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Question DetailsAsked on 3/17/2012

1500$ for new 30 gal gas water heater installation: too expensive? Less expensive solutions?

We just had our 1995 gas water heater replaced with 30 gal 5yr warranty water heater by a licensed plumber. Total cost with parts and materials is 1500$.(including the catch and drain pan). The price of the water heater itself in Sears in 350. Isn't it too expensive to pay 1500$? Are there any less expensive solutions? Maybe hire a Sears associate rather than a plumber?

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Voted Best Answer

That price certainly isn't out of line. You may have been able to find somebody who would have done it a bit cheaper, but you could probably have found a lot that would have charged more. The price would have gone up, if they had to run new vents, or a new chimney, or new gas piping.

One last thing: You can extend the life of a waterheater by replacing the di-electric rod every few years or so. The rod is meant to corrode which prevents the inside walls of the heater from corroding and rusting away. Once the di-electric rod rots away, the water heater walls begin to deteriorate.

Answered 8 years ago by JGHamm


The question of what a water heater replacement should cost is one of Angie's List most popular questions - 60 answers on that direct question now - link here -

Consensus of those responses seems to be about $1000 plus or minus $200 for a normal 35-45 gallon heater without significant safety retrofits required.

This is why you get a couple of quotes unless you already have a contractor you trust to do the job right and at a fair price. Course, if it was leaking and needed immediate replacement, that narrows your timeframe for getting quotes.

At least in my area (a quite high cost area, though not up to Chicago or Boston or NYC levels) the $350 sounds right for a 30 gallon heater - here a normal installation, barring severe access problems, would have been about $250-400 labor and miscellaneous parts, bringing your total to $600-750 total. BTW - the drain pan is not a big thing - from about $15-40 for a pefectly suitable plastic or metal one. Areas with very pricey permits more.

This assumes that you did not need retrofitting of mandated safety features now required by code that were not on your original installation - like expansion tank, backflow preventer, changeout of gas shutoff valve and flex tubing, installation of seismic restraints, etc.

I would suspect you got the water heater from the installer - I know our local plumbers use a 100% markup on water heaters - so that would drive your price way up. That is one reason why Sears and the box stores are commonly cheaper for water heater installs - they do not mark up the water heater cost, and charge about the same as the competition for labor. Whether the quality of their work is as reliable and safe depends entirelyon the experience and workmanship of the installer.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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