2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (2023)

Table of Contents
Tankless Water Heater Calculator Tankless Water Heater Calculator Want to receive more accurate estimates for your project? Whole-House vs Single-Point Water Heater Single-Point Tankless Water Heater Whole-House Tankless Water Heater What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need? Cost of a Tankless Water Heater by Size Tankless Water Heater Output by Climate Tankless Water Heater Cost by Fueling Method Electric Tankless Water Heater Cost Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater Cost Propane Tankless Water Heater Cost Oil Tankless Water Heater Solar Tankless Water Heater Tankless Water Heater Prices by Brand Bosch Tankless Water Heater Cost Rheem Tankless Water Heater Cost Marey Tankless Water Heater AO Smith Tankless Water Heater Cost Westinghouse Tankless Water Heater EcoSmart Tankless Water Heater Takagi Tankless Water Heater Cost Noritz Tankless Water Heater Cost Bradford White Tankless Water Heater Cost Rinnai Tankless Water Heater Cost Navien Tankless Water Heater Cost Labor Costs to Install a Tankless Water Heater Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost Gas Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost Propane Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost Oil Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost Solar-Powered Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost Converting to a Tankless Water Heater Tankless Water Heater Replacement Cost Pros and Cons Hybrid Tankless Water Heaters Cold Climate Tankless Water Heater Energy Efficiency Natural Gas Propane Traditional Electric Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Cost Tankless vs Tank Water Heaters Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heater Additional Considerations and Costs FAQs References FAQs Videos

Tankless Water Heater Calculator

The cost of installing a tankless water heater can vary greatly depending on the heater model, along with its features and capacities. Solar-powered and propane tankless heaters, for example, are more costly on average than simple electric heaters. Your current location can also have a big bearing on the price because labor and material costs can be higher or lower in certain states. Enter your zip code into the tankless hot water heater calculator to get estimated average prices for your tankless heater installation, along with high and low estimates.

Tankless Water Heater Calculator

Costs to install a tankless water heater vary greatly by region. Let’s calculate the cost for your zip code.

Zip code

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2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (1)

NATIONAL COSTS

Average Cost

$2,811

Low Cost

$1,058

High Cost

$6,698

See Tankless Water Heater Calculator Breakdown

Whole-House vs Single-Point Water Heater

There are two types of heaters - single-point and whole-house. Single-point heaters go to a single output - shower, faucet, or appliance. Whole-house heaters heat the water for your entire home with multiple offshoots. This means a whole-house heater is much larger than a single-point. Choosing which one depends on several factors like price and family size:

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (2)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (3)

TypeAverage Unit Costs
Single-Point$150 - $300
Whole-House$450 - $1,500

Single-Point Tankless Water Heater

The cost of a single-point tankless heater averages $150 to $300. Single-point tankless units can be installed on your house’s interior or exterior near the water use point and no more than 50 feet from an adjacent power source using an electric heater, typically requiring 220 volts. This means you need a tankless heater for every source. For example, you need three units if you have two bathrooms and a dishwasher unless all three locations are close.

(Video) Water Heater Buying Guide 2022 - Energy Star rating, price, fuel, rebates, etc.

A single-point tankless unit installed under the kitchen sink is a great way to deliver instantaneous hot water at the most used faucet in the home, regardless of which whole house water heater is installed. And because you will no longer need to run water for several minutes before it gets hot, these units offer a financial return on investment over time.

Conrad and Teara Cruz, plumbing experts.

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (4)

Whole-House Tankless Water Heater

The cost of a whole-house tankless water heater is between $450 and $1,500. Whole-house tankless heaters are installed near an exterior wall to reach the vent for gas units, but they have some flexibility. One unit can handle multiple bathrooms and a dishwasher, even when used at the same time. Purchase a unit that can handle the amount of use your home needs.

The amount of water heated with a tankless system varies from 0.5 to 2 gallons per minute for a single-point heater and 5 to 10 gallons per minute for a whole-house unit. This is important when considering which system to choose. For example, a home with multiple people bathing and a washing machine and dishwasher running cannot be supported from one unit. Therefore, if you have a heavy-usage household, you may need to install multiple units, prioritize your water usage so that you are not using more than 10 gallons at a time, or consider mixing a whole-house unit with a point-of-use unit for certain rooms.

A whole-house heater is sufficient for most single-family homes, allowing you to have multiple bathers or a washing machine and dishwasher running at once. However, a single-point heater may be sufficient in small apartments. Both should be considered to determine which is right for your needs.

What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need?

There are many sizes of water heaters, so choose the correct one for your household. Since a single-point model can only heat one source, you need multiple units to cover all the places in your house that use hot water. This heater works best for additions or as a supplemental unit. For most households, you need a whole-house model. They come in several sizes and are typically sized to the number of bedrooms. Most meet the needs of homes between 2 and 4 bedrooms. If you have a larger home, you may need to combine a whole-house heater with a point-of-use heater to meet your needs. If you have a larger-than-average family size and multiple people bathing while the laundry or dishwashing is going, you may also need to combine heaters.

Tankless heaters do not hold many gallons like a traditional tank-style unit. Instead, the unit heats the water as it enters. Each unit heats a specific amount, usually rated in gallons per minute (GPM). To determine the best size, take stock of all the appliances in your home and their water usage. Add the total GPM together of the appliances you plan to use at the same time to find out the unit capacity you need.

The table below shows the average number of GPM used by water appliances in the home. Only add up the numbers you plan on using at the same time. An appliance does not count toward your final number if it is used independently.

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (5)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (6)

ApplianceGPM Used
Shower Head2 - 3
Older Shower Head (Rain/Deluge Style)4 - 6
Faucet1 - 2
Dishwasher1.5 - 2
Washing Machine2 - 2.5

Most tankless heaters are sold with a recommendation for the number of bedrooms the heater can handle. However, your home may have higher or lower water needs, impacting the size.

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (7)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (8)

Number of BedroomsRecommended GPM Output
1 Bedroom2 - 3
2 Bedrooms3 - 4
3 Bedrooms5 - 6
4 Bedrooms6 - 7
5 Bedrooms8+

Cost of a Tankless Water Heater by Size

Differently sized units have varying costs. Depending on the type, there can be an overlap in costs. Energy-efficient or budget brands impact the cost, and having a larger electric heater can be less expensive than a smaller gas one.

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (9)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (10)

GPM OutputCost of an Electric HeaterCost of a Gas Heater
2 - 3$200 - $300$250 - $600
3 - 4$300 - $550$400 - $700
5 - 6$425 - $600$500 - $800
6 - 7$500 - $700$700 - $900
8+$600 - $1,500$900 - $2,000

Tankless Water Heater Output by Climate

Where you live can have a big impact on how well a tankless heater performs. The water goes through pipes from the ground, whether from a well or municipal source.

If you live in a warm climate, the water entering your home requires less heating to reach the optimal temperature for showering or washing clothes or dishes. This means that your heater often produces more GPM in a warm climate than the same heater could produce in a cold climate. For this reason, you may be able to size down in a warmer climate or need to size up in a colder climate. Otherwise, your energy bills could be too high in a warmer climate, while you may struggle to get the water hot enough or have an insufficient supply in a colder climate.

In a temperate climate, a heater might put out 4.5 GPM. That same heater produces up to 7.1 GPM in a hot climate and 3.5 GPM in a cold climate. The table below explains your expected GPM based on a unit designed for 4.5 GPM when used with varying groundwater temperatures. Refer to a map to see what the average groundwater temperature is in your area.

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (11)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (12)

Groundwater TemperatureAverage GPM (4.5 GPM Unit)
35º3.5
37º3.7
42º3.9
47º4.2
52º4.5
57º4.8
62º5.2
67º5.7
72º6.8
77º7.1

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(Video) How much does it cost to replace a hot water heater with a tankless?

Tankless Water Heater Cost by Fueling Method

There are varying methods to fuel the heater. You can use the same fuel you use to heat your home, including electricity, natural gas, propane1, and oil. You can also use a combination, such as installing an electric heater with a propane furnace. A solar heater is another option, which reduces energy bills. The following costs are for the needs of a 3 to 4-bedroom home with average water usage:

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (13)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (14)

Fuel TypeAverage Unit Costs
Electric$450 - $1,500
Natural Gas$500 - $2,000
Propane$500 - $2,000
Oil$600 - $3,000
Solar$1,000 - $4,000

Electric Tankless Water Heater Cost

The average electric tankless water heater ranges from $450 to $1,500. This type is widely available and one of the most popular choices of homeowners. It requires minimal maintenance and is environmentally friendly because it only needs electricity. It is difficult to find this heater type in outputs of more than 7 to 8 GPM. If you have higher needs and rely on electricity, consider a tank-style unit instead. Otherwise, consider a different fuel if you want to remain tankless.

Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater Cost

The average cost of a natural gas tankless hot water heater is between $500 and $2,000. Natural gas tankless models are widely available and perfect for cold climates. The homeowner does not need to buy oil or pay a higher electricity bill. Gas tankless heaters can produce more GPM than electric heaters can. You can find natural gas tankless heaters that can handle 15 or 20 GPM without issue. This is ideal for cold climates, larger-than-average households, and households with above-average hot water needs.

Propane Tankless Water Heater Cost

The average cost of a propane tankless water heater averages $500 to $2,000. Most units that run on natural gas can also use liquid propane. A few may need a converter if they are currently designed for natural gas. You can also find tankless heaters designed for propane. Propane is a good option for those who do not have access to natural gas or pay the higher electricity costs. Propane is more costly than natural gas, but it is usually cheaper than oil.

Oil Tankless Water Heater

The average cost of an oil tankless heater is between $600 and $3,000. Oil tankless heaters are not available everywhere, and most are available in limited sizes. It is most common to find oil tankless heaters for higher GPM output than lower output. Oil tankless heaters are not as efficient as other types. They are best for cold climates where the home is already heated by oil. These heaters may need more maintenance than others because they use oil.

Solar Tankless Water Heater

The average cost of a solar tankless water heater ranges from $1,000 to $4,000. Solar models are recommended in sunny areas. They are easy to maintain and offer quiet operation, but the initial installation and repairs are costly. However, they have very low ongoing costs once set up and running. They do not have ongoing energy costs because they use the sun’s energy. This helps pay for the unit over time.

Tankless Water Heater Prices by Brand

As with most appliances, there are a plethora of brands to choose from. Obviously, some are less expensive, while the cost may be prohibitive on others. As always, buyers have to look at all aspects of the decision, not just cost.

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (15)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (16)

BrandAverage Costs
Bosch

Electric: $140-$800

Gas: $1,050-$2,250

Rheem

Electric: $170-$575

Gas: $670-$1,950

Black and Decker

Electric: $200-$550

Gas: Not offered

Marey

Electric: $190-$550

Gas: $300-$1,500

AO Smith

Electric: Not offered

Gas: $300-$670

Westinghouse

Electric: $350-$1,650

Gas: $875-$2,000

Ecosmart

Electric: $425-$725

Gas: $695-$1,600

Takagi

Electric: Not offered

Gas: $490-$1,225

Noritz

Electric: Not offered

Gas: $515-$1,700

Bradford White

Electric: $600-$800

Gas: $1,000-$1,500

Rinnai

Electric: Not offered

Gas: $900-$1,995

Navien

Electric: Not offered

Gas: $1,075-$1,535

Bosch Tankless Water Heater Cost

Bosch water heaters cost $140 to $800 for electric models and $1,050 to $2,250 for gas models. Founded in Germany in 1886, Bosch has a history of producing high-quality, technologically advanced products. Today, their products are sold in over 150 countries. The tankless model from Bosch comes in electric and gas. Though dependable, Bosch products are not as highly rated as some of their counterparts, particularly Navien and Rinnai.

Rheem Tankless Water Heater Cost

Rheem water heaters average $170 to $575 for electric and $670 to $1,950 for gas. The company has been around since 1925 and originated in Emeryville, California. It is the largest manufacturer of water heating products. Their tankless units provide continuous hot water and save money on your utility bill. They are also available with the EcoNet WiFi system for maintenance reminders, automatic shut-off, and mobile temperature control.

Marey Tankless Water Heater

Founded in 1955 by Mariano Reyes, the company started in Puerto Rico and expanded around the world. It is a less expensive product, at $190 to $550 for electric and $300 to $1,500 for gas. While they have a low price, these tankless heaters are reliable. The economy-size heaters are not recommended for colder climates.

AO Smith Tankless Water Heater Cost

An AO Smith tankless gas hot water heater costs $300 to $670. AO Smith features an economy and a pro line. The company only manufactures gas-powered models. The economy line features less expensive models with one heat exchange. The pro line has two heat exchangers: commercial copper and corrosion-resistant stainless steel. All units come with a 15-year warranty on the heat exchanger and a 5-year warranty on the other parts.

Westinghouse Tankless Water Heater

The cost of an electric Westinghouse tankless heater is between $350 and $1,650, while the gas heater averages $875 to $2,000. Founded in Pittsburgh in 1886, Westinghouse has been a household name for appliances for over a century. They make Energy Star tankless heaters that measure an Energy Factor of up to 0.98. They also provide a stainless steel heat exchanger to protect against corrosion.

EcoSmart Tankless Water Heater

Consumers can purchase an EcoSmart tankless water heater in a gas or electric version for indoor and outdoor units. Costs for the electric version range from $425 to $725 and $695 to $1,600 for the gas version. They are made by Rheem but do not offer WiFi control or adaptability to WiFi. Many electrical EcoSmart products come with a lifetime warranty on the heat exchangers, while gas models offer a 12-year warranty. All other parts typically have a 5-year warranty. Professional installation is required to keep the warranty valid.

Takagi Tankless Water Heater Cost

The Takagi tankless gas water heater price averages $490 to $1,225. Takagi began manufacturing thems about 20 years ago in a joint2 venture with AO Smith. They make only gas-powered whole-house models and offer no WiFi control. However, many models have a remote to control the temperature. The Takagi model is well-known for having the lowest rate of mechanical breakdowns in the first decade of use.

Noritz Tankless Water Heater Cost

The average cost of a tankless gas water heater is between $515 and $1,700. These heaters are not WiFi-capable, but you can purchase an adapter for an additional $100 to $150. Noritz has been manufacturing them for over six decades. Although the company manufactures products in the U.S., most of them are made outside the U.S. This brand only offers gas and propane heaters.

Bradford White Tankless Water Heater Cost

Bradford White tankless water heaters are available in electric models for $600 to $800 and gas for $1,000 to $1,500. Bradford White has been making them since 1881. They are typically the first choice for subcontractors because of their high performance, durability, and long life.

Rinnai Tankless Water Heater Cost

Rinnai only makes gas water heaters, with costs from $900 to $1,995. It has the only Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Certified Testing Laboratory, and all its products are approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It also has an in-house 24/7/365 support center that backs all products. Rinnai units are highly energy-efficient, Energy Star qualified, and most feature WiFi capabilities.

Navien Tankless Water Heater Cost

The cost for a Navien tankless gas water heater is $1,075 to $1,535. All Navien units are gas-powered and Energy Star rated. While the company was founded in Japan in 1978, it began producing tankless heaters in 2006. It offers a 15-year warranty on the heat exchange only portion via controlled circulation. For uncontrolled/constant circulation, the warranty coverage is only for 5 years. Other parts are covered by a 5-year warranty.

