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Is the Average Water Heater Replacement Cost Expensive?

When you have problems with your hot water heater, you need to determine whether it is better to repair it or replace it. One important consideration is the average replacement costs of hot water heaters, which depend on four factors:

  1. Age of the water heater. On average, tank-type heaters last between 10 to 15 years. Tankless heaters tend to last up to 20 years. If your current heater is nearing the end of its useful lifespan, it might be worthwhile to have it replaced rather than repaired.
  2. Cost of repairs vs. replacement. You need to compare the costs of repairs to the cost of having a new water heater installed. For instance, your estimate for repairs is $500, and the cost to get a new tank-type heater is $700. Since there is not much difference in cost for this scenario, it would be better to invest in a new water heater.
  3. Type of water heater. The type of water heater being replaced does influence the cost. Electric heaters tend to cost less compared to natural gas and propane-type heaters. There are also variances in costs between tank-type and tankless heaters you need to evaluate.
  4. Size, capacity and/or gallons per minute of the heater. For tank-type heaters, there will be differences in cost based on the size and capacity of the heater, as well as the number of gallons per minute it will deliver. For tankless heaters, there are variances in cost based on the gallons per minute of hot water the heater can generate.

white water heater or boiler

Whether the average replacement cost is expensive will vary based on your budget and household needs. Costs run from around $800 with installation to several thousands of dollars for a high-end tankless system. Please keep in mind, to determine your actual replacement costs, you would need to request a free quote.

Pro and Cons of Different Types of Water Heaters

Aside from the replacement costs for a new water heater, it is equally beneficial to weigh the pros and cons between tank-type and tankless heaters.

Tank-Type Pros

  • Ideal for homes that have a large hot water demand at the same time.
  • Costs tend to be less than tankless heaters.
  • Installation processes and time is often less.
  • Electric tank heaters are up to 90% energy efficient.

Tank-Type Cons

  • Hot water temperatures have to be constantly maintained.
  • Tanks need their own dedicated space inside the home.
  • Tanks have to be installed over emergency drain pans, with added drain lines.
  • Shorter average lifespan compared to tankless heaters.

Tankless Pros

Smiling Water Heater Technician

  • More energy efficient than tank-type heaters.
  • Can help reduce water heating energy bills by as much as 25%.
  • Only has about a 5% heat loss, compared to up to 30% with tank-based heaters.
  • Never run out of hot water.
  • Requires a smaller space to install.
  • More flexibility with where the heater can be installed.
  • Lasts around 20 years.

Tankless Cons

  • Takes much longer to install.
  • Retrofitting can require new plumbing.
  • Could require multiple units to meet a home’s hot water demands.
  • Costs can average upward of twice the cost of tank-type heaters.

For assistance in deciding what type of hot water heater is best for your home, and a free water heater installation and replacement quote, please feel free to contact your nearest Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing location today!

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