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Cost of Water Heater Installation or Replacement

Water Heater Installation Cost Checklist

The cost of water heater installation will increase or decrease based upon a number of factors. We have put together this checklist to help you better understand how contractors price each job.

What type of water heater are you installing?

  • A conventional water heater with a large storage tank is typically the most affordable option. Unfortunately, with this type of system, you end up heating water that you won't ever use.

  • Tankless (or on-demand) water heating systems are a little more expensive. They only heat water when there is a need or demand for it. By installing a tankless system, you may become eligible for certain energy efficiency tax credits.
What type of fuel will the water heater run on?

  • Electric water heaters are typically the cheapest.

  • Gas or liquid propane (LP) units tend to be a little more expensive.

  • Solar-powered water heaters are the most expensive, but they are very energy efficient. The higher initial cost may be offset by lower utility bills each month.

Is the right plumbing in place?
  • If you need to install a new water line, this will increase the cost of installation.

  • If your home or business has been pre-plumbed, no additional charges should apply.

  • If interested, you can read more about the cost of water line installation here.

What size tank do you need?
  • The size of the tank you need will depend on the square footage of your home, the size of your household, and the type of appliances in your home that require hot water.

  • For a 2 or 3 person household, you may only need a 20 or 30 gallon tank.

  • You may need a 50 to 70 gallon tank for a 4 to 6 person household.

  • As the size of the tank goes up, so will the cost of installation.

  • Learn More: Water Heater Capacity
If replacing an existing water heater, what type of modifications are required?
  • Making structural modifications to fit the new unit may come at an additional cost.

  • Moving the water heater to a new location can be expensive! This is especially true if you have to install new water pipes.

  • Switching fuel sources may also require some extra work. For example, if you want to replace your electric water heater with a natural gas unit, expect higher labor and material costs. This may involve installing a new gas line which can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of installation.
What type of warranty do you want?
  • A standard warranty should be included in the cost of the unit.

  • However, upgrading to an extended warranty (upwards of 5 to 12 years) will come at an additional cost.
Is the water heater properly vented?
  • If you are replacing an old water heater, you may already have the right ventilation in place.

  • If you are installing a new water heater that needs to be vented, we can help you get free quotes from local ductwork contractors.

14 Questions to Ask Your Water Heater Contractor Before Installation:

1. Are you licensed and insured?

2. Are any permit inspections included in the cost estimate?

3. What type of water heater do you recommend?

4. How long do you expect the installation of the water heater to take?

5. Do you have any references that I could contact?

6. What type of maintenance does my water heater require?

7. Is there a manufacturer’s warranty on the water heater?

8. Does the quote included cleanup?

9. Is the removal and disposal of the existing water heater included in the cost estimate?

10. Will the new water heater fit where the existing water heater is currently installed?

11. Is the new hot water heater in compliance with local building codes and HOA bylaws?

12. Are there any tax incentives in place for installing a high-efficiency or solar-powered water heater?

13. Is delivery included in the cost estimate?

14. Do I have to pay an additional cost for tubing, connectors, and hardware?

Updated: 10/26/2016

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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