Your hot water heater is one of the most important appliances you have in your home. Think about it – without the heater, you can’t take hot showers or even wash clothes. Luckily, these heaters tend to be durable. They don’t have problems often, but when they do, you don’t want to wait around for a solution! When you need a hot water heater replaced, you want it done quickly. And just because it’s an emergency, that doesn’t mean you should:
- Pay too much for it
- Rush the decision
- Regret your choice!
How Much Should a Hot Water Heater Cost?Of course, the cost of any maintenance will depend in part, on what went wrong. When it comes to water heaters, the gas tank is the element most likely to fail. Depending on the tank’s size and efficiency, it could cost $350 to $800. What about a complete new installation? The folks at Home Advisor have estimated the cost anywhere between $725 and $1,261.
Save Money by Picking the Right Gas Hot Water HeaterYou can save a lot of money now and in the future by picking a hot water heater that closely matches the size your family needs. The right tank will reduce total cost of ownership over time. A tank that closely meets your needs will also tend to heat the right amount of water faster. Read up on our article about propane gas water heater sizing to learn more! These general guidelines will help
- A family of two has lower peak demand and should use a 40-50 gallon tank;
- Families of 3-4 should choose a 50-75 gallon tank;
- Families with five or more members? A 75-100 gallon tank.
Cost to Install a Hot Water Heater: Is DIY Worth It?Those who are handy around the house might look at a hot water heater and think the process will be pretty easy. We’ll be frank – there are PARTS that are! Overall, though, it’s not usually worth it to do it yourself. Why? Three main reasons:
- If anything goes wrong, there’s a chance of dangerous propane leaks;
- Less dangerous (but still bothersome) water leaks can also take place;
- Is that really how you want to spend your whole Saturday afternoon?
What to Expect from Your Hot Water Heater InstallationA professional installation will take anywhere from two to three hours. After the work is done, the old hot water heater needs to be safely disposed of. Your installer might be able to help, but you’ll have to learn what the disposal options are in your community. Contact the city or county for a run-down of the possible disposal sites. Remember, you’ll usually have to pay a separate disposal fee if the unit can’t be recycled.
How Do You Know When You Need a New Hot Water Heater?Hopefully, your hot water heater hasn’t broken down already! If you’re reading this before your heater goes bad, good on you for planning ahead. Most signs that a hot water heater is getting ready to “go” are easy to spot:
- Water is not getting hot, or taking a very long time to heat up;
- You hear popping, cracking, or clanking sounds from the unit;
- Water is coming out rusty, not clear;
- The unit is older than seven or eight years old.