There are a few items to consider when getting an estimate to replace the hot water heater.Keep in mind that there are two main figures to consider when estimating hot water heater installation cost: the actual price of the unit and the labor cost.
Here are a few things to consider:
1. Depends on the Size
Hot water heaters come in various sizes, depending on the size of your home, quality of the tank, and hot water use. A 50-gallon tank generally is enough to heat a 3 bedroom home.
To replace this tank, the cost is $550 for the average tank and $300 for installation, assuming all plumbing and venting is installed and does not need to be updated. This includes the cost of removing the old tank.
2. What are your options?
The hot water tank itself will likely only be a third of the total cost. The real costs are the installation and new venting or plumbing that might have to be installed. Other options are using a tankless hot water heater (about $500), or a solar thermal hot water heater which is about $4,000, but may save $500-$1,000 a year in energy cost.
Tankless water heaters heat “instantly” only the water you draw. Many factors will dictate the energy savings from a tankless water heater, especially how often the water is used.
Consumer Reports recent test, however showed that while they are efficient, tankless water heaters may not be economical over the long run.
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3. How much labor should you expect?
For an installation with no demolition or extra venting, you should expect a labor charge for 2 hours at a bare minimum. If extra pipes and venting do need to be installed, expect the hot water heater installation cost to be a bit more.
Be careful when getting estimates. If you are looking to upgrade your water heater from a 30-gallon water heater to a 50-gallon, size may be an issue, which may increase the labor cost of your installation.
4. Make sure you remember
Any estimate that you review should include the cost of disposal of your old water heater. This is generally standard practice.