How Much Does It Cost to Install a Water Heater?

Typical Range:

$828 - $1,644

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 29,471 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated March 22, 2022

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Water Heater Installation Cost

Installing a water heater costs between $828 and $1,644, or an average of $1,233, including the unit and labor. Tankless heaters cost about $1,000 to $3,000. Water heater prices range from $300 to $2,000 or more for the unit alone while plumber labor runs $45 to $150 per hour.

Whether you're replacing or installing a water heater, we’ll go over all the costs you’ll run into. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you’ll need to know about pricing out your next tank style installation. We’ll also briefly discuss hybrids, high efficiencies, solar and tankless.

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National Average $1,233
Typical Range $828 - $1,644
Low End - High End $350 - $11,695

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 29,471 HomeAdvisor members.

New Hot Water Heater Installation Prices

TypeAverage Unit Price RangeInstallation Cost
Standard Tank Storage$400 – $1,600$150 – $600
Tankless$250 – $2,500$400 – $1,500
Hybrid or High Efficiency$700 – $3,000$150 – $600
Solar$1,000 – $6,000$2,000 – $4,000

New hot water heater installation costs range from as low as $550 to $10,000 or more, including the unit and labor. Most standard electric and gas water heater units cost $400 to $1,600. However, they can range anywhere from $250 to $6,000, depending on the type. Installation costs vary significantly based on type as well.

Tank vs. Tankless

Tank Tankless
(materials + labor)
$700 – $2,000$1,000 – $3,000
Lifespan8 – 12 years20+ years
Energy SourceGas, Propane, Electric, SolarGas, Electric, Propane
Installation Time2 – 3 hours8 — 10 hours
ProsProven track record
Easy to install
High efficiency available
Saves up to 25% on utilities
Only 5% energy loss
Endless supply
Cons30%+ energy loss
Takes up a lot of space
Always on, using energy
Expensive to install
Not great for northern climates
Need multiple units for large homes

Average cost with installation:

  • Tank: $900 (40- to 50-gallon tank)

  • Tankless: $2,250

Water heaters come in two main styles: tank and tankless. A tank water heater, as the name implies, keeps hot water ready to use in a large tank that holds anywhere from 30 to 80 gallons. More than 90% of water heaters installed in U.S. homes are tank-style.

Tankless water heaters cost two to three times more than standard tank heaters. They’re harder to install and will run you more in labor costs. The advantage with these small, suitcase-sized units is that they deliver an endless supply of hot water whenever you need it through a series of super-heated coils. You might hear them referred to as “on-demand” heaters.

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Water Heater Prices by Gallon

Tank Size (Gallons)Price Range*
30$270 – $900
40$320 – $1,600
50$400 – $2,200
75$900 – $3,000
80$1,000 – $3,000

*Does not include labor costs to install.

Gas vs. Electric

Electric Gas
Energy SourceElectricNatural gas
Works During Power OutageNoSometimes
Lifespan8 – 12 years8 – 12 years
Recovery Rate1 – 2 hours30 – 60 minutes
Energy Efficiency95%60 – 70%
Cost Over 12-Year Lifespan$6,250$5,000
Price of Unit$200 – $2,880$250 – $1,800

On average, natural gas-fired units cost $100 to $200 more than electrical types. The internal heating comes either from an electrical coil, much like a stove top coil, or via a gas pilot light.

“Indirect heaters use a coil-type heat exchanger inside the tank which is piped to a boiler and heats the water in the tank,” said Jeff Botelho, Expert Review Board Member and licensed journeyman plumber. “These are the most efficient tank-type water heaters available but they require a hot water boiler for operation.”

Although natural gas units cost more upfront and they’re less energy-efficient, the high price of electricity in most parts of the country still makes gas the cheaper long-term choice. However, electrical types, whether tank or tankless, make better choices for small apartments or confined areas since they don’t require make-up air or venting.

Propane vs. Oil-Fired Systems

Propane and oil-fired water heaters both fall on the expensive end of the spectrum at $1,000 to $3,000 for the unit alone. Propane and oil-fired types offer an alternative to electricity and natural gas for rural and off-grid homes.

Direct Vent vs. Power Vent Water Heaters

Power venting a water heater costs about $500 to $1,000 more than a passive or direct vent system.

  • Power venting: Adds $300–$600 to the unit’s price. Plus, you’ll add an additional $300–$500 for wiring and electrical. This system uses a powered fan to push exhaust air out of your home. Natural and propane gases create carbon monoxide as they burn, creating a potentially serious health hazard if not vented properly.

  • Direct venting: Adds $500–$1,000. This system is a type of powered vent that brings combustion air from outside and exhausts directly to the outside of the building, says Botelho. Direct vent heaters use two pipes—one for combustion and makeup air and the other for exhaust. Water heater flues that exhaust into a chimney are known as atmospheric water heaters.

Cost Factors for New Water Heater

Various factors affect the cost of replacing or installing a new water heater. Consider each factor and what’s best for your needs.

