Water heaters are often stored in small utility closets at the home. However, homeowners may decide to move this plumbing fixture into the garage. Doing so can generate more interior storage space, thus potentially increasing a property’s value.
The cost to move a water heater into a garage varies a lot, between $150 and $10,000. Homeowners who don’t currently have a water line connected to their garage, need to replace an old water heater, or prefer a professional reinstallation can expect to spend more than others.
However, moving a water heater into a garage can be pretty costly, especially if homeowners haven’t run gas and water lines into their garage. This guide will explore all costs associated with moving a water heater, helping you financially prepare for this home improvement project.
What Costs Are Involved in Moving a Water Heater?
The first thing that homeowners need to consider is that moving a water heater to a garage doesn’t incur a singular cost. Instead, this process can generate several expenses, including:
- Water heater replacement.
- Basic tools and equipment.
- Water and gas lines.
- Professional installation services.
Naturally, each of these potential costs has an associated price range. Additionally, not all homeowners will need to anticipate all of the expenses listed above. For example, if your water heater is relatively new or in excellent condition, you won’t need to consider replacing it.
However, considering the age and condition of your current water heater is a crucial first step. After all, placing new gas and water lines, only to realize that your water heater is on its last legs, can be devastating.
Water Heater Replacement
Do you know how old your water heater is? If not, there’s a good chance that it might not be in the best shape. These plumbing fixtures typically last about ten years, but they can experience shorter lifespans if improperly maintained and repaired.
Before you begin planning and budgeting for a water heater removal and reinstallation, you’ll want to check your current fixture for signs of damage and wear. Unfortunately, this can be challenging for the average homeowner, as most water heater problems occur inside the fixture.
Still, you should watch for a few signs and symptoms of a failing water heater, including:
- Low water pressure.
- Discolored water.
- Short bursts of warm water.
If your water heater is leaking or making odd sounds, you should contact a repair technician right away. If the technician can’t repair your old water heater, they can help you select a replacement fixture.
Should you need to replace your current water heater, you can expect to spend between $500 and $3,000 on a new fixture. Standard water heaters tend to be the most affordable option, with solar and high-efficiency units being some of the priciest.
An experienced technician can also discuss removal and installation services. But, of course, if you’d rather remove and install your new (or current) water heater without professional assistance, you’ll need to consider the cost of essential tools and moving equipment.
Basic Tools and Equipment
Homeowners planning to remove and reinstall their water heater without professional help will need several essential tools and a few helpful pieces of equipment to get the job done. For example, to remove a water heater from its current location, you’ll likely need:
- Several adjustable wrenches (at least two);
- A flathead screwdriver;
- A rubber hose;
- A pipe cutter;
- A gas line cap;
- A dolly or hand truck.
The total cost of these supplies varies between about $200 to $1,000. A hand truck or dolly is likely to be the priciest expense, and removing it from the equation lowers the cost of required tools to about $100 or less.
Fortunately, many home improvement stores offer hand truck and dolly rentals. Naturally, rates vary depending on location, availability, desired rental duration, and hand truck type. That said, it’s not uncommon to find these wheeled transportation aids available for as little as $20 per day.
Homeowners that already own most of the tools listed above may find that they only need to spend about $100 on supplies, tools, and moving equipment. Still, a DIY relocation may not be suitable for everyone.
Additionally, garages that lack water line connections (or necessary gas line connections) require professional installation services. After all, laying these lines often requires commercial-grade trenching equipment, expert plumbing knowledge, and engineering experience.
Water and Gas Lines
The average attached garage is wired, ensuring that it has electricity. However, not many garages come with pre-existing water or gas lines. It can be problematic for those hoping to relocate their water heater to their garage.
Even those with washing machines in their garage will need to splice the water line to supply water to their water heater. As such, one of the most common and significant costs associated with moving a water heater is laying new lines.
Homeowners looking to move a gas water heater (as opposed to electric) may spend between $200 and $1,000 to lay a gas line leading to the garage. But, of course, those who opted for an electric fixture won’t need to shoulder this expense.
However, laying a new water line is far pricier, typically costing upwards of $4,000. As such, installing water and gas lines can cost at least $4,200.
After the new lines are installed, you can transport your water heater into the garage and set it up. Still, connecting a water heater to a water or gas line can be a challenging and time-consuming process.
For that reason, many choose to invest in professional installation services.
Professional Installation Services
Installing a water heater isn’t as simple as connecting a few hoses or pushing a plug into the wall. You’ll need to adjust water pressure levels, install fittings, and ensure all pipes and hoses are secured and leak-free.
An amateur installation can be dangerous, especially when working with gas. Consequently, professional installation services may be the safest and most efficient way to install a water heater in a garage.
That said, these services aren’t cheap. Even if you manage to disconnect and move your water heater without outside help, you can still expect to spend a minimum of $1,000 on installation services.
But professional water heater installation services are relatively comprehensive and often extend far beyond connecting your fixture to a water line. For example, many water heater installation services include a:
- Water heater condition inspection.
- Gas leak check.
- Drain pan installation.
- Client consultation.
It’s also crucial to note that some areas throughout the US have strict building codes that may restrict a homeowner’s ability to install a water heater without professional help.
Opting for professional installation services isn’t only an excellent way to ensure your fixture is appropriately and safely connected. It might also be the only lawful option in your state or county. Be sure to check your local Code of Ordinances before attempting a DIY relocation project.
How Much Does a DIY Water Heater Relocation Cost?
Homeowners hoping to avoid expensive installation services may choose to relocate their water heater themselves.
This project could cost as little as $100, but only if:
- There’s a pre-existing water line in your garage.
- You’re using an electric water heater that doesn’t require a gas line.
- You don’t need to replace your water heater.
- You own most of the essential tools required for disconnecting your water heater.
In this case, you might only need to pay for a pipe-cutting tool and a hand truck rental. But, of course, this is a best-case scenario. A DIY water heater relocation can also be far more costly.
If you need to place water or gas lines, replace an old water heater, or purchase essential tools, you can expect to spend several thousands of dollars.
How Much Does a Professional Water Heater Relocation Cost?
Disconnecting, moving, and reinstalling a water heater can be a strenuous process, especially if you’re unaccustomed to DIY home improvement projects. As such, you may prefer to hire a team of professionals to get the job done hassle-free.
Professional water heater installation services cost an average of about $2,000. Of course, if you don’t have pre-existing water line connections in your garage, you’ll also need to hire technicians to lay a new line.
The cost to lay a new water line varies, but most homeowners can expect to spend about $4,000. And if you’ve chosen a gas water heater (instead of an electric option), you’ll likely need to spend at least another $1,000 to lay a gas line leading to your home’s garage.
Consequently, professional services and line laying quickly add up, potentially costing as much as $7,000.
The cost to move a water heater varies between $150 and $10,000. The highest costs to consider are water and gas line installations, followed by water heater replacement. Professional water heater installation services average about $2,000, but homeowners can opt to perform a DIY installation for far less.