How much does installing a water heater cost?

Average cost in 20149: $580 See National

$255

low cost

$580

avg cost

$1,310

high cost

The average cost for a water heater specialist is $580. You are likely to spend between $255 and $1,310 total. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated April 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Water heater professionals help when a home’s hot water is not reliable or not running at all. It can be dangerous for homeowners to repair water heaters themselves because of the gas or electric work involved. Water heater pros can safely diagnose and repair problems or install new water heaters when necessary. Costs depend on the nature of the problem, what type of new heater will replace a failed one and the amount of hot water needed on a daily basis.

Tank or tankless

The most costly part of water heater installation is the water heater itself. Water heaters come either with a tank or without. Tankless water heaters cost three or four times more for installation because most homes need to be retrofitted to accommodate them. Tankless water heaters, however, are more energy efficient than those with tanks because they only heat water when it’s needed. Homeowners can save anywhere from $40 to $100 or more on annual energy bills with a tankless heater, depending on how much hot water they use.

Gas or electric

Water heaters are available in gas or electric options. The long-term cost of each option depends on the relative costs of natural gas and electricity in a given area. Gas might be slightly more expensive, but an electric water heater will go out during a power outage, for example. The most straightforward and least expensive plan ultimately may be to go with the same type of water heater than was previously in the house to avoid the cost of retrofitting. Some (less common) water heaters are powered by propane or solar energy. Solar, in particular, can help homeowners save big on energy costs, but these water heaters are much more expensive to purchase and install.

Size

The size of the water heater should be based on the number of people living in the house and how much water is typically used on a daily basis. The two most common options are 40- or 50-gallon tanks. The larger the tank, the more expensive the water heater, but homeowners will be less likely to run out of hot water during peak times.

Labor

Most water heater installers charge either by the hour or a flat rate for their labor.

Maintenance

Some installers, as well as many utility companies, offer a maintenance plan to keep the water heater in good shape for years.

Retrofitting

Once on site, an installer may discover that the gas, electric or plumbing hookups have issues that must be resolved prior to installing a new water heater or to simply bring a house up to current code. Be sure to ask for a quote prior to work, and if the quote seems high, call around to get other estimates. Retrofitting costs can also include the cost of any permits and licenses required by the city.

Disposal

Some companies roll the disposal of an old heater into the overall cost of the new water heater installation. Other professionals charge an additional removal fee that can range from $35 to $150.

Cost-saving strategies

Before installing a new water heater, ask whether an existing one can be repaired. The older the heater, the more economical it is to install a new one when problems arise. Younger ones are often worth salvaging. Also consider purchasing the new water heater on your own to avoid the plumber’s markup—but be sure to hire an installer who specializes in the same type and brand of heater you purchase.

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Recent reviews

The House Doctor

We had a gas water heater that failed over the weekend and required an immediate replacement. I submitted the job on Thumb Tack to do the install and soon received multiple quotes to complete the job. They were all over chart in price but the one from John at The House Doctor was the best. John called we worked out the details of the job and a scheduled a time. John and his helper were outstanding. They were on time after first picking up the water heater I purchased from a local store. They had the new unit installed in about two hours, cleaned up all the packing and hauled away the old heater. It was great to work with a service that honored the price quoted and not try to add on additional costs for haul away. Very transparent in their pricing and did a professional job in a timely manner. Highly recommend them.

Montag Maintenance LLC.

Aaron was awesome. He replaced my water heater and was very honest and upfront about the cost and process. His prices are very competitive and his level of service and experience was very impressive. I would definitely recommend him to anyone.

Hi Solutions

This is my first time using Thumbtack and honestly, I am really satisfied with water heater installation from Walter. Our Water heater was leaking (19 years old) and needed immediate replacement since it was leaking. I was calling all over for the contractors for prices and they all ranged over $1000. Also, other contractors were willing to charge extra fees and unnecessary county code. Walter was professional and very kind. He explained in details about the water heaters and purchasing county code is not necessary. He also showed up at home depot 7 in the morning and picked all the necessary parts and water heater. All I needed to do was to make the purchase. Also, he delivered water heater to my home AT NO ADDITIONAL COST. He finished the work in a timely manner and cleaned up well. I am REALLY satisfied with his service. Walter is going to my plumber and I am going to introduce him to my friends and neighbours. His labour cost is very affordable and reasonable compare to other contractors. I was able to save hundreds of dollars in labour cost. Overall you will never regret hiring Hi solution and Walter is the guy. He is a licensed contractor.