Water Heater Installers on HomeGuide cost
$400 – $900

The average cost for water heater is $175 for an average three-bedroom home. Hiring a plumber, you will likely spend between $0.20 – $0.50 per sq. ft. The price of water heater can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). View our local water heater plumbers or get free estimates from pros near you.

How much does a water heater and installation cost?

When you’re taking a shower or doing the laundry, you probably don’t give much thought to your water heater. But here’s one reason you should: Water heating makes up about 12 percent of your utility bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

In light of the utility expenses related to heating your household’s water, it’s critical to carefully weigh the costs of buying a water heater and getting it installed. This guide will give you an idea of what costs to expect and give you tips on how to score the best deal on a new water heater.

Price Factors

The price to buy a water heater and the cost to install it vary greatly.

Keith Dees, owner of Smart Choice Plumbing in Fremont, California, says a tanked water heater can cost roughly $400 to $900, while a tankless water heater can run $1,500. However, that’s a general range. The size, brand, length of warranty and energy efficiency of a water heater are among the factors that can affect the price.

On top of that, installation costs roughly $400 to $2,000, according to Dees. These costs might be at the low or high end of this range based on the connection types, water heater pedestal and geographic location, as well as whether the hold heater needs to be removed.

Keep in mind that a gas water heater might be around the same price as an electric water heater, but the gas version costs less to operate.

Who should I hire?

First, do your homework online. Check reviews published on Google, HomeGuide, and Yelp, and published by the Better Business Bureau. In addition, look for reviews that seem genuine. Second, ask relatives, friends, coworkers and others for recommendations. Word of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing.

More important than anything else is hiring a licensed, bonded, insured plumber to install your water heater.

“A licensed plumber will always install a water heater to the proper code and do it safely,” says Blake Aylott, marketing director at Project Building Construction Group in Laguna Hills, California.

If a plumber advertises that it’s licensed, be sure to check with the state board that regulates plumbers to ensure the license is valid and the plumber is in good standing with the state board, says Daniel Jape, president of Reliable Heating & Air in Kennesaw, Georgia.

How do I know whether I’m getting a fair deal?

The smartest thing you can do is to obtain quotes from several contractors so you can compare prices. You can do this instantly on HomeGuide, and other online resources.

“While most plumbers are honest businesses trying to keep prices as fair for customers as possible, you can tell when they charge too much by getting multiple quotes for a job,” Dees says. “If they quote over the phone and sound unwilling to visit in person or charge to do that, this shouldn’t be taken seriously, as it can be difficult to diagnose a problem you haven’t even seen yet.”

Ultimately, Dees suggests shopping based on a plumber’s reputation, not on price. Many plumbers will try to outbid each other, but then inflate the cost or cut corners, he says.

Steve Beeler, owner and president of RSC Heating and Air Conditioning in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, says no two proposals are exactly the same, but if you’re comparing the same water-heating equipment, price quotes should be within 20 percent of each other.

Can I negotiate the price?

Maybe, but experts don’t recommend it.

“Price negotiations typically require the purchaser to give something up in return for a lower price. Be sure that safety and quality are never sacrificed to save a few dollars,” Beeler says.

David Specht, president and CEO of The Waterworks, a plumbing company in Columbus, Ohio, says it should raise a red flag if a plumber starts negotiating the cost of the work. Why? The plumber probably wasn’t being honest about the first price that was quoted.

“If you are working with a reputable plumbing company, typically there will be little to no negotiation,” Jape says. “Most reputable plumbing companies that have done thousands of water heater installations know how much material and labor will be required and have based their prices on that.”

How can I cut costs without giving up quality?

Beeler suggests finding out whether any rebates or incentives are available from your utility provider for upgrading to an energy-efficient water heater. Also, ask about whether the contractor is offering any specials, such as no-interest financing.

Tips & considerations

The contract should include:

  • The model number of the equipment.
  • Information about the warranty.
  • Detailed payment terms.
  • Responsibility for costs associated with ensuring the water heater passes inspection.
  • Information about the permit required for the project.
“Before signing a contract, be sure you’re comfortable with the people you’re hiring,” Dees says. “Not only will you be paying them a lot of money, but they will be on your property and in your house for several hours to install the unit, and may be back again to maintain it. If something doesn’t feel right about the deal, even if the numbers all look right, always go with your gut.”
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