Cost of converting from electric to gas water heater

RHC247December 6, 2012

Hi, I am new to the forum. We are converting from electric to a gas water heater. Our plumber does not recommend tankless. We have gas in the house already. Here are the estimates for three different water heater types. All estimates include installation of new water heater and removal of existing heater. Also included is the no-burst safety control and water heater pan. The two gas water heaters include all piping of gas lines and venting of heaters.

  1. 80 Gallon Electric $1,095
  2. 50 Gallon Gas Direct Vent $2,215
  3. 75 Gallon Gas Direct Vent $2,525

I live in a Philly suburb. Does this seem about right?

Thanks! Robin

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You state that you live in Philadelphia. I bet you didn't know that Philly was the first city in the USA to have a plumbing code. Ben Franklin was an avid bather, bathing sometimes as often as once a week; which was unheard of in his time (imagine that). In addition to inventing stoves and writing fire codes, Franklin also wrote the first municipal sewer code in the mid 1700's.

As a result, Philadelphia and New York City have some of the strictest code enforcement departments in the world.

As a result of that strict code enforcement and a high cost of labor the prices in your area will be slightly higher than the national averages.

We don't know how long the gas line will have to be or how long the vent has to be so it is difficult to even venture a guess as to what your final cost should be, however, those prices do not seem to far off the published estimate prices.

Now having said that, there is another option that you perhaps have not explored. Let us assume for the moment that you were to select the 80 Gallon Electric @ $1,095. Further assuming an estimated 12yr life span that would then break down to $91.25/yr or $7.60/mo.

The 75 Gallon Gas Direct Vent @ $2,525 over 12 yr would equal $210/yr or $17.53 a month.

Now keep in mind that you have to put the total cost up front to get those installed, but most Electric companies have a lease program.

We got an 80gal commercial water heater, fully installed and the old water heater hauled away for a monthly lease fee of $14.95 billed on our electric bill, and they are responsible for all maintenance during the entire lease period.

The only additional cost we put forth was $21 for the permit @ inspection, which we would have had to pay regardless of who installed the water heater and a couple pots of coffee that I shared with the guys while they were installing the heater.

Now I am a retired Master Plumber and I could have easily installed a new water heater, but when Jan told me they would supply the heater, do the installation and be totally responsible for all future maintenance for a mere $15 a month I jumped on it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Very interesting historical info - thank you for sharing that.

I didn't know about the lease option. I will look into this. Can the price go up over time, or is it locked in when you sign the lease?

I appreciate your response!


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 8:08AM
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Our water heater has a 12yr warranty and they said our lease price will remain the same for the entire 12yr period.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 8:59AM
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