Tankless water heater installation cost

How much does it cost to install tankless water heater?

Cost to install a tankless water heater depends on multiple factors and gross expenses determined by water heater prices, possible additional materials expenses and cost of labor to perform the work. HVAC contractor is able to provide only rough quote before visiting job site and analyzing difficulty of work. After defining scope of a work to complete, an installer summarizes all charges and fees into a proposal and after its acceptance will issue an itemized estimate with total expenditures to complete the project.

Estimating tankless water heater installation cost

Water heater prices comparison


Prices for water heaters vary significantly. There is no average or typical cost can be defined. Brand of a new tankless water heater, fuel type, flow rate, total BTU as well as product quality will affect actual purchasing price. Difference in cost between cheapest and most expensive water heater might exceed 200%.

Determining labor cost for water heater installation


Even though, many professional companies which specialize in water heaters installation, repair and replacement have standard fees for certain type of work, always prepare for additional charges if extra steps beyond standard installation should be taken in order to complete the project successfully. Water heater replacement cannot be equated with basic installation of a new unit. Removing old tank or existing broken water heater, fixing any water damages or additional work will be priced separately.

Shopping for a new tankless water heater


Purchasing the right water heater is one of the most important tasks. Less expensive, 150,000 BTU gas tankless water heater with up to 3.2 flow rate @ 77 degree Fahrenheit water temperature rise can produce sufficient amount of hot water for smaller 1,200 ft2 – 1,400 ft2 house with 1 ½ bathrooms. For 2,100 – 2,500 square feet house with three bathrooms it is better to install 180,000 – 199,000 BTU tankless water heater with higher water flow rate.

Many HVAC contractors will supply not only essential installation materials, but water heaters as well. You might get a better deal and free of charge delivery if purchase the tankless water heater directly from the contractor who will perform such installation.

Estimating installation time


Normally installation of the tankless water heater is one day project for an experienced contractor. Installing new 220 – 240 volt electric service, replacing, fixing of putting new water and gas pipes will consume extra time and increase the total number of man hours, but even complex installation should be done within 7 – 8 hours by the professional installer with helper(s).

Work complexity


Compare to storage tank water heater, installation of the tankless heater is more complex project. It is certainly a doable task for handy homeowners, but you must possess at least basic skills of plumbing and electrical. Installation of water heater is not the best home improvement project for learning how to solder copper pipes, connect gas lines or putting new 220 volt electric outlets.

Dimensions factor


Most tankless water heaters are very compact units which typically do not exceed 12” in depth, 30 inches in width and 36” in height. Some heaters bigger some smaller, but actual size normally is not a factor which affect the cost of installation significantly. Many tankless water heaters could be installed by one installer and it is doesn’t really matter whether it is 28” or 32 inches wide unit.