How Much Does It Cost to Install a 40-Gallon Water Heater?

National Average Range:
$850 - $2,600
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Reviewed by Paula Reguero. Written by

Hot water heaters are an indispensable part of any home. They come in many types, methods, and sizes to accommodate any home, fuel type, or water needs. If your family has low-to-moderate water needs with 3 to 4 people, a 40-gallon tank heater will be sufficient for your needs. Because tank-style heaters need to keep water warm until it is used, you want to be as close to what your family’s needs are to avoid spending too much on water heating costs.

The national average cost range to install a 40-gallon tank water heater is $850 to $2,600, with most people paying around $1,400 for a 40-gallon gas tank water heater that is a direct replacement for an existing model. This project’s low cost is $620 for a 40-gallon electric tank water heater installed in an open area. The high cost is $3,200 for a 40-gallon high-efficiency gas tank water heater requiring modifications in a difficult-to-reach area.

40-Gallon Water Heater Cost Calculator

40-gallon water heaters can meet the hot water needs of households with 3 to 4 members with low-to-moderate hot water needs. This unit size can be electric or powered by gas/propane. The latter comes in different efficiencies, making them more costly upfront but less costly to run over time. These factors, along with the location, whether it is ready for installation, and tank insulation, all impact the final project cost. The costs below are for differing qualities of 40-gallon tank hot water heaters fully installed.

40-Gallon Water Heater Costs
Zip Code Gallons
Basic Standard Best Quality
40-Gallon Water Heater Cost (Material Only) $350 - $600 $700 - $1,100 $1,200 - $1,700
40-Gallon Water Heater Installation Cost (Labor Only) $270 - $350 $400 - $600 $600 - $1,500
Total Costs $620 - $950 $1,100 - $1,700 $1,800 - $3,200
40-Gallon Water Heater Cost per Gallon $15.50 - $23.75 $27.50 - $42.50 $45.00 - $80.00

In general, electric hot water heaters are the least expensive to purchase and install. They are usually more costly to run long-term, however. Gas or propane 1 water heaters are more costly to purchase, set up, and install but have lower operating costs. Gas and propane heaters also come in varying efficiencies, meaning they can save even more long-term. An electric heater installed in an area that is already wired will cost the least. Standard gas heaters in direct-replacement situations are the standard. High-efficiency models installed in areas that need modifications to help them fit cost the most.

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Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Top manufacturers. There are many manufacturers of hot water heaters. Some of the most popular brands include Bosch, Reliant, Rheem, and Bradford White.
  • Lifespan. Water heaters should last a minimum of 10 to 15 years, although some may last longer.
  • Maintenance. Water heater maintenance includes draining the tank periodically to clean out any sediment that may have built up on the bottom, and inspections ensure it continues to work the way it should.
  • Mounting. 40-gallon hot water tanks are large enough to be primarily floor-mounted. It is rare to find one that can be wall-mounted at this size.
  • Piping. If you need additional plumbing to connect the unit to the water supply, expect additional costs of $8 to $10 per linear foot.
  • Permit. You do not need a permit for a hot water heater in most areas, but this depends on your location. Always check with your municipality to find out if a permit is required.


  • How much should a 40-gallon water heater cost?

The cost of the unit itself averages $350 to $1,700. The average installed cost ranges from $850 to $2,600.

  • Is a 40-gallon water heater enough for a family of 4?

If your water needs are low to moderate, then yes. If you have a performance shower or high water needs, you should upgrade.

  • What is the life expectancy of a 40-gallon water heater?

Most heaters last a minimum of 10 to 15 years, but some may last longer.

  • How many showers can you take with a 40-gallon water heater?

This depends on several factors. The average shower with only one head uses 2 gallons of water per minute. You will likely mix some cold water into your hot water, so you can assume a single 40-minute shower, two 20-minute showers, or four 10-minute showers before you will run out of hot water.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Propane 1 Propane: A hydrocarbon gas used as a common fuel source

Cost to install a 40-gallon water heater varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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