Getting hot water in our homes is essential for our lives, but sometimes we take it for granted. Hot water heaters can last a very long time, so we may be unfamiliar with how much a new one should cost.
The fact is, you’ll likely have to replace a hot water heater at some point in your life, so it’s a good idea to know the average cost of a new one.
If you’ve been researching this subject, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of information out there, so we’ve made that much easier for you.
This guide looks at the average cost of a replacement hot water heater, why you need one and other great pieces of handy information.
Read on for more!
Table of Contents
What Is A Hot Water Heater?
Before we go any further, it’s probably a good idea to define what a hot water heater actually is. A hot water heater (also known as an electric or gas-fired tankless water heater) is a device used to store heated water.
It does this using a series of tanks which are filled with hot water and then connected together to create a single large tank.
When someone turns on the tap in their home, the incoming cold water hits the first tank in the system – the coldest one – causing it to fill up with water.
As soon as the cold water reaches the next tank in line, it heats up and fills the second tank. This continues until all the tanks are full of hot water.
As the water passes through each tank, it keeps getting hotter and hotter. When the water leaves the final tank, it has reached its maximum temperature.
At this point, the hot water heater stops heating the water and begins cooling down. Once the water has cooled enough, it flows back into the first tank where it starts the process over again.
What Does It Cost To Replace A Hot Water Heater On Average?
Most readers will be familiar with hot water heaters and are likely looking at the average cost of a replacement.
To get this figure, we looked at the prices of several models from well-known manufacturers including Kohler, Rinnai, General Electric and LG. We also included the price of a standard model from the same manufacturer as a comparison.
We found that the average price of a hot water heater (see also ‘Can A Hot Water Heater Last 20 Years?‘) replacement is $1,400.
Is It Cheaper To Simply Repair My Hot Water Heater?
Repairing a hot water heater isn’t always possible, especially if the problem is caused by damage to the unit itself. In these cases, replacing the entire thing is usually necessary.
However, if you’re not sure whether your hot water heater needs repairing or replacing, you might want to consider simply fixing it instead of buying a whole new unit.
For example, if your hot water heater is leaking, you could try installing a new gasket around the tank opening. If the leak persists, you may need to replace the entire tank.
Gas V Electric: Which Is Cheaper?
The two main water heaters are powered by gas or electric, and it’s a frequent area that people look at and ask which one of these is cheapest?
In reality, both types of units can offer excellent value for money. However, they do have some key differences.
Electric heaters tend to be cheaper than gas heaters, but they require regular maintenance. Gas heaters are generally more expensive, but they don’t require any kind of maintenance.
Electric heaters are typically smaller and lighter than gas heaters, so they are easier to install and move around. They also have fewer moving parts, making them less prone to breakdowns.
On the other hand, gas heaters are much larger and heavier than electric heaters, which means they take longer to install and move around when you’re renovating.
If you’re planning to buy a new hot water heater, you should think about what type of installation will work best for you. You’ll probably find that there are pros and cons to both options, so it pays to weigh up the costs before deciding how to go ahead.
Are Energy Efficient Models Cheaper?
Energy efficiency is something that many people look for when they buy a new appliance like a hot water heater. The reason for this is simple: energy efficient appliances use less electricity than traditional models.
In fact, most experts agree that the best way to save money on your utility bills is to install an energy efficient hot water heater. If you do decide to invest in an energy efficient hot water generator, there are two main types available.
First, there are those that have been designed specifically for homes with solar panels. These units can work in tandem with the sun to produce more power during peak times.
Second, there are those that are compatible with existing electrical systems. They still require some form of outside source of electricity, but they don’t rely on it as much as older models did.
How Long Do Hot Water Heaters Last?
Hot water heaters can last anywhere from 10 years to 30 years depending on a number of factors. These include:
- How well they’re maintained
- What type of fuel they use
- Whether they’re installed correctly
- If they’re placed in a location that allows them to vent properly
- And whether they’re serviced regularly
So if you want to get a rough estimate of how long a hot water heater will last, it’s best to find out how old yours is. Once you do, you can make an educated guess about when it might need replacing.
Why Might You Need A New Hot Water Heater?
A hot water heater is only going to work as hard as you let it. If you leave it alone, it won’t have to work too hard.
Vice versa, if you turn on the tap while the hot water isn’t needed, the hot water heater will have to work harder than necessary. This means that it could potentially wear out faster than expected, leading to problems like leaks and reduced capacity.
In addition, if you don’t keep an eye on the temperature settings, the hot water heater could run continuously, burning out the thermostat and making it impossible to regulate the flow of hot water.
You should also check the condition of the hot water heater every year or two. This includes checking the temperature gauge, looking for cracks or leaks, and ensuring that the unit is working efficiently.
Replacing a hot water heater (see also ‘Best Hot Water Heater For Hard Water‘) is relatively easy and inexpensive. It usually involves removing the existing unit, installing a new one, and connecting everything back together.
You’ll be able to save money by buying a new hot water heater instead of repairing or replacing your current model. However, before you buy a new one, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of doing so.
What Are The Pros Of Replacing An Old Hot Water Heater?
The biggest benefit of replacing an old hot water heater is that it will give you more control over the temperature of the water coming out of your taps.
Most older models had a thermostatic valve that controlled the amount of hot water flowing out of the tank.
But because these valves were designed to operate at a certain temperature, they weren’t very accurate. With a new hot water heater, you can set the temperature exactly how you want it.
Another advantage of replacing an old hot water heater is that it gives you the opportunity to upgrade to a newer model. Newer models are typically more energy efficient, which helps reduce carbon emissions and save you money on your utility bills.
What Are The Cons Of Replacing An Old Hot Water Heater?
However, there are some disadvantages to replacing an old hot water system. Some people feel that the installation process can be complicated and time-consuming.
They may also require professional help to ensure that the new unit fits correctly. If you decide to replace your hot water heater, it’s important to choose a brand that has been rated highly by Consumer Reports.
They’ve tested hundreds of units from different manufacturers, and found that many of them aren’t worth their price tag.
Do I Really Need A Hot Water Heater Anyway?
Yes. Although where you live will have an effect on how often you utilize it, everybody will undoubtedly need to use it at some point during the day, month or year.
Hot water heaters are particularly useful during winter months when you’re using your shower multiple times per day. They allow you to stay warm without wasting any extra energy.
And even though most homes come equipped with a built-in hot water heater, it doesn’t mean that you have to use it all the time. You can easily install a separate storage tank in your basement or garage to store extra hot water until you need it.
If you do decide to purchase a new hot water heater for your home, remember that it won’t last forever. In fact, the average lifespan of a residential hot water heater is about 15 years.
So if you plan on keeping yours longer than this, you might want to invest in a high efficiency model.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Hot Water Heater?
Installing a hot water heater isn’t as expensive as you might think. Most homeowners can complete the job themselves within 2 days.
In fact, it only costs $1,000—$2,500 to install a new hot water heater. But keep in mind that this price includes everything except the actual cost of the tank itself.
So what does this include? First off, you’ll need to hire someone who knows how to work with plumbing pipes and electrical wiring.
You should also consider hiring a plumber to install the heating element inside the tank. This part of the installation can take up to 3 hours to complete.
You’ll also need to buy a new gas line, a shutoff valve, a pressure regulator and a thermostat. The final cost will depend on the type of tank you select. However, the average price for a standard 10 gallon tanks is around $3,000.
But don’t worry – you can always add additional features later down the road. For example, you could install solar panels on your roof to generate electricity for the hot water heater. Or you could opt for a tankless water heater instead of a traditional one.
These types of systems are much less expensive, but they still provide plenty of hot water.
The Bottom Line
The average cost of a new hot water heater is $1,400, but these costs can change depending on your choices; gas, electric, energy efficient, installing yourself etc. Once you’ve considered all the factors, weigh up your options and ask around to get a variety of prices.
We hope this guide has been of use to you. Good luck with your water heater!