How much will your water heater installation or replacement cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

Water Heater Specialists on Thumbtack cost$70 - $100

Average fixed price

  • Lowest price:$30
  • Most common low price:$70
  • Most common high price:$100
  • Highest price:$350

How much does it cost to replace a water heater?

By Kristy Snyder

The average national water heater replacement cost ranges between $1,726 and $2,587. Of course, there are many different types of water heaters, and costs vary accordingly. For example, you can expect to pay $1,623-$2,420 for a 50-gallon gas water heater and $1,459-$2,177 for a 50-gallon electric water heater.

Water heater replacement cost:

National average cost range


Average low-end cost range


Average high-end cost range


All prices include labor and materials.

The cost to install your water heater can also vary depending on where you live. Pros in high-demand areas might charge more. That's why it's best to get an accurate look at local pricing by contacting contractors near you.

To help you prepare for your project, we'll cover some of the various cost intricacies below.

Gas water heater replacement cost:

Gallon capacity

National average cost range

40 gallon


50 gallon


60 gallon


75 gallon


All prices include labor and materials.

Gas water heaters tend to be slightly more expensive than electric water heaters upfront. However, they'll usually save you money on utilities in the long run. Learn more about your local gas water heater replacement cost when you contact an area pro.

Get a free estimate from a great water heater specialist near you.

Electric water heater cost:

Gallon capacity

National average cost range

40 gallon


50 gallon


60 gallon


80 gallon


All prices include labor and materials.

Electric water heaters are usually cheaper to buy and install. However, they tend to have higher operating costs. To know for sure what you can expect to pay, get a free estimate now from a contractor in your area.

Tankless water heater cost:

National average cost range


Average low-end cost range


Average high-end cost range


All prices include labor and materials.

Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, helping to reduce energy usage by as much as 34%. However, you'll notice that tankless water heater installation costs are slightly more expensive than traditional water heaters (also called "storage tank water heaters").

Of course, your local pros can paint a clearer picture of what you'll pay — get in touch with a top-rated contractor now.

Compare prices from water heater specialists near you.

Cost breakdown for installing a new water heater.

When you're installing a new water heater, many different things can affect the cost. Here's a look at some of the most common factors in determining the final price.

Labor costs and service fees.

Typically, installing a water heater takes a skilled laborer approximately two to three hours. That time might increase if the water heater is hard to access. Plumbers may charge you on an hourly rate or a per-project rate.

If you're working with a professional on an hourly rate, make sure the area around the heater is clear. That way, they don't have to waste time moving things around and can get right to work.

Water heater type and fuel source.

As you've noticed above, electric water heaters tend to be the most affordable, followed by gas water heaters. Tankless units are usually more expensive to buy.

It's also worth considering your water heater's ongoing operating cost. This cost is often determined by the fuel type. In general, electric water heaters have higher operating costs compared to natural gas water heaters. But you'll need to research the cost of electricity and gas in your area to determine which option is more affordable.

Equipment costs.

You also have to consider any additional materials needed for installation, such as pipes, fittings, and valves. As an example, flexible copper lines threaded on both ends can be cheaper than soldered solid copper screwed onto a pipe nipple.

Existing water heater removal.

If you're replacing an old water heater, you'll need to consider the cost of removing the existing unit. This includes disconnecting and disposing of the old water heater. The cost of water heater removal can be around $100 to have a company dispose of it for you.

Some recycling centers may offer a small payment for the old tank, which can offset the disposal cost.

Electrical hookups.

Electrical water heaters will require a special circuit. Most homes have a standard 120-volt circuit. However, most electric water heaters require a 240-volt circuit and a dedicated breaker.

If you already have an electric water heater and you're swapping it out for a new one, you should be in good shape. But if you don't have this type of wiring, you'll have to pay an electrician to come and set it up for you.

Gas hookups.

Likewise, gas models require a gas line connection to ensure they're getting fuel. Because they're burning fuel, they also need proper ventilation to prevent a buildup of toxic fumes. Setting up this ventilation can be costly, as it might require putting a hole in your walls and installing a new hood.

New home installation vs. remodel.

If you're installing a new water heater in a newly constructed home, the installation may be simpler and more cost-effective as the necessary infrastructure can be planned from the beginning. In contrast, if you're replacing a water heater during a remodel, you'll have to work around existing structures and plumbing, which can be more time-consuming and expensive.

Permit costs.

Most municipalities require you to get a permit before installing a water heater. This is to ensure you're doing work safely and up to code to prevent accidents. Every area is different. For example, in Geneva, Illinois, permits cost $50. But in Santa Cruz County, California, expect to pay $89.13. We recommend budgeting anywhere from $50 to $200 for these costs.

How to save money on water heater installation costs.

Installing a new hot water heater doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some ways you can save money on water heater installation costs:

  • Research and compare: Investigate the different types of water heaters to find one that suits your needs and budget. Decide if you want to save upfront or down the line with utility bills. For example, a solar water heater might cost more, but it may save you big on your energy bill over its lifetime.
  • Buy the right size. Ensure your water heater, regardless of type or heat source, is appropriately sized for your household's hot water needs and tank size. This step will help avoid overspending on a system that's too large.
  • Perform regular maintenance. Saving money doesn't end once your water heater is installed. Flush your water heater to improve its efficiency and extend the water heater's lifespan. Always follow all recommended care guidelines in your owner's manual.

Who fixes and installs water heaters?

When you want to get a water heater repaired, you'll call in a plumber or HVAC technician. Before choosing your contractor, check their online reviews to learn more about their experience. Do they specialize in water heaters, or are they more of a generalist?

You'll want your contractor to have a valid plumbing or HVAC license. Requirements vary by state. But they typically require you to train for several years under the tutelage of experienced pros before you can work on your own.

You might also look into their education. Some contractors may get specialized education just for installing water heaters. Some examples include:

Cost of DIY vs. hiring a pro to install your new water heater.

When you DIY your water heater installation, you'll save on labor fees. However, that doesn't mean you're just left with the cost of the water heater. You'll also need to buy any special tools you require, obtain the correct permits, and pay for the disposal of your old tank. These expenses can quickly add up.

Installing a water heater can be complex and potentially hazardous, especially if it involves electrical work or gas lines. Mistakes can lead to leaks, electrical issues, or even personal injury, which may result in higher costs for repairs or medical bills. Professionals have the knowledge and experience to install water heaters correctly. Their expertise minimizes the risk of mistakes that could lead to expensive repairs.

Get free estimates from top-rated water heater specialists.

Is a new water heater worth the cost?

For most people, a water heater replacement is definitely worth the cost. With a new, energy-efficient water heater, you'll enjoy much lower utility bills.

However, there's no sugarcoating it — there are a lot of upfront costs involved with installing a water heater. Calculate the payback period for your new water heater by considering the potential energy savings. It may take several years to recoup the initial investment, depending on your usage and unit's efficiency.

Get free cost estimates for water heater replacement.

Ready to enjoy the luxury of a new hot water heater? If so, contact a local water heater professional today. Download the Thumbtack app so you can start getting free cost estimates from nearby pros right away.


Why is installing a water heater so expensive?

The reason contractors may charge a lot to install a water heater is because of the skill it requires. Installing water heaters can involve tinkering with water lines, gas lines, electrical wiring, and more. So, it's a multidisciplinary project that laborers can charge more for.

What is the life expectancy of a water heater?

It all depends on the type of water heater you have. On-demand water heaters typically last for around 10 years, while traditional water heaters typically last 6-12 years.

If you take good care of your system and follow all maintenance tips, it's not unheard of to have a unit last for longer.

What are some signs that I should replace my water heater?

Your water heater might be on the way out if it's struggling to heat your water. You might notice you have less hot water available or it's just lukewarm instead of properly hot. Water might also become rusty or discolored. You might also notice unusual noises or leaks around the tank.

Related: Hot water heater not working? Try troubleshooting.

All project cost estimates included in this article were provided by Xactware’s pricing data (unless otherwise noted). For more information, visit Xactware’s pricing methodology page.

*A note about project costs featured in this article: Figures represent national average cost estimates using data provided by Thumbtack pros and additional research. These figures are provided for educational purposes only and are subject to change at any time due to various factors. Details about your specific project and local rates can impact costs.

How do we know these prices?

Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, conduct our own research and then we share those prices with you. The prices reflected in the article above are for informational purposes only and are subject to change at any time. Contact a professional near you to receive a personalized cost estimate for your project.


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