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Labor Costs to Install a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are installed by a plumber, with costs between $75 and $130 an hour, depending on the location. Installation takes between 6 to 10 hours, depending on the heater type, location, and fuel source. Installation involves opening walls to install the heater in most cases. This means you may have additional finishing costs after the installation to repair and paint the affected areas for around $200. Also, add an access door nearby for repairs. This may need to be installed by a carpenter for $70 per hour or a handyman at a rate of $100 to $300 for the project.

(Video) Airthereal Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation | Endless Hot Water

You may have additional installation costs in a cold climate. Many cold climates heaters need a nearby vent. They also require proper insulation for the pipes running to the heater. This can add up to $400 to the project.

Each fuel type may impact installation costs because fuel lines may need to be run to the heater, depending on the location, which can increase the installation time and costs:

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (17)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (18)

TypeLabor CostsTotal Costs
Electric$500 - $1,000$1,000 - $3,000
Gas$900 - $1,500$1,400 - $3,500
Propane$900 - $1,500$1,400 - $3,500
Oil$900 - $1,700$1,500 - $4,500
Solar$2,000 - $4,000$3,000 - $8,000

Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost

The labor costs for installing an electric tankless water heater are between $500 and $1,000, resulting in total costs of $1,000 to $3,000. Electric heaters are generally the least expensive to install. They can be placed anywhere and do not need an additional fuel line. This offers the most flexibility in where the installation can happen. This can keep your finishing costs down. Your total costs are dictated by the location, tank size, and installation area.

Gas Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost

The labor costs for installing a gas tankless heater averages $900 to $1,500, leading to total costs of $1,400 to $3,500. Gas heaters require more work to install. This is because the pipe carrying the gas must be fitted to the heater. If you do not already have a line or offshoot where you want to install the heater, you need to run a gas line. This increases your costs by as much as $800. Gas heaters may have more restrictions on where they can be installed, particularly if they must vent outdoors.

Propane Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost

The labor costs for a propane tankless water heater installation are between $900 and $1,500, resulting in total costs of $1,400 to $3,500. They need to have a branch run off of the line connecting your propane tanks. This line is usually separate from the line that powers your furnace or things like stoves and generators. The farther you need to run the line, the higher your total costs. This type of unit usually needs to be vented. This can influence your total costs, depending on how far the vent must travel.

Oil Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost

The labor costs for installing an oil tankless water heater range from $900 to $1,700 with total costs of $1,500 to $4,500. Oil heaters are more costly to install because they need a line run to the heater. If the heater is close to the furnace and you can run a branch off the main line, your costs are lower. Your costs are higher if you need to run a line to the heater. Oil heaters often need to vent outdoors, which can limit placement. If you choose to move the heater farther indoors, your installation costs are higher to facilitate venting.

Solar-Powered Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost

The labor cost to install a solar-powered tankless water heater averages $2,000 to $4,000, leading to total costs of $3,000 to $8,000. This is a fairly labor-intensive installation process. The tubes need to be angled and run at the correct angle to ensure the water gets and stays hot. While the plumber may run the lines, you need a specialist for the solar portion. This is where a large part of the installation costs come from. While the plumber may charge around $1,000, the solar installer makes up the difference.

Converting to a Tankless Water Heater

If you have a traditional hot water heater and want to switch to tankless, it usually costs extra for a gas-powered unit. The cost to add the gas line is approximately $500. The cost to install an electric unit is about the same as a traditional one, $90 to $450, with a gas unit installation costing about $1,700, including adding the gas line.

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (19)

Tankless Water Heater Replacement Cost

The cost to replace a tankless water heater averages $135 to $1,200 for labor. This assumes the fuel lines are in good condition and can be reused. Your costs could be $800 higher if you need another fuel line added. This makes the total cost range to replace a tankless heater between $600 and $6,000, depending on the size, unit type, and how difficult it is to access.

Pros and Cons

Tankless water heaters have many benefits over standard versions. They take up less space because they are installed inside your walls. This can free some room in your utility closet. They can also save up to 50% on bills and last longer than standard tank-style heaters. Tankless heaters only work when you specifically need hot water. This means that they only work for a fraction of the time as a tank-style heater. This not only saves you energy, but it is also more eco-friendly than standard-style heaters.

When adding an addition to your home, adding a single point-of-use heater can be easier and less expensive than upgrading your tank heater and replumbing to expand from the tank heater to the addition. A point-of-use heater would provide hot water just to the new addition, saving money on the installation and going forward.

Tankless heaters are more expensive than tank heaters, and you do not have a hot water reserve for a power outage. You may also require more annual maintenance to keep the unit running smoothly. To install the unit and for any maintenance, you may need to open the walls in your home to reach the heater. This can have additional costs. It can be difficult to supply all your hot water needs from a single tankless heater. Each source will likely need its own, which means opening multiple walls and increasing overall costs.

Talk to local pros to get quotes for your tankless water heater installation

Hybrid Tankless Water Heaters

Hybrid water heaters, also called heat pump3 water heaters, are the most expensive heater type and the most efficient. This unit uses up to 63% less energy than a traditional model. Energy Star states a family of 4 can save about $330 a year on their electric bill with a hybrid unit. With a tank to store water, it can function as a traditional unit during times of high usage but also does not run continuously and works like a tankless system during downtime. Using a compressor and coils filled with refrigerant, the hybrid uses the surrounding air to heat the water in the tank. These are not a good choice if you live in a region with cold winters because the unit needs warm or mild air surrounding it year-round. The hybrid is not a good replacement for a gas unit because you have to retrofit the connections. It is also a large unit requiring considerable space. Costs average $1,000 to $3,500. One major benefit is that its expected life span is 13 to 15 years.

Cold Climate Tankless Water Heater

It is more challenging for the heater to provide the hot water your household needs in cold climates with freezing temperatures. Consumers in cold climates need a natural gas or oil tankless heater because electric types do not perform efficiently in freezing temperatures. Another feature this type of units is an increased flow rate. Although most homes use models with flow rates of around 4 to 5 gallons per minute, households in northern climates should choose a model with a flow rate of 6.5 to 8.5 gallons per minute. On average, cold climate gas models cost around $800 to $2,000.

Energy Efficiency

Tankless water heaters save energy, equating to financial savings. This chart compares the operation costs for each type to help you determine how much savings there is when buying an Energy Star heater and finding the most efficient model.

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (20)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (21)

Type of FuelCost of Operation per Year
Gas Tankless$250
Gas Tank$275
Propane Tankless$350
Electric Tank$450
Electric Tankless$600

Natural Gas

Natural gas tankless water heaters are the least expensive option, costing about $250 per year to operate. This heater is powered by a city utility supply. The upfront cost of the heater is higher than electric, but you save money on operating costs.

Propane

A propane tankless water system costs about $350 annually to operate. Propane is a cleaner and more efficient fuel, so it is better for the environment. However, most heaters do not come as propane out of the box, but they can be adapted.

Traditional

Purchasing a traditional hot water heater costs less than its tankless counterpart, but the operating cost is considerably higher. The cost to run a traditional electric unit is $450 yearly, and a traditional gas-powered one costs $275 yearly.

Electric

The upfront cost for an electric tankless water heater is generally lower, but the overall savings are also lower. An electric unit costs around three times as much as a gas unit at a cost of $600 per year to operate. Installation may be less for an electric unit because gas and propane1 require fuel lines.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Cost

Tankless heaters are sometimes referred to as maintenance-free, but that is not always the case, particularly with hard water4. Hard water packed with minerals can cause a buildup in the tank, leading to clogged passageways. Buildup can occur even without hard water, so it is advisable to do a yearly descaling. Those with hard water or if the temperature is kept high should consider maintenance every 6 months. Without proper care, your system has to work harder, meaning your utility bills are higher. This can be done DIY but can lead to damage when done incorrectly. This repair would not be covered under a warranty, so it may be best left to a professional. Periodic maintenance is recommended by the Department of Energy, and procedures vary based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Expect to pay standard hourly plumber fees of $45 to $200 an hour for maintenance, with most maintenance taking 1 to 2 hours for a total of $45 to $400 per visit.

(Video) Replacing A Water Heater Tank? Probably the Best Tankless Option for You.

Tankless vs Tank Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are a newer concept than a tank model, but not by much. Tank units have been around for about 120 years, while tankless have been around for just under 100. Even though they are not a new invention, tankless heaters have only been popular in the last few decades because they were previously too expensive to run.

A regular heater is generally less expensive than a tankless one, but the tankless unit generates savings. Traditional models are larger, take up more space, and are prone to leaks as they grow older. Imagine a 30 to 50 gallon unit springing a leak while you are away from home for the weekend, meaning you could come home to a flooded house. Tankless models do not store water but heat it on demand, so a leak does not cause as much damage.

However, a traditional hot water heater stores heated water for several hours or days in power outages. A tankless unit does not work at all, resulting in cold showers. Also, they do not work as well with hard water. If you have hard water, you need to clean your system regularly to avoid calcium buildup. If the unit is not serviced regularly, it cannot work as efficiently or last nearly as long.

Tank-style heaters take up more room than tankless heaters, requiring a dedicated space. Tankless heaters install invisibly inside your walls. This means they take up less space but are harder to reach for maintenance and may require you to open your walls to reach them.

Tankless heaters that are designed to heat an entire house are usually more expensive than a tank-style heater. Below are the average costs for installing a heater that can handle the needs of 3 to 5 people with moderate usage.

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (22)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (23)

StyleAverage Costs (Installed)
Tank$800 - $2,500
Tankless$2,500 - $4,500

Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heater

Like standard hot water heaters, tankless heaters can be powered by electricity or natural gas. In general, gas-fueled heaters cost less money to run monthly. However, they cost more money to install because you need to run a gas line to the heater.

Electric heaters, by definition, are more efficient, converting close to 100% of the energy they use into heat for the water. However, in most areas, the cost of electricity is higher than gas. In addition, while the heater itself can be efficient, this does not mean it is environmentally friendly because electricity providers can have multiple sources for producing their electricity. Some of these are worse for the environment than natural gas.

