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The lifespan of a gas water heater varies depending on what type of water heater you have.
A gas tank water heater — which stores a supply of hot water in a large tank — typically has a lifespan of about 10 to 15 years. A gas tankless water heater — which heats up water “on demand” — can last for about 20 years or more.
To extend the lifespan of both tank and tankless gas water heaters, schedule regular maintenance services about once a year with a licensed professional such as a plumber.
"Should I repair or replace my gas water heater?"
If your gas water heater is leaking, it will likely need to be replaced entirely.
In addition, if your unit is more than 10 years old, it may be reaching the end of its lifespan, and may need to be replaced soon. If that’s the case, it may be cheaper for you to replace the unit now instead of continuing to pay for repairs.
If your gas water heater is less than 10 years old and isn’t leaking, it may be able to be repaired by a professional. Some of the most common gas water heater repairs include:
A pilot light that has gone out
A faulty thermocouple
A faulty gas control valve
A plumber or other gas water tank professional can help you diagnose the problem and either replace the part or install a new unit, if necessary.
"How much does a new gas water heater cost?"
Gas water heaters typically cost a few hundred dollars more than electrical water heaters. They also tend to be less energy efficient. Still, because electricity tends to be more expensive than gas, a gas water heater may save you money over time.
A gas-fueled tank water heater can cost about $700 to $2,000 for the unit and installation services, according to HomeAdvisor.com. The more gallons of water the tank can hold, the more expensive the water heater tends to be. Gas-fueled tankless water heaters cost about $1,000 to $3,000 to purchase and install.
"How long does it take to install a new gas water heater?"
Installing a gas water heater can take a few hours to a half a day (or longer) depending on the type of water heater you have.
A gas-fueled tank water heater takes about 2 to 3 hours to install, according to HomeAdvisor.com, whereas a tankless gas water heater can take 8 to 10 hours to install. Oftentimes, a plumber will charge you a flat rate for installation services (installing a gas water heater isn’t a DIY job).
"What’s the best gas water heater on the market?"
The best gas water heater for you can vary depending on how much water you or your family uses, the cost of purchasing, operating and maintaining the unit, and how energy efficient the heater is.
Tankless gas water heaters cost more than tank gas water heaters, and are more expensive to install, but they also tend to be more energy efficient (which might save you money on utility bills in the long run) and can last nearly 10 years longer.
Some top gas water heater brands include:
Some tankless gas water heaters to consider include:
However, if you have a bigger family — or tend to use lots of hot water — a tankless gas water heater may not be able to keep up with the demand. In that case, you may want to consider purchasing a gas tank water heater.
Some storage tank water heaters to consider include: