How much should water heater installation cost?

The cost for a professional water heater depends on more than just the unit itself - meeting current plumbing codes, and ensuring safety and proper installation are important factors, too. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Michael K.)

The cost for a professional water heater depends on more than just the unit itself - meeting current plumbing codes, and ensuring safety and proper installation are important factors, too. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Michael K.)

How much should installing a new water heater cost? And what factors influence that price?

If you notice your showers are becoming shorter and shorter due to a lack of hot water from the water heater, it's likely you've asked yourself this question.

According to highly rated plumbing companies Angie’s List spoke with, the average lifespan of a traditional tank-style natural gas water heater or electric water heater is only eight to 12 years, making a water heater replacement one of the most common home improvement investments.

So how much should it cost? According to the pros, the actual costs to install a new hot water heater, whether it’s a conventional unit or a more energy-efficient tankless water heater, are highly variable.

Every installation differs

“It can cost anywhere from $700 to $2,000 to install a water heater,” says Jason Hanleybrown, CEO of Fast Water Heater Co. a highly rated water heater installation company with headquarters in Kirkland, Wash., and six locations throughout California and the Pacific Northwest.

Mary Geiger, operations manager for highly rated All About the Pipes Plumbing in Charlotte, N.C., explains it’s hard to provide a reasonable estimate without seeing the water heater installation site first.

“The cost depends on the type of installation and that's unique to each individual project,” she says. “It depends on what type of unit the customers currently have, what they’re replacing it with and what has to change to bring the installation up to current code.”

She adds that for her part of the country, most customers choose 50-gallon natural gas water heaters, which can range from $900 to $1,700 installed.

It pays to hire a professional

“You’re getting a licensed, qualified individual who’s going to install the water heater correctly, make sure all the safety features are in place and that it’s installed to the current local plumbing code,” says Chuck Sauro, a master plumber and manager at highly rated A.B. May Co. in Leawood, Kansas.

Steve Hyde, general manager for highly rated Washington Water Heaters, echoes that sentiment. “Installing a water heater is dangerous and we encounter improperly installed water heaters on a daily basis,” he says.

“On electric water heater installations, you’re dealing with 240 volts of electricity," Hyde notes. "On a gas water heater, if a gas leaks occurs and it’s not corrected, it could result in catastrophic damage to the house or its occupants.”

Other considerations when installing a water heater include making sure the unit is adequately plumbed, including installing it with enough clearance and ensuring drip pans are equipped, if needed.

Hanleybrown says one of the most important elements for gas-fired tank water heaters or tankless water heaters is ensuring the units are properly vented to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide gases produced by combusted fuel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning causes 400 deaths each year and 20,000 visits the emergency room.

Hiring a licensed plumber with experience in water heater installation - including how to properly vent exhaust gases - and one who pulls a permit, if required, are safety measures every homeowner should take when installing a water heater, Hanleybrown says.

“Because of the carbon monoxide issue, we say people should always question anyone who is not pulling a permit,” he says.

Investing in energy efficiency

If you plan on investing in higher energy efficiency by installing an on-demand or tankless water heater, expect to pay more for its purchase and installation, water heater experts say.

“For an on-demand gas unit, the average price will be in the $3,200-$4,500 range,” Hyde says. Geiger estimates tankless water heater installations start in the low- to mid-$3,000 price range and Sauro estimates the price starts at $2,800 to $3,800.

Installing a tankless water heater takes much longer, a full eight to 10 hours versus the two to three hours a traditional water heater installation takes. And it’s something only professionals should attempt.

This is due to the a number of factors, including the need to install a dedicated gas line that can supply large amounts of gas when the unit is in use, electrical work that may be necessary and special venting requirements, Hyde says.

Editor’s note: The inspiration for this article originated with a reader’s question on Angie’s List Answers, where consumers can find answers to their questions about home improvement, health and auto repair. Have a question you need answered? Just ask.


More Like This

Using tankless water heaters in cold climates

tankless.jpg

Natural gas tankless systems work best under cool conditions. (Photo courtesy of Lilly Funcion)
Natural gas tankless systems work best under cool conditions. (Photo courtesy of Lilly Funcion)

Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, answers a member's question about using a tankless water heater in a cold climate.

Comments

Very knowledgeable comments,thanks so much on all the inputs,the price my plumber gave me was 900,for 50gal water heater installed,,.so after reading all your stuff,iam not getting ripe off,

To all the pros who have commented here and suggested in response to the ire raised by $1000 - $1500 prices for W/H installation that "you get what you pay for." If there are so many people posting on here that the prices are too high and the consumer feels ripped off and unhappy, maybe your prices are too high and you need to reevaluate your business costs in order to accommodate your customers? How many customers are choosing not to hire you, or are going with the unlicensed handyman to do the job because that's where they can find a price that doesn't seem like highway robbery? I can buy a brand new top of the line washing machine for $1000, A 50" television, 2 months lease payments on a $30,000 car. I can feed my whole family for a month on $1000. Why is that commensurate with 6-8 hours of your time? In the grand scheme of things, a days work from a plumber shouldn't be worth a months worth of groceries for a family of 4. Heck I just had 3 fence installers tear down a 160' fence and put up a new steel post cedar fence, it took three and a half days, and only cost $3000, after you back out the materials that's about $150 per day per man. To me, that is a fair price. But it's your business, so charge what you have to, but you will only get my money if it is MY perception that your pricing is fair, or it's the off chance that I have an emergency and have no other choice but to pay you, and even then I will hate you for ripping me off, and I will tell my friends and family how your company took advantage of us in our time of crisis. Not fair? Hmmm.

Well no one mentioned working on holidays .... I had an installation that required 7 1/2 hours ... The water heater was on a platform and halfway into a cabinet which took two people to install but when the water heater was drained and finally dropped down off the platform the gas and water lines had to be adjusted to install a wider 30 gallon heater the gas line was only hand tight and the gas stop was " almost behind the heater " and had no real access to get to it in an emergency and also from the roof vent you could see sunlight which rain water was probably leaking down into the tank and had to make a roof flashing repair and patch the roof along with a 1/2 inch water line supplying the heater should be minimum 3/4 also the shut off valve had to be replaced .... The water heater had to be a tall and thin model to fit as the heater date was 1998 .... So I could not find the size I needed so I had to adapt a normal size 30 gallon and adjust the water and gas lines and platform modification to make this work but doing work on the memorial weekend no plumbing supply was open at this time so everything was retail cost .... And trying to keep cost low and get hot water for the customer was a challenge but it was done at the end of the day and they had hot water .... But holidays not to many answer the phone like handy men and contractors alike are busy with their family's .... With over 40 years experience and licenced and bonded its not easy to make it in these days with all the cost of doing business , every job is different and every situation is different you only know for sure until you start getting things apart then you see what to expect on exhisting conditions

I am not a licensed plumber but I've worked long time for a licensed plumber here in NYC. Only the head of the company has the license and they are able to have as many workers without plumbing license, just with proper training and certification. Anyway, I just installed an electric water heater for $800 labor and parts (in New York City). A lot of you might ask why that much. I had to go and pick up the heater with my van in homedepot in Queens. Now, they wanted the cheap stuff, $248/40 Gal electric heater, and if you go to the reviews of that heater in homedepot page, 4 out of 7 had problems with the unit (meaning it was factory defective), some of them returned, some of them called the service for replacement parts and what not. Now imagine you spend about one hour to drain the old one, unhook, then couple hours to install the new one, wait about 2 hours till it starts to warm the water, and then it turns out not to work, now who will pay my cost for all that head ache that I would go through because the homeowner wants to save 100 bucks and purchase garbage. You might say, why I don't charge for hour instead for job? Because no-one wants to pay $50 an hour for me to wait in traffic on my way to pick up and return, plus every cheap costumer assumes that I damaged it due to my lack of knowledge or intentionally to gain more hours. And of course not to forget that most houses have the heaters in the basement or roof, which requires another person. So wherever you are, I would say around $1000 installation plus material cost it's fair.

