How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electric Water Heater?

Average range: $950 - $1,500
Low
$660
Average Cost
$1,035
High
$2,025
(installing a 40-gallon water heater adding electrical)

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How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electric Water Heater?

Average range: $950 - $1,500
Low
$660
Average Cost
$1,035
High
$2,025
(installing a 40-gallon water heater adding electrical)

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Reviewed by Adam Graham. Written by Fixr.com.

When showering, doing laundry, and washing dishes, hot water is produced by the water heater. The two most popular water heaters are gas and electric. Electric water heaters are less expensive to purchase and maintain than gas models, and they are also more energy-efficient. Homeowners can choose tank, tankless, or hybrid variations of electric water heaters, depending on their needs.

The national average cost for an electric water heater with installation is $950 to $1,500. Most homeowners pay $1,225 for an installed 40-gallon electric tank water heater. This project’s low cost is $650 for an installed 20-gallon electric tank water heater. The high cost is $4,500 for an installed 80-gallon hybrid electric water heater with additional electrical and finish work.

Electric Water Heater Cost

Average Cost of Electric Water Heater
National average cost$1,225
Average range$950-$1,500
Minimum cost$650
Maximum cost$4,500


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Electric Water Heater Installation Cost by Project Range

Low
$660
Basic installation without electrical changes
Average Cost
$1,035
Installing a 40-gallon water heater adding electrical
High
$2,025
Smart capabilities and reconfiguring the spot

Electric Water Heater Cost by Type

Electric water heaters can be storage tanks, tankless, or hybrid. Storage tank water heaters keep hot water ready to go, and tankless water heaters heat water on demand without storing water in advance. Both storage tanks and tankless water heaters might be a good option, depending on your needs. Hybrid water heaters switch between heating with a heat pump during times of high water usage, while using standard electric resistance for everyday needs.


Cost of Tank, Tankless, and Hybrid Electric Water Heater

Cost of Tank, Tankless, and Hybrid Electric Water Heater


Type of Electric Water HeaterAverage Unit Costs
Tank$350 - $1,000
Tankless$450 - $1,500
Hybrid$1,200 - $2,500


Electric Water Heater Cost (Tank)

The most common water heater is the tank heater, also known as a storage water heater. Storage water heaters cost $350 to $1,000. Tank heaters use a storage tank to hold a ready supply of hot water. Tanks come in various sizes, ranging from 20 to 100 gallons, and units last for 10 to 15 years. Since hot water is always available in the tank, conventional electric water heaters are a good choice for homeowners who use a lot of hot water in a short time.

The price of a storage water heater is typically lower than a tankless or hybrid water heater. However, standby energy loss from keeping the water hot increases operational costs. The heat loss costs can be mitigated with an insulated energy-efficient tank.

Electric Tankless Water Heater Cost

Expect to pay an average of $450 to $1,500, including installation, for an electric tank water heater. Tankless water heaters heat on demand and do not store heated water. They can last for 20 years or more before needing replacement. According to Energy.gov, the tankless direct heating method translates to an 8-34% increase in energy efficiency compared to storage water heaters.

The downside of tankless water heaters is that the water heater may not keep up with demand if the homeowner uses multiple hot water sources simultaneously. These heaters also have a higher initial cost than storage tank models.

There are two types of tankless water heaters. Point-of-use heaters are cheaper but only heat water in one room. Whole-house heaters are more expensive and provide hot water for a 3-bedroom home. You need more than one heater if you have a larger-than-average home. This dramatically increases your costs.

Electric Hybrid Water Heater Cost

A hybrid electric water heater costs $1,200 to $2,500 with installation. Hybrid electric water heaters, or heat pump water heaters, combine elements of both tank and tankless water heaters. They use rapid electric heating during periods of high demand and revert to on-demand hot air tank heating during normal demand. This adaptiveness allows heat pump water heaters to operate at 2-3 times the efficiency of a tank water heater. Energy Star estimates a hybrid water heater can save homeowners almost $300 a year compared to a tank heater. Hybrid heaters are particularly well-suited for warm climates.

Hybrid water heaters have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years, similar to tank heaters. The improved efficiency comes at a higher upfront cost, however.


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Electric Water Heater Price by Number of Gallons

Storage tank water heaters typically hold between 20 and 60 gallons of hot water at once. Some models can hold 100 gallons of water. To know which size water heater you need, calculate the first-hour rating (FHR). The FHR is how many gallons of hot water a storage tank can supply in one hour. On the yellow EnergyGuide sticker, the FHR is usually labeled “capacity.” To calculate your needs, determine your peak demand hour or what time of day you use the hottest water at home. If everyone showers in the morning or at night, morning or evening are your peak demand.

