How Much Does It Typically Cost to Replace a Hot Water Heater?

The answer to that will vary greatly depending upon the type of water heater system you want to replace it with:

Water Heater Installation Costs Quick Reference

These are the costs that you will have to add together to determine the actual final cost of installing a water heater in your home. Most guides neglect to mention these, so bear in mind that anything you read about the cost of installing a water heater will usually miss out a lot of the additional costs listed here:

  • The Water Heater Itself – The type of water will really matter in terms of cost. Since tankless water heaters are a lot more complex on the inside, they will cost you more to begin with, even though they’ll save you a lot of money in the long run.
  • Fuel Source – The type of fuel needed to run the system.
  • Official Notification – Permit for authorized work.
  • Additional Materials – Installation of additional pipework or electrical circuits.
  • Labor Costs – Authorized, insured, and licensed plumber/electrician.
  • Waste Removal – Disposal of the old water heater and any redundant pipework.

Cost of Installing a Tank Water Heater

If you are replacing an old broken tank water heater system with a new, similar specification model and are keeping the same fuel source of either gas or electricity, then this obviously will be cheaper than installing a new tank water heater system from scratch.

You will already have the pipework in place, and if you’re lucky you’ll only need just a few modifications to the pipes to enable the coupling up of the new tank water heater.

A 40-gallon tank, (that’s the average size that most households have) will cost anywhere between $300 and $500, now factor in the other cost’s as shown in the above quick reference list and you’ll be looking at between $600 and $1000 for a replacement tank water heater system.

For a brand new, full installation (including new pipework runs) of a tank water heater system, you will be looking to pay between $1200 and $2000 on average.

Cost of Installing a Tankless Water Heater

Replacing a storage tank water heater system with a tankless water heater and if need be changing the fuel type to run it is going to require pipework alterations and of course removal of the old water heater tank.

It is well documented that installing a tankless water heater system from new means a bigger upfront cost due to the price of the instant hot water tankless heater unit. Check out the costs that are involved in the quick reference list above.

For a gas fed tankless heater unit you can expect to pay up to $1600 for that you will get instant hot water and plenty of it too, with the best tankless heaters capable of supplying an incredible 11 GPM (gallons per minute of water).

An electric powered whole house tankless heater unit will cost between $300 and $700 and for that you will get a flow rate of around 6 GPM (gallons per minute of water) from the best available electric units.

These high end instant electric water heaters do require a powerful electrical supply so you need to get an electrician to check that your breaker board can cope with the electric demand.

Installation costs and for a complete new tankless water heater system can, therefore, range from between $1000 up to $5000 depending upon the unit selected, and fuel supply type.

Is It Worth the Cost?

If you have a standard tank fed system, then that certainly isn’t the most cost-efficient way of getting hot water because if you don’t use all that hot water that you’ve paid for to be heated up then it all goes cold again.

The best option for getting hot water is to use the modern-day approach, it’s also the most cost-effective way in the long term (after initial installation costs) installing a tankless water heating system where you instantly heat up and therefore only pay for the water you use, now that makes sense doesn’t it?

This way you get hot water instantly whenever you want it and best of all, you are only heating up and paying for the water that you use. This is also the most efficient way of getting instant hot water when you want it without having to wait for a big tank of water to be heated up.

Why Are Tank Fed Water Heaters More Expensive to Have?

Let’s say for example that at present you have the traditional option of a hot water heater that heats up the water and stores between 20 and 80 gallons depending upon which size tank you have, then all that hot water just sits there, waiting for you to turn on a hot water faucet.

That means a whole lot of energy is wasted. You’re paying to keep all that water heated up while you’re not even using it.

Compare that to modern tankless water heaters that heat up water only when you need it. Now you see why you’ll save money in the long term by switching to one of those.

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