Back in the ancient times, heating up water requires the burning coal or firewood. Yet in 1868, an English painter named Benjamin Maughan invented the first water heating device that does not require combustible fuel. The Geyser, as named after the spewing Scandinavian hot springs, became the prototype model influencing the first mass-produced automatic water heater in 1889. A Norwegian mechanical engineer and immigrant of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) named Edwin Ruud eventually founded the Ruud Manufacturing Company based on his successful model. Until today, it continues to become the leading producer and innovator of water heater technology.
Today, water heaters come in countless varieties and brands. According to Home Advisor, the general estimate for water heater price as per its reported 12,411 cost profiles falls somewhere between $725 and $1,258. The lowest possible estimate is $320 and the most lavish budget could climb as high as $6,000. It is important to consider that these general calculations only represent possible total cost without accounting several different aspects. The specific variations of the average water heater installation cost would depend on the location, the volume capacity, and the difficulty level of the labor.
Installation Rate Per Region
According to Apartment Therapy, a particular location can determine the overall water heater installation cost any household expects to pay. There are four different market regions in the United States. These are the following areas and their projected overall expenses:
- Region A: West Coast states that includes California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona comprises Region A. The average cost of installing a basic 40-gallon water heater is around $680 while a 50-gallon setup that includes additional cement riser and an overflow pipe is worth around $1,883.
- Region B: Midwest states like North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa comprises Region B. A basic 28-gallon water heater has a water installation cost worth $800. A 40-gallon water heater is somewhere between $1,300 and $1,800. For a huge 75-gallon water heater, the usual cost is somewhere around $2,200 which includes gas line supports and valve replacements.
- Region C: Region C encapsulates the East Coast states like Maine, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. In these states, the usual cost of installing a 40-gallon water heater is roughly around $1,100, although one can acquire bargain varieties as low as $335. For a 50-gallon capacity that includes a 12-year warranty, the usual household cost is around $1,200.
- Region D: The ‘Bible Belt’ and lower East Coast states like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware comprises the Region D market. The usual cost for installing a 50-gallon water heater is anywhere between $565 and $950. Prices could climb as high as $2,800 if a household installs an up-market device that has a 12-year warranty.
Tank Versus Tankless
The two types of water heaters are either tanks or tankless devices. Each has its own advantages in terms of return on investment. However, the benefits will depend on the particular circumstance favoring any household buyer.
A water heater tank is relatively easy to install that it may enable one can save significant expenses on labor cost as long as he or she has a working knowledge of plumbing and basic engineering. At the hands of a practiced technician, the water heater tank only takes 2 to 3 hours to install. When it comes to water heater price, tanks are almost half the price in comparison to tankless types.
Unfortunately, this variety consumes 30% excess energy to fulfill the intended volume requirement. On top of that, this type of water heater occupies a lot of space and has a short 12-year lifespan. Lastly, water heater tanks can only be set up indoors and require a number of additional small-scale building components like elevated platform, secure straps and insulator wrapping (blankets).
The water heater installation cost for tankless devices could climb as high as $3,000. Furthermore, the labor necessary to set up this type of water heater could take a total of 10 hours. Homeowners looking for an economical bargain could hardly choose a tankless type because it is very expensive. To top it all, its relatively young technology has not yet passed Energy Star assessments.
However, the people choosing tankless water heaters are usually those individuals who are looking ahead. Each year, the total cost spent on heating up water is 25% less. In addition to that, this variety of water heater only eats up a paltry 5% energy surplus to efficiently heat up any volume capacity. Tankless water heaters are priced for their flexibility because one can install multiple units for different household applications.
Why Is Gas Power Advantageous?
There are two sources of energy that water heater can use – natural gas or electricity. If one has to account the overall cost-efficiency, there are a number of key advantages that gas-powered water heater possess over conventional machines powered by electricity. The average water heater price per unit model is $50 to $1,500 cheaper. Furthermore, the overall cost one can accrue via gas power throughout the 12-year lifespan is only $4,979 as compared to the $6,248 worth of necessary expenses using electricity.
Gas-powered water heaters only fall short in terms of energy efficiency, which is why they aren’t a popular choice for small households (e.g. studio apartments). Using gas is more favorable for a larger household unit comprised of at least 5 inhabitants. In terms of volume recovery rate, gas-powered water heater tanks can salvage as much as 50 gallons per hour. Hence, one can easily appreciate the leverage in terms of convenience and frequency of use throughout the 24 hour period. If there is one notable advantage that a gas-powered water heater has over conventional machines powered by electricity, it is that they do not stop functioning despite the power outage.