How Long Does It Take to Install a Water Heater?

As long as you know what you’re doing, installing a water heater is a basic and uncomplicated process. Most units can actually take only 30 minutes to install!

If you don’t have any plumbing experience, it’s preferable to call a professional, but if you do, the task may be completed in a matter of hours.

This article will lead you through the process of installing a hot water heater, whether you’re installing a new one or replacing an existing one.

The water heater’s function is to heat water in your house. You’re familiar with your water heater if you live somewhere with chilly winters.

The most popular water heaters are cylindrical, constructed of steel or copper, and feature a lengthy hose that connects to the domestic plumbing.

Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose between electric, gas, or tankless water heaters.

However, one thing that all types of water heaters have in common is the installation procedure.

The procedure varies depending on the type of water heater you choose, but it is often straightforward.

What Kind of Water Heater Do I Own?

You have to first remove your old water before you get to installing a new system.

If you have a gas water heater then it will be a bigger challenge to remove it compared to an electric unit.

A wire will run through all-electric water heaters, and they will not be linked to any gas lines (to the gas supply/ fuel source).

Take note of the make and type of your heater as well, as each one is different in some manner.

Always refer to the handbook that came with your model for information on how to use and operate it properly.

When Does a Water Heater Need Replacement?

The provision of warm or hot flowing water is critical to our daily life in most of our houses.

From hot showers and baths to hand washing, cooking, and even doing your laundry and cleaning some dishes, everything is covered.

Essentially, the average individual might use warm water up to 20 times every day. When you consider how many people use it in each family, you can comprehend the demands imposed on the water heater.

You’re likely to notice indicators that your water heater needs to be replaced at some point.

It may have served you well, but good things do not continue indefinitely. It might be due to user fatigue or the age of the device.

Keep in mind that standard tank water heaters, even the most expensive types, have a ten-year lifetime. When you take proper care of it and keep up with regular maintenance, it can help.

If you stay in your house for more than eight years, though, there’s a strong possibility you’ll need a water heater replacement.

As a result, homeowners must understand the indicators that suggest it’s time to repair their water heater.

  • Your water heater is too old
  • A rusted water or heater inlet valve
  • Water Heater Noise
  • Water Heater Leakage
  • Water Heater Not Heating

Although not all water heater issues necessitate immediate repair, some do.

When a tank begins to leak, for example, you should replace it as soon as possible.

A gradual dripping beneath the tank is one of the most evident symptoms of a leak.

This frequently results in a rusty water trail. If you don’t take care of this right away, it might turn into a major problem that costs you money in property damage.

Not to mention the negative impact rust will have on the quality of your water.

Before You Install a New Water Heater

Before you install your new water heater, you must make several important choices.

These factors may or may not have an impact on the overall length of the hot water heater installation.

The majority of water heaters last for more than ten years. As a result, you may be unaware of the more energy-efficient technologies available today.

With options ranging from 50-gallon units to tankless water heaters, you have more alternatives than in the past.

If you choose one that is very different from your present unit, you will almost certainly need to make a few more changes, which will extend the installation time.

You must also consider any additional installation cost that may be included.

How Long Does It Take To Install a Water Heater?

In reality, it’s a point of contention. You should expect a water heater to be delivered and installed in one day or less when you purchase one.

If you just replace your current heating unit with the same sort of heating unit you had before, your system should be up and running again in about 2-3 hours. The normal installation steps are as follows:

  • Disposing of the old water heater (45 to 60 minutes). Disconnecting the power, draining the storage tank of all water, disconnecting water supply pipes, and removing the tank from your home are all processes involved.
  • Setting up the new unit (up to 30 minutes). This is the time when the new tank is delivered, unboxed, and subsequently installed.
  • Hooking up the water heater and testing it (45-60 minutes). The tank will be connected to power and water sources once it has been installed. This might take a little longer if it’s a gas unit. After that, the professional plumber will test it and identify areas for improvement.

Installation Process

Consultation With Experts:

It would be a wise option to begin by seeking advice from certified specialists.

Service specialists may assess your current water heater issue and recommend the best water heater for your needs and budget.

This might be as simple as replacing your tank with a new one or as complex as converting to tankless systems. Depending on the firm, they may also be able to provide financing alternatives such as payment plans.

Setting Up Meetings:

You can meet with them at a time that is convenient for you. In certain circumstances, such as an emergency, you may require a prompt appointment.

It’s best to make it promptly so that any additional possible damage is minimized.

Area Cleared Around the Heater:

It’s a good idea to clear any boxes or clutter from around your heater and the space around it before the repair professionals arrive, so they have free access to your heater.

This saves everyone a lot of time and allows them to have their heater fixed in a short space of time.

The Installation Procedure Is As Follows:

Depending on your level of competence, you may need to hire a licensed plumber at this stage.

When installing a water heater, the first step is to disconnect it from the power. Then you should cut it off from the water supply. To do so, detach the valve that controls the house’s main water supply.

Then, at the appliances, turn off the water. Turn the shutoff or pressure relief valve to turn off the water to the water heater.

Fill a bathtub with water and submerge all of the water lines, including the water heater if feasible, using a hose.

Where Should the New Water Heater Be Installed?

After that, turn on the new water heater and install it near the old one. The cold water supply pipe (the feed line) should be connected to the water heater while installing the new water heater.

The existing water heater is connected to the hot water supply line. The gas connection lines should now be connected to the new water heater’s gas connections.

In the bathtub, place the new water heater (or clear the area underneath where you are installing the new water heater).

Turn on the cold water and drain the water from the bathtub, then drain the water from the new water heater’s bottom drain. The cold water supply should be turned off.

Turn off the water heater that is currently in use as well as any faucets that will be connected to the new water heater.

The New Heater Is Connected

Connect the hot water supply pipe to the new heater’s threaded port on the top. Tighten the nut on the fitting.

Connect the hot water supply line to the drain valve’s threaded port on the new heater. Tighten the nut on the fitting.

Connect the gas line’s supply and return lines to the new water heater.

Using the pliers, tighten the fittings. To flush away any silt in the supply line, run the water.

Reconnect the new water heater’s electrical wiring, turn on the water, and check for leaks. Examine the new water heater for any signs of a gas leak.

If the heater is not leaking, switch it on and let it run for a few minutes.

What Is the Purpose of Having My Water Heater Flushed?

It’s a good idea to get your water heater cleaned every few years. Flushing aids in the removal of sediments and particles that have built up and may have blocked your water heater.

There’s a risk of sediment buildup if you don’t have your heater flushed, which can shorten its lifespan.

Maintaining the temperature of your heater is a failsafe way to determine whether it needs to be flushed.

If everything is operating properly, the temperature should be at least 60 degrees. If it falls below that, your heater should be flushed as soon as possible.

What Water Heaters Do Experts Recommend?

This is mostly dependent on whatever power source is the most convenient for you. If natural gas is abundant in your location, a gas unit is the best option.

If gas is not available, an electric unit would be preferable because the majority of households have access to power.

Another factor to think about is your budget.

The operating costs of an electric unit are rather high, therefore it may not be the ideal option for saving money.

A gas heater is more expensive to buy and install, but it saves you money in the long run due to its low operating expenses.

Also, you should factor in your hot water usage habits. If your home requires a lot of hot water, an electric water heater might be a good choice.

It’s simple to do and will save you a lot of energy. A gas unit is slower, so it’s best for homes that don’t use a lot of hot water on a regular basis.

You can choose from:

  • Solar Water Heaters
  • Gas/ Electric Tankless Unit
  • Gas Tank Water Heaters
  • Electric Tank Water Heaters
  • Propane Water Heaters

How Long Does It Take To Obtain Hot Water Once a New Water Heater Is Installed?

The length of time you’ll have to wait for hot water from a new water heater is determined by the type of heater you have.

A properly placed gas water heater will produce hot water on time. It will only take 30 to 40 minutes for a standard 40-gallon heater to provide hot water for you.

Hot water should arrive in roughly one hour from bigger tanks (80 gallons). Electric hot water tanks take longer to heat.

It takes roughly 60 to 80 minutes to fill a conventional 40-gallon tank, and around 2 hours to fill an 80-gallon tank.


It is not easy to install a water heater, but it is doable. We hope that this post has given you some insight into how long a water heater installation could take.

We would strongly advise you to hire service specialists to complete the installation.

Especially if it’s for a gas water heater installation. This one comes with added risk to your property such as gas leaks occurring.

To identify a reliable plumbing company in your state or region, do some research and ask around.

The good news is that you now know what to anticipate!

Please leave any questions or comments below, and we will respond as quickly as possible. We’re always willing to assist!

by Richard Kelly

Having experienced significant success as a house flipper, I am often approached with questions about all things home improvement. That’s why I decided to start this site. My objective is to share all of the insights I have accumulated over the years so other people can design the homes of their dreams.