How Much Does Water Heater Installation Cost?

Leave a Comment - 110


Shy Customer

Subject: I think I overpaid...

Just replaced an old 75-gal NG with power vent. It was in the side of the house "closet" which is 2 feet lower than the ground. Replaced it with the Noritz Tankless NRC1111-DV. I paid $3,800 total. This is in Silicon Valley. I did find the unit on Amazon for $1,200. Two guys worked on it to haul the old one away. Then one guy worked on it for about 5 hours to finish the job. Too much?


Subject: Schooling justifies price

Here's my take on the pricing. Some people go to school 4 years get a degree expect to get paid alot of money because they went to school and deserve it. Well I've gone to school every day for 30 plus years to learn my trade and still learning with the ever changing products and codes and regulations. In my opinion a master plumber has far more years in schooling than a degree holding college grad. Which justifies prices charged in most cases. In my opinion a simple residential change out needing only a 3/4 copper coupling for parts and easy access shouldn't be more than $350.00 for labor


Subject: Schooling but I think you overestimate your position in life...

Your estimate on price is very competitive. However your comments about education are consistent with someone without an education. I applaud your continuing to learn each and every day; but, I've spent over $100,000, 31 years ago for my training and education to become a professional pilot - and guess what...I have learned something every day as well on the job.
You have not spent as much time, or money; nor is your position more critical than that of someone in my industry.
So cut the blue-collar crap. I am essentially blue-collar status as well but with a hell of a lot more responsibility than you could ever imagine, even as a master plumber.

Gabe Gordon

Subject: too expensive

I definitely understand you are skilled. However, 350 in labor is high for a water heater install in my opinion. I pay 150 for the install. 400 or so for water heater +30 in parts. Around $600 or so.


Subject: Funny

Thank you for making me laugh. The world of work changes for everyone, what I learned in college 30 years ago would have been standing in an unemployment line today. Everyone has to maintain a knowledge base as technology and practices change.


Subject: Installation cost for Hot Water Heater

I just had a gas hot water heater replaced today. The total cost was approx 1180 which included the new tank, installation, removal and borough permit. I went through the gas company's service. They did the plumbing and gas hookup and even installed a CO monitor near the bedrooms before they left.


Subject: Cheap plumbing isn't good and good plumbing isn't cheap

i believe in a honest day's work for a honest day's pay. I went to school for 5 years. I know all the plumbing codes, why we put things in the way we do. And what happens when it's not. Some company's are only out their to screw every customer once, and move on to the next. I give a honest fair price and have repeat customers. Now if you think 1,100-1,600 depending on the location and difficulty is too much for a water heater install, hire a unskilled unlicsend handyman. if you want some numbskull soldering pipes, messing with gas lines, venting, go ahead. Would you hire a unlicensed dentist work on you're teeth? But he's cheaper lol

Gabe Gordon

Subject: too much

Yes. That is too much. The water heater itself costs around 400.
So why is a few hours of your labor, worth 1000 dollars?

Javier Valencia

Subject: I'm a handyman

It seems to me the big companies over charge every one ... I have install many water heaters and charge from 300 to 360 and the including taking the old one to the dump also price does changes depending on what type of water heater installation it is if is gas is more the charge and the space also thanks to everyone God bless

Javier Valencia

Subject: I'm a handyman

It seems to me the big companies over charge every one ... I have install many water heaters and charge from 300 to 360 and the including taking the old one to the dump also price does changes depending on what type of water heater installation it is if is gas is more the charge and the space also thanks to everyone God bless


Subject: Cost

When a recent sewage backup exposed old piping that needed to be replaced at the cost of $6500, I hit the plumber up for a new water heater. The old was still working but it was well over ten years old. For $9k, i got the previously mentioned work and a Navien 240a installed by thorough professionals that were fast, on time, answered questions patiently and cleaned up after themselves. Maybe I could have saved a little coin but I would have worked hard for it and any mistake would probably reverse any savings.

L. in Chicago suburbs

Subject: installed today

I am having a water heater installed today for about $1600, including 50gal quality brand-name tank, materials, labor, haul-away, and 10yr warranty. This is a lot of money, but it seems reasonable considering the heavy equipment, expertise, and immediate service.


Subject: cost?

Seriously? 700 or 800 to install? I just bought my water heater and I was hoping to hire someone to install it, but i guess I'll do it myself. That cost is ridiculous.

