How Much Is An Electric Water Heater

Water Heater Installation Cost Guide (2022)

A comparison of the costs of a tank and a tankless water heater, gas versus electric water heaters, energy-efficient water heaters, signs of a failing water heater, how to choose a water heater, when to call a plumber, and frequently asked questions In practically every family, having access to clean, hot water has become a luxury. While the requirement for hot water in a home is constant, the methods by which it is produced are constantly evolving, with a wide range of tanks and fuel sources accessible to homeowners.

Tank vs. Tankless Water Heater Costs

In terms of water heaters, the tank and tankless water heaters are two of the most popular options available.

Tank Water Heaters

Storage tank water heaters are a popular alternative for households because they can keep and heat large amounts of water on a continuous basis. Water heaters are often situated out of sight, in a garage, basement, or utility closet, among other places. Tank water heaters generally utilize electricity or natural gas to heat the water they produce. The installation of a storage tank water heater is less difficult than the installation of a tankless water heater, needing just roughly three hours of effort.

Tank heaters, although being a more inexpensive choice, are less energy-efficient due to the fact that they must operate continuously in order to maintain the target tank temperature.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters function by heating water only when it is required. The technology heats the water pipe with either a gas burner or electricity, allowing it to furnish water on demand. A tankless device, like a hot water storage tank, can be kept in a basement or utility closet for easy access. Tankless heaters are less bulky than tank units and may be placed on the wall of a bathroom or bedroom, for example. Tankless water heaters are more expensive to purchase up front than tank water heaters, with prices ranging from $1,200 to $3,500 for homes.

Electric tankless heaters will require the installation of brand new electrical wiring.

Furthermore, these water heaters have a longer longevity, with an average lifespan of around 20 years.

Gas vs. Electric Water Heater Costs

Tankless and tank water heaters are both available in gas and electric variants, with each offering its own set of advantages and disadvantages to homes.

Electric Water Heaters

An electric tank is less expensive to purchase and install than a gas tank, with a household 50-gallon tank water heater costing roughly $500 to purchase and put in place. The overall cost of operation on a monthly basis, on the other hand, is typically more than the cost of operating a gas heater. Because there is a lower danger of a leak or combustion with this heat source than with gas, it is regarded to be safer than gas. The disadvantage of using an electric heater, which is more ecologically friendly, is that if the power goes out, so does the hot water.

Gas Water Heaters

Gas heaters are more expensive to acquire, with a 50-gallon tank costing around $700. The operating costs of these heaters, on the other hand, are less expensive than those of an electric type. Despite the fact that natural gas is more likely to combust or leak, a gas-powered water heater produces hot water without the use of electricity. The most significant disadvantage of using a gas water heater is the harm it causes to the environment via the release of carbon dioxide. More information may be found at: How to Choose the Most Appropriate Water Heater Warranty

Energy-Efficient Storage Tank Water Heater Costs

If you want to be more ecologically concerned, you might consider purchasing one of these energy-efficient water heaters instead.

Solar Water Tank Heaters

Natural sunlight is used to heat the water in these water heaters. A solar water heater system is made up of two parts: a storage tank that retains water and solar collectors that produce heat. In most cases, a solar water heater will rely on a standard water tank in the event of a power failure. Active solar water tank systems and passive solar water tank systems are the two main types of solar water tank systems. An active system provides water to residences through the use of a pump, whereas a passive system circulates water around the home through the use of natural convection.

The increased expense is due to the considerable amount of labor required as well as the requirement for a backup water heater.

Indirect Water Heaters

Heat is provided to the tank by an existing furnace or boiler, which is powered by the energy from the furnace or boiler. The water from the boiler is cycled into the tank’s coils, where it is heated by the water contained within. This water heater style is energy efficient, as it relies on heat generated by a boiler or furnace to heat the water. Although the monthly cost of an indirect water heater is low, the initial purchase and water heater installation costs are higher than those of traditional heaters, and are approximately $1,500 in comparison to the latter.

Signs of a Failing Water Heater

You should be on the lookout for warning indicators (such as the ones listed below) that indicate that you need to replace your water heater if you already have one on your property.

You may also avoid these problems by keeping your system in good working order using items from reputed firms such as Corro-Protec.

  • Water that is discolored or has an unusual flavor
  • It is possible to have water that takes longer to heat than usual or does not heat at all. Noises originating from your water heater that are loud or unusual
  • Leaks
  • A hot water heating system that has been in operation for more than 15 years

Selecting Your Water Heater

Keep the following considerations in mind when selecting a water heater for your residence:

  • Prior to purchasing a water heater for your house, examine whether or not the required fuel type is readily available. For example, if you’re considering a natural gas water heater, ensure sure your home already has or is capable of receiving a natural gas connection before proceeding. Household size and number of people in your house should be taken into consideration when purchasing a gas tank. Size of your home— For example, a family of two people need a 30–40 gallon tank, but a household of four people requires a 50–60 gallon tank. Savings on both costs and energy— Consider the price of each water heater as well as the cost of the fuel it uses. However, while certain heaters may be more expensive up front, their energy efficiency may allow you to save money in the long term.

When You Should Call a Plumbing Professional

It is suggested that you contact a professional if your water heater is showing symptoms of wear or if it has abruptly failed. Despite the fact that you may opt to replace a water heater as one of your home improvement projects, the intensive work and extensive expertise required to install a system make water heater repairs and replacement a job that is best left to a professional plumber.

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Heaters

After installation, a gas heater will take around 40 minutes to reach full temperature, but an electric heater may take an hour or longer. The length of time it takes for the heater to begin supplying hot water to your house is also dependent on the size and kind of water heater you have.

How many hours a day does a water heater run?

The size, style, and fuel source of a water heater all influence how long it will operate. A tankless water heater typically runs for around an hour per day, but a tank water heater may run for four hours or more each day. Immediately contact a licensed plumber if you find that your water heater is operating more frequently than normal. The plumber will evaluate your heater for any faults.

How much does it cost to replace a 50-gallon water heater?

For an electric water heater of the same size, the cost is around $1,000, while a natural gas water heater of the same capacity is approximately $1,200. Send an email to our Reviews Team if you have any comments or questions regarding this post.

Average Cost of Electric Water Heater – Price Breakdown

Anyone who has had a damaged water heater in their house will understand the value of hot water in a family’s life. It is as uncomfortable as it sounds to take a shower, shave, and wash your clothes with cold water. It is therefore critical to select the most appropriate water heater for your household. In order to select the most appropriate alternative for you, you must seek for a water heater that meets the following requirements: Has a sufficient carrying capacity Isn’t it too expensive to operate?

  • Electric water heaters differ from gas water heaters (for cost information on gas water heaters, see our article on the typical cost of gas water heaters) in that they heat the water with an electrical coil element rather than a gas burner and are linked to the main power supply.
  • It costs an average of $1,127 to install an electric water heater.
  • The price ranges from $355 to $10,988 for items at the extreme low and high ends of the spectrum.
  • Most likely, your electric water heater will cost between $800 and $1,500, which is a more reasonable price point.

The sort of water heater you require will be determined by your budget and individual requirements. As a general rule, the more money you spend on a water heater, the less money it will cost you to operate it in the long run.

  • When compared to gas water heaters, electric water heaters are typically $50 to $100 less expensive – in the case of tankless water heaters, the price difference is around half as great for an electric device. The price range for an electric water heater is typically between $300 to $2,880
  • However, there are exceptions.

A great variety of factors influence the outcome of this survey. The range is obviously wide. The four different types of water heaters available are shown below; which one you pick will be determined by your house, your family, and your budget – each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to cost. A standard tank, sometimes known as a classic tank, is the most basic type of tank accessible. It works by utilizing an electrical element to cool water, which is then kept in a tank until you need it again.

  • Tanks that have been recognized as energy efficient are known as high-efficiency tanks.
  • A heat pump heater is a device that extracts heat from the surrounding air and uses it to warm water.
  • You should expect to pay between $1,200 and $3,500 for a heat pump system.
  • Solar energy is growing more and more efficient all the time.
  • You should expect to pay between $1,800 and $5,500 for a solar-powered setup.
  • In most countries, tax benefits are available for the installation of solar panels, lowering the overall cost of ownership.
  • Energy efficiency is extraordinarily high in this case, with electric point-of-use systems operating at 98% or more.
  • System sizes as little as 2.5 gallons are available for purchase as point-of-use systems (usually to provide hot water to a single faucet).
  • The capacity of your tank has a significant impact on the price of your tank.

When it comes to capacity, there is a slight economy of scale at work — the larger the tank, the less you will pay per gallon of gasoline. The figure below illustrates the cost range, as well as the dollar per gallon, for gas and electric water heaters dependent on the size of the storage tank used.

30 $270 – $900 $9 – $30
40 $320 – $1,600 $8 – $40
50 $400 – $2,200 $8 – $44
75 $900 – $3,000 $12 – $40
80 $1,000 – $3,000 $1,000 – $3,000

The price you may anticipate to pay for larger tanks will be at the lower end of the ranges shown above as you progress in size. You will need to assess your family’s particular requirements in order to determine the appropriate size for you. Keep a detailed record of your family’s hot water consumption over the course of a normal week in order to accomplish this goal. Individual hot water consumption (showers, laundry, dishwashing, and so on) may be tracked either manually or by using your water meter to keep track of it.

  1. You’ll need to consider about installation after you’ve decided on the capacity and kind of water heater you’ll be purchasing.
  2. If you hire a professional to install your electric water heater, you should expect to pay between $620 and $1,020 for the service.
  3. In order to operate a normal 50-gallon water heater at 5,500 watts, with an energy factor (EF) of.90 and an electricity rate of $.16 per kilowatt-hour (all average estimates), you will spend around $781 per year.
  4. In most cases, though, you should expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 each year to keep your water heater operating properly.
  5. Because of its superior energy efficiency, the water heater with the higher EF rating will be less expensive to operate when two water heaters of equivalent size are compared.
  6. You should anticipate to pay somewhere between $200 and $500 for the conversion service.
  7. In the event that you perform the job yourself, the cost will be at the lower end of this spectrum (i.e., approximately $200), albeit you should only undertake this if you are proficient and knowledgeable in wiring.

This will cost between $50 and $500 and is normally completed as part of the process by the contractor (although the fee will be added on to the final bill).

In general, though, you should anticipate to spend anywhere between $200 and $1,000 on any water heater repairs.

It’s also possible that your model is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, in which case you won’t be responsible for any repairs.

Occasionally, it may be less expensive to just replace the water heater rather than to fix an old one.

Any repairs that cost more than $750 are typically a waste of money; for an additional $200, you can get a complete new heater.

Choosing the most appropriate water heater for your family and your property is therefore a vital financial choice.

To some extent, this entails conducting research, but it also entails determining where you may make financial savings. Because, after all, having access to all of the available information will aid you in making the most informed decision possible.

