How Much Does a Propane Hot Water Heater Cost?

A propane hot water heater can be a cost-effective and efficient way to heat water for your home, but the upfront cost can vary significantly depending on the size, features, and installation requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the details of how much a propane hot water heater costs, including the unit itself, installation, and ongoing maintenance.

Propane Hot Water Heater Unit Costs

The cost of the propane hot water heater unit itself can range from $600 to $3,500, depending on several factors:

Tank Size
– 40-gallon propane water heater: $600 – $800
– 50-gallon propane water heater: $700 – $900
– 60-gallon propane water heater: $800 – $1,100
– 80-gallon propane water heater: $1,000 – $1,500

BTU Rating
– 30,000 BTU: $600 – $800
– 40,000 BTU: $700 – $900
– 50,000 BTU: $800 – $1,100
– 60,000 BTU: $1,000 – $1,500

Energy Efficiency
– Standard efficiency: $600 – $1,000
– High efficiency: $1,000 – $1,500
– Tankless: $1,000 – $3,500

Brand and Features
– Basic model: $600 – $800
– Mid-range model: $800 – $1,200
– Premium model: $1,200 – $3,500
– Smart features
– Increased insulation
– Larger tank size
– Higher BTU rating

To give you a better idea of specific model costs, here are some examples from major retailers:

Brand Model Tank Size Price
Rheem Performance 40-gallon $628
Rheem Performance 50-gallon $728
AO Smith Signature Premier 50-gallon $899
Bradford White RG2PV50H6N 50-gallon $1,099
Rinnai RL75iN Tankless $1,499

Propane Hot Water Heater Installation Costs

how much does a propane hot water heater cost

The cost of installing a propane hot water heater can range from $500 to $2,500, depending on the complexity of the installation and any additional requirements. Here are some factors that can affect the installation cost:

Location and Accessibility
– Easy access to the installation site: $500 – $1,000
– Difficult access or tight spaces: $1,000 – $2,000

Existing Plumbing and Gas Lines
– Minimal modifications needed: $500 – $1,000
– Extensive modifications or new lines: $1,000 – $2,000

Permits and Inspections
– No permits required: $500 – $1,000
– Permits and inspections needed: $1,000 – $2,000

Additional Features
– Basic installation: $500 – $1,000
– Installation with expansion tank, recirculation pump, or other features: $1,000 – $2,500

It’s important to note that the installation cost can vary significantly based on your local labor rates, the complexity of the job, and any additional requirements specific to your home or local building codes.

Ongoing Maintenance and Fuel Costs

In addition to the upfront costs of the propane hot water heater and installation, you’ll also need to factor in the ongoing maintenance and fuel costs:

– Annual maintenance (flushing, anode rod replacement, etc.): $100 – $300 per year

Fuel Costs
– Propane fuel costs: $2.00 – $4.00 per gallon
– Average annual fuel cost: $300 – $800, depending on usage and tank size

To keep your propane hot water heater running efficiently and safely, it’s recommended to have it serviced by a licensed professional annually. This will help extend the lifespan of the unit and ensure it’s operating at its best.


Investing in a propane hot water heater can be a cost-effective solution for your home, but it’s important to understand the full range of costs involved. By considering the unit price, installation requirements, and ongoing maintenance and fuel expenses, you can make an informed decision and budget accordingly. Remember to always work with licensed professionals for any installation or maintenance work to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations.