Some might say that a gas water heater is a dated technology, but today’s models are more energy-efficient than ever before. This is especially true for models that have an Energy Star rating. With a storage tank that can provide you with immediate access to 100+ gallons of hot water, you and everyone in your family can take care of your needs without worrying about flow rates or temperature changes.
If you do wish to upgrade from a tank, there are some high-quality gas tankless water heaters that are worth considering as well.
- 1 All the Best Gas Water Heaters in One Chart
- 2 What Size Do I Need?
- 3 How Long Does a Gas Water Heater Last?
- 4 How Much to Install a Gas Water Heater?
- 5 Always hire a plumber that is licensed, insured, and bonded to install your hot water heater.
- 6 Should I Get a Tankless Gas Water Heater?
- 7 Gas vs Electric
- 8 Pros and Cons of a Gas Water Heater
- 9 How Much is a Gas Water Heater?
- 10 Gas Water Heater Reviews
All the Best Gas Water Heaters in One Chart
Gas water heaters typically use natural gas or propane. Most models can be installed indoors, especially if there is proper venting available to the appliance. This makes it a simple and easy way to make sure you have hot water, especially if you have a corrosion-resistant stand to use with your tank.
|Max BTU (Power)
|AO Smith XCG-50 ProMax Tall Gas Water Heater
|Rheem PROG50-42N Professional Classic Water Heater
|Takagi T-T-KJR2-OS-LP Outdoor Water Heater
|AO Smith GPVX-75L ProMax Power Vent Water Heater
|Rheem G100-80 Natural Gas Universal Water Heater
|Takagi T-H3S-DV-N Condensign Natural Gas Indoor Water Heater
|Rinnai V65EEP Outdoor Propane Water Heater
|Rheem RTG-64DVLN Prestige Direct Vent Natural Gas Heater
|Takagi T-H3-DV-N Condensing Tankless Water Heater
|Eccotemp i12-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater
|Max BTU (Power)
What Size Do I Need?
The first thing that you’re going to want to do is identify the type of fuel that you need. Propane and natural gas are your two options in this category. Then you’ll want to decide if a tankless water heater is the right investment for you.
If it is, then be sure to visit our page covering the best tankless water heater reviews.
If not, then you’re ready to decide the size of tank that you’ll need to have for your hot water heater. For most homes, this can often be decided by looking at the number of people who live full-time in the home.
- Household sizes of 1-2 benefit from having a hot water heater with a capacity of up to 36 gallons.
- Household sizes of 2-4 may wish to have a water heater with a capacity of up to 50 gallons.
- A household size of 4-5 will typically need a hot water heater that holds 60+ gallons.
- Households of 6+ people typically require an 80- to 100-gallon water heater.
If you’re replacing an older water heater, then you must also be aware that 2015 regulations have required manufacturers to add more insulation around the water tank. This means the new water heater is going to have a larger diameter to it.
Some cabinets may not be able to accommodate the newer designs, so be sure to look for a non-standard size when looking through the best gas water heater reviews. One popular option is called the Low Boy, which is a wider and shorter hot water heater than the standard design.
You may also be required to use an insulation blanket with your new gas water heater. Check your local coding and regulations to see if this applies to you.
How Long Does a Gas Water Heater Last?
As a rule of thumb, you can expect that an older water heater has a higher risk of failure. The first signs of failure may be a lack of hot water being produced, leaks coming from the unit, or corrosion around the seams of the tank itself. If this is currently happening with your gas water heater, it should be professionally inspected immediately to prevent a catastrophic failure from occurring.
When should you replace a water heater? Most manufacturers state that their suggested service life for a water heater is 12 years or less. Some models may have a service life of only 8 years.
To extend the life of your water heater, it is important to have the tank properly located so that it can operate as efficiently as possible. The quality of the installation will contribute to a longer lifespan, as will having low-scale water and a regular maintenance schedule.
Many gas water heaters fail prematurely because they are not properly maintained. It is necessary to drain the water from your heater at least twice per year to get rid of collected sediment. This will help to limit the amount of corrosion that can occur and will increase the efficiency of the unit.
It can also be helpful to test the pressure-relief valve periodically. Lift the handle on the valve and let it snap back into place. This should release water into your overflow drain. If it does not, then you will need to have the valve replaced.
Then there is the final temperature of your water to consider. Many hot water tanks offer a thermostat setting that goes above 120F, but anything above that temperature level also increases the risk of internal damage to the tank.
How Much to Install a Gas Water Heater?
If your showers are shorter than before and it takes forever to get hot water upstairs, then it might be time for a gas water heater replacement. For most homeowners, this means hiring a plumber to come out and install their new appliance.
If you’re not sure about who you should hire, an exciting online service is offered by Amazon in some areas. You can add a professional installation to your hot water heater and pay for everything with one flat fee. Prices for this option vary, but average about $700 on most models.
