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If you’ve experienced issues with your hot water heater, you likely want to have the problem resolved as expediently as possible. Depending on the age of the water heater, the best way to ensure consistent hot water may be to simply have a new hot water heater installed. 

But how long will your water heater installation appointment take? Is it reasonable to think you can have a new unit replaced in a day’s time? In this post, we’ll provide some general insight about the water heater installation process. To summarize, a tank to tank installation can last up to three hours to four hours. Tank to tankless may last a bit longer. And going from a tankless to another tankless water heater will usually take no more than three to four hours. 

As a general caveat, however, keep in mind that the process can vary a little from home to home, and from hot water heater to hot water heater. As such, these guidelines are only meant to provide you with a ballpark, not a hard-and-fast ruling. For a specific estimate regarding water heater installation in Indianapolis, water heater installation in Greenwood, water heater installation in Carmel, or water heater installation in Fishers, IN, reach out to Carter’s My Plumber today.

Tank and Tankless Water Heater
Tank and Tankless Water Heater

What to Expect from the Water Heater Installation Appointment

Here’s a walk-through of the process for water heater installation. 

1) Consultation

First, you’ll need to talk with a licensed plumber about the nature of your water heater problems, and to determine which type of water heater is right for your home. The consultation is also a great time to ask about things like tankless water heater installation cost. This can be done over the phone but often takes place in person, and shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes or so.

2) Preparation

Before the installation itself, there are a few simple things you can do to prepare. These steps will help your licensed plumber to work more quickly, and to get your heater connected to the water supply as expediently as can be:

  • Remove any clutter or debris from the installation area, ensuring accessibility 
  • Make sure your pets are secured somewhere out of the way
  • Provide a clear path for your licensed plumber to move the water tank and tools to the installation site
  • Measure your doors to be sure the water heater will fit through

3) Installation

So, how long will it actually take for your licensed plumber to get the unit up and running? It depends on which type of water heater you choose: Tankless water heaters, conventional water heaters, etc. It’s also important to note that the location of the water heater can be a factor. For example, if the technician must go up and down a lot of stairs, or venture into a less-accessible part of the home, installation times will be longer.

  • Tank to tank installation. If you have a gas-powered or electric water heater with a tank, and if you’re replacing it with another unit that has a tank, then the installation process will typically take two to three hours. This encompasses 45 minutes to an hour for disconnecting the old unit, half an hour to move the new unit into position, and an hour or so to ensure the new unit is properly connected.
  • Tank to tankless installation. If you’re switching from a traditional water heater to a tankless water heater, the installation time may take a bit longer. Your licensed plumber will likely need to create new air vents, install new power lines, etc.
  • Tankless to tankless installation. Swapping out one tankless unit for another tankless unit should take an hour or two at the most.

4) Wrapping Up

Once your new unit has been installed, your licensed plumber will clean up the area, ensure that the old unit has been hauled off for disposal or recycling, show you how to use the new water heater, and answer any questions you may have.

With any additional questions about having an energy efficient water heater installed in the Indianapolis area, we welcome you to contact our skilled installers at Carter’s My Plumber.

Water Heater Repair
Water Heater Installation

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Heater Installation

Depending on the type of water heater, it may take anywhere from two to four hours, in some cases a little more.

It’s a little labor-intensive and potentially tricky. We definitely recommend leaving it to trained professionals, such as licensed plumbing professionals. 

Going from tank to tank will likely take three to four hours.

For a tank-to-tank installation, you can anticipate a total time of three to four hours.

For tank-to-tank installation, anticipate up to three to four hours.

We generally recommend having a professional do it, to ensure your safety, to optimize performance, and to confirm that you don’t inadvertently void the warranty on your unit.

Yes, most often due to a failing pressure release valve and/or poor installation.

Depending on the type of water heater you have, your unit may last anywhere from 10 to 20 years.

We do recommend preventative water heater replacement, and are always happy to talk with you about the water heater replacement cost. Leaks can lead to flooding and result in damages to flooring, etc.

For tank-to-tank installation, plan on three to four hours. Switching to a tankless heater may take a little more time.

Home Depot will offer a free consultation, but not a free installation.

Kelson Carter

Article reviewed by:

Kelson Carter, aka, The Prince of Plumbing

Kelson is a 3rd generation Plumbing Contractor. His family business is located in Greenwood, Indiana, and provides Residential Plumbing Service to the Indianapolis Metro market.

Kelson grew up watching his grandfather and father do plumbing. After graduating high school, Kelson went to Trade School and became a Licensed Master Plumber and Licensed Plumbing Contractor. He is also Certified in Backflow Prevention. He currently owns and operates Carter's My Plumber with his parents.


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