How Much Does It Cost to Switch From a Gas Water Heater to an Electric Water Heater

by Team eLocal
Critical case for a major appliance repair

Many homeowners wonder whether it's simpler and more cost-effective to switch from a gas water heater to an electric water heater when their old unit reaches the end of its lifespan. Electric water heaters are significantly cheaper to install and maintain, so the choice may seem like a no-brainer.

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However, there are additional costs associated with changing your fuel source.

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How Much Does It Cost to Switch From a Gas Water Heater to an Electric Model?

According to Fixr, changing from a gas water heater to an electric water heater costs between $870 and $4,100 (CAD 1,190 and CAD 5,610) on average. These figures include the cost of the unit itself, installation labor and adaptations to your gas and electrical systems.

The cost range to switch from gas to electric is relatively wide because the amount you'll spend depends on several variables. Consider the following factors when estimating how much replacing your water heater will likely cost:

Switching From a Gas Hookup and Installing an Outlet

Electricians typically charge between $250 and $600 (CAD 340 and CAD 820) extra to convert from a gas hookup. This process involves installing a dedicated circuit and outlet, as you can't safely run an electric water heater on the same circuit as other appliances. Your installer will also disconnect and cap your gas supply before fitting your new electric unit.

Disposing of Gas Water Heater

How much it costs to remove and dispose of a water heater depends on its size, weight and location. Generally, you'll pay more to dispose of a large or inaccessible water heater because it'll take your contractor longer to remove it. Most contractors charge between $100 and $500 (CAD 140 and CAD 685) for gas water heater removal, according to Bob Vila. Most companies include removing old units in their quotes, but it's worth checking to avoid unexpected costs later on.

New Electric Water Heater

Traditional tanked electric water heaters are the most affordable type of electric water heater, costing between $350 and $2,500 (CAD 480 and CAD 3,420) for the unit itself. Tankless electric water heaters start from around $500 (CAD 685), although you could spend $2,000 (CAD 2,735) or more for a large or premium model. Tankless water heaters are significantly more efficient than tanked models, so you'll likely save money on your utilities if you choose this option.

Hybrid water heaters are a less common type of electric water heater, but they could be suitable if you use a lot of hot water and want maximum energy efficiency. These models work similarly to a regular electric water heater during normal usage, but they can also switch to using a heat pump as a heat source when you need more hot water than usual. Hybrid water heaters are the most expensive type of electric water heater, with most homeowners spending between $1,200 and $2,500 (CAD 1,640 and CAD 3,420) without installation labor.

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Most municipalities regard electrical water heater installation as major work. Therefore, you'll usually need to obtain a permit before starting your project. Charges vary widely by area, but a water heater permit costs between $25 and $250 (CAD 35 and CAD 340) in most jurisdictions.

Unit Relocation

Installing your new water heater in the same location as your old unit is almost always cheaper. Based on data from HomeGuide, relocating your water heater adds around $500 to $2,500 (CAD 685 to CAD 3,420) to your costs because you'll need to install additional plumbing to supply your unit and fixtures.

Expansion Tank

Pressure can build up inside a closed water heater system and damage your unit and pipes. Therefore, many homeowners install an expansion tank to provide a pressure outlet and protect their systems. Some manufacturers require you to install an expansion tank under the warranty terms, and they're mandatory in certain jurisdictions. Expect to spend between $100 and $400 (CAD 140 and CAD 550) on a new expansion tank and professional installation.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.

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