Water Heater Replacement Cost Factors to Calculate

Water heater replacement cost is calculated based on several factors discussed below. The cost to replace your heating appliance may vary depending on the area where you live, the current labor charge, general contractor’s fee, taxes and inspection fees, etc. Knowing that at some point every homeowner would have to replace their water heaters, it is imperative to be informed of the latest cost estimate to replace hot water heaters. This is the latest general calculation for 2013.

Hot water heaters are a staple to every home in modern times especially in the cold regions of the globe. Without this appliance, it would be impossible to take long hot showers, scrub greasy pots or give your dog a bath. However, not all things last in this world and your water heating device also have a life span. Water heaters leak at some point due to common problems such as corrosion, faulty plumbing, inadequate sealing or aging, and this is something even proper maintenance and high quality can not prevent. But how long will the device lasts should be our concern to recoup the initial investment outlay for the unit.

Latest estimated replacement cost:

Particulars Quantity Low High
Total $660 $1070
New Hot Water Cost
(mid-grade quality)
1 heater $300 $500
Replacement Labor 5.0 hours $300 $500
Materials and Supplies 1 heater $40 $45
Debris Disposal Cost $20 $25
  • Replacement Labor: Check our post about Installation Cost.
  • Materials and Supplies: Materials required in replacing hot water tank including mounting hardware, connectors and fittings.

The cost to replace hot water tank is within the average of $660 to $1070 for every mid-grade 40 gallon one. Take note that when it comes to the labor installation cost, the price will significantly vary considering the tank system (tank or tankless), location of the installation (basement, garage, closet fitting), single-point system or whole house installation, fuel for energy, and whether you purchase the unit directly from the store or it is contractor-supplied.

Getting the most accurate replacement cost

To refine the cost estimate of replacing your hot water heater, you need to do the following:

  • Collect data of installation cost in your specific area or location. Each city/district/country has different labor productivity rates and national average hourly rates.
  • Specify brand, size, model you want for your new hot water tank and the store or dealer you want to purchase it from.
  • Determine local material pricing and delivery cost, service provider transportation to and from the job site.
  • Clean up cost such as debris removal and disposal after completion of project.
  • Cost to prepare job site including cost to cover extra labor to protect existing structure, materials, finishes and other components in the location.

Other expenses

Quality of installation is very important to avoid water heater problems and accidents in the future. Improper installation may lead to serious problems such as fire, carbon monoxide exposure, water heater leaking prematurely, or entanglement with the law. To prevent this, a general licensed contractor supervising the project will help ensure your hot water tank is installed properly in accordance to the prescribed provisions of your local area Building Code. General contractor’s fee for supervising and organizing the replacement project plays around 12.1% to 19.3% of the total cost above.

Your local Building Department may conduct inspection and require installation permit for the project. The average hot water tank replacement cost above does not include this cost. Check your local building department and obtain information before you commence replacement project.

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