Brian Crawford

Subject: Water Heater

Depending on the piping arrangements and if you got a similar water heater with similar connections the price will be reduced dramatically. I haven't charged over 300 for a typical installation.

Joel Brown

Subject: No Cost Water Heater Replacement

You should always hire licensed experts to do the job. Quality Conservation Service has been providing water heater repair, service and installation for our California residential and commercial customers for over 20 years. The Southern California Gas Company offers no cost weatherization programs and even water heater repair or replacement services for qualified limited-income customers. The program is available to both homeowners and renters residing in single and multi-family and mobile homes. Always make sure you check all you options.

Sean K

Subject: Waqter Heater Installation Cost

I'm a retired city commercial mechaniacal and plumbing systems inspector and I can see both side of the water heater installation cost.
To the contractor, we all have bills to pay and I have seen honest contractors and flat out crooks doing business. As an inspector, I couldn't get inlvovled in the business transactions between contractor and customer. I have seen guys doing and easy pull and replace 40 gallon gas and overhearing the building owner say "1,000 for the water heater replacement". I just shook my head - for a easy 40 gallon replacement with 4 feet of clearance on all sides and on top? Come on. I was a licensed contractor for a long time before I was an inspector and never would do that to someone.
To the customer, we do have to understand there are alot of variables that go into replacing a water heater. If the heater is in a small closet and the plumber can barely fit his/her hand in there, thats a pain in the ____ and thats most likely going to take more manhours to pull and replace. Also, once the water heater is energized (full with gas or power on), it is a "pressurized vessel" and if not installed correctly, it could blow. Google water heaters expolding through roofs, for example. There was a residential water heater that took off like a missle in Texas and landed accross the srtreet. Another issue, if not installed per the manufacturers installation instructions (not installing a dirt leg for example) the warranty is void. Your venting is another issue. Sometimes the previous installer was a hack and didnt get a permit so you have a hacked illegal install but don't know any better. Now the honest plumber has to do the replacement while cleaning up someone elses mess, protecting his/her customer.
It comes down to education. Only hire a licensed plumber and always get 3-4 estimates. Remember, emergency calls cost money. If you're making that person leave their family on weekends or Thanksgiving night, you're going to pay for that. AVOID emergency calls. Be proactive. If you have a 6 year tank and you're on year 10, start looking and listing to your tank. Get financially prepared. Building maintenance takes inspection and planning.
Avoid the hackers who prey on the uneducated (water heater knowledge) and unprepared. And don't bash the hard working honest person who's trying to help you, just because you don't know if someone is helping you or not.


Subject: water heater cost

very in-depth article on the cost of water heater installations, i have considered installing tankless water heaters to replace my current tank due to the cost being very similar and a potential to save on my water bill also.


Subject: water heaters

wow just reading what everybody is saying. this is a hot topic eh. OK I live in canada and yes you can just go and buy a new water heater at home depot , lowes, rona, but you need a gas licences to install it. So you do it yourself if the gas companies in canada finds out its a $5000 fine. Oh by the way gas contractors have to be bonded in canada do customers even know what that means that means we have to cover your whole house. Are insurance is not cheap period hoping I hate to say this that all the customers here furnace does not crap out because you will need a furnace doctor. Oh wait I remembered the nurse and all these people said they can fix it themselves at 2-3am in the morning. Like even on holidays, oh or even on christmas day. smart customers don't get me wrong, if you wish to install these things yourselves be my guest but If you working on natural gas appliances and you don't know what is really going on and something happens or someone gets killed because you didn't want to get a licenced insured bonded company. God forbid you go to jail for manslaughter.

MA Forbes

Subject: well worth it

I just had my water heater replaced as the other one had started to leak: 50 GALLONS, electric, old one removed, mess cleaned up. My friend's husband is a plumber so I could give him my key (meaning I didn't have to miss work or be afraid having him in my house). $1050 total. I feel like I got a bargain. The local Big Company plumbing group would have charged me $2000 at least. Thank you small business owner (mr. plumber) for doing it right, treating me fairly and cleaning up your mess.


Subject: Confused

I have a home warranty so I thought cool I'm covered my hot water heater would not stay lit come to find out it was leaking hot water heater itself is eight years old same age as the house original to the new builld. The company came out inspected the unit and said I needed a new water heater which was covered under the home warranty with labor but what was not covered was replacing the water line, replacing the vent hose and removing the stand that the original water heater was on. my confusion is I don't understand why they needed to replace these items when they installed a water heater that it was exactly the same dimension as the one they took out they claim that the newer model was bigger more insulated and they had to replace these items for it to fit . these items were only eight years old I'm still confused did I just get ripped off it cost me $585 for additional charges on top of my home warranty paying for the heater itself and the labor is this a common practice? I could understand if the hot water heater was a different size but it was exactly the same dimensions as the one they took out but doesn't look as expensive as the one they replaced the original had a pilot light window clearly visible for ease of access this new one is inside a panel behind tons of insulation. so Why couldn't they use the original fittings of the waterline and hoses and why do they need to rip out the stand now the water hot water heater is sitting flush to the garage floor? And I have a hole in my drywall where they ripped out the stand


Subject: waterheaters

I'm a plumber. I worked for a company in Strawberry Plains Tennessee that did a lot of home warranty calls. The company I worked for ripped people off left and right by charging additional fees. I no longer work for the company because I have a conscience. I am an honest guy and people don't deserve to be ripped off with all kinds of bogus additional fees.

Derek Nguyen

Subject: I would agree with you that

I would agree with you that the charges are high, but the plumber does have to bring everything that he replaces up to current code in your city or municipality. New codes are released about every three years and depending on your municipality they will adopt codes at different pace. The warranty company does not cover code compliance outside the covered appliance hence the charges for the lines.


Subject: The stand should stay

First let me say I am not a plumber. But I just replaced my own water heater myself three weeks ago. I can understand the need to replace the hoses. Without seeing the exact layout of all the hoses of your water heater installation, I can only say that it is very common that one or more hoses will be replaced. It is very hard to have two different water heaters to have hose locations in the exact same places.
But the stand I cannot see why they had to rip it out. In the area where I live it is a code requirement to have the stand - especially when it is in the garage. However, you paid a good price ($585) for the work (granted it is warranty price) - better than my. I have a rental property and the water heater (40 gallon gas) is leaking. The plumber is charging me $1200 to replace it. And plumber is a relative of the tenant. It is a rental property so I am not going to do it myself.


Subject: water heater cost

some great comments, i avoided a replacement for years as i kept my water heater well maintained over the yeas hopefully i would like to transfer to solar this coming year and save on energy cost and try to be self sufficient.


Subject: I got ripped off!

I guess I paniced since my hot water heater was leaking a little bit and was charged nearly $1800! They didn't even break down the cost of the hot water heater and the labor. I feel sick. I've had nearly $10,000 in home repairs in the last 4 months and that's so much as a single mom. I rely on the professional coming to provide me a fair price, but it doesn't seem that's what I got. I guess my fault for not getting more quotes and researching, I will be paying this off along with everything else for awhile.

Patricia Kaul

Subject: Water heater 50 gallons gas

This is the quote I got today, 9/16 to replace a 50 gallons gas water heater in suburban Baltimore = $1965. I thought it was expensive so I will be calling a couple more companies. Water heater is not leaking but it is OLD.

Peggy Mcintyre

Subject: Single Mom

I find some contractors take advantage of women and they also take advantage of emergency situations. They justify just like he responded. Nurses make about $35/hr and work 24/7 in all conditions to care for people and save lives. Can you imagine if we demanded more because oh it's an emergency so I am going to charge more to save their loved one. Give me a break! Unfortunately, still a mans world

Ram C.

Subject: And to think.. you are being ripped off??

All the dear folk that think they are getting ripped off by the plumbing service -- I suspect, do not have an iPhone or a Samsung smart phone that you paid $400-600 for, that only costs $25 to manufacture? And if you do, would you stop using these phones and make one up yourself? Ever wondered, why a waiter should be tipped $10, for spending 60-90 seconds with you taking your order, and then another 20 seconds coming back to ask you if you enjoyed your food? Buy that calculation, your waiter is making $300 an hour!! Wow, we should all stop going out to eat, and and if ever, do not tip your waitress... Would that make you feel better?

Ever wondered what the plumber takes home annually after ripping you people off? The average salaries (look at any survey) are around $50K - for a technically skilled job. And the work is demanding and has to be performed under all weather conditions. In addition to having to deal with customers - some of whom are not pleasant or considerate of others.