Natural gas is not available in all areas, however. If you live in a rural area, natural gas may not be available. This may make electricity a better choice than using propane or other heating fuels that may be in your area.

Electric heaters generally need less maintenance than gas heaters. Of the two, electric heaters are less expensive to purchase and install, so they can be a good option for those who have low electricity costs and want a less-expensive option upfront. Gas heaters, however, tend to cost the least long term unless you have a cheaper source of electricity.

The costs for both heaters of similar size ranges installed are below.

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (24)

2022 Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost | Tankless Water Heater Costs (25)

TypeAverage Costs (Installed)
Electric$500 - $2,000
Gas$1,000 - $3,500

Consult with a pro when purchasing a tankless water heater

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Additional materials. Some tankless systems will be incompatible with the location and setup of older storage tank models. This may require reconfiguration and additional materials such as insulation and piping.
  • Configuration. Some electrical systems and configurations may need to be updated to accommodate the voltage requirements of the new electric tankless system. While not always required, this is a potential cost that must factor in cost of materials plus that of an electrician ($65-$85 per hour).
  • Removal of the current system. Another issue to consider is that the removal and disposal cost of your current water heater, which can be upwards of $500, depending on your area.
  • DIY. There are many reasons the installation of a tankless hot water heater is not considered a do-it-yourself project for the average homeowner. For example, the high voltage of the unit (240 volts), possibility of gas lines for propane and natural gas-powered systems, and the required permitting in some jurisdictions will all require the expertise of a licensed and insured professional.
  • Permitting. All jurisdictions are different. Considering the code regulations for different cities, towns, counties, and municipalities, permits may be required to start this project. Many jurisdictions consider new water heater installation and replacement heater installation a different type of job (i.e., a permit may be required for one, but not the other). This should be taken into consideration to ensure the project remains above board.
  • Energy and costs savings. According to the Chicago Tribune, the average annual cost savings of a tankless water heater compared to a traditional tank storage is roughly $116 a year. Tankless water heaters are also objectively more energy efficient than traditional storage heater units.
  • Lifespan. Another important aspect to factor in is the expected lifespan of the unit. While traditional water heaters will typically have a lifespan of anywhere between ten and fifteen years, most tankless units can be expected to be in use for over twenty years.

FAQs

  • How much is a tankless water heater?

The average cost of a tankless water heater installed is around $2,500 to $4,500. The cost of a gas-powered tankless water heater costs around $1,600 without installation.

  • How does a tankless hot water heater work?

Tankless water heaters are installed near the point of use, or place where the hot water is needed. A heating element heats the water as it passes through the heater, rather than continuously heating the water like a traditional tank.

  • How good are tankless water heaters?

Tankless water heaters heat approximately 2-5 gallons of water per minute, which is sufficient for most uses at each point. They typically last around 20 years; about 5 years longer than a traditional heater.

  • How long does a gas water heater last?

A tankless gas water heater lasts around 20 years, while a traditional gas water heater lasts about 15.

  • What is a tankless hot water heater?

A tankless hot water heater is a heating element installed near the point of use. Water passes through the unit and is heated as needed, rather than continuously, saving on energy bills.

  • How much is a new hot water heater?

A new tankless water heater costs between $2,500 and $4,500 installed, while a whole house tank costs between $800 and $2,500.

  • Do tankless water heaters save money?

According to the Department of Energy, energy efficient tankless water heaters, while having a higher initial cost, will save money in the long run in terms of operation/maintenance and power costs.

  • Can I install a tankless water heater in the bathroom?

Yes, a tankless water heater in the bathroom can fit conveniently under the sink or on the wall near the shower. However, this type of fixture would be a single-point heater that would only heat the faucet water coming from the sink or the shower. This would be a nice addition to a whole house heater that is not keeping up with your family’s current heated water needs.

(Video) How Much Does a New Water Heater Actually Cost (Complete Breakdown)

References

FAQs

How much does it cost to switch to a tankless water heater? ›

The typical range for tankless heater installation is between $4,500 and $6,500, averaging out to around $5,500 (including the water heater, warranty and tune ups). The tankless heater installation without the unit can cost between $1800 and $3500, averaging out to around $2650.

Can I replace my hot water heater with a tankless? ›

Absolutely! In fact, tankless water heaters are becoming the standard for new home construction because of the energy efficiency. Newer tank water heaters have a UEF (Uniform Energy Factor) rating of 0.70 compared to your standard tankless water heater that has a rating of 0.94.

How much does it cost to install a Navien tankless water heater? ›

The average Navien tankless water heater prices with installation cost are between $1,900 to $3,400 installed.

Do I need a professional to install a tankless water heater? ›

Tankless water heater replacement is a complex process that involves the skills of a highly trained technician. Unless you are experienced and comfortable enough to solder pipe, make gas connections and following local codes, hire a licensed professional.

Why is tankless water heater installation so expensive? ›

Tankless water heaters have a higher initial price compared to tank heaters, costing homeowners between $1,200–$3,500. The higher cost is a result of a more labor-intensive set-up, as new gas and water lines are required for installation. For electrical tankless heaters, new electric wiring will need to be installed.

