How Much Does Lowes Charge to Install a Water Heater?

  • If you want to install a hot water heater and know the cost, there are many variables to consider. After you buy it at the store, how much does Lowes charge for a water heater installed? Consider: Is it a tankless water heater or a more affordable traditional water heater? Do you have an old water heater that needs to be taken down before the new one for replacement comes in? Is it an average 50 gallon unit or a bigger one?
  • When installing a water heater, you can reach out for a professional service like Home Depot or Lowes. There, you’ll buy a heater with the help of professional service and also have it installed. In addition, you can call for free “1 877 GO LOWES” to ask about costs and installation procedures. 
  • In the article below, we’ll unravel how much Lowes charge for installing a gas or electric hot water heater, the average cost range, and other install prices.

Do I need to replace a water heater?

Suppose your water heater leaks. It provides you with insufficient hot water, has a damaged safety valve, or isn’t at its best for other reasons. In that case, you may need to call for professional service to help you deal with the issue. 

In case you can’t fix the problem with the water heater installed, you may be forced to replace a water heater. 

No worries; these things happen to everyone now and then! We’re here to help you learn water heater installation costs and overcome trouble. 

But before we discover a water heater installation cost and reasons to replace a water heater, let’s first find out the primary differentiation of water heater types: tank and tankless water heaters.

  1. Tank water heater—stores hot water in a large tank; it’s 30 to 80 gallons on average, so you’ll see mostly 50-gallon tanks around. Tank water heaters make up over 90 percent of water heaters installed in the US.

Tip: Buy a heater size that fits your house size and invest in reliable water heater brands. Buying a unit that’s too large won’t be energy efficient, causing high prices on energy bills over the entire lifespan of the heater. 

  1. Tankless water heater—the latest energy-efficient technology. These water heaters require less maintenance and save a lot of space. Also, modern tankless units have an extended life span. On the downside, their cost is tripled, so they are rarer. They’re also more challenging to install and cost more for the installation labor. In addition, water heaters featuring tankless form take longer to deliver hot water, and they cannot provide hot water during a power outage.

According to Energy.gov, “For homes that use 41 gallons or fewer of hot water daily, demand (or tankless) water heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy-efficient than conventional storage-tank water heaters.” 

Tankless heaters can be 

  • 24-34% more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters for households that use 41 gallons or fewer hot water daily. 
  • 8-14% more energy-efficient for households that use around 86 gallons daily. 

Where does the energy efficiency come from? While a traditional tank water heater heats water continuously, tankless water heaters heat only as much water as needed, when needed. (lower utility bills!)

Discover GE GeoSpring water heater and instantaneous water heaters such as Stiebel Eltron water heater.

Important: In 2016, General Electric Appliances announced they would discontinue their heat-pump water heaters (HPWH) line because of low demand and profitability. 

Then, there are electric water heaters and gas water heaters.

Electric water heaters and gas water heaters are different in many aspects. 

Hot water heaters use various energy sources for heating water. The most common fuel source is fossil fuels in natural gas, heating oil, propane, liquefied petroleum gas, solid fuels, etc.

For example, electric heaters are more efficient than gas water heaters when it comes to efficiency. 

Moreover, although gas hot water heaters are less expensive to run monthly because of the low cost of natural gas—a gas heater uses more energy to operate and sadly releases waste into the environment.

An electric hot water heater heats water slower, and it’s more expensive than in gas models; yet, it heats the water more efficiently. (read more on Forbes)

Main reasons for water heater replacement

When should you seriously think about replacing your water heater? When you notice one of these red flags, it may be time to replace a water heater that indicated failure with a new one. 

  1. Water isn’t hot enough

If you’ve noticed that you can’t achieve appropriately heated water, i.e., the water coming from the heater isn’t as hot as it used to be, there might be a problem with the central heating element.

In this case, it’s likely time to get rid of the old water heater and have a new hot water heater installed.

  1. Unusual smell

Luckily, the unusual smell in your water heater isn’t a reason to replace a water heater.

The most common cause of a foul smell in your water heater is an overgrowth of bacteria, which can cause sulfur or rotten egg smell. 

These bacteria can survive in your hot water tank without oxygen and react with sulfur and the magnesium in the sacrificial anode rod to produce smelly hydrogen sulfide gas.

Read also “How to Get Sulfur Smell Out of Clothes?

  1. High energy bills

Have you recently received an unusually exorbitant bill for energy?

It’s a clear sign your heater is inefficient, and you may need a new hot water heater. 