I live in Charlotte. I won't name who I called. I was initially quoted $1500 - 2000 by a master plumber but because of circumstances he recommended another master plumber where he worked. It started off bad. He had to get diameter that would fit up my attic. He said it would cost $2,000 because two men were involved. I guess my question would be why in the heck wouldn't it automatically require two people. I did not know to ask about warranties but I did ask about grades of water heaters. He totally dismissed me and said he had to have something that fit up the opening. For me, it was "so what." Just because he needs a 17" doesn't mean there isn't more than one to choose from. He didn't even ask when he called. So I ended up with a standard 6 year warranty, even though I later researched myself and found out there are water heaters with 12 year warranties. Whythe heck would I not pay the extra cost for a better water heater that lasted longer. That was why I asked my question. He made it sound like I didn't have a choice. He even forgot to add some charge for $190 and tried to tack that onto my bill but I wouldn't let him, especially because of the first quote I had been given by the 1st man I called. And to make it worse when he came out to install it, he brought the second man plus he brought a trainee to "watch." It turned out that the 2nd guy who had worked there for 3 years was in the attic doing the installation with the trainee and the master plumber was at the bottom of the steps looking up telling them what to do! I got angry and told him I was paying for him and someone else with experience. He had the gall to tell me that no, I was paying for two men! And, of course, I made the statement that there wasn't any way that he could tell if they did anything wrong because he wasn't up there watching. And he had the gall to say I was paying for 2 men after initially telling me the trainee was simply going to watch because he had never seen an installation before. And I said exactly what I just read here. Once they leave the problems are mine. I sure you I will have a word or two when the inspection comes. I am curious to hear comments from professionals only. For the rest of you, just read so y.ou will know what to do when your time comes to buy water heater. Don't trust anyone.

Great write up for the consumer and us [the installers ] . Many companies charge to much for this 3 to 4 hour job. Have been installing mostly thru lowes for years. and give good gas leak down test ..Most important. thanks chris ....at hartzell const.

I live in Bay Area. I hired a plumber to install a tankless gas water heater which I bought. The new unit replaced traditional tank type heater (which I removed and hauled away). He charged me $92/hr. It took him 4 hours to complete the job. Total labor cost $370 - no problem here. He billed me an additional $887.14 for "plumbing materials consisting of 4" N vent products, black iron pipe and fittings, copper pipe and fittings, tankless valve kit". In his own words it was fairly easy job - he had to extend my gas pipes to reach the wall on which he hang the heater - 4-5 ft. Am I crazy to think that the cost of supplies is outrageous? I haven't paid yet.

So why didnt the supplier sell you the vent kit and tankless valve kit with the water heater. Those heaters dont really go in with out them. Im going to say because those parts cost more than the water heater and they didnt want you to know that up front. $50 to $100 or more a vent fitting easy. Tankless valve kit easy another $100. Sounds like the guy went out of his way to get the right parts for your install and you havent paid him? Wow. To bad there is not a better way to pre screen customers.

I don't feel like it is too much, and here is why... 90% of the time a plumber can't get all the material needed for the job (especially when relocation the heater), so imagine having just to drive up and down to get the job done, sometimes if I could get "superman" that does it for me I would pay $200 per day just not to go through that head ache. Then I invite anyone to come with me when I purchase plumbing stuff and you may see that a small shopping bag with fittings, valves, connections, spendable material and what not can cost up to $600. The 4'' vent supplies are not cheap either. I think with about $1000, relocation, convert the system, labor and supply it can not get any cheaper.

Sounds about right to me. Jump on a site like homedepot and price things out.. you may be surprised. 1" copper pipe in 10 foot length is like 40 bucks. You go over 1" and the price basically doubles. Each fitting is like 20 bucks. Your cost is pretty much smack dab on what I have estimated mine will cost.

I've read most all of the post about cost for installing of water heaters. First please understand what part of our country they live in and the cost of material, paid for helper (who my be doing the work under the master plumbers lic.) Second- should you pay for the plumber take out a permit? My suggestion is: You should take the permit out yourself as a home owner as maintance, not improvement for your home. Third- learn how to flush out your old, or new heater at least every 6mths. to pro long the life of your heater. This is a fairley simple job.

