installed in your home? Take these steps to find the best pro to install or replace your water heater:

  • Compare water heater specialists online. Read their customer reviews and ratings to see which pros are reputable and have a track record of producing quality work. 
  • Check their credentials. Make sure the water heater specialist or plumber you hire has the proper license or certification in your state. 
  • Get free estimates from several pros. Compare costs and find a pro who can quickly get the hot water flowing again at your house.

For more tips on how to hire the best water heater installation specialist, read our smart hiring guide.

Find the best water heater specialist in your neighborhood.

Find hot water heater installation pros on Thumbtack

Don't put off replacing or installing a new water heater. Begin your search on Thumbtack to find the best water heater specialist near you.

Additional sources: Bob Vila, Craftsman National Construction Estimator, Craftsman National Home Improvement Estimator and Craftsman National Repair & Remodeling Estimator.

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