Tip: Around four hours a day is typical for water heaters to run. If it’s running more than that, your hot water heater may be calling for a replacement. 

  1. Age

Expect your traditional water heater to last about 15 and tankless water heater over 20 years. 

When they achieve that age, take the hot water heater replacement possibility seriously and head to Lowe’s or Home Depot to check out the current water heaters market. 

Lowe’s is an American retail company specializing in home improvement. Headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, Lowe’s company operates a chain of retail stores in the US and Canada.

  1. Rusty water or metallic taste

Water coming out of the tap should be clear. 

If you see that your tap water has a rusty look or metallic taste, the anode inside the heater has probably failed. 

Consider replacing the damaged piece or an entire water heater. 

  1. Loud noises

Do you hear pops, cracks, and bangs? 

These are noises no one should hear coming from their water heaters. 

If you have a hot water heater extended warranty, try to resolve this issue before the heater breaks completely. 

  1. Leaking TPR valve

TPR valves, i.e., temperature/pressure relief valves, are safety devices installed on water heating appliances, such as boilers and domestic water supply heaters.

These valves monitor and regulate the temperature and water pressure inside water heaters. 

They can cause water leaks from the sides of the water heater tank—the intervention of a licensed plumber or another professional service may be necessary. 

TPRs are designed to automatically release water if pressure or temperature in the water tank exceeds safe levels. 

If a TPR valve leaks, it can be defective or leak because the temperature was too high or the water pressure was too high. 

A leaking TPR valve may indicate a defective valve, excessive pressure, or temperature. 

What is the average price for the leaking TPR valve replacement?

TPR valves are cheap, and their installation also isn’t expensive. 

A qualified plumber’s total parts and professional installation cost is 150-300 dollars. 

Homeowners can even install TPR valves themselves for about $20.

  1. Leaks

Leaking in the water heater shows that there is a failure. You might need to install a new water heater if the old one starts to leak. 

What are the probable causes?

  • corrosion

After a period of frequent use, sediment buildup can cause corrosion. It may mean a danger of crackings and holes in the tank’s bottom. 

If these issues occur in your water heater (and its warranty is over), it’s high time to consider water heater replacement. 

Important: Lowe’s offers an extended warranty water heater protection plans.

  • broken drain valves

If you notice water leaks at the bottom of the tank, it may be the problem of broken drain valves. 

In this case, the entire heater replacement isn’t necessary. Just reach out to professionals to replace a broken drain valve and voilà!

  • loose water line connections

The solution to this problem is even simpler. Water line connections are not a big issue to deal with. 

You don’t have to replace the entire gas or electric water heater.

Casual wear and tear can loosen the inlet or outlet water lines and cause leaks. Tightening or replacing the loose, worn water lines of a heater will resolve the issue. 

Check also our other good tips about house maintenance at House Rituals

What should you do if your water heater is leaking?

If you see your heater leaking, take these three steps immediately:

  • cut the power 

If you find a hot water leak in the water heater, cut off the electricity supply.

In a gas water heater: find a thermostat with a little knob with three settings: ON, OFF, and PILOT, and switch it to OFF or PILOT to shut off the gas. 

In electric water heater: Go to your breaker panel and find a “water heater.” Turn it off to cut the power.

  • shut off the water

Find the cold water line (a blue one) leading to your water heater and shut it off by turning a valve to the right at the end of the line. 

  • drain the water tank

If your heater has a tank (a traditional water heater), drain it completely.

Important: This tip doesn’t refer to tankless water heaters. 

To drain the heater tank:

Find the drain valve near the bottom and attach a garden hose. Run the hose to a floor drain, bidet, washbasin, or sump pit.

Open the valve. The valve may look like an ordinary spigot in an old water heater or a drain stem with a slot for a screwdriver in a modern type. 

If the water doesn’t flow well or at all, there might be a vacuum in the water heater. To break the vacuum, open any hot water faucet in your home; it will let air into the water tank and allow it to drain more easily. 

It will take about an hour to drain the tank.

Water heater installation cost with Lowe’s

Lowe’s Companies, Inc, also known as Lowe’s, is a chain retail store focused on home improvement. They operate in the United States and Canada. 

Lowe’s installs hot water heaters, and we recommend that you have your water heater installed by an experienced professional. 

Lowe’s hires background-checked and insured independent installers. A one-year warranty on labor backs their installations.

So how much does it cost to install a new water heater? Is there any extra cost for water heater install labor if you buy a water heater at Lowes or Home Depot Store?