Subject: Waiters & Waitresses

Hey buddy--they work their butts off behind the scenes AND their hourly wage is $2.55/HOUR!!!! So quit being a ________ and pay them!!!

Amy E.

Subject: Amen, Ram C.! EXCELLENT

Amen, Ram C.! EXCELLENT points! People have no problem paying a lawyer $30,000 to write a few letters, make some calls and make a couple appearances to get divorced but God forbid they pay $2K for heat and hot water. Customers have no clue of what the overhead back charges are: the cost of paying employees, insurance, GAS, travelling to the supply house, REMOVING the old super heavy boilers and water heaters. I'm so sick of hearing people complain. Figure it out yourselves then and enjoy those cold showers!


Subject: Installations

none of you are thinking about the business side of it. I own my own heating business. When I quote to replace a hot water heater I do not show up and say oh it will take my guy two hours @ $50 per hour plus a few fittings. I have overhead that I take into account. Shop payment, lady in office, van payments, and so on. The homeowner is paying for my business to come and install an appliance. If I went around doing things for $50 an hour plus a small mark up I would not be in business. Then you have guys working out of their vans living in their parents basement...


Subject: Spot-on

Well said, Travis. I find that many people, in general, haven't the first clue that when you own and operate a business, there are many costs that have to be accounted for. A lot of people seem to think, "Well, if a water heater is $600, and it takes 2 hours to install at $50/hour labor, I shouldn't pay more than $700." Yeah, OK. But what about the van that gets the water heater to your house? What about the office rent and utility bills of the company that installs your appliance? What about their other office overhead costs (customer service employees, insurance, supplies, computers, and everything else a business needs)? Believe it or not, those things cost money. So when you're buying a hot water heater, part of the price needs to reflect all those other costs too.

After ALL costs are accounted for, most plumbing companies only wind up making about a 10% profit. Most of the people who own and run these companies aren't getting filthy rich. They make a solid middle class income. No more, no less. When people complain about the price, they really should stop for a minute and ask themselves whether or not they're factoring in all of the many other costs that go into running a company. In my experience, most people don't do this.


Subject: Diy flex hose

If it's flex hose and doesn't require soldering DO IT YOUR SELF! Don't use Teflon tape on water pipes. They already have a rubber gasket! Don't get shamed!


Subject: Water heater installation prices, Costa Mesa California

Spent an hour getting five quotes today for the installation of 50 gallon water heater. All of them local licensed plumbers. I was quoted between $320. -$1,150. for installation only. The lowest quote got the job. I supplied the water heater and all the parts necessary to do the work, The replacement was the same capacity and dimensions of the old one. I drained the old water heater before he got there.

It took him one hour and 10 minutes to do all the work and he took the old water heater with him. The guy was friendly, had a clean uniform, great attitude, showed up on time, and he did the work perfectly. He walked away with a check for about $300 per hour of his time and I felt I got a good value. Contractors will charge whatever they think they can get away with. Many have grown accustomed to charging much more than their time is worth because consumers generally don't know what things cost. They will ask for whatever the market will bear. If you want to see reasonable pricing you have to call for quotes and simply tell the ones that overprice their services that their pricing is non-competitive and hang up. A plumber that gets four or five hangups like that every day will rethink his prices. Ignore warnings about inferior products that you might buy at Home Depot or Lowe's. The old water heater lasted 16 years because every other year I would drain it and flush it out.

Mark Santilli

Subject: Water Heater Install

John, you have no idea what someone's time is valued at. You have little Idea of what a quality PL contractor needs to go thru to maintain there license and the cost of running a home service business. Quality companies have pricing policy and standards they adhere to regardless of who the customer is. You are also completely ignoring the cost of a warranty and what it takes for the company to stay in business long enough to actually honor the warranty.


