How Long to Replace A Water Heater in Everett?

By Danika | January 30, 2023

How Long to Replace A Water Heater in Everett?

broken tankless water heater

When a water heater goes out, the impact is immediate and dramatic. Hot water is the lifeblood of any household or business, and its absence can be difficult to adjust to, if not downright annoying. Without a functioning unit, tasks like washing dishes or taking a shower become much more challenging and, for many, simply impossible. When the breakdown happens, the question “how long does it take to replace a water heater in Everett, Kirkland, or anywhere in the greater Seattle area is often at the top of your mind. So let’s look at the process of replacing a water heater to give you an idea of what to expect.

shivering woman wondering how long to replace a broken water heater in Everett

Typical Timeframe for Replacing a Water Heater

Imagine you run an Airbnb and have a water heater that goes out in the middle of a busy season. How would that feel? Annoying and stressful considering you could be losing money during the time it’s down! Fortunately, you don’t have to wait long to get back up and running. In most cases, it will take a professional plumber between 2-3 hours to replace the water heater, though there can be variations depending on the complexity of the job.

Installation Process:

Assuming you have everything ready to go, the actual installation process of a water heater is relatively straightforward, although the time frame can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • the type and size of the unit
  • specific installation requirements
  • the availability of parts
  • the rate and skill level of the technician
  • and any existing plumbing issues

The plumber will first turn off the water and power or gas to the existing unit, then drain it of any remaining water. They will then remove the old unit and install the new one, ensuring all connections are secure. Once that’s done, they will fill the tank with water and test the unit to ensure it’s operating properly. Finally, they will restore power or gas to the new heater and, if necessary, reset the thermostat. Below is a DETAILED step-by-step guide of what to expect during the process, with the approximate time for each step.

Step One: Turn off water lines, power, or gas to the existing unit.

Before the plumber can start their work, they must first turn off the water lines and power or gas to the existing unit. This important safety measure ensures no accidents or injuries occur during the installation process. To do so, the plumber will locate the shutoff valve for the water line leading to the unit, turn it off, and then disconnect the plumbing and venting pipes from the existing unit. They will then locate the circuit breaker for the unit, turn it off for electric heaters, or turn off the gas line for gas-powered units.

Any wiring or gas connections should also be disconnected before removing the old unit. This will ensure there are no live wires or gas lines when the new unit is installed. This step usually takes roughly 25-30 minutes.

Step Two: Drain the tank of any remaining water.

Once the lines are disconnected, the plumber will drain the tank to remove any remaining water from the unit. This is done by connecting a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and running it to a nearby outdoor area. The plumber usually does the following:

  • Opens the pressure relief valve on the top of the tank
  • Connects the hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank
  • Opens the drain valve and lets the water out until it is completely drained
  • Closes the drain valve when done

It’s important to note that the tank should be drained slowly and carefully, as there could still be pressure in the system that could cause the hose to become detached or burst. Depending on the size of the tank and the water pressure in the system, this step could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Step Three: Remove the old unit.

For easier access to the unit, the plumber might need to move furniture or appliances away from the surrounding area. Once they have cleared the space, they will remove the old water heater. This involves disconnecting any remaining wiring or gas connections and loosening the bolts that hold it in place. Ensure that you use a wrench or adjustable pliers to loosen the bolts, as these are the most effective tools for this job. Depending on the size and weight of the unit, it might take two people to lift and remove the old water heater. This step usually takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes.

Step Four: Install the new unit.

Now that the old unit has been removed, it’s time to install the new one. This involves connecting the hot and cold water lines and gas or electrical connections. The unit is secured in place with bolts, and all connections are made tight.

The plumber should check that all connections are secure and that the tank is level before moving on to the next step. This is a critical step to ensure the unit is working properly and safely. Depending on the unit’s size and the installation’s complexity, this step can take up to an hour.

Step Five: Fill the tank with water and test the unit.

To ensure that everything is running properly and that there are no leaks, testing the unit is a must. This involves filling the tank with water, turning on the power or gas, and setting the thermostat to a desired temperature. The plumber will then wait for the unit to cycle through and ensure that all the connections are secure and functioning properly. This step usually takes approximately 15 minutes if there are no problems.

time it takes a plumber to repair a water heater in Seattle

When to Replace or Repair A Water Heater

Generally, the life expectancy of a traditional tank water heater is around 8-12 years. If your water heater has been in service for more than 10 years, it’s probably time to start considering replacement options. Of course, age isn’t the only factor in deciding whether you should repair or replace your water heater. Other warning signs you may need to replace your water heater include the following:

  • Your water heater is leaking
  • You have rust-colored hot water
  • You hear loud noises or rumbling coming from your water heater
  • Your energy bills are higher than normal
  • The water pressure is low
  • You notice a significant decrease in your hot water supply
  • Your hot water temperature is not consistent throughout the day

If you’re still uncertain whether to repair or replace your water heater, a certified plumber can help you make the right decision. They will inspect your system and provide an honest assessment of its age, condition, and expected lifespan. From there, you’ll be able to decide whether it’s worth investing in repairs or if you should replace your water heater altogether.

In some cases, a repair may be the best option. It can save you money and extend the life of your system. However, if the cost of repairs outweighs the cost of a new system, it’s probably time to replace your water heater. Replacing your water heater can also provide you with the opportunity to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model, resulting in lower utility bills over time.


For safety reasons, have a licensed and insured professional do the installation and ensure all the codes and regulations are followed. At Danika Plumbing, we put your needs first and guarantee you a safe and efficient installation with the quality and reliability you deserve. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced technicians to discuss your water heater needs and determine whether you should repair or replace it. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and provide you with a free estimate. Contact us today to get started!

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