I'm not a plumber, but I know how to turn off the water pressure to a water heater and drain it before I attempt to remove an old one. The same goes for turning off the 90 degree “couldn’t be simpler” valve on the gas line before I remove that line from the heater. And, I've lit many a pilot light, over the years, as well as installed 5 or 6 of them, myself--always with at least another strong person helping me get the thing situated correctly. If the new one had electronic ignition, requiring an electrical connection, I could also manage that, myself. The whole thing took about an hour and a half. While, I agree it's true that if you can't figure out how to use a pipe wrench, then you ought to have a professional do it, I can't believe people are even mentioning $1000 or more for installation. If they have to get permits, then the permits had better be most (like $800 or more) of that cost. I don't live where permits are required, and my 50 gallon tank, purchased and installed nearly 12 years ago cost me $125 for delivery AND installation (& disposal of the old one), above the purchase price, of course. I gave the guy a hand when needed. I gave him a $25 tip, because he had to wait a while for me to clear out an old platform I couldn't clear before he arrived for the new install. We put the new platform I'd built in place of the old, deteriorated one, and the rest was as described below. I anchored the new platform to the concrete floor after he was gone. With 50 gallons of water sitting atop it, the platform wasn't going anywhere. I'm sure it would be a bit more today, but, really! You position it, strap the thing for earthquake safety, screw on the cold input (tightening with wrench), the same with the hot output, connect the gas (also wrench tightened), open the gas and water lines, let it fill bleeding the air out of the internal lines, and light the pilot. WHAT in THAT could POSSIBLY cost $1000! If your city is requiring a permit from you for that, it's not for your safety; it's for revenue. And, if you check, you’ll probably find you can do it YOURSELF without a permit, but a licensed person may be required to have a permit. If it’s ok for you without a permit, the requirement for the licensed person to have one is for revenue, not for safety. It’s nearly impossible to get any part of it wrong. The only thing I wouldn’t already have automatically would be the strapping material and any special tools for working with it.

The water heater tank (if purchased from a retailer) is about $350-$450 for a 50 gallon gas heater. Any business charges a mark-up on any material they sell. That brings you to $585 for the heater. For safety reasons, two men should install a water heater (ie. move it in and out without damage to the heater or the persons). Plumbers in our area charge around $200 per hour for two people. That's an additional $400. So you are already at $985. That doesn't include the fittings needed just to hook it up, or if the water or gas in in a different location than the old heater, then you would have to modify the pipes. Heights vary depending on manufacturers, so this could mean you have to adjust your vent piping to ensure that proper grade is given least you want to endanger your family with carbon monoxide leaking back into the house. What if your "couldn't be simpler valve" isn't holding? Unless you know how to replace your shut off valve which not everyone even has one. What about an expansion tank (only required for new installations, but not always a bad thing to have), water heater pan, water alarm to make sure any leaks are caught fast. Can you do it yourself for cheaper, yes. You can also buy a six pack of soda at the grocery store cheaper than you can buy a bottle at the gas station. Will your homeowners warranty cover you if it fails, or causes harm to someone, absolutely not. My suggestion, if you find someone to do your 50 gallon gas water heater for $1000, ask to see if it covers all these things mentioned above and if it does...TAKE IT. It's worth it.

Mr. Bishop, You may not resize but plumbing not only requires a master license we also must have coverage and insurance cost a small fortune plus maintaining an office with staff Normally a 50 gallon 10 year heater could be installed for around $950 and for this amount the installer will or should test for spillage, clock the meter to make sure there is an adequate fuel supply for the burners, make sure the flue pipe is in great condition and new shut off valves are installed as well as dielectric fittings to prevent electrolytic action from taking place We have license laws for a reason in most civilized countries, many people can drive a car but this does not mean they are capable of driving a tractor trailer. Also many inept people never heard of a hot water loop when installing a hot water tank or even for a tank less coil to prevent stratification of hot water molecule's entering the domestic cold water line which can cause severe illness for the residents A little bit of self taught knowledge is very dangerous as do it yourself brain surgery. Monkey see monkey do in plumbing ,gas fitting has taken many life's even in this day and age This is why I refuse work on my vans or cars or even electric as I feel it is only right to respect another persons profession. The plumbing licenses protect the consumer not the license holder

You don't take into consideration the cost of doing and owning a business (vary by state & city). Here are just a few of the things that have to be included in the cost of any job. Insurance both liability and vehicle, phones, gas, maintenance, taxes, employee benefits (vacation, medical insurance (Obama Care), workers comp. ect, ect) you are also paying for the installers knowledge and experience. Permits are REQUIRED in almost all cities. If a contractor didn't get a required permit and you had a fire or water damage and found out it wasn't installed properly then whos fault is it? You get what you pay for if you want "Chuck in a Truck" to do your work with no warranty or liability then by all means pay $125.00 if you want to know your installation was done safely, properly and have a warranty along with protection if something should go wrong then you will pay much more then that.

Common sense should tell you, that if you want a professional job done, you hire a skilled person. I have been a Master Plumber for 50 years, and have seen far too many, unsafe and improper installations. Once the handyman is gone you own all the problems. Correct gas pipe sizing, vent sizing and material and proper discharging of vented gases, is critical to your safety. Not to forget, that if it's installed incorrectly, your warranty may be void. And if you do not get a permit, and inspection, you may have a problem down the road getting a C.O if you sell. Shop around for the best price, Check the persons' business record. But don't hire non-experiance to save money, if you do you may pay heavily later.

I just paid for my own water heater and had someone else install it. Well, the tank is slightly larger and copper parts had to be cut/ filed down. He said the work would be $300.00 and had me pay also for extra parts. Is there anything on the tank that would could $50.00 or more as far as installation and he wants to charge me a servicing fee for the thermo on the bottom in which only he said didn't work. The other part needed isn't fixed so should I still be responsible for paying the full amount knowing that my water tank is still "red tagged as inoperable and also they shut off the water tank so it wouldn't be filled up saying that it didn't make since to turn it on due to the fact that the thermostat didn't work

Before you call for a water heater installation or a tankless installation, look up the contractor on the internet and check his reviews. This will insure that you only call quality installers and are already saving money and gaining piece of mind. It's pretty easy to spot fake reviews by checking the dates. If the reviews are all written within a short span of time and very generic with no names then, you may want to question their validity. Pricing ranges depending on access, materials, warranty and capacity. Example: 50 gal. 6 year warranty located in garage on platform with: insulated hot and cold water lines; T&P relief line; 24" drain pan with pvc drain line to exterior; seismic bracing; 1/2" gas trap; 1/2" gas flex; gas valve; all parts, labor and fittings. 1080.00 is a pretty standard price. Make sure the water heater is pro-grade. For tankless, the price varies for many different reasons. The price for installing a unit that serves 2 and 3/4 baths jumps considerably when a unit needs to serve 3 or more baths. Example: Install 1 Noritz NR981OD tankless water heater on house exterior with: insulated hot and cold water lines; service valve kit; dedicated 3/4" gas line from gas meter with 3/4" full port gas valve and gas trap; drain, remove and dispose of existing water heater; install remote control unit; install liquitite bubble cover and GFI on exterior wall; all parts labor and fittings 2880.00. Hope this helps and good luck.

Your paying for experience, permits, insurance and warranty !

If I'm taking the time to pick up, install and haul off your water heater, I expect 3 hrs to do the job. If I'm paying for the tank and parts, I'm going to charge 10%. So, figure 85 hr. plus material, you should be happy with a fee for under 1k. Permits, insurance, labor and material with a year warranty! That is resonible for good workmanship and done in a timely manner. Kentucky is one of the hardess states to get your license. So your paying for experience and quality . Hope your handy man has 1 million in insurance and comes running when you call. People, lic. Plumbers pay more in insurance then most tradesman. Just do your background checks! Make sure he does good work at a fair price. Thanks, Lance

If I'm taking the time to pick up, install and haul off your water heater, I expect 3 hrs to do the job. If I'm paying for the tank and parts, I'm going to charge 10%. So, figure 85 hr. plus material, you should be happy with a fee for under 1k. Permits, insurance, labor and material with a year warranty! That is resonible for good workmanship and done in a timely manner. Kentucky is one of the hardess states to get your license. So your paying for experience and quality . Hope your handy man has 1 million in insurance and comes running when you call. People, lic. Plumbers pay more in insurance then most tradesman. Just do your background checks! Make sure he does good work at a fair price. Thanks, Lance

I will be replacing my electric water heater next week. I am not going to call a plumber and I am not going to call an electrician. I am doing it myself and I will bet anyone that I will have it completely installed in under an hour. The deal is that I can have the new heater delivered free of charge and I have the skills and experience to do the work properly. If you do not have the skills, do not do it yourself or certainly not alone. I know the drill for any professional service - make things seem as absolutely complicated as possible in order to rationalize a maximum charge for the service. Been there, done that. If you indeed have a real need for a professional - shop wisely and don't be afraid to negotiate prices. If your gut feel is that this company is trying to rip you off, they probably are. Plumbers and electricians and auto mechanics and just about anyone else is going to try and take advantage of women and senior citizens. It's just what some of them do.

My dad is a master at this and probably better then you and the installation takes him 1-3 hours

Hi, Putting in a electric water heater in Los Angles in my new home replacing it with a gas heater.Using a plummer.He needs to pull a permit in Los Angeles how much should the permit cost for the plumber and the electrician.Also the city needs to inspec it do they work after hours.Because I during the day?

I really think that the consumers have to understand that there is more to replacing your tank then you think and that costs money. You also have to remember that if you wanted prices to be lower then you should tell your government and local cities to stop raping businesses and that will result in lower consumer prices. These businesses have more overhead then you could imagine. I am a handyman that runs my company out of my house and You couldn't imagine the amount of money it takes to run a small company with the costs of employees, payroll taxes, phones, internet, insurance, electric, office space, vehichles, material, advertising, taxes, licenses and any other city and government fees just to have a business waiting for someone to need you before you make 1 cent. All of these costs are upfront by the way. This is why there is a big difference in the cost of you doing it yourself and having anyone that is a professional come to do the job. You think you are being ripped off for something that will be in your house for 10-15 years maintenance free before you have a second thought about it again. Now think of the $300-400 profit, (if that) that the professional is making that now has to be spread out to pay for all those costs listed above. Now when does the business actually make any money? Think about the big picture sometimes and realize that you go to work and expect to make a living and so does everyone else. That doesn't mean to just accept anything anyone gives you as a cost, but you should be a little more receptive to paying an honest amount and understanding at the end of the day it's just business.

You call a real plumber so you can take a hot shower the same day. A handyman can do it and save you money but I am sure your going to have to wait and wait . A real plumber you will have to redo the installation 50% of the time. Think ??? the is a reason why they are a handyman and not a professionals ????? they have no business telling you how much it should cost!!! Yes all business have different cost but really your paying for SERVICE 2-4 hours is reasonable. You need a flat rate not by the hour. One plumber may take 2 hours and another my take 5 ( really). Also flat rate typically includes all the hidden time like restocking there truck picking up the heater and disposing it. Insurance, worker comp, A real person to answer the phone its worth calling a professional if you want hot water.

There was a comment, that handymen can install a hot water heater. Not in New Jersey, Only a lic. plumber can acquire a permit. Unless you are doing the work yourslef, in your primary residence. People who hire non-licensed people, to do work in their home, are taking, non necessary risks.

i am glad you show the story on water heaters now i know what is the price on install one by a plumber. thanks rjm

700 to 2000 is ridiculous...this must be including the water heater...I had one installed about 6 months ago which was gas and they added a protector for backup. I paid nothing like this.

what did you pay for installation?

8-10 hours to install a water heater and they want $3000?? that's $300 per hour. My doctor doesn't even charge that much. Ask for the plumbers hourly rate. $50-$90 is fair depending on location and overhead or that particular plumber. Then pay them per hour to install it. That's fair. Plumbers - especially for tankless - try to rip you off by charging you "for the job", instead of their hourly rate. Also, have a handyman install it if it is going in the same place - you don't need a plumber for that. Have a handyman do all the basics of moving it, if you plan to change location - i.e. cut the hole in the wall, build the shed (outdoors), install basic vents, etc. then have a plumber come in behind them and do the pipe work. That would save you hundreds since handymen are generally $30-$50 per hour. Good Luck.

If you are just paying the plumber per hour, then I guess you plan on buying all of the parts yourself and having them at your home for when the plumber comes. You will need to go out and purchase the water heater and either transport it or have it delivered to your home.The reasons a lot of plumbers don't charge hourly rates anymore; but charge by the job task, is that they don't charge the customer for driving around to get the parts and materials needed for the job. Most places, if you drive for your job, you charge mileage to the company or customer. Also, if you only pay the plumber, how does the person who answered your phone call for service get paid? Then contact the manufacturer of the water heater and ask them how long it should take to install their water heater and what parts are needed. Then you need to go out and get the parts needed. This may save you on time; but if you are only paying for the plumber's time, then you should not expect him to run around looking for parts or taking the time to get permits. Oh, and you will also have to contact the township and fill out the forms for the permits (you will need to ask them which permits you will need), get the license number of the plumber and then pay for the permit. Hopefully the water heater will be able to be installed in the same place the old one was located and you will not need extra parts and the venting will be the same. Did you want to research the current codes, or do you think the $50 an hour should also cover the plumber's knowledge and training in current codes. Oh, and are you going to supply the plumber with your tools since you are not factoring in the cost of the tools he must purchase and carry around to do his job?

That price is actually good if you consider the tankless unit may be a 1400.00 condensating type. And the parts needed to install it correctly could be in the 600.00 range.

