Cost of Replacing a 40 Gallon Gas Water Heater

Most homeowners eventually need to replace their home hot water heater because the old one leaks, stains water or just isn't big enough. Take the time to learn what a new hot water heater might cost, so you'll have no trouble staying under budget.

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Some water heater problems can be repaired.

Repair

Not all problem water heaters need to be replaced. A tank with a leaky valve or drain or a water heater with a burnt-out heating element may be repairable. ConsumerReports.org recommends repairing your water heater when the repair cost comes to $50 or less annually over the years remaining on the warranty.

Size

If your current 40-gallon tank doesn't provide enough hot water, consider upgrading. Lowes recommends a 30- to 40-gallon heater for two to three people but suggests upgrading if your household includes four or more. A 50-gallon tank costs about 15 to 30 percent more than a 30 or 40 gallon model.

Types

Gas water heaters usually cost more than electric models but are cheaper to operate. Gas models come in both traditional large-tank styles and tankless models. According to CostHelper, a traditional gas tank costs between $250 and $1,000 as of 2011. Tankless water heaters tend to cost between $200 and $1,200 as of 2011 and supply hot water with no delay, but they may not work well for large households.