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How Long Does It Take to Install a Water Heater?

Written by Vaughan Comfort Services on . Posted in .

Key takeaways:

  • You should replace a broken or malfunctioning water heater as soon as possible.
  • Different types of water heaters have varying lifespans. However, your water heater should typically last at least 8 years with proper care.
  • The water heater installation process will vary based on whether it is gas or electric.
  • There are multiple steps you should take to maintain your water heater, including annual flushes, water pressure tests, and more.
  • Contact a New Jersey plumbing professional at Vaughan Comfort Services for all of your water heater installation needs.

Being a homeowner has many perks, but performing maintenance around your house is hardly one of them. Installing a new water heater on your own can be incredibly challenging. That’s why it is so important to hire a professional HVAC/plumbing technician. The team at Vaughan Comfort Services has extensive experience installing water heaters as quickly and efficiently as possible. Take a closer look at how long it takes to install a new water heater and discover all the benefits you can enjoy.

Why is It Urgent That I Replace My Water Heater in New Jersey?

A hot water heater is the only thing standing between your home and the New Jersey winter colds. You should replace your water heater as soon as possible to avoid potential problems like:

  • Freezing cold showers
  • Rusty water
  • Scalding hot temperatures
  • Increased energy bills

In an economic sense, a faulty water heater could do much to compromise your energy bill during the winter season. A water heater that is not operating efficiently could require much more energy than it should to offer warm water in the colder months. The more energy it uses, the costlier your energy bill would be. Keep watch for any strange noises or lack of hot water before going into the depths of winter.

Average Lifespan of Popular Types of Water Heaters in New Jersey

The average lifespan of a water heater largely depends on what kind of water heater you have, how often it receives maintenance, whether or not you have water filtration, and how you treat it over the years. Take a look at some of the most common types and discover how long they typically last.

Electric Water Heaters

Infographic about water heaters

With an electric water heater, you will often get more of a lifespan out of it than their gas counterparts, but the exact type of water heater plays a bigger role than you might think. Electric water heaters generally have a lifespan of about 10-15 years.


Tankless electric water heaters tend to last for a significant time, with an average lifespan of about 15-20 years before needing replacement.


Conventional water heaters tend not to last as long as their tankless counterparts, but they can still manage 8 to 12 years of proper functioning.

Heat Pump Water Heater

Water heaters that use heat pumps last a bit longer than conventional water heaters, with an average lifespan of about 10-15 years if they are well-maintained.

Gas Water Heaters

inforgraphic about the lifetime of water heaters

Gas water heaters are common and valuable, but they need to be replaced sooner than electric water heaters, which have a lifespan of 8-12 years.


A tankless water heater will be the longest-lasting available, regardless of whether it is electric or gas-powered, and it will function properly for up to 20 years.


Even when using one of the oldest styles, newer conventional gas water heaters can last much longer than they used to, with a lifespan of about 8-12 years.

Condensing Water Heater

A condensing water heater can be efficient, but its lifespan typically extends to just 6-10 years, even with proper care.

Your Guide to Water Heater Installation

Installing a water heater on your own can be tricky, so it is generally best to leave it to people who are experts. Here is everything you need to do for a quality water heater installation:

  1. Contact a professional.
  2. Clear the area to remove interruptions during the installation process.
  3. Remove the old water heater from your home.
  4. Evaluate the installation process for your specific water heater. This will change depending on if the heater is electric or gas.

Contact a Professional

The first step should be getting in touch with a professional. That is the best way to ensure a safe and effective installation. While you can attempt it yourself, the process can be quite complicated, even if you know all the general overarching steps required.

Clear the Area

When installing a water heater, you must clear the area first to ensure that there are no interruptions to the installation process. That means giving yourself plenty of room to maneuver and ensuring that nothing is in the way of the water heater. Generally, ventilation necessitates at least 6 inches of clearance on all sides.

Remove the Old Water Heater

To replace your old water heater, you will need to get the old unit out of your home. If you upgrade your water heater and your old one is still in relatively good condition, you can always donate it to charity. However, selling it to a recycling center or scrap yard may be beneficial if it is only partially functional.

Install the New Water Heater

When you are finally ready to install a new water heater, you will need to consider the exact kind of water heater you opted for. The installation process is different for each new unit.


