The Bottom Line: What It Really Costs to Buy & Install a Water Heater

Reader Intelligence Report

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Last month we asked how much readers spent buying and installing a new water heater in their home. And you told us! We hope this information gives a basic sense of how much this new appliance costs, and how much you can expect to pay when hiring someone.

Keep in mind, this is general and prices most likely vary in cities versus more rural locations, etc…Although this gives you a rough idea, you should always seek multiple quotes for any work done in your home.

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Standard Water Heaters

The majority of you installed standard water heaters in your home, and this is what you each spent, by region. Included are also any details (i.e. warranties, extra work) mentioned in your comments.

REGION A
  • $680 for a 40 gallon water heater (including conversion to gas, installation, parts, and disposal)
  • $1,883 for 50 gallon (including new cement riser, overflow pipe, ventilation, parts, installation, permits, and disposal)
  • $2,000 (including the cost of moving all the gas and water lines from the basement to the laundry room)
REGION B
  • $800 for 28 gallon (including installation, emergency overflow kit, and permits)
  • $1,300 for 50 gallon (including installation)
  • $1,600 (including installation)
  • $1,800 for 40 gallon (including installation)
  • $2,200 for 75 gallon (includes disposal, replacing valves and gas line supports)
REGION C
  • $335 for 40 gallon (with installation and warranty)
  • $1,100 for 40 gallon (including installation)
  • $1,200 for 50 gallon (including installation, and a 12-year warranty)
REGION D
  • $565 for 50 gallon (including installation & disposal)
  • $950 for 50 gallon (including installation)
  • $1,250 for 50 gallon (including 7 year warranty, and a couple hours of labor trying to fix the old one first)
  • $1,170 for 40 gallon (including installation)
  • $2,800 for 50 gallon (including installation)

The Takeaway for Standard Water Heaters: The majority of readers went with 40 or 50 gallon heaters. On average, based on our reader reports, you can expect to spend $1017 on a 40 gallon and $1421 on a 50 gallon, with electric water heaters being a little less expensive than gas. As you can see, there are low outliers, which means that sales, deals and tax breaks can affect your bottom line significantly.

Tankless Water Heaters

A good number of you installed tankless water heaters instead of the standard variety. And here's the break down on what you spent:
  • $1570 for a Noritz (including new gas line and installation)
  • $1800 for a Rinnai (including installation)
  • $2200 for a Rheem (including installation)
  • $2400 for a Takagi (including new gas line, electrical, exhaust and installation)
  • $2500 (including installation)
  • $2900 for a Rinnai (including installation)
  • $3000 for a Rinnai (including installation)
  • $4500 for semi-commercial Norritz (including new gas line and installation)

The Takeaway on Tankless Heaters: There was a range of prices reported, with an average of $2608 for a new tankless heater and installation. Several commenters mentioned tax credits, so if you go the tankless route, be sure to research any available incentives at both local, state and federal levels.

An Important Consideration: Information that's not included here, for either standard or tankless heaters, is the cost of operating the system throughout the year. Tankless heaters, while more expensive at the front end, use significantly less energy, which means lower gas or electric bills each month. When you are pricing out the cost of your new unit, take the long-term costs into consideration as well.

Want to add to our intelligence? There's still time to tell us how much you spent to install a new water heater. Provide the following info below, and we'll include it in our next report:
  • Standard or tankless water heater
  • Size of the water heater, or specific model
  • Region of the country
  • Price for the heater itself
  • Price of labor to install
  • Any special conversions or work done during the install
  • Any other details you think we should know!

(Image credits: Jo Ann Snover/Shutterstock; Map Resources/Shutterstock)

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