There's nothing like a steamy shower to revive my spirits - or a cold one to totally kill them. That's why if my water heater ever starts to fail (especially during the brisk Northeast winter), I'll be a very unhappy camper.
Here's what homeowners should know about the cost of replacing a water heater:
Reasons for water heater replacement
While regular hot water heater maintenance can prevent serious issues, sometimes losing hot water during your shower is still a problem you'll need to address. There are a few telling signs that your water heater is having issues, including fluctuating water temperatures, weak pressure and strange noises. If you can't repair the failing element or the water heater is leaking, you'll want to replace the unit - pronto. According to House Logic, you should also strongly consider replacing water heaters that are more than 10 years old.
Learn More About Home Repair Plans Near You
A new hot water heater can cost anywhere from $400 to upwards of $3,000. The Home Depot factored in the price of units, permits, installation materials and labor, plus removal of the old unit to estimate an average total cost of $1,308 for tank water heaters and $2,979 for tankless units. Several factors contribute to cost variations, including:
Water heater type: You can decide between a tank or tankless water heater, as well as an electric or gas power source for either model. Sticking with the same fuel source of your current unit will help cut down on additional installation costs.
Size: If you choose a tank water heater, the size will impact the cost. According to Remodeling Calculator, the difference between 40 and 50 gallons is about $150-250, while 75 gallons can cost about $400-600 more than a 50-gallon tank.
Energy efficiency: Energy saving water heaters may have a higher unit price but will be less costly to operate in the long run. The Department of Energy recommended tankless and on-demand water heaters as more efficient options than conventional storage tank models.
Labor: Installation costs will vary depending on the type of unit, as well as the amount of work necessary to make sure your pipes and plumbing connections are up to code.
Home location: Contractor rates will vary depending on where you live.
Warranty: Water heater warranties will vary depending on the manufacturer, with many offering extensions and extra features for additional costs.
It helps to get multiple estimates from manufacturers, sellers and contractors before making your purchase. You can also use the online Remodeling Calculator to get a better idea of how much you can expect to spend on your water heater replacement.
While you're at it, consider enrolling in a home warranty to protect your new water heater.
Being prepared for home repairs is always a good strategy. See how plans from HomeServe can help with the costs of covered repairs.