Tank vs. Tankless (Covered Above)

Although tankless water heaters are smaller than tank-style units (which hold 30 to 80 gallons of water), they are more difficult to install. You’ll pay more for labor as installation can take up to 10 hours. However, a tankless water heater can save you up to 25% on utilities. 


How many gallons a water heater tank holds (30 to 80 gallons) determines the size and the price increases with size. For most homes with up to two people, a 40-gallon water heater will suffice and costs around $320 to $1,600. For homes with five people or more, you may want to consider a 75-gallon (costs about $900 to $3,000) or an 80-gallon tank (costs about $1,000 to $3,000). 


Water heaters run on electric or gas power sources, with gas options costing around $100 to $200 more than electric ones. Gas options are also less energy-efficient; however, gas is less expensive in the long run because of the high price of electricity. 


The setup and location of the water heater in your home will directly impact the cost of labor. For example, if your water heater is in the basement or a corner of the attic that is difficult to reach—and a pro has to carry the unit up and down multiple stairs—it could drive up the installation cost.  

Venting System

The two ventilation styles for water heaters are direct vent and power vent. A power venting water heater costs about $500 to $1,000 more than direct venting units and requires additional wiring and electrical for the exhaust fan. Keep in mind that a direct vent requires a vent stack and can add around $500 to $1,000 to the overall cost if you’re converting from electric to gas. 


Depending on the type of water heater and the location, installation requires materials like venting pipes and connectors, pressure release valves, discharge pipes, piping for water and gas, pipe thread compound, solder, and fittings. A pro may need to use more materials for complicated installations.  

Average Cost of a High-Efficiency Water Heater

"There are many high-efficiency options on today's market that are worth a look, especially when you realize that water heaters are the second-highest source of energy consumption in the home."

Dan DiClerico, Smart Home Strategist and Home Expert.

High-efficiency water heaters cost an average of $1,000 to $3,000 including the unit and labor. They’re anywhere from 100% to 300% more efficient than conventional water heaters. They use a combination of factors to create better energy efficiency, which include:

  • Better insulation

  • Smart controls with leak detection and protection alerts for connected devices

  • Heat pumps (discussed in the next section)

  • Plastic tanks

Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heater installation costs $1,700 to $5,200 on average but can skyrocket to $13,000 or more. Some people supplement their system with a solar tank or tube-style heater. While these are very expensive, you will save on energy over time.

Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters

You’ll pay in the range of $1,200 to $3,500 for most hybrid heat pump water heaters. This price includes both the materials and labor. They’re the most efficient style of tank heater and the most expensive. They use a heat pump to pull heat from the surrounding air and transfer it to the water in the tank via a compressor and coils.

Heat pumps are large units, requiring as much as 7 feet from clearance from floor to ceiling, plus up to 1,000 cubic feet of surrounding air space, so they‘re not a good choice for small houses and apartments.

Indirect Water Heaters

Indirect water heaters cost $800 to $1,500 on average. This extremely efficient choice consists of a tank that pulls heat from a nearby boiler or furnace, rather than relying on an independent heat source. The systems can be fired by gas, oil, propane, electric, solar energy, or any combination of these.

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Water Heater Prices by Brand

Rheem$400 — $2,300
AO Smith$400 — $3,500
Bradford White$400 — $3,000
Kenmore$350 — $1,000
Whirlpool$350 — $1,500

The costs above are estimates for the unit only. They are for the common 30- to 50-gallon capacity units and do not include installation, transportation, or other additional expenses.

Average Labor Cost to Install a Water Heater

Installing a water heater averages $1,225, ranging from $350 to $12,000

Labor costs to install a standard water heater typically range from $150 to $800. Most plumbers quote a flat rate that includes the materials and labor but if you already bought your own unit, you may pay hourly rates for your pro. Hiring a plumber costs $45 to $200 per hour and electricians cost $50 to $100 per hour.

Water Heater Replacement Cost

Replacing a water heater usually costs $500 to $1,800 for a replacement of the same style and size. Other costs, including permit fees and carpentry work, can add anywhere from $50 to $1,500 or more.

How Much Does It Cost to Convert Gas Water Heater to Electric?

It will cost you $200 to $500 or more to convert from gas to electric. The total cost comes from running a new electrical circuit. Electric heaters require their own dedicated circuit so don’t try to put them on an existing line.

How Much Does a Water Heater Permit Cost?

Water heater permits cost $50 to $500 depending on the extent of the construction needs. You can pull a permit yourself or have your installer do it and include it in their overhead.

Water Heater Expansion Tank Cost

A water heater expansion tank costs $40 to $200 with labor adding another $50 to $150. Most come with a little extra space for fluid expansion as it heats up. It’s usually required by code with new construction or when upgrading your current system. Without that space, the hot fluids build up pressure which can lead to pipes bursting.