Local pricing can be highly variable. This is because every hot water installation is a little different. You should speak with a local plumber or contractor so they can come out to your home and give you an estimate.
For a typical 50-gallon gas water heater which has a connection already in place, the installation cost can be anywhere from $800-$2,000.
Always hire a plumber that is licensed, insured, and bonded to install your hot water heater.
Steve Hyde of Washington Water Heaters told Angie’s List that a professional installation is absolutely necessary. “Installing a water heater is dangerous,” he said, “and we encounter improperly installed water heaters on a daily basis.”
DIY installers should be careful. If a gas leak occurs, it could result it catastrophic damage, which may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Should I Get a Tankless Gas Water Heater?
Gas tankless water heaters are a good option for homeowners that are looking for three specific benefits.
- They want their home to become more energy-efficient, reducing the impact they have on the local environment.
- They are looking to experience immediate utility savings without sacrificing the amount of hot water access a home happens to have.
- They are willing to pay for the added installation costs of venting that is required for this type of water heater.
No matter how you swing it, replacing a hot water heater is an expensive prospect. The installation costs are often equal or greater than the cost of the appliance itself. For gas tankless water heaters, this is even more so. If your home doesn’t already have the special venting that is required for this type of water heater, then your installation costs may exceed $2,500.
This means the final cost of a tankless water heater is usually about double what the final cost of a gas tank-based water heater. In return, you can begin to make up the initial investment with monthly utility savings.
Tankless water heaters are also rated to last twice as long as most tank-based gas water heaters, which means you won’t need to repeat an installation expense as quickly. With a tankless system, you’re essentially paying for two gas tank-based water heaters that you’d be using otherwise. Over the span of 15-20 years, tankless systems are cheaper.
Over the course of 5-10 years, however, a traditional gas-powered water heater is the cheaper option.
Gas vs Electric
Gas water heaters are generally what homeowners select for their properties. This is because they are the cheapest hot water heaters on the market by way of utility cost. The US Department of Energy states that up to 18% of the average home’s utility bill is directly attributed to the hot water heater.
Gas water heaters may cost about 10% more for the equipment, but they are cheaper to operate on a monthly basis. Gas water heaters average about $30 per month to operate, compared to the $42 per month that an electric water heater will typically cost.
The City of Statesboro broke down these costs through a series of tests to determine what cost-savings could be achieved by using a gas water heater over an electric water heater from the same manufacturer – Rheem. Here is what they discovered.
- The monthly operational cost of the gas water heater was $16.20, compared to a monthly operational cost of $25.05 for the electric water heater.
- The natural gas hot water heater was able to deliver over 95 gallons in one session, compared to the 62.3 gallons that the electric hot water heater was able to provide.
- It took just 21 minutes for the gas water heater to completely recover. It took the electric hot water heater more than an hour to completely recover.
Interestingly enough, the city discovered that the monthly operational costs for a tankless water heater by Rheem was just $11.25.
Pros and Cons of a Gas Water Heater
- Fast Heating. A gas model will typically heat water at 2-3 times the rate of an electrically-based model. This is called the “recovery time.” If you need a full tank of hot water in 1-hour, you could get 50 gallons from a gas model, but just 25 gallons from an electrical model.
- Blackout Operations. Several gas hot water heaters can operate without any power access. This applies to models that use a pilot light instead of an electrical ignition. You may need to look through the best water heater reviews to find a model with a pilot light, however, since electrical ignition has become an industry standard for many manufacturers.
- Lower Energy Costs. Even if you purchase a high-efficiency electric model, you’ll save up to $100 per month on your utility costs with gas. Gas is often cheaper than electricity and gas-powered water heaters are operational up to 67% less often. Depending on your local utility costs, this could be a total cost savings of over $5,000 over the life of the unit.
- Higher Costs. A gas hot water heater will cost about 10% more than the average electrical hot water heater of equal size. There may be higher installation costs as well.
- Greater Risk. If something goes wrong with an electrical water heater, you might find yourself with a catastrophic flood. When something goes wrong with a gas hot water heater, it can literally blow up.
- Shorter Life. Even when it is properly maintained on the manufacturer’s repair schedule, a gas hot water heater will typically last 8-12 years. Electric models last 10-13 years, while tankless models can last for 20+ years.
It is easy to look at the initial product price of a hot water heater and decide to go with the cheapest option. This is an appliance that requires an investment. All costs, however, must be considered: installation, ongoing utilities, and maintenance. Over the lifespan of the appliance, gas hot water heaters almost always come out ahead.
How Much is a Gas Water Heater?
Gas models are priced on the size of the tank, added features it may have, or if it is a tankless model. Most 50-gallon hot water heaters in this category are priced in the $350-$600 range. Some models may be a little lower or higher than that range, depending on the manufacturing age of the unit.
