How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Hot Water Heater

Has your water stopped heating? This is usually a clear indication of something wrong with your water heater. Hot water is necessary, so repairing or replacing your water heater must happen sooner rather than later. Deciding to repair or install a new water heater for your home means evaluating the ventilation type, energy efficiency, water heater installation cost, etc. You can also choose from several options based on the fuel source and system: gas water heater or electric water heater, storage tank, or tankless water heater.

We know that it can be difficult to figure out where to begin. That’s why at Pioneer Comfort Systems, our Shreveport hot water heater pros are happy to help you with any questions you may have. We’ll help you make the right decision for you and your family. 

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Water Heater?

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There is no general amount for water heater replacement cost. There are many factors that determine hot water heater replacement cost. Considering all the factors mentioned throughout this article, replacing a water heater can cost between $2,500 to $3,000 for a new tank unit and around $6,500 and $7,500 for a new tankless unit to be installed in place of an old tank. Plumbing costs and tank disposal can be additional costs to the final total. 

Should You Repair or Replace a Hot Water Heater?

Water heaters are really not designed to be repaired. They are built to last for a certain amount of time and then be replaced. It is generally more cost-effective to simply replace the water heater rather than repair it. The majority of water heaters have a lifespan of around 15 years. If your water heater is around this age, it is probably time to install a replacement.

As always, there are exceptions to this rule. If you have a relatively new water heater and haven’t had any issues with it, then repairing it may make more sense than replacing it. If your water heater has been having problems or is an older unit, replacing it is probably the best decision. 

We provide more information here: Why is My Hot Water Heater Leaking?

What Affects the Hot Water Heater Replacement Cost?

Hot water heater replacement costs depend on several factors. When you’re discussing the installation costs of a water heater with a Shreveport HVAC professional, you should keep these factors in mind:

  • Water heater model
  • Location
  • Labor costs
  • Fuel type
  • Permits
  • Old water heater disposal
  • Emergency or unforeseen costs

Type of Hot Water Heater

The type of water heater you choose to install will be a major factor in the replacement cost. As with most things in life, there are pros and cons of each, and having a better understanding of the difference will help you in making the right decision for you and your family. 

Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters

The most common type of water heater is a tank water heater. Tank water heaters range in size from 30 to 50-gallon capacities but could also be bigger, and there are space requirements for tank water heaters. Tank-style heaters store hot water in the tank. The average life of a storage tank water heater is around 8-12 years. These are typically the most budget-friendly water heaters. 

A tankless water heater eliminates the need for space to install a storage tank by heating water on demand, meaning endless hot water. These water heaters can last twice as long as a tank water heater, up to 20 years. Tankless water heater costs are more expensive upfront. However, they can offer considerable savings over their lifetime. 

Condensing vs. Non-Condensing Water Heaters

The two types of tankless water heaters available are condensing and non-condensing. The more efficient choice is a condensing water heater. These water heaters work by heating water with waste heat, meaning they can recover some of the heat that would normally be lost in a non-condensing unit. This is what makes them more energy efficient. Condensing water heaters typically cost more than non-condensing units. However, the increased efficiency can ultimately save you money later down the line. 

While they are not as efficient as condensing water heaters, non-condensing water heaters are still relatively efficient. They heat water with a burner, somewhat similar to a traditional water heater.  

Gas vs. Solar vs. Electric Water Heaters

The majority of water heaters use either electricity or natural gas to operate. Solar water heaters are also an option. However, they are less common and more expensive. 

While they are typically more expensive upfront, natural gas water heaters are more energy efficient than an electric water heater. You’ll end up saving money on your energy bills over time.

The water heater that is cheaper to purchase but more expensive to operate is the electric water heater. Electric water heaters have an easier installation, which will reduce your replacement costs.

While less common, solar water heaters are the most environmentally friendly option. However, they are also the most expensive option. A solar water heater will be a great option if you live in an area with a lot of sun. It most likely would not be worth the investment if you live in a cloudy climate. 

Location and Permits

Your water heater location will be a factor in water heater replacement costs. If your water heater is located in an easily accessible area, it may cost less for a water heater replacement water heater. Water heater installation costs may be higher if they are in tight spaces or out-of-the-way places such as a barn. The more steps involved in the replacement of the water heater, the more expensive the installation.

The need for a permit to replace your water heater is determined by your local government. To make the installation work, there may be a need for an on-site inspection or even changes in electrical lines, water lines, or natural gas lines. Your service professional will be able to tell you if your estimate includes the cost of a permit. If it does, they will manage the process, and there’s nothing you need to worry about taking care of. 

Old Hot Water Heater Disposal

The disposal of your old water heater could be dependent on where the water heater is located. This could also affect the water heater installation cost. 

leaking water heater

Can I Install a New Water Heater by Myself?

While it is possible to install your new water heater on your own, most professionals wouldn’t recommend it. 

Natural gas water heaters must be properly vented, and gas lines must be hooked up correctly. Making even the smallest mistake could lead to a dangerous or life-threatening event. Installing venting pipes and a gas line will be needed for proper operation if you change from an electric water heater to a natural gas water heater. 

You may need a professional with experience in gas piping, water line, discharge pipe, gas control valve, pressure relief valve, shutoff valve, drain valve, etc., depending on what type of unit you purchase. This installation isn’t as easy as flipping a circuit breaker and plugging in a new appliance. 

Call Pioneer Comfort Systems for All Your Hot Water Heater Needs in Shreveport, LA

With so many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to purchase a water heater replacement having the guidance of our experts at Pioneer Comfort Systems is extremely beneficial. We will help break down the water heater replacement cost compared to water heater repair costs. 

We try to give our customers the fairest price possible here at Pioneer Comfort Systems. We want our clients to trust that we have their best interests in mind. If you need help selecting a new water heater, installing a water heater, or if you need water heater repairs, our professionals are here to help. We even offer emergency plumbing services in Shreveport. Call us today at (318) 378-5729.