Electric Hot Water Heater Cost Per Month

It is estimated that your water heater is the second highest consumer of energy in your house, accounting for around 17 percent of overall energy consumption, according to the Department of Energy. With this in mind, it is good to be aware of how much energy your electric hot water heater consumes and how much it costs you on a monthly basis. You will be able to make the most efficient use of your water heater and lower your power cost if you have this knowledge.

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Are electric water heaters expensive to run?

It is estimated that the average American home spends between $400 and $600 per year on water heating alone, according to the Department of Energy. This cost will vary based on the current power prices in your location as well as the efficiency of your water heating equipment. The quantity of energy consumed by an electric water heater is determined by a number of factors, including:

  • The age of the unit, the size of the unit, the kind of electric water heater, the temperature setting, and the amount of water consumed each day are all important considerations.

It is particularly crucial to consider the sort of electric heater you choose when it comes to operating costs. An overview of the many alternatives for electric hot water heating systems is provided below.

Storage Water Heaters

Storage heaters are often the least expensive option when it comes to the cost of the system itself, as well as having relatively low operational expenses compared to other options. There is an issue with this method in that heat energy is lost when the tank attempts to keep the water hot even when it isn’t being utilized, resulting in you being charged for energy that isn’t being used. If you are considering this option, you should search for a model that is well-insulated to avoid this from happening.

Tankless Water Heaters

However, according to the Department of Energy, tankless water heaters are between 8 percent and 34 percent more energy efficient than storage water heaters, depending on how much water is being utilized. This implies that upgrading to this type of water heater might result in savings of up to $100 or more each year. The disadvantage is that, depending on the type and the electrics in your house, the initial purchase and installation expenses may not be worth it in terms of energy savings until a long time after you have purchased and installed the system.

Heat Pump Heating Systems

In comparison to storage heaters, heat pump systems are two to three times more energy efficient, resulting in lower running costs. Models that are Energy Star certified might save you up to $300 per year on your energy expenses, according to the company. Performance, on the other hand, might vary depending on where the system is situated in your home, as they must maintain a specific temperature all year round. They also require a significant amount of area, both for the pump itself and for the surrounding air space.

Can a water heater cause a higher electric bill?

There are a variety of reasons why your water heater may be contributing to an increase in your power cost. First and foremost, if you have your electric hot water heater set to a higher temperature than is necessary, your heater will consume more energy, resulting in higher energy bills over time. We’ll look at what we can do to fix this later on. The size of your home’s water heater might also be an issue, as it could be either too huge or not large enough. If your water heater is too large, it will simply waste energy by heating water that will never be used all at once, resulting in you spending more than you should for your water.

Even if this does not immediately increase your power bill, you will wind up paying for maintenance and repairs on a more frequent basis as a result of this.

If your water heater is too old, you will also notice that your power cost will rise as a result of the increased usage.

Most electric water heaters are only designed to last for 10 to 15 years, after which their efficiency begins to deteriorate substantially, causing your energy expenses to rise significantly.

What is the average cost of an electric hot water heater?

The usual cost of an electric hot water heater varies depending on the model, but it is often between $300 and $700, with additional installation charges ranging between $700 and $1,000. This implies that depending on the size of the system and the type of water heater you pick, you may expect to pay a total of between $1,000 and $1,700.

Are new electric water heaters more efficient?

A large proportion of newly manufactured equipment is more energy efficient than older ones, and electric water heaters are no exception to this. In the short term, yes, they will have greater initial expenditures in terms of purchase price and installation charges, but they will save you money on your energy bills in the long run since they use less energy to function than older versions. Consider buying an Energy Star-certified electric water heater if you are in the market for a new water heater.

Should I turn off my water heater at night?

It is not necessary to worry about turning off your tankless water heater at night if you have one because they are intended to only heat the water when it is truly needed. In the event that you have a tankwater heater, you should consider shutting it off not just at night, but also whenever it is not needed for an extended length of time, as this may help you save money on your energy bill. This sort of water heating system just warms up the entire tank of water and works to keep it at the desired temperature until it is required again in the future.

Stopping the flow of heat and the few bucks a day that are escaping along with it can be prevented by turning off your water heater!

Does turning down the water heater save money?

The majority of water heaters are set to a default temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit since this is about the temperature at which dishwashers used to operate and clean dishes well. For most other home purposes, a hot water temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient, and dishwashers are now equipped with heating boosters that enable them to get the hot water up to temperature on their own. You will obtain the most efficient temperature from your water heater by setting it at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

How much does it cost to run a 50-gallon electric water heater?

Following the Department of Energy’s assumption that an electric water heater is used for approximately three hours per day, a 50-gallon water heater operating at 5,500 watts with an electricity rate of $0.16 per kWh will have an annual operating cost of $781 if the water heater is used for approximately three hours per day. Depending on how efficient the water heater is and how much power is being used in your location, this cost will vary.

Are electric water heaters worth it?

Electric water heaters are a popular choice for many families since the initial expenses are very modest when compared to other choices. However, installation prices vary depending on the kind of water heater purchased and installed. Because they are one of the most energy efficient kinds of water heaters and because, unlike gas heaters, they can be powered by renewable energy sources, they are also significantly better for the environment than other water heating choices. Additionally, electric water heaters are readily available to all people who are linked to the electric grid, but other choices, such as natural gas, are not readily available to some.

Electric water heaters are an excellent choice if you have the financial means to invest a little extra money on a newer, more energy-efficient model.

The most effective approach to keep your power bills low while also contributing to the fight against climate change is to switch to a renewable energy plan with Inspire Clean Energy.

We will also give you with smart tools to assist you in managing your electricity consumption. More information may be found by clicking here.

How much does it cost to install electric water heating?

Domestic electric water heaters are available in two configurations: tank-style and tankless. The capacity of most household tank-type water heaters ranges from 30 to 50 gallons, and they require floor space to accommodate their installation. Gallons per minute (GPM) is the unit rating for tankless units, and the range is from 2 to 10 GPM. They may be fixed on the wall and placed in tight quarters if necessary. Despite the fact that electric water heaters are less expensive to purchase than gas water heaters, even before factoring in the cost of gas ventilation and gas line needs, electricity is the more expensive heat source in most places.

The cost of installing average electric water heating is determined by the kind of water heater, the amount of heating flow and tank capacity, the amount of preparation and specific requirements, and the labor rate.

The cost of an electric water heater replacement for a four or five-person home includes the following services: removal and disposal of old materials; transportation; installation of new materials and equipment; and disposal of waste.

Item Unit Cost Quantity Line Cost
1. Water heater:40 gallon tank, 240V, 9 kW. $297 each 1 $297
2. Upgrade tankless:additional cost to install tankless unit; 5.3 gallons per minute, 240V, 27 kW, 2 bathrooms. $418 each 1 $418
3. Upgrade electrical:install new circuit for upgraded tankless; 30 feet of ROMEX surface mounted cable,6/3; 2 each 60 amp breaker into existing spaces; single outlet box and cover. $4.72 per foot 32 $151
4. Removal:transport and non-hazardous dump fees. $45 per CY 1.5 $68
Fees and Material Cost $934 each 1 $934
5. + Labor Cost (remove and dispose) $32 per hour 2 $64
6. + Labor Cost (install) $42 per hour 4 $168
7. + Labor Cost (upgrade tankless) $42 per hour 1 $42
8. + Labor Cost (upgrade electrical) $42 per hour 3 $126
Total Cost $1,334 each 1 $1,334

Other considerations and costs

  • These costs are for service within a short driving distance of the provider’s location. All taxes and permit costs are not included in the price. Warranty extensions are available for an additional fee. Higher-end versions incorporate monitoring and control devices that are connected to the internet through Wi-Fi. Electric heaters are less difficult to install since they do not require venting or hard pipe, although tankless systems may necessitate the installation of a specific high-power electric circuit. The cost of operating the heater is determined by the cost of power in the area
  • Nonetheless, The careful observance of all applicable municipal norms and laws is required for all forms of construction. When a water heater has to be replaced, it is common for the installation to need to be modified in order to comply with the most recent laws and requirements, such as those pertaining to ventilation or earthquake preparation. If there are any repair issues, such as decay, during the contractor inspection, the homeowner should be advised of the costs associated with adapting the current building.

DIY considerations

  • When done correctly, this installation may be appropriate for the most capable do-it-yourselfers
  • Nevertheless, house insurance policies and municipal ordinances may necessitate the services of a qualified or certified installer. All situations may present problems that are best left to the expertise of specialists to address on the moment. It will be necessary to have a very comprehensive plumbing tool kit, which may include a torch.


  • Complete series of the Craftsman Estimator Costbook for the year 2015
  • The most recent pricing were discovered on the Home Depot and other vendor Web sites
  • DIY Web sites are the subject of a review of the literature.

Electric vs. Gas Water Heaters: Major Differences, Pros And Cons

Note from the editors: We receive a commission from affiliate links on Forbes Advisor. The thoughts and ratings of our editors are not influenced by commissions.

Compare Quotes From Top-rated Water Heater Installers

Estimates are provided without obligation. Is it past time to replace your water heater? When you turn on the hot water tap and only cold water comes out, or when the unit is unable to keep up with growing demand for hot water, you’ll know something is wrong. Despite the fact that it is obvious that you require a new water heater, which fuel source should you choose? Should you get an electric or a gas-powered model? It’s more important to locate the correct water heater for your needs than to choose between electric and gas because they both have their advantages and disadvantages.

What Electric or Gas Water Heaters Are

It is a tank that is heated by high-voltage electric heating rods that run vertically through the tank, which is known as an electric water heater. The water is heated from the center of the tank outward, starting at the center of the tank.

Gas Water Heater

In a gas water heater, water is heated by a gas-fired burner positioned at the bottom of the tank, which circulates the water. Hot water begins at the bottom of the tank and climbs to the top, where it is sucked out by a discharge tube at the top.

Electric Water Heater Pros and Cons

  • Operation is clean and safe, and the water is heated effectively. Purchase price is reduced. a large selection of sizes
  • There is no need to relight it because there is no pilot light. Because all residences are wired for electricity, it is simpler to connect


  • Higher running expenses
  • Water heats up more slowly than with gas versions
  • Recovery periods that are longer
  • During a power outage, the system will not work.

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Gas Water Heater Pros and Cons

  • Water is heated fast
  • Lower running expenses as compared to electric vehicles
  • Efficacious in terms of energy consumption When there is a power breakdown, it continues to operate.


  • It is possible that not all residences have gas
  • Thus, it may be necessary to install gas. Ones that are less safe than electric models
  • Operation that is dirtier
  • A more limited range of sizes
  • Electricity has a shorter lifetime than gas. Water heating is less efficient than electric heating. It may be necessary to relight the room on occasion.

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Permits and inspections are often required for both electric and natural gas water heaters. Electric water heaters are easier to install than gas water heaters since electricity is available in all households, whereas gas is not always available.

Electric Water Heater

All of the houses are wired for electricity. In other cases, the 240-volt connection to the water heater location is already in place in the home itself. If this is the case, a new circuit can be created and connected to the home’s electric service panel.

Gas Water Heater

Not all residences have access to natural gas. If the house does not have gas, it may be necessary to bring in municipal gas from the street to the house, which might be expensive. If the home is equipped with natural gas, a plumber will be required to install the gas lines.

Size of Water Heater

Electric water heaters are available in a wider range of sizes than gas water heaters, particularly when it comes to micro-sized point-of-origin (immediate demand) water heaters, which are becoming increasingly popular.

Electric Water Heater

Electric point-of-use water warmers are available in capacities ranging from two to twenty gallons. Conventional electric tank water heaters have a capacity of 40 gallons and can hold up to 120 gallons. The majority of tanks hold 30, 40, or 50 gallons.

Gas Water Heater

Because there are no point-of-use gas water heaters available, all of the water heaters are tank versions. Gas water heaters are available in capacities ranging from 20 to 100 gallons. The majority of tanks hold 40, 50, 80, or 100 gallons.

Cost to Purchase

Water heaters that run on electricity are less expensive to acquire than water heaters that run on gas. It is always possible to purchase pricey water heaters in either electric or gas versions, but when looking for a less expensive heater, you will almost always find one that is electric.

Electric Water Heater

The majority of electric water heaters range in price from $500 to $800. The vast majority of these are in the $500 to $600 bracket.

Gas Water Heater

The majority of gas water heaters are priced between $600 and $800.


Electric water heaters are safer than gas water heaters since there is no gas line, burner, or pilot light to trigger a gas explosion or explosion.

Electric Water Heater

Installation of electric water heaters necessitates the use of a 240-volt electrical connection. Electric water heaters do not require relighting at any time.

Gas Water Heater

Gas water heaters must be connected to a gas line and have an open flame (located at the bottom of the heater) in order to warm the water. A lighter or a piezoelectric built-in lighter may be required from time to time by the user to relight the gas pilot light on occasion.

Heating Rate

Gas water heaters heat water more quickly than electric water heaters, and they recover from their initial heating faster as well.

Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters provide heat throughout the tank’s height, thanks to heating rods that run from the top to the bottom of the tank. Heating rods, on the other hand, gain heat at a far slower pace than in gas versions.

Gas Water Heater

The open flame of a gas water heater burns hotter than the electric rods or components of an electric water heater. Furthermore, because the burner is positioned at the bottom of the stove, it is more efficient because heat rises.

Cost to Operate

In comparison to electric water heaters, gas water heaters have a lower operating cost (approximately 33 percent less).

Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters have an average monthly operating cost of $42 dollars.

Gas Water Heater

On average, gas water heaters cost around $30 per month to operate. When comparing the cost of gas and electricity in most places, gas is generally less expensive.

Energy Efficiency

Electric water heaters are more energy efficient than gas water heaters when it comes to heating water.

Electric Water Heater

While an electric water heater heats water more slowly and at a higher cost than a gas water heater, it also heats the water more efficiently than the latter. Due to the fact that the heating rods are completely submerged in water in a sealed tank, very little heat is lost.

Gas Water Heater

Despite the fact that gas water heaters burn hotter, they are less efficient than electric water heaters because a large portion of the energy production is lost through the vent at the top of the unit. The vent is required for the proper discharge of harmful gases.


Electric water heaters have a somewhat longer lifespan than gas water heaters, owing to the fact that they operate more cleanly. Electric water heaters have a lifespan of two to three years longer than gas water heaters, depending on the model.

Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years on average.

Gas Water Heater

Gas water heaters typically last between eight and twelve years before they need to be replaced.


Water heaters powered by electricity and gas are about equivalent in terms of their impact on the environment, with no obvious victor between the two varieties.

Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters may be used with both the greatest and the worst sorts of energy supply systems available. Solar and wind energy are the best, if not the most common, source of electricity. Electricity generated by polluting coal-fired or nuclear power facilities is the worst case scenario. Some places may have a bigger supply of clean, low-cost power than others, depending on their geographic location. If the electricity in a given location is generated by contemporary, energy-efficient hydroelectric power plants, then an electric water heater would be an environmentally friendly alternative.

Gas Water Heater

When it comes to environmental effect, gas water heaters fall somewhere in the center. Gas is never as awful as energy generated by coal-fired power plants, but it is never as excellent as electricity generated by wind or solar power.

Gas is a fossil fuel that cannot be replenished. While natural gas has traditionally been considered a more environmentally friendly source of energy than electricity, certain places have lately passed legislation prohibiting the usage of natural gas.

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Water Heater Buyer’s Guide: Gas vs. Electric Water Heater

Water heaters aren’t the kinds of things that people pin to their boards on Pinterest. However, when your water heater fails, a new water heater soon becomes your most sought large item of the moment. We explain all you need to know before purchasing an electric or gas storage tank water heater, so you can make an informed decision about which choice is best for your house.

First Things First: Water Heater Cost, Types, and Storage

According to the Department of Energy, heating water is the second most expensive utility expenditure in our homes, accounting for 14 percent to 18 percent of our monthly utility bills. As a result, selecting the appropriate water heater is critical not just for your comfort, but also for keeping your energy expenditures under control. We’ll go through four different types in this section. They all work together to keep water warm in an insulated storage tank until it is needed. And all of them, with the exception of point-of-use systems, are whole-house systems:

  1. Standard, high-efficiency, solar, and point-of-use water heaters are available.

In case you didn’t know, a fifth type of water heater, tankless water heaters, warms cold water on demand just when you need it. In general, this makes them more energy efficient than ordinary tank types; nevertheless, they are more expensive to purchase and install. Furthermore, tankless devices are not always capable of meeting the hot water demands of high-demand households. The majority of tank water heaters are fuelled by either natural gas or electricity. It will be necessary to consider the sort of energy available in your property when determining the type of water heater you should buy.

