Rogelio Alvarez

By: Rogelio Alvarez on November 16th, 2023

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How Much Does a Conventional Water Heater Cost?

Standard Water Heaters

When your old water heater gives out and it’s time for a replacement, navigating through all the viable options can feel stressful. So when it comes down to narrowing your choices based on price, brand-new conventional water heaters are affordable, but how much do they cost? There’s no set price for these water heaters, so it helps to understand what factors play a role in determining the final cost of a conventional water heater. 

Every home should have access to hot water, and for over 15 years, we at Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air have installed thousands of conventional water heaters across Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Throughout that time, we’ve seen how pricing fluctuates, but the factors that affect conventional water heater costs are the same. 

To help explain the cost of a conventional water heater, we’ll review how the following factors affect the final price. 

  • Brand
  • Size
  • Modifications
  • Optional add-ons
  • Maintenance 

By reviewing these factors, you can confidently invest in a new conventional water heater or even seek alternatives if these water heaters aren’t for you.

Let’s start!


What Factors Impact the Cost of Conventional Water Heaters?

Conventional water heaters can cost $1,600 to $3,500 without installation and $3,200 to $5,900 with installation. They can be purchased online, at a hardware store, or directly from the manufacturer. 

Although conventional water heaters can be cheaper when purchased independently, hiring a technician to complete the installation is highly recommended. This minimizes any installation errors that a homeowner may face when installing a conventional water heater on their own.

Manufacturers set their pricing at their discretion, which is one of the reasons why there isn’t a universal set price for conventional water heaters. The brand you choose can impact the final cost of a new conventional water heater. 



More than one single manufacturer makes and offers conventional water heaters for sale. It’s difficult to pinpoint the cost differences that each brand impact the final price of a conventional water heater because manufacturers offer multiple series of conventional water heaters. The more high-end a conventional water heater is, the more it will cost, regardless of brand. 

Some of the more popular brands include.

More brands are available that constantly rank among the year's best conventional water heater manufacturers. Suppose you’re undecided on which brand of conventional water heater you want. In that case, comparing warranties between manufacturers may help to see which offers the best protection for your investment. 

If you were able to choose a specific brand, the next factor that can impact the final cost of a conventional water heater is the size capacity of the tank itself. 



The size of a conventional water heater doesn’t significantly affect the final price, but some brands may have a pricing system that increases the bigger the tank of a water heater is. A water heater tank’s capacity should be able to provide hot water to a home during peak hot water usage without running out. Conventional water heaters can have a capacity of 25 to over 100 gallons of hot water storage available. 

Besides peak hot water demands, technicians consider the number of bathrooms and hot water fixtures to match homes with an appropriate-sized conventional water heater. Even after a technician helps pair your home with the right-sized conventional water heater, they may need to make necessary modifications to the installation site. Any additional adjustments will affect the final price of the conventional water heater.



Besides the labor fees associated with installing a conventional water heater, any required adjustments to the unit's installation area will be factored into the final cost. This can increase the price by a few hundred to one thousand dollars, depending on the overall scope of the modifications. 

Conventional water heaters need a minimal amount of space to function with little to no issues. They have anode rods that must be cleaned or replaced periodically. These rods must be pulled from the top of the conventional water heater, so these units need enough space below the ceiling.

Modifying an area to accommodate a conventional water heater installation may require additional tools and materials, such as any new piping to connect the conventional water heater with the home’s water lines. All these extra things can play a factor in the total modification costs, increasing the final price of your new conventional water heater. 

Installing add-on accessories to your conventional water heater is optional and can be an additional cost to the final price of a unit. 


Optional Add-ons

The following available add-ons for conventional water heaters are optional but can increase the final cost by a few hundred dollars. Here are some additional accessories that can be included in your conventional water heater. 

  • Expansion tank: Most conventional water heaters do not come with an expansion tank, but adding one can help reduce thermal expansion and relieve any pressure buildup. 
  • Recirculation pump: This helpful accessory can improve the time it takes for hot water to reach any desired hot water fixture in a home. 
  • Water softener: In areas affected by hard water, such as Los Angeles, a water softener can help eliminate limescale buildup. Scale can negatively impact the efficiency of conventional water heaters and may even reduce lifespan.  

These add-ons can help improve conventional water heater efficiency. Maintaining a conventional water heater is another key component in caring for a brand-new unit.



Conventional water heater maintenance is not often included in the final cost, but some contractors include it to build long-term working relationships with homeowners. These services can be included in a membership plan that can cost between $100 to $350, added to the final price of a conventional water heater.

These water heaters require annual maintenance, which can include the following.

  • Flushing the water heater
  • Cleaning the anode rod
  • Inspecting the unit for possible repairs 

Although these services can be done by a homeowner, it may be worth including in a new conventional water heater purchase to have peace of mind that the unit is being taken care of by technicians.


Is a New Conventional Water Heater Worth the Investment?

When it comes to water heater systems, conventional water heaters are often the least expensive. Still, it’s essential to understand what factors can affect the cost of a conventional water heater so homeowners feel empowered to purchase a reliable water heater without feeling like they’ve been ripped off. Understanding these factors allows you to speak with different contractors confidently when shopping for a brand-new water heater. 

Asking how much a conventional water heater costs is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air. Since 2007, we’ve helped homeowners across Los Angeles prepare for a conventional water heater investment by breaking down the costs of purchasing one.

If you have any questions regarding pricing for a conventional water heater, contact us using one of the buttons below. You can directly book an appointment with a certified water heater technician through our online scheduler

Depending on your family's and home's hot water needs, consider alternatives to conventional water heaters. To help compare pricing options, check out this article on water heater costs to get started on finding the right system for your house. If you’re set on installing a new conventional heater, check out this article to learn about four vital things to look for when finding a technician who can complete the job.