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Electric Hot Water Heater Price Guide

Hot water tanks for electric water heaters come in a variety of sizes. Residential applications use tank sizes of 30 to 100 gallons of water. Finding a properly sized tank is practical and a step in conserving energy in the home. Homeowners wishing to install a new electric hot water heater should consider the different types of water heater materials and their primary functions.

The Costs

  • Minimum Cost: $200
  • Maximum Cost: $1,500 

Conventional Tank

This insulated tank with a heating element is used to store a reservoir of water. Conventional tanks can be installed in most places in the home and are considered the most economic choice to use. They are whole-house units; the gallon rating is calculated based on necessary loads for all fixtures in the home receiving hot water.


Tankless electric water heaters are considered an on-demand application for the home. This means water is heated immediately when the tap is turned on. The result is that residents have less time to wait for the tank to heat a reservoir of water for continuous use. Tankless hot water heaters are also known for their efficiency due to low flow rate valves installed in many of the models without a reservoir that needs constant heating. A tankless heater can be a point-of-use unit for a single bathroom or a whole-house heater.


A hybrid tank is a new type that heats cold water using an electric heating element and heat pump. The heat pump is similar to a pump used in a furnace to extract available heat from the surrounding air. The initial investment typically pays off in reduced heating costs.

Recirculating Pump

A recirculating pump provides some similar features to a tankless hot water heater. It provides instant hot water by reheating water as it goes toward the fixture. This closed loop appliance is connected to the plumbing inside the water heater. The pump is typically installed as an aftermarket device.

Expansion Tanks

Water pressure can be an issue in many homes. Homes on a private well will typically have a bladder tank to add water pressure to a home. Even with this device, there can still be some difficulty in controlling the amount of pressure at an even rate in the house. The expansion tank prevents pipes from being damaged from too much pressure and provides a relief system from the tank. A rubber diaphragm rises and falls with pressure from the pipes much like a bladder tank from a well or water main to regulate constant pressure.

Additional Tanks

Combining multiple tanks is often required when there are larger fixtures that demand extra hot water. An example would be extra bathrooms with large garden tubs or a secondary kitchen in a rental space. Most of these are plumbed together using small- to moderate-sized tanks or point-of-use tankless heaters. The tanks have parallel plumbing for maximum efficiency.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Hot Water Heaters

An electric hot water heater can have several benefits as well as drawbacks in the home. Electric hot water heaters that contain a recirculating pump are the least efficient and can waste energy in the process. However, they are more affordable than some of the more efficient tankless water heaters.

Tankless water heaters are very efficient; they also work well in a pex-tube plumbing setup for easy shutoff on individual fixtures and rooms. Tankless water heaters are not without fault, however; in larger homes, a whole-house tankless heater may not be enough to provide the available hot water. Electric hot water tankless heaters are less effective than gas due to the extra energy required to provide the instant heat.

Last updated on May 17, 2016

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