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Water Heater Costs
On average, the cost to replace a water heater is $1,200, including the price of the new unit and labor. At the low end, bargain hunters can get it done for as little as $815. High-end systems can cost up to $10,000 or more, depending on the water heater type, location of the installation and other variables that we’ll explore just ahead.
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Hot Water Heater Installation Prices
Replacing a water heater involves a range of variables that affect the final project cost, beginning with the size and type of unit.
Tank vs. Tankless
Tank-type water heaters have been the industry standard for more than a century. They store the hot water in 30 to 80-gallon tanks. This style represents more than 85 percent of all household water heaters in the United States. Tank-style hot water heater installations average between $650 and $2,100, including the new water heater, materials and labor. They run on electricity, gas, propane or fuel oil, and last 10 to 12 years.
In the past few decades, tankless water heaters have proven to be highly efficient. They provide an unlimited supply of hot water on demand by heating it as it flows through the waterline, rather than storing hot water and burning energy to keep it hot. Tankless water heaters run between $1,000 and $3,500 installed. They can be powered by gas, or electricity and often last longer than 20 years.
Tank Size or Tankless Water Heating Capacity
The size of the water heater also plays into the cost. Tank-style heaters range in size from 20 to more than 80 gallons of storage, with most homes using either a 40 or 50-gallon size. Tankless water heater size is measured in a flow rating of between two- and six gallons-per-minute (gpm). A higher flow rate of four- to six-gpm is recommended for most homes.
Be sure to choose a new unit that will supply enough hot water for the number of individuals in the house. The average prices shown below reflect the unit price only, not including labor or additional costs.
Gas vs. Electric
Water heaters are powered by either gas (natural gas or propane) or electricity. Heat is delivered either by a gas flame or an electric coil. Electric water heaters cost $100 to $200 less than gas water heaters.
However, due to the higher cost of electricity and lower cost of natural gas and propane in much of the country, gas water heaters are often more affordable over the life of the unit. Electric water heaters are still a great choice for small or confined locations because they do not require venting.
Direct Vent vs. Power Vent
Gas water heaters produce exhaust that must be discharged either directly overhead through a vent flue, or by a power vent blower. Direct vent water heaters discharge exhaust through a flue pipe above the unit. If you replace an electric water heater …….