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Tank hot water heaters last 8 to 15 years on average. Tankless water heaters last 10 to 20 years on average.
Signs a water heater is going out:
Most cities require a permit to install a water heater. A water heater permit costs $25 to $250 on average. Most plumbers pull the permit and include permit fees in their estimate.
Manufacturer warranties and local building codes may require a water heater permit and installation by a licensed plumber. Installing a water heater yourself is possible but requires plumbing and electrical experience.
Installing a tank water heater takes 2 to 6 hours, depending on accessibility. Tankless water heater installation takes 3 to 10 hours for a new install or 2 to 4 hours to replace an existing tankless unit. Replacing a water heater in an attic, closet, or other tight space increases the labor time.
Licensed plumbers install tank and tankless water heaters, including gas, electric, and hybrid heat pump systems. Home Depot and Lowe's also offer water heater installation through their network of licensed plumbers.
Gas water heaters cost $100 to $700 more than electric up front, but cost $220 less per year to operate. Electric water heaters are cheaper to replace than gas and last 2 to 3 years longer, but cost more to operate.
Finding reputable contractors requires planning, researching, and asking questions. To hire the best:
When looking to hire a gas water heater installer near you, ask them the following questions: