How Much Does Water Heater Installation Cost? | 2024 Guide

By Alex Hawkins Updated July 10, 2024

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Water heater installation costs typically range from $906 to $3,910, but homeowners will pay around $2,400 on average depending on the type of heater, tank size, and other factors. Installing a new water heater promptly after the old one fails is crucial for restoring hot water for daily hygiene, washing, and cooking. Our guide explains common costs and signs it’s time for replacement.

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Corner of the house where the water heater is located. White water heater against a brick wall
Tank Water Heater

Tank water heater installation costs range from $906 to $1,583.

tankless water heater in attached garage
Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters cost around $1,833 to $3,910.

Repairing water softener, plumber with a wrench.
Water Softener System

Water softener system costs range from $1,100 to $3,000.


Note: Unless otherwise noted, cost figures in this article are based on 2024 reports from The Home Depot, Homewyse, and HomeGuide.

Cost of Water Heater Installation

The national average for tank water heater installation is between $906 and $1,583 for the unit and labor, however, tankless water heaters cost from $1,833 to $3,910 to purchase and install. The cost of installing a water heater will vary depending on the type of heater, tank size, and additional work required. 

Primary Cost Factors for Installing a Water Heater

When installing a water heater, there’s more to it than hooking up a tank or a unit to your plumbing system. The total cost of your water heater installation varies based on local labor and permit costs, any additional features, and several other factors explored below.

Factor 1: Cost by Water Heater Type 

One of the most significant cost factors affecting a water heater installation is the water heater’s fuel type. The list below breaks down the national average cost for different fuel types of tank and tankless water heaters. Expect tankless water heater installation costs to be higher.

Factor 2: Cost by Size

The other most significant cost factor is the water heater’s size. Water heaters are measured in gallon capacity, and performance is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Here are the average cost ranges, including labor and materials, for various water heater sizes:

Water Tank SizeAverage Cost RangeAverage Cost
30-gallon tank$300–$1,000$650
40-gallon tank$350–$1,600$975
50-gallon tank$400–$2,500$1,450
75-gallon tank$900–$3,500$2,200
80-gallon tank$1,000–$4,000$2,500

Factor 3: Labor Costs

Hiring a professional with experience and expertise installing water heaters is crucial. A skilled installer can get the job done efficiently and accurately, ensuring proper connections, minimizing leak risk, and ultimately saving you potential repair costs. Labor costs for professional plumbers range from $50 to $200 per hour. 

Other Cost Factors to Consider

Professional vs. DIY Water Heater Installation 

Professional installation offers a wealth of benefits. Expert plumbers know local building codes, safety regulations, and proper installation procedures. They also ensure the water heater is correctly connected to gas lines (if applicable), plumbing, and ventilation systems. Professional hot water heater installation minimizes the risk of leaks, gas exposure, or other hazards.

In contrast, do-it-yourself (DIY) installation poses notable risks, such as improper connections, leaks, inadequate ventilation, and potential harm to yourself or others. While a DIY install might appear cost-effective initially, the potential for costly repairs far outweighs the short-term savings. Additionally, many manufacturers’ warranties require professional installation, which means DIY installation could void these warranties. Professional installation guarantees a safe, efficient, and compliant setup, while DIY installation risks immediate and long-term complications.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Water Heater

Recognizing the signs that it’s time to replace your water heater is essential to prevent unexpected disruptions and potential damage. Here are some common signs that indicate the need for a new water heater:

Our Recommendation

We recommend professional water heater installation. When you hire a professional plumber to install your water heater, you get peace of mind from proper installation and full advantage of any warranties or guarantees. We suggest you obtain at least three plumbing quotes to compare closely to get the best option for your budget and needs.

Our tool helps you gather quotes from the top plumbers installing water heaters in your area.

Water Heater Installation Cost FAQ

How long does it take to install a 40-gallon water heater?

On average, a 40-gallon hot water should take professionals two to three hours to install.

What is considered old for a water heater?

With regular inspection, draining, and flushing, most water heaters last anywhere from eight to 12 years, and electric water heaters last a bit longer, from 10 to 15 years.

How long should I wait to run water after a new water heater?

After installing a new water heater, waiting 30 minutes to an hour is generally recommended before running water through it. This allows the water heater’s tank to fill up and for the heating element or burner to heat the water to the desired temperature. However, ask your contractors what they advise.

How do I prepare for a new water heater installation?

The best step a homeowner can take for water heater installation is to turn off the gas supply or electricity to the existing water heater. You’ll need to shut off the gas supply valve for gas water heaters. Turn off the circuit breaker connected to the water heater for electric water heaters. Additionally, locate the cold water supply line that feeds into the water heater and turn off the water supply by closing the valve. This valve is usually located above the water heater.