Standard Storage Tank Water Heaters

Standard water heaters, by far the most common type of water heater, heat water by the use of a gas flame or an electric heating element. Gas water heaters are often less expensive to operate than electric water heaters, depending on your local utility bills. They also have a higher up-front cost than an electric vehicle. Gas heaters, on the other hand, save enough energy to make up for the difference in price in roughly a year depending on the savings. Gas ranges from $300 to $600 per gallon; electric ranges from $250 to $500 per gallon.

Standard home tank water heaters include the following:

  • They range in size from 20 to 80 gallons. (However, surprise! The most crucial thing to consider is not the gallon capacity. Rather, it is a measure of efficiency known as the first-hour rating that is used. (See below for further information about the first-hour rating.)
  • They are less costly than other types of water heaters
  • Have a lifetime ranging from eight to fifteen years on average

High-Efficiency Storage Tank Water Heaters

High-efficiency (HE) versions, as the name indicates, are the most energy-efficient storage tank water heaters available on the market today. There are both gas and electric variants available. Most gas-fired water heaters are labeled with an energy factor (EF) number, which is regulated by the United States Department of Energy to assist customers in comparing the efficiency of comparable products. The greater the efficiency factor (EF), the more efficient the appliance. The efficiency of standard gas water heaters ranges from.50 to.60.

  • The EF of a high-efficiency water heater that is not Energy Star certified is approximately.62, whereas the EF of an Energy Star-qualified high-efficiency water heater is approximately.67 or higher. It is estimated that they consume 10 percent to 20 percent less energy than their conventional equivalents. This can result in yearly savings of up to $140 and savings of up to $2,900 throughout the tank’s useful life.

Costs range from around $620 to $1,500. Installation costs between $700 and $2,000, depending on where you live in the world. What if you’re looking for a high-efficiency electric vehicle? A heat pump water heater, often known as a hybrid water heater, is an alternative. They are the only electric water heaters that have been accredited by the Energy Star program. They are more costly than high-efficiency natural gas. They work by drawing heat from the surrounding air and transferring it to the water in the tank.

They are more expensive than regular electric heaters, but they may pay for themselves in less than two years by saving you money on energy costs.

With an Energy Star model, you may save up to 65 percent on power over a typical electric water heater over the course of the appliance’s lifetime, which can amount to up to $3,000 in savings. Heat-pump water heaters are a type of electric water heater.

  • Need a lot of room – around 1,000 cubic feet of open air area surrounding the unit is required. They also require a location in your house where the temperature is regularly between 40 degrees and 90 degrees so that they can pull in warm surrounding air. Have a lifetime ranging from eight to fifteen years on average

Costs range from $1,100 to $3,000. The cost of installation ranges from $1,400 to $2,000.

Solar Water Tank Heaters

Solar water heaters can reduce your water heating expenses by half when compared to a regular water heater – but only if you’re willing to spend a lot of money on them. They are made up of two fundamental components:

  • A thermal collector that is installed on the roof or in the yard of your home
  • To maintain a constant supply of hot water on foggy and chilly days, you need have a storage tank and an additional source of hot water – such as a gas or electric tank water heater

They function in one of two ways:

  • Using direct systems, water is heated in tubes within the collector, and the water is then sent to a storage tank for later use. The fact that the water circulation system is located outside the residence means that direct solar water systems are not advised for locations where freezing temperatures are likely to occur. Closed or indirect systems circulate sun-heated antifreeze fluid from the collector to the water heater tank through a closed circulation loop to conserve energy. During its journey through the tank, the solar-heated fluid passes through coils and heats the surrounding water before returning to the collector.

Equipment and installation costs around $8,000 to $10,000 in freezing zones; expenses are half that amount in locations where freeze protection for equipment is not required. It can take up to 30 years (which is longer than their estimated lifespan) before the energy savings from their installation pay for the initial investment. Local rebates and tax credits may be available to help offset the costs. Water heaters powered by the sun:

  • Are ideally suited for moderate to hot areas due to the fact that energy savings might be decreased or eliminated on cold or overcast days
  • Have a life expectancy of 20 years on average
  • When the collector is close to the tank, it will work most efficiently.
See also:  How Long Does It Take To Install A Tankless Water Heater?

Point-of-Use Water Heaters

These water heaters work in conjunction with your home’s whole-house water heater to provide hot water for a specific use, such as a kitchen faucet, as needed. By doing so, they limit the quantity of water wasted while waiting for the tap to become warm. If you have a basic understanding of plumbing, you can install a point-of-use water heater on your own. The majority of versions are electric and are available in a variety of gallon sizes, including 2.5, 6, 10, 15, 20, and 30 gallons. It is advised that you utilize the 20- and 30-gallon sizes for tiny, detached constructions and home extensions that do not require a whole-house water heater.

Although a point-of-use water heater can help you save money on water by reducing water waste, you’ll be adding another energy-guzzling equipment to your house, which will raise your utility bills.

What’s More Important than Gallons? First-Hour Rating

Water heaters are frequently purchased by homeowners depending on their capacity. An 80-gallon water heater will normally provide enough hot water for the daily needs of a three- or four-person family, but not every heater with an 80-gallon tank produces the same quantity of hot water per hour. What you really need to know is how long a water heater will last in its first hour of operation (FHR). Using the FHR, you can determine how much hot water the machine will dependably supply in a specified length of time.

An 80-gallon water heater with a maximum annual flow rate of 30 gallons will not enough.

Alternatively, you might use thisFHR spreadsheet from the Department of Energy.

Features and Extras You Should Have

Brass valves: Tanks are equipped with a valve at the base that allows for simple emptying during normal inspection and maintenance (which you should do at least once per year). A sturdy brass valve will outlast a plastic valve by a long shot. Tank with a glass liner: A heavy-duty porcelain glass layer is installed within the water tank to protect it from the corrosive effects of water storage. Digital displays: They offer functionality by allowing customers to readily monitor water heating and customize the settings on their devices.

Warranties that last a long time: Warranties are available for three to twelve years.

They also contain a larger heating element, which helps to prevent mineral scale from accumulating at the bottom of the tank. The accumulation of waste can limit the lifespan of a tank. Related: How to Lower the Energy Consumption of Your Water Heater

Hot Water Heater Costs & Installation Prices

The average cost of purchasing a water heater is $1,190 dollars. Get quotations from as many as three professionals! Enter your zip code below to get matched with top-rated professionals in your area. Water heater installation, often known as hot water heater installation or just water heater installation, is one of the most popular (and vital!) house modifications. Hot water heater replacement costs can range from $810 to $1,570, and the cost is determined by whether you are performing a straightforward one-for-one exchange or a more involved upgrade to a tankless system.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Hot Water Heater?

Hot water heaters are crucial components of any household, whether you’re washing linens in hot water or resting in a nice bubble bath. When estimating the cost of replacing a water heater, consider the cost of the unit itself, as well as the time it will take your pros to install the unit. Water heaters range in price from $300 to $2,000 for the device alone, with labor costs ranging from $45 to $150 per hour. If the plumber does not need to make any changes to the system, such as switching from an electric to a gas system, the installation visit should take no more than two to three hours on average.

The Average Cost of Hot Water Heaters With Installation

  • 900 dollars for a 40- to 50-gallon tank
  • 3,000 dollars for a tankless system

Additional Hot Water Heater Costs

Assuming all goes smoothly, all you’ll need is a simple water heater exchange—out with the old, in with the new. Some households, however, will require additional services in order to complete the changeover appropriately. The requirements for residential water heaters change from time to time, necessitating frequent modifications. But try not to be concerned about these code upgrades; they are strictly for safety reasons. Your plumber will inform you of the code requirements (and may direct you to other local specialists such as an electrician), which is especially important if you want to convert from a gas to an electric water heater or if you want to relocate the water heater.

  • Electricians charge between $50 and $100 per hour
  • Additional wiring costs between $550 and $2,200
  • New gas lines cost between $250 and $800
  • New water lines cost between $350 and $1,900
  • Required permits cost between $100 and $1,500
  • Wall framing costs between $200 and $400
  • Drywall installation costs between $1,000 and $2,900
  • Water heater removal costs between $100 and $500

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Hot Water Heater Near You?

Hot water heaters are high on the list of must-have items for each household! Americans pay various prices for their long, hot showers depending on where they live:

The City or State Average Cost Range

  • $750–$1,250
  • Dallas:$950–$1,675
  • Denver:$985–$1,900
  • Houston:$950–$1,600
  • Minneapolis:$715–$1,300
  • San Diego:$935–$1,600
  • San Francisco:$1,050–$1,850
  • Seattle:$1,050–$1,700
  • Atlanta:$775–$1,350
  • Austin, TX:$850–$1,650
  • Atlantic City, N.J.:$1,129

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Hot Water Heater by Type?

Tank and tankless water heaters are the two types of water heaters available. Both types of water heaters generate hot water using either natural gas (natural gas or propane) or electricity. It’s not uncommon for a classic tank water heater to have a huge storage tank that may contain anywhere from 30 to 80 gallons of water. 90 percent of families have a tank hot water heater that is hidden away in a basement or laundry room, and you are not alone. A tankless water heater is about the size of a compact suitcase, and it heats water using a coil system instead of a tank.

As with a heating zone, indirect-fired heaters employ a coil within the tank that is connected to a boiler through pipework.

These tanks are more costly (about $1,000 to $1,500) than typical gas or electric tanks, and they take between four and eight hours to install on average.”

Gas Water Heater Costs vs. Electric Water Heater Costs

Natural gas units, on average, cost $100 to $200 more than electric units and operate at a lower efficiency than electric units. However, if your city’s electric rates are high, the gas alternative will be a more cost-effective option in the long run. In an apartment or a compact area, electric water heaters (both tank and tankless) are the most efficient option since they do not require various types of venting.

Gas Water Heater

  • Over a 12-year period, the cost is $5,000. The device ranges in price from $250 to $1,800.

Electric Water Heater

  • A total of $5,000 will be spent during a 12-year period. Approximately $250–1,800 for the unit
Type Cost
Gas Water Heater $250 – $1,800
Electric Water Heater $200 – $2,880

Average Cost of a High-Efficiency Water Heater

Despite the fact that you use your water heater on a regular basis, you may not be aware that it is the second-highest source of energy usage in your house (an HVAC ranks first). Investing in a high-efficiency water heater is both a cost-effective and ecologically responsible decision. High-efficiency water heaters typically cost between $1,000 and $3,000, including the equipment and installation labor. Their energy efficiency ranges from 100 percent to 300 percent more than that of typical water heaters, and they include features such as high-quality insulation, plastic tanks, and sophisticated controls that detect leaks.