Subject: water heater install in NV

gpvx 75L (76,000 btu)

i replaced a 75 gal. GE (homedepot) water heater with a new power vent water heater.
the new power vent water heater cost around 260.00 a year to run compared to
the old basic GE one with cost around 400.00 a year to run. the GE water heater cost 360.00 new in 2000.
the ao smith water heater cost 1200.00, (from home perfect) the permit was 55.00.
(new) I had to get a manometer test done per code by a licensed plumber it cost 240.00.
the manometer test showed my gas line psi was to high @ 21 inch lbs, gas company replaced regulator
and set it to 7 inch lbs. I feel this test is a rip off and a set price should be implemented. 65.00 for test plus 90.00 an hour is what
i was charged.
I spend around 85 bucks on dwv pvc pipe/fittings and glue, i spend around 60.00 on cement board, fire shield tin, fire caulk
and water heater fittings and roof flashing for pvc pipe to go thru roof.
it took me around 4 hours to install it, most of the time was spent installing the pvc pipe and sealing all holes,sealing the attic
from fire.(also code). so if they do a manometer test with cost of install figure 200.00 just for that test.
this new power vent water heater is bad ass, it has vary tight temp settings. on @ 125 off @ 130* and it can heat water up to
160*! it also makes more hot water 155 gal. first hour rated. AO Smith had the better efficiency on the 75 gal. power vent water heaters, the efficiency varies between brands and sizes so do your homework.
you might even do better by asking to be charged by the hour as per job.
I would recommend a power vent over the old basic water heaters as it pays for itself in around 6 years and
your ready to go on the next water heater job. in a few years from now all water heaters will be power vent type so might as
well upgrade now. if its a simple swap and everything is up to code, ask to be charged hourly.


Subject: Consider an indirect water tank

I haven't seen it mentioned but I just had an indirect water tank installed which for those who don't know what they are, they are a tank that holds hot water that is heated by your boiler. They are a little pricey but are supposed to last 20+ years and from what I can tell there is little that can go wrong with them. I purchased a Lochinvar that has a lifetime warranty. So far I am extremely satisfied with mine.


Subject: What a rip off...

I here a bunch of license people agreeing with the high prices, It's a joke. Having a license doesn't give you the right to RIP OFF! I will pay a fair price for a fair task. I have been around long enough to know when I'm getting ripped off. I have hire license people and non-license people for the same job. I see no big difference. the only difference I see is the high prices from the license people, and no, I don't want to pay for your truck, or commute time, and god forbid you have to drive back to the store because you forgot some parts. I personally installed many hot water heaters, no big deal, very easy.

I was going to be charged $450 ea. for installing 3 earth quake valves, that's $1350. I did it myself for just the cost of material. I saved over $1100 and I had a cold beer doing it.


Subject: waterheaters

I own small business and here's what I learned at an early age my uncle was tryin to get his furnace lit with no success at all after tryin all day he finally broke down and called a professional company a man show up with a little pack of small screwdrivers twisted a few screws flipped on a switch and furnace fired right up perfectly probably took 10 to 15 min to fix. When the guy gave my uncle the bill it was 400.00 my uncle flipped out and replied 400.00 to turn a few screws and the tech replied no sir your not paying me to turn a screw your paying me to know which screw to turn, point is we spend alot of time in school and training to know how to fix this stuff plus business license fees, insurance,and don't forget taxes!!!! Gas the list goes on and on and like alot of posts said is it worth cutting corners and putting your family at risk to save a few hundred dollars I don't think so not trying to bash anybody just want everybody to be safe and have a great experience when having to replace any appliances in there home better safe then sorry

Gene Homan

Subject: "The short life of a hot water heater

Every one seem s "he--" bent on talking about installing new hot water heater's
No one mentions the reason they only live approximately 6 years. Years ago
the water supply pipe was made out of copper and supplied fresh water to the bottom of the tank.The now use a plastic pipe which dissentigrates over the years and ends up with the fresh cold water coming in at the top of the tank.A friend of mine would remove what was left of the plastic pipe and replace it with
a copper water pipe that delivered the fresh cold water to the bottom of the tank
and extended the life of the heater for another five years or longer. He
charged sixty dollars and this included the copper pipe. The reason the manufactures changed to a plastic pipe was to sell more hot water heaters
The old heaters with copper pipe would last more than 20 years.


Subject: I guess it is matter where you live

I am reading some of the comments and thinking "their are from another planet".
$1,000 to $1,200 a job? Really? Even in New York it seems too much. My handymen can replace 3 water heater a day (picking them up and taking old one out) That will be $3,000 a day. Sorry plumbers - you guys way overcharging it.
$200 a pop seems more like a right price too me. No offense. I replaced water heaters myself and it is not that hard.

Ken Brien

Subject: hot water heater prices

YES ! I just had a gas hot water heater replaced for a total of $653.00 including the new Rheem hot water tank !
From a NY Lic plumber who filed a permit for the job $120.00 extra. He also installed 2 new gas fired hot water boilers for me at a cost of $5,500 each total including the boiler. The permits were extra.


