How much it costs to replace your water heater depends on many factors, so it’s impossible to give you an exact number without first seeing your current water heater.
But we can give you a rough range.
A traditional tank style water heater installed will usually run $700 to $2000 while a tankless water heater is much more, usually coming in between $3,200 and $4,500.
Some of the factors that affect the final price you’ll pay to replace your water heater in Minneapolis-St. Paul include:
- Size of water heater
- The ease (or difficulty) of the installation
- The plumber you hire
Cost factor #1: Water heater size
In general, the bigger the water heater, the more it will cost to purchase and install.
Traditional water heaters are sized based on how much hot water the tank can hold. This is measured in gallons. Tank water heaters are available in different sizes from 30-80 gallons.
To determine the size of traditional water heater you need, a plumber will take into account things like:
- How many people live in your home
- How many bathrooms you have
- How you currently use hot water (everyone showers in the morning, some shower in the evening, etc.)
Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are sized by the maximum temperature rise possible at a given flow rate. Let’s define those terms:
- Flow rate. Flow rate is the volume of water passing through the water heater. This is measured in gpm (gallons per minute).
- Temperature rise. Temperature rise is the number of degrees the water heater can raise the water temperature at a given flow rate.
As the flow rate (the volume of water) increases, the maximum temperature rise for a given water heater decreases.
To determine the right size tankless water heater you need, you need to calculate your peak hot water requirements. To do this:
- List the number of hot water devices you expect to use at any one time.
- Add up their flow rates (use the table below for help on flow rates). This is the desired flow rate you'll want for the tankless water heater.
- Determine temperature rise by subtracting the incoming water temperature from the desired output temperature.
You should now have a desired temperature rise at a given flow rate (gpm).
For example, let's say I want to be able to have 2 people shower at the same time. In Minneapolis, my incoming water temperature is around 50ºF and I want my shower to be around 104°F.
I’d want a tankless water heater with a temperature rise of 54°F (104-50°F) at 6 gpm (2 showers x 3 gpm each).
Still confused? That’s OK, a professional plumber can do the hard work for you.
Cost factor #2:The ease/difficulty of the installation
Another factor that affects the price of replacing your water heater is how easy or difficult the installation will be.
The more work a plumber has to do to get your water heater installed correctly, the more it may end up costing. Some things that can make the water heater installation more difficult (and cost more) are:
- The current water heater is installed incorrectly
- Plumbing connecting the water heater to your home isn’t up to code or is sloppy
- New plumbing (or gas line) has to be installed
- There are obstacles that have to be removed in order to remove your water heater
- The water heater is being moved to a different location (either because of lack of space or to make it more convenient for you)
- Improper venting or new venting needed
- Other plumbing appliances (like a water softener or recirculating pump) that need to be properly hooked up to the water heater
Cost factor #3: The plumber you hire
One of the biggest factors in the cost to replace a water heater is the plumber you hire. Some plumbers charge much more than others, even when installing the same product. Why?
Well, you’ve heard the saying “you get what you pay for”, right? It’s true in plumbing, too. There are many “plumbers” out there who don’t have the proper insurance or licenses so they can do things much more cheaply.
But be warned: They’re not really cheaper. You’ll likely end up paying for it in the end.
After all, you could purchase the best, most efficient water heater, but if it’s not installed right, it will cause all kinds of problems for you.
So don’t shop on price alone. Ask your friends and family members for recommendations. Check out online reviews. Do some research on the plumber you hire.
Schedule a water heater consultation
Want an exact price on what it would cost to replace your water heater? Contact us online. Our plumbers serve the entire Minneapolis-St. Paul area.