How Much Does it Cost to Install a Tank Water Heater in Pittsburgh

| Posted in:  Help Guides/Plumbing

If you need to replace your tank water heater or need to install one for the first time, you’re probably wondering, “How much is this going to cost?” 

On average, installing a tank water heater in Pittsburgh costs anywhere from $875 to $1,800+. Without having a plumber come to your home and assess your current system and hot water needs, it’s impossible to say exactly what your water heater install will cost. 

However, we can tell you that the cost to install a tank water heater in Pittsburgh will depend on:

  • The size of the new water heater 
  • The efficiency level of the new water heater 
  • The fuel type you have
  • The contractor you hire

Below, we’ll look at each of these cost factors in more detail, so you can get a better idea of how much it will cost to install your tank water heater in Pittsburgh.

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Cost Factor #1: Size

The larger the tank water heater you install, the more expensive it will be. 

On average, residential tank water heaters range in size from about 30-80 gallons. The higher the gallon-count, the more water the tank holds and the more expensive it will be.

To determine what size of water heater you need for your home, you’ll need a plumber to calculate your home’s peak demand and first hour rating.

If you’re confused, don’t worry, we’ll explain what we mean by “peak demand” and first hour rating, below.

Peak demand is the number of gallons of hot water that your home uses during the hour of highest demand. Essentially, this number calculates the max number of gallons you need at one time so that you can ensure you’ll have enough hot water at any given time.

For example, if you use the most water between 6:00-7:00 am because you typically run 2 showers, the washer and the dishwasher all at once, that would be the hour of peak demand for your home.

If you want to estimate your home's peak demand check out this worksheet by Energy.gov.

First hour rating is the number of gallons of heated water a water heater can supply in 1 hour. You should install a water heater with a first hour rating that’s within 3 gallons of your peak demand.

A plumber should be able to help you determine what your home’s peak demand is and the first hour rating you need. However, if you’re looking at manufacturers online and want to check out peak demand and first hour rating, it’s usually listed under “product details.”

The more efficient your water heater is, the more expensive it will be. 

However, a more efficient water heater will save you money on your monthly water bill and can be worth the higher upfront investment.

Water heater efficiency is measured by Energy Factor (EF) and ranges from 0.64 to 2.20 EF depending on the fuel type of the water heater. 

If you’re unsure about whether or not a high-efficiency water heater will be worth the higher upfront cost, ask your plumber before you decide on a heater. They should be able to help you find a heater that works for your long-term goals and immediate budget. 

Cost Factor #2: Fuel type

Gas water heaters are more expensive than electric water heaters but are usually less expensive to run on a monthly basis. 

That being said, you’ll probably end up installing the same “type” of water heater you had previously (gas vs. electric). Why? 

Well, if you currently have a gas water heater, you’ll probably replace it with another gas water heater because as we mentioned above, gas water heaters cost less to run than electric water heaters do. 

If you currently have an electric water heater, it's likely that you have an all-electric home, meaning you don't have access to natural gas. That said, switching to gas will require you to add infrastructure like gas piping and venting, which will make your replacement very expensive. 

If you think you want a water heater with a different fuel type than the water heater you have currently, you should talk to your plumber about the benefits and cost. They will be able to help you determine which option is better for your home.

Cost Factor #3: The plumber you hire

The last factor that will impact the cost of your water heater installation is the plumber you hire. 

Typically, the more experienced a plumber is, the more they will charge for a water heater installation. However, this isn’t part of your water heater install where you want to try and save on cost.

The quality of your plumber can determine the quality of your installation and the potential long-term efficiency and performance of your water heater. If you hire a plumber with little experience, your water heater may not be installed correctly, which could lead to higher-than-normal water heating costs and more frequent repairs.

To find a quality plumber, our suggestion would be to look for a plumber who:

  • Has great reviews, on sites like Google, Facebook and the BBB.
  • Will provide upfront pricing in writing, so that you don’t have to deal with surprise costs during or after your installation. 
  • Offers solid guarantees and a solid labor warranty, so that if something does go wrong, you know that you’ll be taken care of.

Ready to install a tank water heater in your Pittsburgh home? Hire Calfo

If you live in the Pittsburgh metro area and you’re ready to install a tank water heater, reach out to us. No one will put the time and care into your tank water heater installation like our team will.

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