I agree with you. This makes me sick and as you said, they want to charge you for the job and not hourly. The excuse is that they have a business to run (and the only way to survive is to sucker the consumer to pay). Installation should take no more then an hour (replacing the old); cut water lines, cut copper and sweating pipes and gas fittings that "should" line up if you get the same size tank to replace. Exhaust ... same thing. To code? Code changes are made to employ these union members. Charging $400 for a job to pay the plumber and the overhead for the hiring company... why? Business as usual. With gas, all they put is pipe sealant that you can purchase from local stores. What's the big deal? Check for leaks? Bubble soap, etc... or a match; if a leak occurs, bubbles will be created or a "pilot" flame will be ignited. Exhaust... went it out the same way and use aluminum tape for certain connections.

Wow listen to you go off. If you think that people shouldn't charge anything for a job then maybe you should just go around doing it for free it seems you figure it all out. Hey you can even charge 20 bucks an hour.haha. I have owned my own business for more than 10 years. It always seems everybody wants everything free.the bottom line is good work is never cheap and cheap work is never good. I can honestly say that I've never intentionally riped anybody off but if there's not a dollar to be made then there's no reason to be doing it. You have to remember by installing something in someone's home you're also assuming liability for that installation.if you'd simply charge just an hourly rate then you will never be able to grow your business and therefore give better prices.

no-one is suggesting that an honest tradesman should not charge an honest fee. But it is pure greed (rip-off) to charge $300/hour. If you told me that it would cover any follow up work necessary and guarantees the work for the life of the installation I would not blink an eye and pay it, but as we all know that is rarely true and they are going to gauge you again for the privilege of fixing what they didn't do right in the first place. Too bad for the trade.

I live in MA and the average water heater replacement install is about $100. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes. Maybe you are including the heater? Cost for a water heater here is 3 to $400. I personally have not had to pay for the replacement heater, as I buy one with a 5 to 7 year warranty, and they usually need replacing, just under my warranty time. Sandra Caruso

You have no idea what your talking about . Installing a standard gas water heater in 45 min to 1hr . I bet you couldn't even get it in the home in 1 he and out of the box!

My water heater need to be replace and it in my attic it a 40 gal . It about 20 years old. Can you tell me what it might cost so I will not get rip off from plumbing. Many thanks Dolores

My family of 4, a house with one bathroom, front load wash machine and no dishwasher. ranch style house has no basement, only a crawlspace. the current water heater is in the bedroom closet (electric tank). We are looking to put a Powerstar AE125 heater in. Wondering what the installation costs would be. Our electric panel is 200 amp. the breaker is a double 30 amp. Thank you Greg & Lynn Mulvey

This article was exactly what I was looking for! It's very helpful to have ball park figures for installation cost. (we just paid $3800 total for our Noritz tankless in Los Angeles)

Everything i'm reading about tankless water heater is just how much do they cost? A good plumber will explain to you that they will not save you much if any money on you gas bill or water bill but might raise your sewer rates. Does the heater they want to install in your home come with Copper or stainless steel heat exchangers. Stainless steel heat exchangers never need to be flushed or serviced Copper tankless heat exchangers need to be serviced ever 3 to 5 years by a professional or they start to lose there effiency. Did the plumber install a flushing installation kit when he installed your tankless water heater? There are so many more questions that need to be asked and should be volintarily provided besides price by your plumber, after all he is the pro not the customer. if he is honest you will know everything about these units before you have to make up your mind about purchasing one over a tank style water heater. Lee Olaeta Plumbing, Petaluma California

I am purchasing an older house and I would like to have a tankless water heater. I need some guidance as to what type of heater I should purchase and who I should trust to install it.

All of the comments I've seen from no professionals seem to be the worst case on everything. I install and service both standard tank water heaters and tankless water heaters. My suggestion for everyone, including my own clients is to do your own homework. Call the manufacturers of the type or brand that you are interested goesThey can all point you in the direction of the true professionals, the companies they call when they need work done or problems taken care of. As far as cost goes the average standard tanked water heaters in my area start at around $1000, that's water heater, expansion tank, and installation, 6 yrs parts and 1 yr labor warranty included by the manufacturer. There are also higher efficiency tanked water heaters. Tankless water heaters average between $3500-$4500. Check with your utility companies for available rebates also, but if you don't ask, only the honest companies will tell you, then like I said do your homework, oh, almost forgot, tankless saves on tons of gas and water, not one or the other, be informed.

Alfreida,Here is an Angie's List article with more information on tankless wtaer heaters. 

Add comment

Anonymous reviews are Internet graffiti.  Angie's List has real reviews from real people.

What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 2 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!