Is it worth it to switch to a tankless water heater? ›

According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, a tankless water heater is more efficient and uses less energy than a conventional water heater, providing a $25 to $107 in annual savings. If your hot water use is low (less than 41 gallons per day), a tankless water heater will be 24% to 34% more efficient.

What size tankless water heater do I need for a family of 5? ›

In short, a family of 5 would need a 10 GPM gas tankless heater or 27 kW electric tankless heater if you live in the northern part of the USA, where the input water has a lower temperature. The tankless heater has to work extra hard to bring the water temperature up to 110˚F or 120˚F.

How long does it take to replace a water heater with a tankless water heater? ›

Tankless to Tankless Installation: This generally takes between one to three hours.

Is it better to install a tankless water heater inside or outside? ›

Is there a lack of space in your home? If you don't have room inside your home for a tankless water heater, installing it outside will save you space. This is the best option for homes that have a lack of wall space.

How long does it take to install a Navien tankless water heater? ›

You can typically install a NPE-S in half the time of other tankless units — usually within 4 hours, with more flexibility and lower material costs. Lower operating costs for the homeowner. Our industry leading 0.99 EF can save the homeowner more on the yearly operating costs.

What is the most common problems with tankless water heaters? ›

Here are six of the most common problems and maintenance concerns for tankless water heaters:
  • Mineral Buildup.
  • System Overload.
  • Cold Water Sandwich.
  • Air Supply or Exhaust Blockage.
  • Ignition Failure.
  • Flame Failure.
9 Mar 2022

How long do tankless systems last? ›

One of the most common questions asked by consumers about tankless water heaters is how long they will last. A tankless water heater can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance and operation. In comparison, a standard tank water heater normally has a working life of 10 years or less.

Where should tankless water heater not be installed? ›

You should avoid installing your tankless water heater in a location prone to excessive humidity, moisture, or dust, or in an area where it may be splashed with water or other liquids. Do NOT install under water pipes or air conditioning lines that might leak or condense moisture that could then drip onto the heater.

What is cheaper to run tank or tankless water heater? ›

Operating Costs & Energy Savings

The Department of Energy estimates homeowners save approximately $100 per year on energy costs when they use a tankless water heater versus a tank model. Homes that average daily hot water use of 41 gallons or less save up to 34 percent on energy bills versus storage tank water heaters.

What size gas line do I need for a tankless water heater? ›

A typical tankless water heater will need a ¾-inch gas line. However, if there is sufficient pressure and the run length is short enough, a ½-inch line may be sufficient with certain tankless water heaters, such as the Noritz EZ Series.

Can you claim a tankless water heater on your taxes? ›

A tankless water heater falls under a residential energy property credit from the IRS by being “any item of energy-efficient building property.” Cool right? This will net you an easy $300 back when you do your taxes.

Does tankless increase home value? ›

If you are looking to increase the value of your home, adding a tankless water heater to your features is a great place to start. According to a study conducted by Zillow, homes with tankless water heaters sold for 4% more than their expected value.

Do tankless water heaters use a lot of electricity? ›

Tankless heaters can be 24-34% more energy-efficient than regular water heaters for households that use 41 gallons or fewer of hot water daily. Tankless heaters can be 8-14% more energy-efficient for households that use around 86 gallons daily.

What are the disadvantages of a tankless water heater? ›

A tankless water heater can only heat so much water at a time. If you demand more hot water than the unit can generate—for instance, if you run the dishwasher, washing machine and shower at the same time—the temperature of the water will fluctuate since the heater is trying to provide for all three locations at once.

How many showers can a tankless water heater run? ›

A unit heating more than 7 gallons per minute can typically handle two showers and a large appliance. *Important to note: Tankless units do not literally provide “instant hot water” – the hot water still takes time to flow from the unit to the faucet.

Can multiple people shower at the same time with a tankless water heater? ›

Tankless hot water heaters are a type of hot water heater that supply a continuous flow of hot water. Everyone in your family can shower back-to-back, and nobody has to shiver away in the cold.

How many showers will 40 gallon water heater? ›

Determining how much hot water your water heater should provide per shower depends largely on the size of your hot water tank. For instance, a typical shower uses about 10 gallons of hot water. So, if you have a 40-gallon hot water tank, you should be able to get four average-length showers out of your hot water tank.

Why does hot water run out quick when you have a tankless water heater? ›

This problem happens because the heat exchanger (the part that actually heats the water) takes a while to warm up. Before it fully warms up and starts heating the water, you get a short run of cold water. Then, once the heat exchanger heats up, you get a steady flow of warm water.

What is the labor cost to install a water heater? ›

Plumbers typically charge $45-$65 per hour. In most cases, a plumber will install a water heater in a day (6-8 hours). You can expect to pay between $270 and $520. Water heaters that are difficult to access can take extra 2-3 hours to install.

What do I need to know about switching to tankless water heater? ›

Tankless water heaters consume less energy because they only need enough power to heat water as it's needed. Tankless water heaters are more efficient and don't experience standby heat loss. This can be especially cost effective if you travel a lot. Some tankless water heater units come with a federal tax rebate.

Do you need ventilation for tankless water heater? ›

Tankless hot water heaters require special venting to blow hot exhaust gas outside, where it dissipates. Unlike traditional tank-style water heaters, gas tankless hot water heaters offer far more versatile venting options.