When installing a natural gas water heater:

  • Align it for access to burner and controls
  • Level the unit
  • Connect the flue hat to the gas exhaust vent
  • Install heat trap fittings
  • Install water line connections
  • Install gas line
  • Check for leaks
  • Light the pilot light


To install an electric water heater:

  • Align unit to allow access to thermostat controls
  • Install a new pressure release valve
  • Tighten valve until it points to the floor
  • Connect the discharge pipe
  • Connect electrical wiring
  • Connect water supply

Factors that May Affect the Installation Time of Water Heaters

Installation time often depends on various factors that could affect your water heater. You will need to consider where the water heater is located inside the home and the type of water heater you want to install. Additionally, the age of your plumbing system can play a major role. It can be more difficult to connect a new water heater to a particularly old plumbing system, while homes with new plumbing systems are conveniently compatible with most new water heaters.

How Long Does Installing a Water Heater in New Jersey Take?

The entire installation process timeline varies based on the factors mentioned above, but professionals can have the whole process done in just a few hours. It could be an all-day affair if you are trying to DIY the process. Professionals will have plenty of experience and can do all the installation and checks quickly, while you may have to constantly check instructions and safety tips. Regardless, these installations should take at most a day.

The Importance of Post-Installation: Testing and Adjustments

Maintaining safety standards is an important aspect of any water heater installation, but that should also continue after the installation is completed. When you hire a technician from Vaughan Comfort Services, they will perform safety tests and checks to make sure it is up to all standards set by the state of New Jersey.

Safety and Compliance in South Jersey

To maintain compliance with safety regulations in New Jersey, your water heater must meet certain efficiency standards. New water heaters must be more energy-efficient, and that is legally enforced by requiring extra insulation. This can increase the unit’s overall size, so you may have to take additional measures to ensure enough clearance on all sides of the unit to meet the safety standards. You may also need to include a drip pan and larger vents.

Safe Water Settings

Tank water heaters need to be set with particular water settings to function properly and efficiently. A professional installation will come with the technicians setting the water to be as efficient as possible within the proper temperature range. This will not only help with your energy bill, but it will also prevent you from scalding water that is too hot while still avoiding being stuck with cold water.

How To Prolong Your Water Heater’s Life

Several tricks and practices can help your water heater last as long as possible.

  1. Perform routine maintenance checks annually.
  2. Conduct annual flushes.
  3. Test the water pressure regularly.
  4. Check the anode rod for sediment buildup.

Let’s look at each step in more detail.

Routine Maintenance Checks

Modern water heaters are built to last, but no design will ever be perfect. Outside factors could affect the water heater, too, so you must remain vigilant for anything that could threaten the integrity of your unit. Getting routine maintenance checks is the best way to keep an eye out for problems and maintain an efficient water heater, so schedule service about every year or so.

Annual Flushes

As water heaters are used, sediment builds up in the bottom of the tank. When too much sediment piles up, it could lead to overheating, drastically shortening the unit’s lifespan. You can avoid this by flushing the tank before the sediment gets too high. This can be done about once a year, though homes with hard water may need to flush their unit more often.

Test Water Pressure

Water pressure in your home should be less than 80 psi, as any licensed plumber would tell you. You can test this with a pressure gauge easily enough. Remember that thermal pressure can vary based on water use, so you may need a thermal expansion tank. Additionally, you will want to use a pressure-regulating valve if the city water pressure exceeds 80 psi.

Check the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a part of your water heater designed to slow sediment buildup in your hot water tank by attracting minerals. This rod should be inspected each time you flush your unit to see if it still functions properly. They typically last about 3-5 years before they need to be replaced.

Water Filtration

Utilizing a water filtration system will help prolong the lifespan of any water heater. Dirty and hard water is going to be much more difficult for your water heater to cope with, so making sure that your water is as clean as possible will help the water heater do its job easier.

Why South New Jersey Homeowners Choose Vaughan Comfort Services

Vaughan Comfort Services has been helping homeowners around South Jersey for decades since 1937. We specialize in plumbing, heating and cooling, replacements and repairs, and home energy assessments. Many of our customers proudly share their experiences working with our team.

“We highly recommend Vaughn Comfort Services and Mike & Team of Installers. 5-Star service for sure.” — Beth M.

“They were able to give us a quote and install the new heater the same day! They all took the time to explain everything to us before leaving. The year plan was definitely the best option! Will use them again for sure.” — Julia C.

Don’t DIY a Water Heater Install. Let Us Help.

When you are ready to install a new water heater in your New Jersey home or get a water heater replacement, Vaughan Comfort Services has got you covered. Whether you’ve already got one picked out or aren’t sure where to even start with your water heater needs, our team is happy to help. Get in touch today at 856-627-0303 or by filling out our online contact form to begin.

NJ LIC. NO.13VH01727600
Robert W. Vaughan,
Master HVACR Contractor Lic. # 5842
Thomas J. Weaver,
Master Plumber Lic # 9521

Contact Info
212 Barrett Avenue
Magnolia, NJ 08049

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