The average family of four uses 100 gallons of hot water daily, between showers, the dishwasher, and washing laundry. However, a 100-gallon tank is unnecessary because you do not use all 100 gallons in an hour. Remember, the FHR is how many gallons of hot water are produced in one hour. A 40-gallon tank produces 40 gallons every hour.

Tankless water heaters provide a gallons-per-minute rating (GPM) because they do not hold water. This water heater provides heated water on demand and often does not run out of hot water like a storage tank.

Since hybrid water heaters have a tank, they are sized the same as a conventional tank water heater with the FHR calculation method. Note that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not require an EnergyGuide label on heat pump water heaters like standard storage tank water heaters, so you may need to consult the product guide for the FHR of a hybrid heater.


Cost per Unit of a 20-Gallon, 30-Gallon, 40-Gallon, 50-Gallon, or 80-Gallon Electric Tank and Electric Hybrid Water Heater

Cost per Unit of a 20-Gallon, 30-Gallon, 40-Gallon, 50-Gallon, or 80-Gallon Electric Tank and Electric Hybrid Water Heater


Number of GallonsAverage Cost per Unit (Tank)Average Cost per Unit (Hybrid)
20 Gallons$350 - $500NA
30 Gallons$400 - $600$1,100 - $1,300
40 Gallons$400 - $1,100$1,100 - $1,400
50 Gallons$450 - $1,500$1,400 - $2,500
80 Gallons$800 - $2,200$1,600 - $3,000


20-Gallon Electric Hot Water Heater Price

An electric 20-gallon tank water heater costs $350 to $500. A 20-gallon hot water heater is the smallest standard-sized heater and typically not available in hybrid models. This size water heater is best suited for a single-person household because water runs out quickly if multiple people take showers and shave during the same hour.

Cost of a 30-Gallon Electric Water Heater

A 30-gallon electric water heater costs $400 to $600 for a tank version or $1,100 to $1,300 for a hybrid model. A 30-gallon hot water heater usually meets the needs of two people. This allows both parties to take consecutive showers at 10 gallons per shower with an additional 10 gallons left for shaving and dishwashing or laundry.

40-Gallon Electric Water Heater Price

The average 40-gallon tank electric heater costs $400 to $1,100, while the hybrid version is $1,100 to $1,400. A 40-gallon hot water heater is a good fit for two to three people with regular-to-low usage. This size is one of the most common household water tank sizes.

50-Gallon Electric Water Heater Cost

Expect to pay $450 to $1,500 for a 50-gallon tank or $1,400 to $2,500 for a hybrid heater. A 50-gallon electric water heater supports three to four people with average use. Families with several children often upgrade to this size.

Cost of an 80-Gallon Electric Water Heater

Budget $800 to $2,200 for an 80-gallon tank or $1,600 to $3,000 for a hybrid version. Large families of five or more and high-use households with three to four people should opt for an 80-gallon electric water heater. This heater size accommodates five consecutive or concurrent showers with 30 gallons left for shaving, dishwashing, or laundry within the same hour.

Electric Water Heater Cost by Brand

The two most common types of electric water heaters are tank and tankless. Both are available from a wide range of brands, and average prices vary by brand. Some brands produce tank and tankless water heaters, while others produce only one.


Cost of Black and Decker, Reliance, Rheem, EcoSmart, Bosch, Stiebel Eltron, Westinghouse...Electric Water Heater

Cost of Black and Decker, Reliance, Rheem, EcoSmart, Bosch, Stiebel Eltron, Westinghouse...Electric Water Heater


BrandAverage Costs (Tank)Average Costs (Tankless)
MareyN/A$200 - $550
Black & DeckerN/A$400 - $700
Reliance$400 - $600N/A
Rheem$400 - $800$400 - $1,000
EcoSmartN/A$425 - $1,600
BoschN/A$500 - $1200
Stiebel EltronN/A$700 - $1,700
Westinghouse$800 - $1,300$900 - $1,700
Bradford White$650 - $2,100$1,000 - $2,500


Marey Electric Water Heater Price

The cost of a Marey tankless electric water heater is between $200 and $550. Marey started in Puerto Rico in the 1950s and now offers products globally. Marey makes economy-size tankless water heaters known for reliability. They do not have a tank version. Most products are considered point-of-use, meaning they handle water for one or two rooms. This is a good option for a bathroom addition so that you do not need to upgrade your entire system.

Black & Decker Electric Water Heater Price

The cost of a Black & Decker tankless electric water heater averages $400 to $700. Black & Decker is a recognized tool manufacturer, but they also produce water heaters. Black & Decker electric water heaters are available in a tankless-only version. They have point-of-use and small whole-house models. This can handle a three-bedroom home. They have a limited range of options compared to other companies.