Water Heater Removal Costs

Removing your current water heater costs anywhere from $100 to $500. The bill depends heavily on the hourly rate of your contractor. If the unit is hard to access or difficult to remove, expect to pay more for removal.

Water Heater Installation Cost by Location

City or StateAverage Cost Range
Chicago$750 — $1,250
Houston$950 — $1,600
Dallas$950 — $1,675
Austin$850 — $1,650
San Diego$935 — $1,600
Los Angeles$950 — $1,750
San Francisco$1,050 — $1,850
Atlanta$775 — $1,350
Minneapolis$715 — $1,300
New Jersey$975 — $1,500
Denver$985 — $1,900
Seattle$1,050 — $1,700
Massachusetts$940 — $1,700

Cost estimates are based on actual project costs reported by HomeAdvisor members.

What Size Water Heater Do You Need?

Determine the size of your water needs based on how many people live in your home.

Number in HouseTank (gallons)Tankless* (gallons per minute)
120 — 302 — 3
2 — 330 — 403 — 5
4 — 540 — 504 — 6

*May require two or more parallel units or separate units for point of use, such as a dedicated one for each bathroom, shower, or appliance. For a detailed estimation you’ll need more information:

  • Tank-style heaters: find your FHR (First Hour Rating) or the peak-hour hot water demand and your tank's recovery rate.

  • Tankless: determine the flow rate of each appliance, fuel source, and rise in temperature needed.

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Signs You Need a New Water Heater

 The average lifespan of a tank water heater ranges from 8 to 12 years

About 90% of hot water heater installations are the result of a sudden failure, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. You can avoid the stress of that situation by watching out for the following warning signs that your water heater is nearing its end of life:

  • Water is rusty or discolored or there’s a strange metallic taste. This means the anode inside has failed and the heater is corroding.

  • Water isn’t heating up enough. Likely an issue with the main heating element.

  • Not getting hot at all. While this could indicate that the pilot light is out or the circuit breaker has been tripped, it can also indicate a failure of the heating system.

  • Loud pops and cracks. These noises indicate that the heating element is failing.

  • Leaks. This indicates that a major failure is going on internally. Shut off the electricity or gas to the system and let it cool down before replacing it.

  • Over 10 years old. It’s nearing the end of its life expectancy.

When it comes time to replace your unit, it’s best to call a professional. This way you can be sure that everything has been done safely and to code.

DIY vs. Hiring a Plumber to Replace a Water Heater

A water heater is a must in your home. As technology advances, the efficiency of these systems will increase. It’s tempting to save a few hundred by installing one yourself, but you’ll need to deal with pipes, gas lines, or electricals.

You’ll also need a permit and inspection. If anything fails, the cost of repairs, cleanup, or updating an improper installation might end up costing more than hiring a pro in the first place. If you want to save money on this project, look for multiple water heater installation companies near you. Compare rates, reviews, and get multiple quotes before you hire.

"As a licensed plumber with nearly twenty years in the field, I've seen and repaired dozens of DIY-installed water heaters,” said Botelho. “It has long been my opinion that a knack for mechanical work is no substitute for professional training. Installing a water heater—or any plumbing appliance or fixture—is not a hobby project to be tackled on a Sunday. Any time a job involves connecting to major utilities (gas, oil, line voltage electricity) it should be done by a licensed and trained professional."

Other ways to save money on this project include looking for rebates and special offers for a water heater replacement from your utility company. Remember, don’t buy a unit that is too big for your household size. Not only will you pay more for the unit, but you’ll also pay more for energy costs over time. Choose a replacement unit that is the same size and type as your old one to keep the installation simple, and choose the fuel type that works best with the existing gas lines in your home.


What type of water heater is best for small homes or studio apartments?

Small homes and studio apartments can often use a 20-gallon electric tank or tankless water heater (if the apartments are in individual units).

What is an expansion tank, and do I need one?

An expansion tank is a safety system for water that expands when it heats up. Most have a little room inside for expansion; however, any system can fail. In this case, the expanding water flows into the expansion tank rather than your pipes. Many codes now require installing one with new construction. Without a safe place for the expanded water to go, in a worst-case scenario, your pipes burst from the pressure.

How much does it cost to run a water heater?

Water heater costs range from $150 to $700 per year. It makes up 14% to 20% of your total household energy use.

How much do water heater services cost?

Water heater repairs cost $225 to $1,000. The actual bill depends heavily on what work you have done, if you have a tank or tankless unit, and the fuel source.

How long do water heaters last?

A tank-style water heater lasts 5 to 10 years. Tankless has a 20+ years or more lifespan.

How do you know if your water heater is going out?

When your hot water runs out quicker than normal or it begins to taste metallic, you know your water heater is going out.

How long does it take a 40-gallon water heater to drain?

It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to completely drain a 40-gallon water heater.

How long does it take for a water heater to heat up 50 gallons?

A 50-gallon water heater can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours for electric or 30 to 60 minutes for gas to heat water to 120 degrees.

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