Are tankless water heaters OK in cold climates? ›

Yes, gas tankless water heaters can work well, even in cold climates, as long as the unit has been sized correctly to meet the hot water needs of your particular household.

How much room does a tankless water heater need? ›

It is true that tankless water heaters do not require a lot of space. A large unit requires an area no larger than 24 inches square and ex- tends from the wall by about 8 to 10 inches.

How long is the payback for a tankless water heater? ›

According to a study by Consumer Reports, the payback period for tankless water heaters can range from 12 years to 27.5 years, with electric models on the lower end of the spectrum and gas models on the upper end.

Are tankless water heaters high maintenance? ›

Another great benefit that often gets overlooked is easier maintenance. Compared to a traditional tank water heater, tankless units don't require as much attention or replacement parts.

Can bacteria grow in tankless water heater? ›

Because there's no tank on electric tankless water heaters, water doesn't have a chance to sit still in your system and collect bacteria or calcify. Water goes directly from your pump, through the system, through the pipes and comes out at your faucet.

How often do tankless water heaters need to be serviced? ›

Just like a tank unit, tankless water heaters need to be flushed once per year. Homeowners with hard water should consider flushing and cleaning the unit even more frequently, perhaps every six to nine months because of the excess amounts of magnesium and calcium found in hard water supplies.

Do tankless water heaters burst? ›

Aside from the concern about carbon monoxide, a tankless water heater is a very safe piece of equipment. Because there is no tank which can overheat or experience a massive spike in pressure, a tankless system doesn't have the danger of bursting or exploding.

What happens if you don't flush tankless water heater? ›

What happens if I don't flush out my tankless water heater? Mineral deposits may build up. This could cause a clog within the unit and may prevent normal heating activity. Your hot water could also fluctuate and overheat the system, impacting its efficiency.

How do I change my tank from water heater to tankless? ›

This includes:
  1. Mounting the tankless water heater.
  2. Running the water heater's vent to meet local code regulations (for gas models)
  3. Installing the gas line (for gas models)
  4. Installing new water lines.
  5. Installing the pressure relief valve.
  6. Connecting the electrical supply to the water heater.

What two requirements are necessary to size a tankless water heater? ›

There are two factors that need to be considered when sizing a tankless water heater: Flow Rate (GPM): How much hot water you will need at any given time. Temperature Rise (ΔT): The difference between the incoming cold water temperature and the desired temperature.

How much does it cost to replace a tank water heater with a tankless? ›

The typical range for tankless heater installation is between $4,500 and $6,500, averaging out to around $5,500 (including the water heater, warranty and tune ups). The tankless heater installation without the unit can cost between $1800 and $3500, averaging out to around $2650.

What is the cheapest hot water system to run? ›

An electric heat-pump hot water heater uses much less electricity than an electric storage water heater, and are the most efficient hot water systems on the market.

How far does PEX need to be from water heater? ›

PEX shall not be installed within the first 18 inches (457 mm) of piping connected to a water heater.

What happens if gas line is too small for tankless water heater? ›

If the gas line is too small, it could lower the efficiency and performance of your water heater. Not only will it heat the water at a much slower rate, but a small gas line can also end up producing soot, causing the burner to be exhausted and form condensate (or liquid) in the furnace or boiler.

What type of piping is used for tankless water heater? ›

Use of CPVC Piping Systems with Tankless Heaters

This PPFA User Bulletin is designed to provide general guidance for using Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC) piping systems with residential tankless (instantaneous) water heaters. Specific situations may and often do require special precautions or procedures.

What is the downside of a tankless water heater? ›

In addition to high upfront costs, tankless water heaters have several other disadvantages compared to tank-style water heaters: they take longer to deliver hot water. the water temperature is inconsistent when multiple outlets are on simultaneously. they cannot provide hot water during a power outage.

What is the life expectancy of a tankless water heater? ›

On average, a tankless water heater can last up to 20 years with proper yearly maintenance. With a copper tankless heat exchanger, your tankless water heater has a warranty of 12-to-15 years.

What size tankless water heater do I need for a family of 4? ›

What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need For A Family Of 2, 3, 4, 5, Or 6?
Number Of Family Members:Gas Tankless Heater Size (GPM)Electric Tankless Heater Size (kW)
What size tankless water heater do I need for a family of 3?7-9 GPM15-23 kW
What size tankless water heater do I need for a family of 4?8-10 GPM20-28 kW
3 more rows

Which is safer tankless or tank water heater? ›

In general, tankless water heaters are safer than storage tank water heaters. Aside from the concern about carbon monoxide, a tankless water heater is a very safe piece of equipment.

How big of a tankless water heater do I need? ›

SELECTING A TANKLESS WATER HEATER

For a home with 1 bathroom, we recommend 6-7 GPM; 2 bathrooms, 8 – 9 GPM; and 3+ bathrooms, 9-11 GPM. In our experience, smaller 4-5 GPM units are suitable for studio apartments and small one bathroom homes or other application specific needs.

Does cold water go through tankless water heater? ›

If you have a tankless water heater, then you know that it will run hot and cold on occasion. This is because tankless heaters are designed to run without any delays as they heat water.

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