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AS for a price Gas water heater have now gone up, figure a 50 gallon i've heard installed in Ny for 0.00-80, but this only if for a true professional installation.Typical cost here in the Philly area for a 40 gallon gas water heater installation is between 0-800.Besides, when I looked the water heaters up at Home Depot they were not that much cheaper anyway and the plumber told me that there was even some sort of pending lawsuit against GE water heaters and I didn't want to get into that.... You have the price of the heater, labor, replacement of some plumbing at the heater since it may be corroded and re-plumbing to fit the layout of the new heater's pipes, but the basic hook up is there to start with.It took the plumber 2.5 hours to install it at a cost of per hour--so my total cost for the heater and labor with tax was about 0.00. I know that things like this are usually much cheaper here in the midwest than in other places, but that may give someone an idea! Your plumber is not reinventing the wheel and barring the unforseen, max of 3 hours labor.
However, the few plumbers & handymen companies I've called in the Chicago area are quoting me from 0 to 00.The plumber gave me an option of having him get the water heater at a price of 0 or said I could get one myself at Home Depot and he would pick it up and install it for me.I chose to purchase one from him, because he told me that his was a higher quality and would last longer (I think the brand he installed was "State").You are messing with gas, venting issues, electrical wiring and updated code issues such as a drain pan and tempature and relief drain lines for heaters that currently do not have them.I do agree that there are some companies that are way out of line for their installs but most of these companies are the really big companies that have very high overheads I would assume.All businesses have different overhead which in turn decides what their bottom line would be on their services.I personally would not go with an unlicensed professional for this type of install.Unhook old heater, remove from premises, new heater in, it's hookup, dispose of old heater - - not necessarily in that order.I would do it myself because it is not brain surgery but the HARD part is getting rid of the old one, which by the time it croaks weighs about eight times what it did new [massive lime buildup inside over the years].For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List. How much should it cost to have a standard (tank) gas water heater installed?In 1995, I paid 0 to have one installed in Atlanta.