Prices will vary depending on whether we’re dealing with water heater repair or water heater installation.

If a new water heater installation is necessary, let’s see how much it costs to have a Lowe’s professional service install an electric or gas water heater in your house.

First things first, Lowe’s will not automatically install a new water heater in your house. Instead, Lowe’s will sell a water heater to you and then organize a water heater installation together. 

Also, the brand offers water heater protection plans in the form of an extended warranty.

Lowe’s will arrange an outsourced contractor, independent installers, or qualified plumber to install a water heater in your house for an extra fee. 

Installation is a cost of about 400-1500 dollars. So let’s say that on 50 gallons water heater, a homeowner will have costs of 1,000 dollars on average. More precisely, independently installing a water heater ranges from $819 – $1,607. 

The basic water heater installation cost at Lowe’s is $325. Plus, an estimated fee of $40 is usually added on top of this basic installation cost. Typically, additional piping will be required to complete the installation, so allocate some funds for this expense.

For a personalized quote, fill out the form on the Lowe’s website or call 1 877 GO LOWES.

Lowe’s gets a percentage in labor price at an agreed rate for the service job—we can draw some systemic conclusions from this; an average Lowe’s contractor is willing to work for less than a plumber or other installers who have their businesses apart. It explains why the cost sometimes unexpectedly rises out of nowhere after having a water heater installed by Lowe’s contractor. 

Tip: Kindly refuse if you believe the price of Lowe’s contractor labor went overboard. It’s likely that licensed installers outside the “Lowe’s zone” will do the job at a more fair price and without unnecessary extras. 

All in all, the labor cost to install a hot water heater varies depending on many factors. 

Basic installation costs are composed of:

  1. inspection, 

Lowes sends an installer to your home to check the conditions for the installation and give a quote or estimate. For this part, Lowes charges 40 dollars fee. 

  1. quote or estimate cost, 
  1. new piping, 

You will probably need additional piping to complete the installation of the heater. According to Lowe’s sales representatives, new white piping (if former have black piping) is a cost of about $200.

  1. delivery cost,

For Lowe’s job delivery of the water heater to your home, expect a charge of an extra $75 fee. 

Tip: Consider renting a Lowe’s car for an hour. They have van or vehicle renting services to deliver your heater unit home. The price is about 20 dollars. Typically, to send the unit to your home, Lowes charge 75 dollars, so with renting, you’re saving 50 dollars on delivery. 

  1. disposal;  

The disposal cost is $50.

Are there any other factors that may influence the initial cost?

Water heater installation costs can include permit fees and carpentry work, adding $50 to $1,500 or more to the overall project cost.

These prices concern most water heaters—traditional water heaters. However, the situation looks different with a tankless model. 

What about tankless water heaters? How much does a tankless water heater average cost of installation? 

A particular advantage of this type is that you’ll experience no unexpected cold showers with a tankless water heater. 

The average cost of a tankless water heater (with installation) is around $3,000.

Water heater installation—what to do?

Here’s how to make a water heater installation happen with Lowe’s. 

1. Contact Lowe’s and wait for the return call 

Visit Lowe’s official website and supply information about your requirements on an online form.

Lowe’s also assists its customers telephonically. For immediate assistance, dial 1-877-GO-LOWES.

You will receive a return call from Lowe’s. Provide them with more information about your water heater requirements. You’ll receive a quote for their installation services, including a basic installation fee. This way, you’ll learn the average cost of the new heater installed. 

2. House inspection

You can request Lowe’s to inspect your house before giving you a final quote. 

This will cost a $40 inspection fee.

3. Sign the contract

After inspection or receiving the estimated quote, you’ll be asked to sign a contract and effectuate a down payment.

4. Installation starts

Schedule the day of installation with Lowe’s workers. A professional installer will deliver the water heater and install it on that day. 

Lowe’s will also haul away your old water heater when they have finished installing the new one.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The time needed to install a water heater ranges from 1 to 1.5 hours by a licensed professional. Yet, you’ll need an extra 1 to 1.5 hours to remove the old hot water heater. So, the entire installation will take 2-3 hours.
Not being an experienced installation specialist, you never know what you can come across during the installation process, even if it seems easy at first. Therefore, we don't recommend a DIY water heater installation. Instead, ask for the help of a qualified plumber to ensure total professionalism.
A life expectancy differs depending on the type. For example, a tank water heater should last eight to 15 years, while tankless gas water heaters should last 20 years.
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