Tankless Hot Water Heater Costs

If you decide that the expense of a tankless water heater is a suitable long-term investment, you’ll spend more up front (about $1,000 to $3,000), but you’ll make up for it in energy savings during the heater’s 20-year life span. Tankless heaters have an additional benefit: they provide on-demand hot water with no waiting time, which is ideal after a chilly day of skiing. But keep in mind that this is not a do-it-yourself job. Because of the gas lines, electrical, and venting involved, it is advisable to leave the installation of a tankless water heater to local experienced installers.

A reasonably easy activity that will assist to extend the life of your heater while also ensuring that your warranty is not canceled.

Make sure you speak with your heating contractor about establishing a preventative maintenance schedule for your heater.”

Solar Water Heater Costs

You’ll see a solar water system on any “off the grid” home-building show if you pay attention. The owners save money over time as a result of this technology, although the initial investment is substantial. It costs between $1,800 and $5,500 to install a solar water heater; however, the price can rise to as much as $13,000 depending on the product, installation fees, maintenance expenses, and the availability of a qualified contractor.

Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters Costs

If you don’t care about saving space or money, a hybrid heat pump water heater is the best option for your home. This is the most costly choice, with prices ranging from $1,200 to $3,500. However, hybrid water heaters are the most energy-efficient, thus they are the most expensive.

However, small dwellings (sorry, tiny-house people) are not the ideal prospects since the water heater requires 7 feet of space from the floor to the ceiling, as well as 1,000 cubic feet of surrounding air to function properly.

Indirect Water Heater Installation Costs

Indirect water heaters range in price from $800 to $1,500 and are a versatile and efficient option. This function is the most popular since it allows you to use a variety of energy sources from a local source. These include gas, oil, propane, electric, solar, or any combination of these. Indirect water heaters generate heat by heating water in a coil within the tank’s interior. Even though the water used to heat that water may be heated by a direct fuel source such as natural gas, oil, or propane, that water that is used to heat the water distributed to your fixtures is heated by the internal water coil (which is typically made of copper, stainless steel, or nickel-plated copper), not by a direct fuel source (hence the term “indirect” heater).

Type Cost
High-Efficiency Hot Water Heater $1,000 – $3,000
Tankless Hot Water Heater $1,000 – $3,000
Solar Water Heater $1,800 – $13,000
Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater $1,200 – $3,500
Indirect Water Heater $800 – $1,500

What Factors Influence the Cost of a Hot Water Heater?

Hot water heaters require a lot of space in order to function properly. If you’ve been thinking about having a yard sale to clear out the basement, there’s no better time than now to do it in order to create way for an upgraded water heater. The gallon size is another element that determines the cost of the unit and the installation.

Location of the Hot Water Heater

Most homeowners purchase a new water heater only after their existing one fails, and this usually occurs at an inconvenient time—for example, when you have houseguests who prefer hot showers. A hot water heater upgrade or a relocation of your hot water heater is most likely in order. The position of the hot water heater might be changed by homeowners in order to conserve space or make way for additional changes. If you choose for a tankless unit, the position of the installation may be altered as well.

Water Heater Sizes

The simplest way to determine what size water heater you’ll need is to count the number of people who live in your home. Calculate your first-hour rating (FHR), also known as peak hot water demand, as well as the recovery rate of your tank to get more specific. As an illustration: Gallons consumed in one hour using the function XPeak Use during one hour = Gallons consumed in one hour Showering for 10 gallons on average each hour multiplied by three hours is 30 gallons.

Tank Water Heater Measured by Gallons

  • 1 person need 20–30 gallons
  • 2–3 people require 30–40 gallons
  • 4–5 people require 40–50 gallons
  • And 6 or more people require 55 gallons or more.

Tankless Water Heaters Measured by Gallons Per Minute

  • For one individual, 20–30 gallons of water will be used in 2–3 minutes. 2–3 people: 30–40 gallons in 3–5 minutes
  • 4–5 people: 40–50 gallons in 4–6 minutes
  • 6+ people: 55 gallons in 5–6 minutes

Getty Images photo by brizmaker from the iStock collection.

FAQs About Water Heater Costs

Even though most people wait until the last minute, you should consider purchasing a hot water heater if you begin to see the telltale indications of approaching failure. Keep in mind that the lifespan of a normal tank water heater is eight to twelve years, depending on the model. Here are a few red flags to look out for:

  • Metallic aftertaste water that is rusty or stained
  • Water does not heat sufficiently, but just warms
  • Pops and cracks that make a lot of noise
  • Leaks

How can I extend the life of my water heater?

The longevity of a tank-type heater is determined by the anode rod that is put within the tank. This rod is intended to attract corrosive substances and pull them away from the metal components of the tank’s metal components. Anode rods have a lifespan of around five years.

Replacing the anode every three to four years may effectively double the tank’s lifespan, effectively doubling it practically indefinitely. In addition, the anode rod is one of the least costly changeable elements of a heater (costing on average approximately $30).

How do I find a professional to install my hot water heater?

The sort of unit that your home requires is something you’re looking for in a trained, local, and licensed plumber with expertise installing that type of unit. Not every contractor or plumber have the necessary expertise to install these systems. Consult with each professional to determine whether they have previous experience dealing with your particular scenario, particularly if you want skills for an electric to gas conversion or a complex tankless or solar heating system.

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