How Much Does a Water Tank Cost?

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated January 24, 2022
Water being poured in a sunlit glass
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Typical water tank prices are around $1,600

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In the event of an emergency, having access to a reserve of clean, safe water is always a good idea. That’s where water tanks come in. If you’re considering adding one to your home, it may seem fairly straightforward, but the size of a water tank can range anywhere from a small 3-gallon tank to upwards of 20,000 gallons, and prices can vary from $50 to $13,000.

How Much Does a Water Tank Cost by the Gallon?

The cost of a water tank is around $0.60 to $5 per gallon on average. However, there is a curve to the pricing: the fewer gallons you need, typically, the higher the cost is per gallon. The more gallons you need, you’ll start to find the price declining per gallon.

So, you might find an emergency water tank that’s only 10 gallons but costs around $50. Then when you look at a 1,000-gallon option, it only costs around $600. Because of this, you’ll want to factor in space, your family’s needs, and cost to get to your perfect water tank size.

How Much Does a Water Tank Cost by Style?

There are two areas you can place a water tank. One is the quick and easy solution, which is above ground—the other is below ground, which costs more in labor.

Above-Ground Water Tanks

As long as you have the space for an above-ground tank, this is usually the best option. Not only is it easier to install, but you’ll save money on labor costs and annual inspections. The average cost to install a 1,000-gallon above-ground water tank is around $1,700.

Most of this cost will come from delivery charges and installation, as the tank itself may only cost around $800.

Below-Ground Water Tanks

Larger tanks that are above 5,000 gallons have the option to go below ground. These tanks often come with regulations you must follow, as any damage to the tank or water that seeps into the soil can be considered an environmental risk. With having to dig a large area out for the tank and for new plumbing, on top of the increased size of a tank, expect to pay at least $5,000 for labor and materials.

How Much Does a Water Tank Cost by Type?

Not all storage tanks only store water; water heaters can double as an interior water tank, though this isn’t their main purpose. When buying a water tank, you’ll also want to consider if it is for everyday usage or if it’s only there for emergencies, as this may also affect your final price.

Water Heater

A water heater doubles as a water tank and can hold anywhere from 50 to 80 gallons of warm water at any given time. Installing a water heater costs around $1,200 on average, which is more than it costs to install a water tank.

Emergency Usage

Emergency usage water tanks allow you to access the water from the tank itself without being hooked up to your plumbing. This process is typically done through a spigot on the tank itself, so you may need to keep this tank off the ground to utilize it fully. Emergency usage water tanks typically run about $1 to $2 per gallon but don’t typically require installation.

Everyday Usage

Water tanks that are going to provide water to the property regularly require installation into the home’s plumbing. These are the typical water tanks with above-ground or below-ground options. Expect to pay around $1,600 on average for these.

Water Tank Cost Breakdown

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Beyond type, you’ll want to consider the type of material you’re using for your water tank. The climate you live in will make a difference as well.


Most water tanks are made up of either plastic or metals. Above-ground water tanks are often plastic and don’t require any extra materials to get them up and running. Below-ground tanks are often made of metal, and you’ll need to ensure the metal doesn’t corrode and contaminant the water.

Plastic options typically fall between $.60 to $1 per gallon, while metal options will range from $.75 to $2 per gallon.


Someone living in a warmer climate typically won’t need to fear their water tank will freeze over, unlike someone who lives in a climate with harsh winters. If you fall into this category of fighting off the elements every year, then you’ll need certain coatings and materials to prevent the water from freezing. Utilizing coatings and composite materials will add an extra $500 to $1,000 for the final purchase price.


Labor can vary drastically, as someone who only needs an emergency tank can typically set it up themselves. But, someone going for an underground water tank will need an excavation crew to dig out the area. With these considerations in mind, expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 in labor costs.

Booster Pump

Depending on the slope and piping throughout your home, the water tank may not provide enough water pressure initially. You might need to install a booster pump so you get the right water pressure for your showers or cleaning the dishes.

A booster pump will range anywhere from $300 to $1,000. The final price depends on how much water it needs to move and how much pressure you need.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Water Tank Yourself?

If you’re installing an emergency water tank yourself, there isn’t much you need to do other than set it up to collect water. You may need to build a stand that supports the water tank, so you have easy access to the faucet located at the bottom. The total cost of installing an emergency water tank yourself is around $200 extra on top of what you pay for your water tank.

For everyday water tanks that go above or below ground, you’ll want to call in a professional installation team. You may also need to hire a local plumber to get your system set up correctly.

FAQs About Water Tanks

How long do water tanks last?

Water tanks typically last around 10 to 15 years on average.

What do you need to clean water from a water tank?

You’ll want to install a whole-house water filter, which is needed to remove any dangerous materials from a water tank. This filter costs around $1,000 on average.

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