For those, if you who didn’t switch to tankless water heaters, the next article will clear things out for sure.
Even if tankless water heaters are energy-efficient (they cut down the amount of water and fuel you consume), several aspects impact the final price for the installation. It’s not only the new unit that you need to buy but also the accessories and even renovations that you may have to consider.
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Is it cheap to remove a water heater?
Unless you’re moving to a new home that allows you to install the tankless water heater without worrying about an old tank water heater, you will have to get rid of the old unit.
We have to highlight the importance of budgeting when thinking about installing a tankless water heater. You have to go over the average costs, and removing the old water heater is one problem to address. Don’t forget that the prices may vary from one area to another, so the following numbers are only for general guidance.
Removing the old water heater doesn’t mean just unplugging it and put it away. You need to consider the labor and the possible alterations that the plumber has to make.
Any dedicated licensed home improvement contractor is aware of the costs for various levels of labor: basic, better, and the best. Look for the Water Heater estimator to get the accurate pricing for your region. You should enter your zip code and the number of units you have to remove.
What are the typical costs?
Just to give you an idea about how much money you need to prepare for the plumber, here are some numbers:
- Remove water heater-Labor&material prices- expect to pay $45-$55 for low level, $85-$125 for medium work, and somewhere between $130-$175 for high-level
- Remove water heater, with Waste and Haul-away costs, will be $35 for all levels
- Remove the water heater is $80-$90 for a low level, and it can go from $120 to $160 for medium work. For the high level, you have to pay somewhere between $165-$210.
- Remove water heater; the average cost per unit is $85 for low level, $140 for medium, and around $180 for high-level work.
Costs can go high pretty fast, especially when you have no experience whatsoever in terms of removing a water heater. You should hire a licensed and insured remodeling or even a general contractor for removing the old water heater.
Some tips when it comes to pricing
You don’t just go ahead and hire the very first contractor you run into. There are a couple of tips to help you obtain the best prices for your application:
- You may notice that the prices vary between different remodeling and general contractors. Every company has its operation spending.
- Get at least five estimates before hiring the general contractor or the remodeling contractor. The calculations should be free, especially since the removal isn’t the most complicated job in the world
- It’s wise to get the prices in late fall or early winter. Most of the time, there will be a consistent pricing discount since it’s a down season for contractors
- Always keep an eye on the budget and add 7-15% more to the final cost from the calculator. Mechanical area space, tricky configurations, any other unexpected problems may increase the total costs.
- There are several types of homes in the U.S. (colonial, contemporary, ranch, bungalow, cape-cod style, Victorian, and so on). You should always remember that some styles are more challenging than others when it comes to remodeling.
What does the removal of the water heater imply?
If you have to remove the old unit, the chances are that you already have the tankless water heater. The plumber has to remove the old water heater and select the storage space for the new unit. He may have to open some walls or ceiling; it depends on where the pipes are in your home.
Should you go with a single point unit, the water heater has to be really close to the hot water point so that the whole tankless water heater stays efficient.
There’s better flexibility for the whole house units when it comes to the installation. If you decided to go with a gas-fired tankless water heater, you also need to run the gas line to the installation point. It’s easier for the electric units, but you may still call an electrician for upgrading the panel/wiring the unit in place.
Be aware that your unit may require new plumbing, which adds up to the spending. It’s why the plumber may need two or eight hours for installing a gas unit that requires updated plumbing and a new gas line.
Typically, a plumber has an average hourly rate of $45-$150 per hour, with an $85 average rate. When you install an electric model, he may need two or three hours for installation, rending the costs to range from $90 to $450 (as long as he’s working alone).
The gas tankless water heaters need more time, and labor can get as high as $1,200. Don’t forget to add the gas line, which is $500 or so. It’s not the final price, though, and you have to add the costs for other materials (water pumps, heat pumps, pipes, and so on). The permits you need to add somewhere between $250 to $500 to the initial investment.
Should the walls require opening, you have to add the prices of drywall and finishing the job, which is around $200?
Even if tankless water heaters are small and compact, and don’t need ample space for the mount, they should also be mounted in a place with access door for possible repair and maintenance. It also raises another problem, with you having to hire a carpenter paid with $70 per hour. You can also hire a handyman for $100-$300 for the project.
Don’t go just yet!
There are many other spendings to consider, so you need to do your bits and bobs before contacting the plumber. The insulation and piping ($10 per foot), an electrician, or the disposal costs for the current water heater are only some of the many that add to the final expenses.