How much does a tank water heater cost to install?

The the typical costs for installing a tank water heater and what to inspect from the installer.
Tank water heaters cycle on and off to maintain the water within the tank at the temperature setting. Each tank water heater contains an outer jacket of insulation, minimizing (but not completely eliminating) heat loss.

Tank water heaters usually won't have a 100 percent reserve of hot water available, because the unit doesn't keep the entire water tank hot for usage. Most tank water heaters can last 10-15 years, yet they are considered to be less energy efficient than tankless water heaters.

See "How do tankless and tank water heaters compare?"

Typical Costs for Buying a Tank Water Heater

Low-End Estimate: About $200

High-End Estimate: $3,000 or more

Gas and propane tank water heater units are more expensive than those that use electricity, and price also depends on tank size.

Be sure to look for a tank water heater unit with a higher Energy Factor. Your money savings over the life of the unit will make up for the higher price when you buy it. Learn more about energy savings at

Typical Costs for Installing a Tank Water Heater

Low-End Estimate: $205

High-End Estimate: $275

Installation costs always depend on local labor and material costs.

If you're having an older tank water heater hauled away, be sure to ask if the estimate includes this removal/disposal cost.

What to Expect from Installers

Installers will:
  • Determine the best type of tank water heater for your home (depending on the fuel type available in your area)

  • Check the plumbing to ensure the new tank water heater has the same dimensions as the existing hot and cold water pipes.

  • Turn off the utilities to the existing tank water heater.

  • Drain the existing tank water heater.

  • Use tools to disconnect the utility lines.

  • Remove the old tank water heater.

  • Move the new tank water heater into the proper location.

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