“How Much Does a Water Heater Replacement Cost in Sacramento?” Lisa Asks a Plumbing Expert

water heater replacement cost sacramentoOur friend Lisa in Sacramento has landed in some cold water, so to speak. She asks:

“Hi there, Bell Brothers! First, I just want to say that I’m a big fan of your blog. I feel like I’ve been learning so much about plumbing repair! Unfortunately, I’m not nearly as much of an expert as you all are, or so I just recently found out. See, the water in my shower has gone totally cold, and so has the water coming out of my sink.

I mean, I’ve always known that I love warm water and that a nice hot shower to wake up in the morning was a real luxury, but now that I don’t have it, I’m acutely aware of just how miserable it is to go without a hot water heater. I know from reading your blog that the fact that I’m not getting any hot water out of my faucets at all likely means that it has to be replaced. So, my question is: How much does a water heater replacement cost in Sacramento? And can I find a professional plumber who can maybe help me save some money by investing in a tankless water heater? Thank you so much in advance!” — Lisa in Sacramento.

Always nice to “meet” a fan, Lisa. Thank you so much for your kind words about the blog. We put a lot of time and energy into it! Anyway, so glad you asked this question because inquiries about costs for our services are generally always of interest to our readers. I also don’t think it’s ever a bad idea for expert plumbing professionals to talk about the advantages of upgrading to a tankless water heater, either. So, without further adieu, let’s get to it!

Water Heater Replacement Cost in Sacramento: The Basics

As with most home repair and upgrade projects, costs to replace your water heater will vary depending on your individual house and circumstances. So, it’s important to note that this is only an estimate. That said, the average water heater replacement cost in Sacramento ranges from about $1,000 on the low end to as much as $3,500 on the high end, with prices rising in proportion to the size and exact model of the new water heater that’s chosen.

…the average water heater replacement cost in Sacramento ranges from about $1,000 on the low end to as much as $3,500 on the high end…

how much does it cost to replace a water heaterHere are some of the factors that can influence water heater replacement costs in Sacramento:

  • Size: This one is a no-brainer and it’s true for many things, from cars to televisions. Bigger models almost always cost a little bit more. It’s important to note here that with water heaters, bigger is not always better. Conventional water heaters (the kind with tanks) run basically non-stop to make sure you’ll have hot water whenever you need it. Because of this, a larger water heater will drive up your utility bill. The key is finding a reliable plumber who can help you determine the right size of water heater for your home and your family’s needs.
  • Gas vs. electric: There are two ways to fuel your water heater, with natural gas or with electrical resistance coils. Gas water heaters are often less energy efficient than electric ones, but if you have a larger family (five or more people) they are often the best choice. Again, an experienced plumber can help you pick out the exact right model for you and your home.
  • Tankless vs. traditional water heater models: The most important decision you’ll have to make when you get a new water heater is whether you want to get a traditional model or go with a tankless water heater. We’ll talk about this subject in much greater depth in our next section.

The Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater When Considering Replacement Costs

…the California Energy Commission has previously estimated that a standard water heater uses about 25 percent of all energy that a household is likely to consume.

I’ve talked quite a bit in the past about the advantages of a tankless water heater, but I think it all bears repeating. Simply put, tankless water heaters are far more energy efficient than standard models, and they also don’t generally run on electricity. In fact, the California Energy Commission has previously estimated that a standard water heater uses about 25 percent of all energy that a household is likely to consume. That’s a massive amount of energy.

Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, can reduce your current rate of electricity use by about 20 percent because they don’t store and heat hot water when you’re not using it…

Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, can reduce your current rate of electricity use by about 20 percent because they don’t store and heat hot water when you’re not using it, meaning you don’t have to pay for energy to heat water you don’t even need. Traditional water heaters keep hot water on tap at all times in a 30 to 40-gallon tank, warming it 24 hours a day—an energy expense you definitely don’t want to pay. Trust me, it makes a big difference.

How to Take Advantage of Energy Efficiency Financing Programs to Offset Replacement Costs

While choosing a tankless water heater will push you up closer to the higher end of our water heater replacement costs estimate, the good news is that it’s relatively easy to get financing help here in Sacramento. There are a number of California tankless water heater credits you can receive. What does that mean, you may wonder? Well, I’m glad you asked.

There are a number of energy efficiency financing programs in California designed to make upgrades like tankless water heaters more accessible for homeowners.

There are a number of energy efficiency financing programs in California designed to make upgrades like tankless water heaters more accessible for homeowners. These programs include:

  • PACE
  • HERO
  • CaliforniaFIRST
  • SMUD
  • The Ygrene Energy Fund.

Each program has small differences, but almost all of them are interest-free financing that you can pay back as part of your property taxes. A trained plumbing professional will be able to help you with any questions you might have, so I highly recommend working with one of them.

I hope that answers our friend Lisa’s problem. It’s not fun when the hot water in a shower goes out, but the good news is that, for some folks in older houses, having to replace a water heater can turn into a great opportunity to upgrade to a tankless model. A tankless model, as we know now, is a great way to both help the environment and to reduce your own monthly utility costs.

I highly recommend calling the trained plumbing professionals at Bell Brothers if you need to replace your own hot water heater. We’ve been doing this type of work in Sacramento and throughout the rest of Northern California for many years. We can give you a great estimate on your project, and we can also help you navigate the sometimes-tricky world of energy efficiency financing. With Bell Brothers, you can be sure that you’re getting the best choice for your home—and the best possible service too. It’s a wonderful thing!

At Bell Brothers, our trained plumbing professionals would be happy to help you make your home more energy and water-efficient by helping you apply for a plumbing rebate or financing program, and then upgrading the plumbing system in your home, including your water heater. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.

Image courtesy famveldman