Gas water heaters cost a bit more up front to purchase, but usually pay for themselves within the first year or two of use.
If you are the type of person that doesn’t mind paying more up front to save money later (a long-term thinker, in other words), then you should not be alarmed to know that the installation costs for a gas water heater are usually higher than for other types of water heaters.
Installation Considerations for Gas Heaters
Here are the facts regarding gas water heater installation and whether you should tackle this job by yourself or have a professional do it:
Gas can be risky
Gas water heaters are tricky because they involve gas, of course. That means that you need to be extra careful about the circulation of gas in your home.
If you are not confident in your ability to ensure proper ventilation as you do this job, or your ability to ensure no leakage at the conclusion of this job, then call a pro (just fill out this form to get up to 4 free quotes from qualified contractor in your area).
Near the end of this installation, you will need to apply piping compound to ensure a long-lasting, tight fit so that no gas escapes. If you do not have experience in joining such pipes for years of trouble-free use, then you might not want to make your debut on such a risky job.
Lots of plumbing
Installation of these hot water heaters involves lots of plumbing work as well. If you do not have pipe wrenches, hacksaws or tubing cutters, you probably will not be able to do this job on your own. At some point, you might have to cut water line connections to fit; that requires particular tools for the job.
Installation may have to meet codes
Do you know what the codes are for your home and city? If your home is older and you want to install a gas water heater, you will need to check and make sure that the installation of your heater meets code specifications.
If that extra step sounds like a hassle, then you should probably call in a licensed professional to install your heater.
Hard to carry a water heater alone
Do you have a good friend that is ready to help?
When you need to move the old heater out of the way, it will be very heavy. If you don’t have a buddy willing to give up 2-4 hours of his/her time, then you should probably use a professional technician.
For those who have hot water heaters already in place, or want to know how to maximize energy efficiency once the new one is installed, consider these tips:
Gas water heaters typically cost more to have installed than other hot water heaters. That is because a licensed plumber is often necessary (depending on building codes and the age of your home), and their rates are a bit higher.
You need someone who is familiar with the codes in your area, and the extra steps needed to meet those codes also boost the price.
Some homeowners report getting installation done for $200-$300, but others have paid into four figures for this job. It all depends on the type and size of your water heater and codes that need to be met.