How Much Does a Tankless Water Heater Cost?
Are you looking to upgrade your current tankless water heater to a brand new tankless water heater? Or maybe you have a conventional water heater and are curious about the cost of switching over to a tankless water heater? Then you’ve come to the right place! Finding the right water heater for your home or business can be a daunting task, which is why we’ve created content to make this process easier.
We here at Monkey Wrench Plumbing are trained and certified with some of the top tankless water heater manufacturers like Noritz and Navien. Since 2007, we’ve helped thousands of clients across the Los Angeles area with their tankless water heater needs.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through the costs of tankless water heaters and what factors can affect the price of the water heater.
By the end of this article, you will have all the information you need to get a better sense of what a tankless water heater would cost for your home.
What is a tankless water heater?
Just a quick recap, a tankless water heater is a device that heats your water without the bulkiness of a tank. Unlike a conventional water heater that is storing the water inside the tank, a tankless water heater has nowhere to store water and heats the water as it moves through the heat exchanger, ultimately providing you an endless supply of hot water.
What does a tankless water heater cost?
Tankless water heaters can range anywhere from $4,500 to $8,500 when it is provided and installed by a certified tankless company.
The cost of a tankless water heater depends on several factors such as:
- Heat exchanger
- Installation Material
- Water Filtration
- Annual Maintenance
In the next section, we’ll break down how the cost can change depending on certain factors.
What affects the cost of a tankless water heater?
While every home is different, there are a few main factors that can increase or decrease the overall cost of installing a tankless water heater.
Just like with a new car, the brand, make, and model of your tankless water heater will affect the overall price. Choosing a high end manufacturer, like Noritz, may mean a slight increase in the cost of the unit compared to other brands. Typically, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 for a tankless unit.
Some brands also offer rebates when you upgrade a conventional water heater to a new energy efficient tankless water heater. Rebates offered can go up to $1,000 with an additional $300 federal tax credit. Learn more about tankless water heater rebates here.
When choosing a tankless water heater, be sure to factor in quality of materials and warranties before jumping to the cheapest option on the market. While it’s possible to get a low cost unit at Home Depot, most units purchased at stores like this can void any warranties offered by manufacturers.
Heat Exchanger Material
The kind of heat exchanger inside of your tankless water heater will also affect the cost of your unit. Most commonly, heat exchangers are made of two materials: copper and stainless steel. While the heat exchanger doesn’t significantly impact the overall cost (usually less than $100 difference), copper heat exchangers tend to have a shorter lifespan than stainless steel heat exchangers.
Check out this article on Copper vs Stainless Steel Heat Exchangers for a more in-depth look at the difference between the two.
You may be surprised to learn that, even if you purchase a tankless water heater, there are some materials that are not included with the water heater that need to be installed, like a set of isolation valves for yearly maintenance.
Other material that will affect the cost of your tankless water heater are:
- Any new water pipes
- Any new gas venting
- Any new gas lines
- Any electrical work
While every installation has a few modifications that need to be made, the more that needs to be updated or replaced will increase the overall cost of installing your tankless water heater.
As we mentioned earlier, tankless water heaters typically cost a few thousand dollars, but where most of the cost comes in is with the installation of the tankless water heater.
Choosing to install your tankless water heater where your old water heater was will save you from having to run new water and gas lines. However, if you’d like to change where your tankless water heater is installed, running new water and gas lines will increase the cost of your overall installation.
While purchasing a tankless water heater (and the additional installation pieces) will get you endless hot water, there are add-ons that you can add to your tankless water heater to help your hot water flow, prolong the life of your unit, or keep your house safe.
Add-ons that you can include with your tankless water heater are:
Though some of these add-ons may be required by your local city code, these items usually aren’t included in basic installation costs. At Monkey Wrench Plumbing, we offer Premium tankless installations that include these add-ons and more.
Water filtration often isn’t included (or even thought about) when installing a tankless water heater, but factoring in water treatment can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
If you’re in an area, like Los Angeles, that has particularly hard water, installing water treatment for your home and new water heater can prolong the life of your water heater. Learn more about the negative effects that hard water can have on your water heater and home.
Most tankless manufacturers recommend installing water treatment to combat hard water, and in most manufacturer manuals, if your water hardness is over a certain amount of grains per gallon, manufacturers can void any warranties.
Though annual maintenance isn't a cost you have to worry about during installation, keep in mind that yearly cleaning for your tankless water heater will be one of the most important things you do to protect your tankless water heater (outside of water filtration).
Yearly cleaning can be a DIY project or you can have a tankless certified company clean your tankless water heater and do inspections to make sure everything is working properly.
Performing this annual maintenance can have your tankless water heater running smoothly for 20+ years, which means it’ll be awhile until you’re in the market for a new one.
Having a warranty on your tankless water heater is another thing that will affect the cost of your unit. Most home warranties simply provide coverage for repairs. They give you money for the parts and labor needed to fix your water heater. However, replacement warranties are less likely to cover tankless water heaters due to the higher cost.
Is a tankless water heater right for you?
Price matters. But it's not the only thing you have to consider when you're thinking of purchasing a tankless water heater or switching from a conventional water heater to a tankless unit. While every home and installation is different, there are some key factors that will affect the cost of installing a tankless water heater.
At Monkey Wrench Plumbing, we strive to provide you answers to the questions that you have about tankless water heaters and your home’s plumbing.
If you’re ready to see what a tankless water heater looks like for your home, book an appointment with one of our certified tankless water heater technicians to get an estimate today. Still have questions about tankless water heaters? Give us a call at 310-853-8690.