Subject: If you can not afford your

If you can not afford your house, maybe you should consider selling it, down sizing? Most insurance policies no longer cover installation by untrained home owners and paid handimen. Learned the hard way on that one. Only use pros now. Did the math it less than 6 cents a day to have them do it. 15 years ÷ $1000=5.4 cents. Cost of the flood a little over $25,000 × 5.5% for 30 years = well you do the math, it makes me sick just thinking about it.


Subject: Replaced it myself cheap and easy

I'm a single mother and I replaced my electric water tank 12 years ago. It just went again and I just replaced it myself again. Total cost for the 40 gallon tank 240volts plus some other small parts was $280. That included NYS sales tax. It took me a little under 2 hours and included lugging the new one in the house and the old one out. Looking on here and calling around it seems again I saved myself a ton of money.


Subject: electric water heater installation

I would assume an electric water heater replacement consists of playing around with waterpipes and an electric cord or two. Gas fired heaters are a wee bit more involved because if done improperly they do notusually shut off--they go BOOM.

How much is your life and that of your family worth especially when this BOOM can take place in the middle of the night when all are asleep?
I understand about costs and I am just as conwecrned aboutb saving a buck but sometimes other aspects of the job have to be considered and playing with gas lines is not the toys for unlicensed and just plain handy men or woman. They should also have the experience to know exactly what they are doing .

kenny Leidner

Subject: water heaters

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,


Subject: Water heater install costs

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.


Subject: HWH prices

There is a danger of explosion, death from carbon Monoxide poisoning and other reasons to have a pro lic insured plumber to do this! Who will you sue if your family is killed by a fly by night! Also there must be a change in law that you must be lic to install and make it for anyone who purchases one to mandatory pull a permit! Monkey see monkey do does't make the First Monkey right!


Subject: Wonderfull comment!!

thank you for this very sensible and interesting comments. I soo agree with everything you said. i just discovered i am needing new hot water heater after replacing first original one. it lasted 6 yrs... they replaced and now only 3.5 yrs later i need a new one. ugh!! take care

Sowinski plumbing

Subject: Water heaters

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

Veton Hoxha

Subject: Water heater installation costs.

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.


Subject: Veton Hoxha comment

So, I'm buying a $750 Tank water heater. I think $250 (total $1000 for parts and labor) is fair to take the old one out (I will drain it myself), install the new one in a walk-in/out basement. Easy access in and out. Fair?


Subject: Why so much?

I see a lot of comments on here about cost. I have a question about real life. I am a carpenter by trade and not a plumber but I hear the same crying all the time from people. They want to get 5 FREE bids to do the job and pick, (maybe), one of the guys who came out so they have wasted the time of 80% of those who came out. No money from them on this job and if the next guy does the same thing, well you get the idea. Somewhere that time is equated into money. A guy can't donate countless hours on free estimates without making it up somewhere. So in that respect, the consumer is the cause of some of the cost. Make sense? Then there are the insurance companies who have their hands out all the time. Also, a state government who says you need a license, ( as not to be illegal like all your discounted and uninsured handymen ), who in Michigan, require a license renewal every 3 years which is close to $500 in my situation. Required code update classes which I pay for and all the rest. At the end of the day, if I lose $100k on a job, no one runs to my rescue. No retirement like a school teacher in our state who gets $4000 per month retirement and all the health benefits you could carry in a wheel barrel. So you have to try and find a way to survive, and listen to all the consumers with the golden parachutes from a corporate employer or a government job complain about you and the whooping $50K you make at the end of the year. Maybe instead of picking on the grunt tradesman, you should be picketing the local schools and cutting some costs there, or demanding the retirements of the government employees be cut to a fair amount instead of worrying about your neighborhood tradesman. Who is really costing you a bundle?


Subject: 50 gallon 17" diameter water heater

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.

hartzell construction

Subject: water heaters for residential homes

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 hartzell const.


Subject: Tankless water heater installation

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.

R.W. Hilt & Son, LLC

Subject: Ripped Off

First off a licensed plumber should have pick up the water heater, we know what to buy & how they work, customers know nothing about the products they buy. Home depot & Lowes sell cheap junk, & you get what you pay for. You got ripped off because the guy made no money on the sale of the heater, so he got you on the parts, & $ 92.00 dollars an hour is reasonable.

Mike W

Subject: Sounds about right to me also.

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.

Veton Hoxha

Subject: not outrageous...

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.


Subject: Sounds about right to me.

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.

marc parten

Subject: installation price of heaters

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.

Tim Kirlin gen cont.

Subject: Response to complaints of cost

I've been a general contractor for 38 yrs. and have listened to every cry and complaint in the world, I bend over backwards, and jump through hoops for people, no 1 really cares about quality, anymore or what is involved in completing a job with quality material, and skilled mechanics. If I wanted to work for 30.00 or 35.00 an Hr. I would go back to 1 of the 4 union halls I worked out of and shut my business down. And the ones doing the most crying are the people's homes 500,000 and up that I work in, with cars in the driveway that cost more then what I charge in a year. But they keep calling back for my skills that I have schooled for and trained for. So I look at this way it's like buying meat, you can pay for Bologna, and get handymen and outsiders, or they can get us guys the filet, the guys that schooled, trained, and served apprenticeship programs and learned our trades, honesty, integrity, skills, that is what they are paying for, and that's what they need to know

R.A. Bishop

Subject: Water Heater Installations

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.


Subject: Costs

I know its hard to see why it cost so much, typically cost of heater times four, for installs but her is why. Lets say you are a master plumber and run a small shop. You will likely have two people, ladies usually doing scheduling and dispatch, the permits, receivables etc, probably 2 guys minimum, 2 company trucks, fuel costs and insurance for those, unemployment insurance for everyone, workers comp and at least a million dollar liability policy, a small warehouse somewhere with a little office space, lights, phones, internet, computers etc. When you add the costs of running a business with just 5 ppl, advertising costs, paying the accountant/bookeeper and/or payroll company you easily burn up 600,000 per year in overhead alone. So, you are not being charged 300 bucks an hour just for two guys to do , what is really in most cases a reasonably simple job. Its all of the other expenses we have to pay that dictates what the rates are. Good companies, with good people paid a decent living wage are just so expensive to run. We are not out to rip anyone off when the heater is 238 and we charge 1000.00. The guys that try and cut corners and charge less inevitably go under. Most of us learned that the hard way at some point because even we, when we started thought 1000 was too high. Did not take us long to figure it out if we wanted to survive.


Subject: You should check those numbers...

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.

Sylvan Tieger

Subject: Water Heater pricing

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


Subject: You don't take into

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.

Fred Kopp Plumbing

Subject: Water Heater installation

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.

S. Bryant

Subject: I just paid for my own water

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

Eric Englert

Subject: Water Heater Installations

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.

Lance daugherty

Subject: Water heaters

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

Lance daugherty

Subject: Water heaters

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


Subject: Water Heater Replacement

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.


Subject: Apples to apples

Well i hope you are safe and your install is up to code because anything less is hazzardous and cannot be compared cost-wize to a professional. By the way even as the homeowner a permit still needs to be pulled to replace the water heater and it needs to be inspected. I actually work in LA sometimes and they are as strict as it gets when it comes to local city ordinances so have fun dealing and schedualing with them. After all that then compare the amount of money you "saved" versus the time spent and how much that "time" was worth to you. So again good luck.


Subject: You cant

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


Subject: Water heater

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?

Matt Mendat at ledserviceking

Subject: Cost of doing business

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.


Subject: replacing a water heater

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.

Fred Kopp

Subject: water heaters in New Jersey

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.

robert j murray

Subject: water heaters

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


Subject: installation of water heater

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.

andrea tav

Subject: plumbers rip you off with water heaters

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.


Subject: so, you are going to buy all the parts yourself then...

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?

Sandra Caruso

Subject: Cost water heater

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


Subject: Water heater installation

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!


Subject: Replacement of water heater

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

Greg Mulvey

Subject: Electric tankless water heater

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


Subject: Tankless Water Heater - Thanks!

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)

Lee Olaeta Plumbing

Subject: Tankless Water Heaters- Northern California- Petaluma

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


Subject: Do your homework

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.

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You have to put your self in the shoes of a business that is in business to turn a profit of some sort. All businesses have different overhead which in turn decides what their bottom line would be on their services. I personally would not go with an unlicensed professional for this type of install. You are messing with gas, venting issues, electrical wiring{electric water heater} and updated code issues such as a drain pan and tempature and relief drain lines for heaters that currently do not have them. I do agree that there are some companies that are way out of line for their installs but most of these companies are the really big companies that have very high overheads  I would assume. Tank type water heaters have changed over the last several years and with these safety changes come bigger prices. The price of steel thanks to China is skyrocketing and tank type water heaters are made of steel. Most wholesale plumbing supply companies cannot match what the big box stores are selling at retail to consumers. I happen to think from research that heaters such as Rheem, Bradford White and AOSmith who have been in business forever make a better product than what you can buy in the big box outlets. You also have to take in consideration the location of the water heater that is being replaced. Is it in the house, basement, garage or attic. Most 40 and 50 gallon water heaters that are purchased in a plumbing wholesale store in Texas cost between 300-340 for a 6 year warranty heater with 6 year on parts and tank. Speaking of warranty. Most big box companies will take a least 24 hours to a week to get your warranty problem taken care of. Most reputable plumbing companies will give same day service if they installed the heater.

So lets break down a typical install at cost to a licensed plumber in Texas

Heater: $315, water shut off $6.50, water flex lines or unions to code $20, gas flex line and cut off to code $12, misc fittings $15, Total $368.50 Lets add a 35% profit which is some what low  for a business $129, Total 497.50

This doesnt  include permits, pan and drain or any venting issues. The vent must go from the heater to the outside of roof using double wall vent.

Cost of permit on average $60

Most plumbing companies allow for 3 hours of time for a water heater. This includes picking the new one up. Delivering out to house. Draining and removing old water heater. Hauling off old heater. Installing new heater up to code. Going down to city and pulling permit.

Average Labor charges for heater installs $400

That would make this install run without extras on any code issues $957.50

I just had a 50 gallon gas water heater installed in my house for $1200 but I needed a pan installed. I used a licensed plumber.





I've seen and heard mixed reviews.  They aren't really popular here due to our super hard water which clogs and rots everything it sits in.  A company I used to work for tried electric units about 10 years ago in several homes but had to replace many of them within a few years because the build-up from the hard water hindered their productivity to little more than enough supply to run a sink.  I've heard better success with gas units since there are no electric elements to burn out and gas can get hotter, faster to get through the deposits on the tubing walls inside the unit.


Standard electric water heater usually take a 30 amp circuit so they are often wired with 10 guage wire.  Electric on-demand units large enough to service an entire house usually take 50 amps (or more) from what I've researched in the past.  That means they need a 50 amp breaker and will be wired with 6 guage wire.  By the time you factor in the initial cost of buying the much more expensive on-demand unit and rewiring for it I'm not sure you'll save money in the long run. 


A better and cheaper option would be to put a timer on your standard water heater so it only kicks on during typical demand times.  They have override switches so you can turn it to cycle normally when you are off of work or need it during the day/night if not during the preset times.  A cheaper point of use water heater at the kitchen sink will ensure you have hot water there even when the main heater is off.  This is usually the point that requires hot water the most frequently.  Remember that your water heater will hold hot water for over an hour once it has cycled off.  Take advantage of that.


Todd Shell

Todd's Home Services

San Antonio, TX


Depends a lot on your configuration - he may have been including direct outside venting because your existing heater/furnace duct was not large enough to handle the added load, and may have figured running larger piping to the jetted tub and maybe upsizing the valve and flex tubing at the gas line. This all assumes you have adequate access and installation space for the larger tank - they tend to be fatter rather than much taller.

I would talk to several plumbers - if you get quotes from 3 or more, it should become obvious right off if one is high-balling you. Of course, do not tell the others what the other's bids were.

The water heater itself will cost about $1000-2000 for that size - about double a 50 gallon, which usually costs about $800-1500 installed (replacing an existing plumbed-in one). The larger heater may take a bit of beefing up of the support platform for the added weight, but assuming you have adequate headroom, installation cost using existing ductwork and piping would not be any more than for a 50 gallon, so say $2000-3500 range installed. The $4500-6000 definitely sounds high if it assumed using existing hookups.

There could be. Different municipalities have different rules (codes). However, I have never heard of a plumber being the code enforcement guy. I have never heard of a plumber being able to collect a fine from a homeowner. It may cost you $150 to bring it up to code, but that should be included in the repair cost. You would need to check with your city (usually Department of Code Enforcement or Plumbing Commission). If he put it in writing, you need to send them a copy.