Water heaters are used for multiple purposes in the home, such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing. There are many different options when it comes to water heaters. Traditional water heater tanks use electricity or gas to heat a reservoir that can hold from 30 gallons of water to 120 gallons. A tankless water heater system runs on electricity to heat water as needed without a reservoir tank. Solar systems use the sun’s energy to heat and move water through the system to a holding tank.
Water heater prices depend on the type, size and brand. Home improvement stores have a variety of water heaters in sizes ranging from 30-gallon gas units costing $400 to 120-gallon capacity electric units costing $1,450. The water heater cost will depend on what the homeowner decides to choose. Alternate systems can be much higher than traditional water heaters with their own benefits and disadvantages that should be considered by each individual.
Hot Water Heater Installation Cost
Homeowners can choose to install a water heater themselves, choose to have store installation, or hire a plumber to install a unit. Store installation depends on the location and store pricing. The average hot water heater prices for installation by a professional plumber can range from $500-$2,000 for a conventional water heater.
Installing a new hot water heater costs include purchasing a new unit, removing the old unit, and installing the new unit. Depending on the type of water heater, this could mean turning off electricity or capping gas in addition to draining the old unit. Hot water heater prices also consist of disposing of the old unit properly according to city code. Tankless systems require new electrical outlets with a dedicated amp of at least 15, pipes, and wall fittings to support the system.
Cost By Energy Source
Homeowners have the option of using a solar-powered water heater. Depending on climate and type of system, the hot water heater price varies from $1,700-$17,000. There are two main types of solar water heaters. Active and passive systems both use the sun’s energy to provide hot water for a home’s needs. Active systems do use electricity to function, so they will not work in a black out. Passive systems do not use electricity and will work even if electricity is unavailable. All solar systems need a conventional water heater as a backup. This is usually included in the solar package. Active systems have moving parts that require maintenance more often to keep them running in good order than passive systems that are typically serviced every three to five years because they do not have any moving parts. Installing a solar water heater system should only be done by a certified or licensed plumber. Finding a plumber with knowledge of this system may take a little research and cost substantially more to install than a traditional unit or a tankless unit. This is not a do-it-yourself project for a homeowner to install as there are specific requirements for every solar system.
Electric water heaters cost $300-$600, depending on the size of the tank and life expectancy of the unit. Typical electric units are expected to last six to twelve years. Electric units are available in low boys and high boys to fit any space. The most common capacity is 50-80 gallons for home use, depending on the number of bathrooms, sinks, and if the home has a dishwasher as well as a clothes washer.
Oil fired water heaters use a burner and a tank to heat water for home purposes. The water heater cost is $1,800 for a new tank. A burner is separate as are the materials needed for venting. These models require combustion testing when they are installed to make sure they are safe to be used. Oil heaters should only be installed by a licensed plumber to make sure they are safe and correct because the heaters contain enough BTUs to destroy a home if they are not installed and maintained properly. Oil heaters require specific ventings and certain pipes and fittings to prevent them from causing a fire.
Gas water heaters can be purchased at a home improvement store. Heaters cost approximately $300-400 for a 40 or 50-gallon unit. Gas units require a pilot light and venting to work properly and be safe. A licensed plumber should be consulted to install a gas heater if the homeowner has not had any experience with gas heaters. Maintaining a gas heater is essential to home safety; if a pilot light malfunctions it could cause a fire.
Cost By Manufacturer
AO Smith offers water heaters in electric, gas, hybrid, tankless, and solar units. AO Smith also offers energy efficient heaters as part of their product line. The heaters come in a range of BTU’s from 65,000-39,999 for residential and commercial use. Water heater prices range from $600-$2,300 for residential heaters. Commercial heaters range from $5,000-$8,000.
Bradford White presents water heaters in every class and style. Prices vary from $400-$1,600, depending on energy source and tank size. With high BTU outputs of 40,000, the water heaters are able to handle any household need. Because of the weight, these heaters may require equipment to lift and move them. It is recommended that installation be performed by a plumber.
The price for a water heater depends on the energy source and tank size. A typical 40-gallon natural gas or propane heater intended for a 2-3 person home costs $600-$800. A 119-gallon solar tank with electric back up able to support a household of five people or more costs $1,800. Bradford White offers a six-year limited warranty on tanks and components.
Bradford White hot water heaters cost from $500-$3,000 for residential use. From 19-gallon electrical units for one person to 65 gallon natural gas units for 5 people, Bradford White heaters are more energy efficient than some other models available for homeowners who are concerned with energy use.
Geospring is a 50-gallon free-standing hybrid electric water heater priced at $1,300. This heater requires a dedicated 30 amp at a minimum to run properly. Geospring is Energy Star qualified, providing continual energy conservation throughout the year. The default temperature setting is 120. It can be manually changed to a higher temperature of up to 140 degrees. A 10-year limited warranty is provided for every heater.
Navien offers several different models ranging from 150,000-199,900 BTU/H for residential use. Navien heaters can be converted for propane or natural gas lines. A new hot water heater cost for Navien averages about $1,600.
Noritz water heater prices range from $1,200 to $2,000, depending on the model selected. The capacity for home use is 15,000-199,900 BTU/H. Depending on the climate, a Noritz heater can support 2-3 bathrooms worth of average water use in a home.
Polaris is at the high end of water heaters for individuals who are looking for a top brand name in heaters. A 34-gallon, high efficiency gas water heater is priced at $2,500 with a one-year component warranty and a 10-year tank warranty. Polaris models use natural gas or propane as the energy source for the heater.
Rinnai water heaters are tankless heaters that can be used with natural gas or liquid propane. A natural gas unit costs $1,200. The propane water heater costs $1,000. Each heater has a residential 12-year warranty with a five-year component warranty on parts.
Ruud offers water heaters to residential and commercial users in every classification of energy source. Prices can range from $500-$2,300, depending on the size of the tank. Ruud heaters can reach a temperature of 170 degrees. Ruud has a three-year limited tank warranty.
State is a subsidiary of the AO Smith Corporation. They offer small tank heaters from 6 gallons to a 40-gallon capacity and tankless water heaters. Tank heaters cost $400-$600 according to reservoir capacity and $400 for a tankless unit. State offers a six-year limited warranty on tank water heaters.
Buying A Water Heater
Water heaters are a necessary part of modern house cleaning and daily tasks such as washing dishes, clothes, and taking showers. With the variety of options available to choose from, it is up to homeowners to research and decide what brand, size, style, and energy form they would like to have in a water heater. Finding the right water heater depends on the number of people in the home and water usage. Some water heaters can be installed by the homeowner while others must be installed by a professional plumber for safety. Some energy source heaters need more maintenance than others because of the exposure and moving parts they require. This aspect should be considered by every homeowner when choosing a water heater.
Where To Buy A Water Heater
Most home improvement stores offer a diverse collection of water heaters to choose from with options to fit most individual needs. If a water heater cannot be found in a store, then it can be ordered online through a manufacturer or a website dedicated to home maintenance needs. If a homeowner is having difficulty finding the appropriate water heater, a plumber can assist in comparing information from different models.
Tankless Water Heater Cost
Tankless water heater costs are more substantial than traditional water heaters. The typical tankless heater costs $800-$1,200 or more. Installation costs are also higher because of the added electronics and upgraded pipes and outlets needed to support the unit. Companies boast that the water heaters save money on energy, but tests have shown that it could take over 20 years to break even between upfront cost and energy savings. The maintenance and upkeep for a tankless model is also more costly because it requires service once a year to flush out calcium buildup that can severely damage the tank. Some homes may need to add a water softener to prevent hard water breaking down the water heater.