Hot water heaters with tanks of 80+ gallons start above $700 and may cost well over $1,000.
Tankless hot water heaters in this category that can handle 4 GPM are priced around $400. Individual faucet or appliance models are priced lower. High-flow tankless models are typically priced above $1,000.
These prices do not usually include the costs of a professional installation.
Gas Water Heater Reviews
This water heater is a solid choice for those who own smaller homes or live in smaller households. It offers a maximum GPM rate of 3, so it can accommodate 1-2 faucets or fixtures at a time. You won’t want to have someone taking a shower while you’re running the dishwasher with this hot water heater. It’s also a good option for those who might own a cabin they use for an annual vacation, a cottage that runs off the grid on solar power, or smaller homes that don’t want to deal with the risk of having a large tank of water somewhere.
This model operates off either natural gas or propane, giving you the same cheap and effective fuel source that a tanked gas water heater requires. It is also certified to be installed for use in manufactured and mobile homes. With an efficiency rating of 0.82, it also meets many of the new standards and regulations that are in place right now – and it’s all done for a comparable price to tank-based heaters. . Give it a closer look and we think you’ll be as pleased with it as we were.
Replacing a water heater can be difficult thanks to the various configurations that are available these days. This standardized model limits the changes to a current setup that would need to be made. In return, there is usually a reduced installation cost for those who hire a professional to get this water heater working. There is a built-in gas pressure regulator with this model that allows for an even gas flow when this water heater is in use. This allows for consistent cycling times, solid water pressure, and a pleasurable user experience.
The electronic controls on the appliance are state-of-the-art, allowing users to have more control over the fuel and output settings. This gives you more precision when it comes to selecting a final temperature for your hot water. You can finally forget about this initial scalding or periodic freezing moments that occur with older models of a similar design. We also loved the fact that some extra attention was given to the drain valve on this model. It is constructed from brass and it has been given an upgraded tamper-resistant design so accidentally triggering it is virtually impossible to do.
What makes this model stand out from the competition is the exclusive anode rod technology that Rheem has incorporated. It is something they call “R-Tech” and it helps to provide more protection to the interior of the tank. If you have source water that is highly corrosive, even if you have it filtered or softened, then you could burn through your sacrificial rods in no time at all. As long as you follow a regular flushing and maintenance schedule with this unit, you’ll notice a real difference in the consistency of your hot water over a long-term basis.
The control panel for adjusting your settings is in a standard configuration. It’s a little small compared to some other models, but still easy enough to use. There is a warning light that will flash to let you know if something is wrong. The manufacturer’s guide has a complete list of flash codes that will help you diagnose an issue that may occur.
It is a direct vent water heater. Connections are in a standard configuration, so if you’ve had a gas water heater in the past, the installation is quick. We think you’ll agree that this is an investment which makes sense.
This tankless moedl gives you a lot of choices. It includes internal freeze protection, making its outdoor-only installation easier to complete. The variable BTU range is from 19,500-140,000, allowing households to meet peak demands, but not consume tons of energy when only a little hot water is needed. The maximum flow-rate is 6.6 GPM, supported by an Energy Factor of 0.82. It’s a solid little hot water heater that can operate on propane or natural gas, is Energy Star certified, and has a 12-year limited warranty on the heat exchanger.
If you’re short on venting options, but you still want to take advantage of the benefits of a tankless hot water heater, then this condensing high-efficiency model is a solid option. It provides endless hot water when used as instructed, has a small footprint, and offers computerized safety features. There isn’t a pilot light that you need to worry about. You’ll receive up to 8 GPM with this model, but you’ll also need some sort of drainage in place to it can function properly. It’s a bit of an investment, but one that will pay many dividends over the years for any household.
If 8 GPM isn’t enough to satisfy your hot water needs with the H3S model, then consider the upgraded H3 model instead from Takagi. This unit offers you all the same features as the hot water heater described above, but with a maximum output of 10 GPM instead. The pricing difference is quite minimal between the two units, so you’re essentially purchasing access to an extra faucet over the next decade (or two) for less than $100 more. If you’re attracted to a gas tankless heater and love what this brand can provide, then this is the best water heater for you. Period.
Rheem makes some outstanding tank-based water heaters. Sometimes, however, a tank isn’t the best fit for a home. This tankless model, which offers a low NOx experience with an indoor direct-vent design, gives you more options. It is designed more for smaller households than larger ones, offering a max 6.4 GPM – but with just a 35F-degree temperature rise. It does include a remote control and 10 feet of thermostat wire in the box for an easy installation process for a local professional.
The best gas water heater reviews will help you find an affordable way to get all the hot water you need. Whether you go tankless or you prefer a traditional design, you’ll get a great price on the appliance you need today.