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Question DetailsAsked on 3/3/2017

how much should an electric water heater install cost

50 gallon tank replacing a 10 gallon tank

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Here is a link to about 137 answers to that question - that is one of the most-asked questions on this site:


http://answers.angieslist.com/How-wat...


Ballpark numbers - normally about $1000-1800 for the water heater and installation depending on brand and local labor charges and accessibility, sometimes as low as $600-800 in very low cost areas and weith cheaper brand heater.


In your case, the 10 gallon one undoubtedly was 110/120V (if not gas), so you will most likely need a new power run to it from the breaker box by an Electrician - using load specs from the plumber for the heater you choose. This should be installed in advance so the plumber has powewr to test the installed heater. Can run from a low of about $300 if only a few foot run and through exposed studs (like in a garage) or run with surface conduit, to as much as $400-700 if a long run to the breaker panel. Plus several hundred $ (or more depending on interior finishes and length of run) for a Handyman to repair drywall damage from getting access to run the cable, and repainting. This assumes your panel has the capacity to add the new load and breakers - if not (usually only for older or very small houses) then cost for a secondary or enlarged panel can be substantial, so make sure you have the whole picture on cost up-front.


If you have natural gas service to the house already, personally I would recommend going with a gas heater - would mean running new gas line to it maybe from some gas line in the house or at the meter, but generally over a 3-5 year period or so that cost would be far more than recouped in lower energy bills.


This assumes you have adequate headroom for the larger heater (typically need roughly 5 feet vertical space to ceiling for a 50 gallon electric heater, or about 6 feet for gas though there are stubby ones available at added cost if needed which can bring that down to about 5 feet.


It also assumes it will sit on floor or existing appliance platform - because if in attic (terrible place for HVAC appliances in my opinion) may cost another couple hundred to have a supporting platform built to handle the weight - about 500# when filled. IF in garage and is not sitting up on a proper platform (for fuel vapor explosion risk reduction) similar cost to build a platform for it to sit on - though in that case any boiler or furnace in that area that is not on a platform might need raising too, which would be more costly.


One other factor - if existing heater is gas, will cost probably additional $50-150 to cap off or abandon the existing flue if you change to electric - cutting out and capping at junction with furnace/boiler if gas, or abandoning/capping at the bottom and roof if a stand-alone flue. If abandoning, generally easier to cap at the roof, then have the roofers cut it off and recap just below the sheathing the next time the roof is redone - that eliminates having to do some reroofing if you remove it totally now.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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