How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Hot Water Heater With A Tankless?

how much does it cost to replace a hot water heater with a tankless

Before you decide to go with the tankless water heater, there is one thing that you need to know about possible investments.

On average, it will cost you around $2000 to install a tankless water heater. If we add some expenses for replacing the older hot water heater with it, you will need to add a couple of hundreds more.

All in all, the cost should not be higher than $2200-$2300. Of course, it depends on the price of the tankless water heater that you are planning to get, but let’s say that this is an average cost of replacing a hot water heater with a tankless.

First of all, let’s find out what costs you will be facing while doing the whole process. As you probably know, the major cost is installing a tankless water heater. Besides that, you will need an investment of buying one and some additional costs that can cover possible obstacles.

Costs of buying a tankless water heater

There are different types of tankless water heaters and the cost of buying one varies. These types are based (mostly) on the fuel type that heaters are powered with, and currently, there are 5 different types.

With that said, the price varies, and goes from $400 to $1100, on average. Let’s say that we pick some type averages, based on the price-quality ratio.

So, if you are planning on buying and installing an electric tankless water heater, then you will need to invest at least $400. Electric tankless water heaters are less expensive than the other 4 types, but the annual cost is a bit higher (around $185).

Furthermore, if you are going with the tankless heater that’s powered with oil, you will need to invest 2x more, but the annual cost for such heater is a bit smaller (around $160).

Natural gas powered heaters belong to the same price point category where electric tankless water heaters are, and you can find them from $420 up to $1000. Annual costs of natural gas-powered tankless heaters are around $160.

Those water heaters that run on propane can be found from $500 to even $1500. Annual costs are the same as with the previous 2 types.

Finally, there is the solution that’s not available to all of us, as it runs on solar energy. Yes, there are tankless water heaters powered by sunlight, and installing them in areas that lack sunlight would be a huge waste. These do belong to the expensive price point category, as you can find them starting from $1000 and up.

However, annual costs are quite small, as the major ones will be those for installation and maintenance.

Now, you can understand how the price of replacing a hot water heater with a tankless varies. It all depends on the fuel type that you wish your tankless water heater to run on.

With that in mind, we know our starting costs of finding the perfect product. Add some costs of labor, enhancement, and improvements, and you will get a total sum.

So, let’s check what costs you will be facing once you get your new tankless water heater.

Labor costs

Unless you are a plumber, you will need to invest a bit into the whole installation process. Given the fact that an average hourly rate of a plumber is $45-$65, and that the whole process takes up to 4-5 hours, you will need to invest at least $180- $260. Sometimes it will be more, sometimes less, all depending on the skills of your plumber and if he’s facing some difficulties.

He will need to remove an old hot water heater first, and then install the new one. It all takes time, and in this case- money as well.

Furthermore, add some additional costs of materials needed for installation. Yes, this water heater does not connect imaginatively to make the whole system; you will need water and heat pumps.

Water and heat pumps should take up to $500 but not less than $250.

All in all, the major cost will be this part- the installation process. So, once you get over with it, it will be much easier for your wallet.

If walls need to be opened, you may face some additional costs of installing drywall. Let’s say, this shouldn’t take more than $200.

Also, most traditional water heaters sit in a closet for easy access; tankless models may need to have an access door added nearby in case of future issues to allow a quick repair. This may lead to a carpenter’s services at the rate of $70 an hour, or a handyman at a rate of $100 to $300 for the project.

Additional costs and considerations

Finally, we came to the last part of your, seems like a never-ending list of costs.

There are some considerations to make regarding maintenance, additional materials, the configuration of a water heater, removal of the previous system, etc.

Like any other device in your household, tankless water heater demands some maintenance. Again, if you are not a plumber, you will need to spare some change for the services of one. Yearly, let’s say that you will need about 1-2 hours of plumber’s service just to maintain your tankless water heater. With the average rate of $45 – $65, there goes an investment of $120-$130.

Additional materials will be needed as some of the tankless systems will also be incompatible with the location and setup of older storage tank models. With that in mind, you might need some additional materials and reconfiguration (e.g. piping and insulation), which can take up to $10 per foot.

Voltage requirements vary. Some electric tankless water heaters have certain voltage requirements. You might need some update of the electrical system in order to accommodate your new tankless water heater.

Bear in mind that this is just an occasional cost and that in most of the cases, you won’t need to update the electrical system. However, if an update is a must, it may take away a serious amount of money (materials plus a couple of hours of electrician’s service).

Of course, there are some expenses of the old heater’s removal. Even it sounds inexpensive and as an easy job, sometimes you can end up with the bill of up to $500, which changes our total sum a lot. This depends on the area where you live, and the average rate of a plumber.

When we sum up everything, you can end up finishing the installation with the investment of over $3000. Of course, there are sometimes obstacles to cross, and with that in mind, these cases are an exception. In most of the cases, you should be able to replace a hot water heater with a tankless within a budget of $1500 to $2300 ($2500 tops).

Final Word

If we take into account everything stated above, the average cost of installing a tankless water heater goes from $1500 up to $2300-$2500, and it mostly varies on the type of tankless water heater that you get.

Again, costs of buying a new tankless water heater are nothing in comparison to the costs of installing it afterward. So if you thought that your wallet suffering will stop after buying a tankless water heater, think twice.

Overall, there are some pretty good researches that show how tankless water heaters are cost-effective in the long run.

Annual costs are quite lower than the ones with regular, hot water heater, and man… there is an endless stream of hot water.

Hopefully, this article gave you some insight into how much money should you invest in replacing your old water heater with a tankless one.

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