New Water Heater Considerations

You rely on your water heater morning, noon, and night, all year long. Unlike some appliances in your home, it doesn’t get any time off. After all, when it comes to delivering hot water whenever you need it, there is no “off-season”.

That’s part of the reason why water heaters have limited shelf lives – up to about 12 years for a tank-style system. But, with a little forethought and planning, you can be better prepared when it’s time to replace old with new. Sure, you can simply purchase a newer version of what you have now, but if your family has grown or shrunk in recent years – among other possible life changes – that might not be the best call.

Here are some things to consider when replacing a water heater.

Average Cost

The average cost to replace a water heater ranges from about $800 to $1500. The factors that affect cost include style, size, location within the home, type of ventilation system, as well as any required carpentry work or permits.

Style: Tank vs. Tankless

A traditional tank-style water heater stores hot water in a large tank, typically between 30 to 80 gallons. They’re often easy to install – for a licensed plumber! – and can run on propane, gas, electricity, and even solar power. Because water heaters are always “on”, they use a significant amount of energy to maintain a constant temperature.  

While tankless water heaters cost two to three times more than tank-style units, they supply an endless amount of hot water without storing any of it. Plus, they can last 20 years or more.


A family of two should receive an adequate amount of hot water from a 40-gallon tank-style water heater. But if your family went from a party of two to a party of five since your water heater was installed, you could benefit from a 60 or 80-gallon tank. If going the tankless route, consider that larger homes may need two or more units to provide sufficient hot water on demand.

Additional Considerations

  • In addition to the cost of the water heater, labor costs can vary due to the type, size, location of the installation, and removal/disposal of the old water heater.
  • If your existing water heater runs on electricity, you may consider switching to gas if you already have a gas line to your home.
  • Check with your local building department to see if you’ll need a permit to have the water heater replaced.

Homeowners from throughout the Inland Empire rely on Plumbtastic for trustworthy advice, expert installation, plus ongoing maintenance and, when needed, timely repair services. For a steady and reliable supply of hot water, contact Plumbtastic today.

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