How much does it cost to install a water heater?

17 November 2021


In every home, water heaters perform an important function. These units ensure that hot water is available throughout your home, making it easy to bathe, wash dishes, and do laundry. Water heater installation costs, in Canada, are anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on your options. Read on for extensive pricing information so you can make an informed decision regarding which water heater is best for your house and budget.

4 Signs to Replace a Hot Water Heater

The 4 signs to replace a hot water heater are: no warm water, loud noises, how old it is, and if there is a leak. A water heater problem can be electrical in some cases, but it can also be caused by something else. We’ll look at the most common problems with hot water heaters and determine whether it can be fixed or if it must be replaced.

No Hot Water

No hot water can be a sign of multiple faults, such as:

  • Heating Element: It’s possible that the heating element in the tank has failed or is failing, resulting in a sudden absence of hot water in your home. The heating element, which is commonly a coil, is housed inside an electric water tank. The electric connections might sometimes fail, resulting in the inability to heat the water effectively. A burner heats the water in gas-powered water heaters, and if not properly maintained, the burner can deteriorate over time.


  • Tank Size: If you frequently run out of hot water, it’s possible that your home’s appliances are consuming all of the hot water before you can use it. You may just require a larger tank to meet your household’s hot water requirements. An expert can examine the situation and recommend the right size water tank for you.

If you think either of these are the cause of your cold-water problem, you can have a professional inspect and replace these items.

Loud Noises

A hot water heater should typically create very little, if any, noise. If you hear weird or loud noises coming from your tank, this could indicate a problem that has to be addressed as soon as possible.

Sediment from the water will eventually accumulate at the bottom of the unit. If a home uses a lot of hot water or is in a location with unusually hard water, this problem might develop faster than usual. It becomes harder for the machine to adequately boil water after enough sediment has accumulated. This can put stress on the device, wear down the metal encasement, and lead to leaks.

It is recommended that homeowners have their tanks cleansed once a year by a professional. This removes the silt and extends the life of the water heater.

Water Leakage

If you notice water gathering around the tank or the pipes leading to it, there is most likely a problem. Leaks usually do not stop on their own. They can cause considerable property damage if ignored.

Your water heater could be leaking for a variety of reasons. One of the explanations could be the expansion of the metal of the tank. After many cycles of heating, the boiling water in the tank expands the metal composites, and cracks may appear. These fractures may only leak a small quantity at first, but when the pressure becomes too high to handle, they can become disastrous.

Another reason for water leaking around the water tank could be loose connections to the tank. Sometimes these can be tightened by a homeowner, but other times they will need to be replaced by a professional. A leaky pressure/overflow pipe could suggest a problem with the unit or a problem with the relief valve.  It is best to have these parts inspected by a professional to ensure that the device is functioning properly.

Types of Water Heaters

The types of water heaters that can be found on the market are tank water heaters, tankless water heaters, point-of-use hot water heaters, and solar-powered hot water heaters. Typically, homeowners prefer to try to repair their hot water heaters before replacing them entirely. A new hot water heater might cost several thousand dollars, including installation. Although it is unfortunate, it does give the homeowner a chance to upgrade their water heater.

Conventional Hot Water Heater

Conventional water heaters, often known as tank water heaters, are the standard tank and most popular form of hot water system found in Canadian households. These systems consist of a huge, insulated tank that holds 30 to 80 gallons of water (depending on tank size). These systems are usually fuelled by electricity or natural gas, some of them run on liquid propane or oil.

Despite their constant use, traditional hot water systems are often the most cost-effective in the long run, which is why they are so popular. They are virtually maintenance-free, and while manufacturers typically recommend having them examined and drained every 6 months to prevent the build-up of sediments and minerals, many traditional units can work for a decade or more with no maintenance.

On the negative side, these are rather huge devices that take up a lot of room. It’s also crucial to make sure you have the correct tank size for your household. These tanks might take up to an hour to reheat. This implies cold showers for families with a tiny tank.

Tankless Hot Water Heater

On-demand water heaters, also known as tankless water heaters, are advanced hot water systems that can produce consistent and infinite volumes of hot water as needed. Because of their convenience, these systems are becoming increasingly popular across Canada.

These on-demand units, unlike traditional hot water systems, do not have a tank in which hot water is stored. Instead, they are designed to heat hot water whenever it is required. These systems work by circulating cold water through superheated coils that may swiftly heat the water as needed. Tankless water heaters are often more expensive than traditional hot water systems. They are, however, an excellent option to ensure that even a large household has an infinite supply of hot water.

Point-of-Use Hot Water Heaters

Small water heaters situated near the plumbing fixture they will service are known as point-of-use water heaters. They come in both traditional and tankless versions, with the key difference being that their sole purpose is to supply hot water to that one fixture.

Point-of-use hot water systems are commonly used to provide hot water to a hot tub or placed in guest garage apartments or extra bathrooms if fewer than 20 gallons of water is required per day.

Solar-Powered Hot Water Heater

Solar-powered hot water systems heat your water by harnessing the sun’s energy. These systems perform best in warmer climates. They’re useless in places where snow covers the solar panels on the roof for several months of the year.

Solar-powered hot water systems contain a huge insulated tank in which hot water is held until it is ready to be used, similar to traditional hot water systems, with the key difference being how the water is heated.

Solar-system water heaters are particularly energy efficient, as they heat the water in the tank using electricity generated by their solar panels. The water tank itself may be put on your roof alongside the solar panels or elsewhere in your home, depending on your system.

Calculating Water Heater Replacement Cost

Water heater replacement cost is usually between $811 to $1,566, with an average of $1,176. Permit costs and carpentry work can add $50 to $1,500 or more to the final cost.

The type of water heater, as well as its position within the home, size, type of ventilation system, and materials, all affect the price. The cost of replacing a water heater is also influenced by the climate and fuel prices in the area where the residence is located.

Hot Water heater cost calculator

Here is a quick rundown of the costs you should budget for when replacing your tank:

  • Water tank: Tank-style water heater prices range from $700 to $2,000, including labor and materials. They typically last eight to fifteen years and can be powered by gas, propane, electricity, or solar energy. Tankless water heater costs can range from $1,000 to $3,000, and their longevity is more than 20 years.
  • Size: Tank-style heaters come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 20 to 100 gallons of storage, but the most popular is a 40-gallon tank. A 40-gallon tank is sufficient for a two-person family, but a 60- to 80-gallon tank would be preferable if you have more than five people. A 30-gallon tank-style water heater costs between $270 and $900, while an 80-gallon tank costs between $1,000 and $3,000.
  • Fuel type: Natural gas or electricity is used in all types of water heaters. Natural gas water heaters typically cost $100 to $200 more than electric water heaters. An electrical coil or a gas pilot light is used to heat the room.
  • Venting: There are two ways to vent a water heater: direct vent and power vent. The exhaust gases from a direct vent heater are vented through an exhaust pipe or chimney located above the unit. If converting from electricity to gas, this type of device can add $500 to $1,000 to the entire water heater replacement cost. A fan or a blower on a power vent heater pushes gases out of the house. The cost of this type of water heater can range from $300 to $600, with an additional $300 to $500 for wiring and electrical installation.

Labor Cost to Install a Water Heater

There are frequently additional cost concerns and considerations when budgeting for water heater replacement costs. Installing a conventional water heater might cost anywhere from $150 to $800 in labor. The size and kind of water heater, as well as the location of the installation, can affect labor expenses. Extended warranties, the removal and disposal of the old water heater, permits, the installation of water and gas lines, plumbing, electrical, or carpentry work, fuel conversions, and expansion tanks are all examples of additional costs.

Need help to install your water heater?

What size water heater do I need?

If you are asking yourself what size water heater do I need? You can follow these guidelines:

  • 30-40 gallons for 1 to 2 people
  • 40-50 gallons for 2 to 3 people
  • 50-60 gallons for 3 to 4 people
  • 60-80 gallons for a family of five or more

Need to replace your water heater?

Hot water is necessary for both comfort and health so you should not take any chances. Our licensed, skilled plumbers will verify that the plumbing systems in your house or business are compliant with the law.

Plomberie Pro-Drain can assist you with the replacement of your heater. If you require extensive plumbing services for a construction or renovation job, our professionals have the resources, equipment, employees, and, most importantly, expertize to ensure that all of your installations are stable, clean, and compliant with all applicable standards and legislation.

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