Reliance Electric Water Heater Price

The cost of a Reliance electric water heater ranges from $400 to $600. Reliance was developed in 1981 and became a subsidiary of A. O. Smith Corp. in 2001. The company is known for producing environmentally friendly water heaters made with new green technology. Reliance electric water heaters are currently available in tank-only models. They also make a range of heater sizes. Most are Energy Star rated and keep energy costs down while still having a tank model heater.

Rheem Electric Water Heater Price

The cost of a Rheem electric water heater is $400 to $800 for a tank model and $400 to $1,000 for a tankless model. Rheem is a well-known water heater manufacturer, having been in business since 1925. Today, it is the largest water heating product manufacturer. Rheem offers high-end features like the EcoNet Wi-Fi system to support maintenance reminders, mobile temperature control, and automatic water shut-off if a leak occurs. They make a full range of sizes in point-of-use and whole-house models in their tankless lines.

EcoSmart Electric Water Heater Price

The cost of an EcoSmart tankless electric water heater is between $425 and $1,600. EcoSmart products are produced by Rheem as a more efficient and energy-saving line of heaters. EcoSmart products are covered by a manufacturer warranty if they are professionally installed. EcoSmart water heaters are only available as tankless models and are less efficient in colder climates. This means you must size up in a cold climate to get the same number of gallons per minute as in a warmer climate.

Bosch Electric Water Heater Price

The cost of a Bosch electric hot water heater averages $500 to $1,200. Bosch is a German company known for producing high-quality products since 1886. Bosch water heaters are dependable and affordable options for homeowners. Bosch currently makes tankless hot water heaters in a range of sizes, including point-of-use and whole-house models. They also make models designed for easier plug-in installation.

Stiebel Eltron Electric Water Heater Price

The cost of a Stiebel Eltron electric water heater ranges from $700 to $1,700. Stiebel Eltron is a German company founded in 1924 and is known for manufacturing and engineering excellence. They currently produce only tankless water heaters. They emphasize energy savings with their models, and most are designed for whole-house use.

Westinghouse Electric Water Heater Price

A Westinghouse electric water heater costs between $800 and $1,300 for a tank heater and $900 to $1,700 for a tankless version. Westinghouse was founded in Pittsburgh in 1886 and has a range of sizes and options for tank and tankless versions. They also have eco-friendly models and energy-saving options.

Bradford White Electric Water Heater Price

A Bradford White electric water heater costs $650 to $2,100 for a tank-style heater and $1,000 to $2,500 for a tankless version. Bradford White is the brand of choice for many builders because of a stellar reputation for durability, longevity, and high performance. Both tank and tankless versions come in a range of sizes. They specialize in larger tanks and whole-house tankless options. They also have many energy-saving options available in both lines.


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Electric Water Heater Installation Cost

A professionally licensed plumber knows how to properly install water heaters. They can also apply for permits when necessary and hire an electrician for electrical components. A professional can install a hot water heater in one day and sometimes in as little as a few hours.

On average, a professional plumber charges between $45 and $200 an hour. Electric water heater installation costs generally include the water heater, permit, electrical upgrades, labor, and old water heater removal. Expect to pay a total of $270 to $1,000 for installation, depending on the heater type. Tank heaters are the least expensive to install because tankless versions must be cut into the wall.

If electrical circuits and wiring are already in place, you might not have to make any changes. If not, it costs about $4 per foot to add electricity to power your unit. If you need 30 feet of wire and a circuit breaker installed, the cost is approximately $120.

The chart below outlines the average installation cost range for each electric water heater:


Cost to Install a Tank, Hybrid, or Tankless Electric Water Heater

Cost to Install a Tank, Hybrid, or Tankless Electric Water Heater


Type of Electric Water HeaterAverage Installation Costs
Tank$270 - $520
Hybrid$300 - $600
Tankless$500 - $1,000


Electric Water Heater Installation Cost (Tank)

Expect typical installation costs of a tank electric water heater to average $270 to $520. Tank electric water heaters are the easiest to install because the unit is self-contained. All that must be done is place the unit, connect it to the water source, and tie it into the electrical system. Modifying or extending the electrical source to connect to the heater adds additional time and cost.

Electric Hybrid Water Heater Installation Cost

Installation costs for electric hybrid water heaters average $300 to $600. Hybrid water heaters fall in the mid-range of installation pricing because they are less complicated to install than a tankless heater but more involved than a storage tank model.

Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost

Expect to pay $500 to $1,000 for the installation of an electric tankless water heater. They can take up to 8 hours to install, depending on the location. Installation of this electric water heater is more involved than the tank model because an access hole must be cut in the wall. After the heater installation, you may need to have a carpenter repair the access hole and create a finished access door.

Cost to Replace an Electric Water Heater

Expect replacement labor costs to be $90 to $450 plus an additional $45 to $65 for removal and $50 for disposal. Some installation companies waive the removal and disposal fees if you purchase your new heater from them.

When changing from electric to gas or gas to electric and new access spaces are required, factor in an extra $100 to $1,500 for items like installing new wiring, gas lines, and plumbing and carpentry costs.

Cost to Run an Electric Water Heater

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, homeowners spend roughly $285 to $305 per year to operate an electric water heater. This is a per-heater and average use cost, so adjust the estimate accordingly if your home has more than one water heater or has heavy water usage.

The Department of Energy (DOE) notes there are ways to save on your water heating bill. They advise taking short showers versus baths, replacing any pre-1992 showerheads with low-flow models, and turning the water off when you are not actively using it, such as when brushing your teeth. Decreasing the water heater’s temperature setting also pays off with 3-5% savings for every 10º Fahrenheit temperature reduction. The DOE recommends an optimal setting of 120º Fahrenheit.

For bonus savings, fix any leaks, wash laundry on cold, and consider installing a timer to turn your heater off during the night when not using it. These and other conservation measures create cumulative savings.

Cost to Convert a Gas Water Heater to Electric

Converting from a gas to an electric water heater is straightforward and incurs minimal additional costs beyond those generally associated with a water heater replacement. Expect to pay an extra $250 to $600 to run electrical lines and transition from a gas to an electric heater.

Homeowners who want to trade in an electric water heater for a gas model have more logistics and costs to address. While both heaters must be plumbed, a gas heater also requires a gas line and venting. Running the gas line and creating a vent system adds to the time and installation cost. Budget an additional $1,500 for an electric-to-gas conversion.


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Electric Water Heater Maintenance

No matter the type of water heater purchased, regular maintenance extends the heater’s life cycle.

For storage water heaters, a quarter of the tank’s water should be flushed every 3 months. Pressure valves and temperatures should be checked every 6 months, and anode rods may need to be replaced periodically. Test the temperature-pressure release valve by opening it to check for water flow. If water continues to pour out when released, replace the valve. You can also insulate the pipes and water heater tank to maintain temperatures and prevent condensation.

To clean the tank, drain all the water. Allow cold water to flow to the bottom to rinse the sediment. Continue to add water and drain until the water flows clear. Replace the water in the tank.

Maintaining a tankless water heater is more difficult and requires additional effort. It should be cleaned every 6 months to 2 years. Each water heater comes with instructions on how to clean it if you choose to do it. Generally speaking, you need to close all the water valves and use a hosing line with vinegar to flush it multiple times. Hiring a professional plumber is a safer option because they have the know-how and equipment.

Electric Water Heater Energy Efficiency

According to Energy Star, water heaters account for “the second-highest source of energy usage in the home.” Each water heater type comes with energy efficiency information. Energy-efficient electric water heaters can reduce utility bills. Costs average between $400 and $600 a year in energy, depending on the unit type, size, and usage, such as the number of showers and people using the hot water.

Newer hot water tanks are more energy-efficient. Replacing your older model with a new one saves money on your utility bill. Energy Star estimates their certified electric storage heaters use 50% of a standard model’s energy. The improved efficiency results in an estimated savings of up to $3,500 over the heater’s lifetime, depending on the tank type. The EnergyGuide label, usually posted on the tank, tells you how much energy consumption a tank demands and the average cost per year to run, or the average savings per year.

Hybrids have three or four operating modes for different efficiencies, depending on the needs. Efficiency/economy mode maximizes efficiency and energy savings and is best for occasional use. Auto/hybrid mode is best for daily use and utilizes sustained heat to heat the water. Electric/heater mode uses the electric element to heat water, is for high-demand periods, such as when everyone is taking a shower, and is the least efficient. Some models also have a vacation setting, which puts the unit in a sleep mode to keep it from operating. Energy Star estimates an average family of 4 can save $330 per year on heating costs by choosing a hybrid electric model versus a tank design.


White Electric Tank Water Heater in Blue Tiled Bathroom


Electric vs Gas Water Heater

Most water heaters run on electricity or gas. Each power source has pros and cons, depending on the homeowner’s needs.

An electric water heater is less expensive to purchase and install, has no safety concerns, and requires less maintenance than a gas water heater. Electric heaters come in a range of sizes and run more efficiently than gas models. The downsides of electric water heaters are higher monthly costs, slower heating time, and they cannot heat in power outages without a generator.

Gas-powered water heaters offer lower monthly energy costs. Gas heaters also heat water faster and can be used in a power outage. They come in a range of sizes, and high-efficiency models are available. The downsides of gas water heaters are higher upfront costs, more energy loss, additional maintenance, and safety concerns from potential gas leaks.

For comparison, a 40-gallon water heater with installation costs $950 to $1,500, and the same-size gas water heater with installation costs $1,300 to $2,600.

Oil-Fired Hot Water Heater vs Electric

Water heaters most often run on natural gas or electricity, but other fuel sources can also work. Some water heaters use heating oil. Heating oil and propane are typically used for situations when natural gas is unavailable. There are pros and cons to choosing an oil heater.

The oil for an oil-fired hot water heater is stored in an external tank and must be delivered to your home. If you forget to schedule a delivery and run out of oil, your heater will not work. Although oil is the primary fuel source for this heater, electricity is still required. And since oil heaters are not as common as natural gas or electric, fewer models are available, and costs are higher. Expect to pay around $1,000 to $3,000 for an oil-fired water heater.

The advantages of an oil hot water heater include lower operational costs and a longer lifespan, which can be 20 to 25 years. For these reasons, oil-fired water heaters may be a good choice for homeowners who expect to remain in the same home for several decades.


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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Specialty Tanks

Specialty tanks that include mobile alerts and smart capabilities have a higher cost, between $600 and $1,900. Smart water heaters can set controls and change the water temperature and operating modes.

Expansion Tanks

An expansion tank is a small tank sitting with the water heater and protects an enclosed water heater system. In a closed water system, pressure from your water heater can build up without having anywhere to go. In an open system, this pressure can bleed into the municipal water supply, but closed systems can be damaged by excess pressure. An expansion tank gives the pressure a place to expand into. Some cities require expansion tanks for homeowners if they have a closed system. An expansion tank costs $45.

Earthquake-Prone Regions

In earthquake-prone regions, water heaters can topple over. Water heaters should be strapped to the wall with special straps if you live in an earthquake-prone region or have loose flooring. Small tanks can also be hung up to keep them off the floor.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits. Water heater installation and removal require permits in most states. Plumbers include this in their quoted price.
  • Electrician. If an electrician is needed, they may charge a flat rate or per hour. The average per-hour rate is $40 to $120. New wiring and circuitry can take two to three hours, making the total cost between $80 and $360.
  • Old unit removal. Removal and disposal are typically included in the quote. Labor costs $45 to $65, and disposal fees are around $50. If you are savvy, you can remove it and salvage the parts.
  • Measuring. For the most efficient installation, measure the old water heater and location and find a heater that fits the space.
  • Safety concerns. While changing a water heater DIY is an option, most people do not understand the code and needs for changing a water heater. Untrained homeowners should not play around with electrical panels or wiring.
  • Drywall panels. New water heaters are often bigger than older, out-of-date models and require changes for the water heater to fit. Drywall panels range in cost from $40 to $60. Depending on the size expansion, you may need one to four panels.
  • Lifespan. The average lifespan of an electric water heater ranges from 10 to 20 years.
  • Scalding. Avoid scalding by setting the correct water temperature, 120º Fahrenheit.
  • Leaks. Water heaters are known to leak, especially if they are old. Keep a buffer between them and storage items nearby, and watch out for floor damage.
  • Warranty. Most water heaters come with a 6-year tank-and-parts warranty and a 1-year labor warranty. If anything goes wrong with the tank after 1 year, you must cover labor at a rate of between $45 and $200 per hour. After 6 years, homeowners also pay for parts, or a new tank must be purchased.
  • Solar water heaters. Solar water heaters use the sun to heat water. You can use a solar water heater instead of an electrical one to save costs. Solar water heaters range from $150 to $750. They are more expensive to install but save money in the long run.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to install an electric water heater?

The average price to install a new electric hot water heater is between $270 and $1,000, depending on the type.

  • How long does it take for a 20-gallon electric water heater to heat up?

A 20-gallon electric water heater should fully heat up in 30 to 40 minutes in most cases.

  • Are new electric hot water heaters more efficient?

A new Energy Star certified electric water heater is more efficient than standard models and uses half the energy.

  • Should I replace my 15-year-old water heater?

The average lifespan of a tank or hybrid water heater is 10 to 15 years. However, Energy Star recommends replacing water heaters every 10 years to avoid potential leaks and flooding. Based on this recommendation, a 15-year-old water heater is overdue for replacement.

Cost to install an electric 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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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources
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Cost to install an electric water heater varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources