While this is an average, to determine the exact cost of installation, a licensed plumber will need to come to your home and assess your current system and hot water needs.
A few factors that will affect the cost to install a tankless water heater are:
- Type of tankless unit (whole-home vs. point-of-use)
- Size of the unit (flow rate & temperature rise)
- Fuel type (gas vs. electric)
- Labor costs
Prefer to have a professional determine the price for you to install a tankless water heater in your home? Learn more about installing a tankless water heater or schedule an appointment with a licensed plumber.
Cost Factor # 1: Type of tankless unit
There are two main types of tankless water heating units, whole-home units and point-of-use units.
1. Whole-home units provide heated water to your entire home.
2. Point-of-use units (POUs) are smaller and provide hot water to a single appliance. POUs are ideal for:
- Larger homes with appliances that are far from the water heater
- Homes that use multiple appliances at once
If you have a smaller home, you will probably only need a whole-home unit. Installing a single whole-home unit will be cheaper than installing multiple point-of-use units.
If you have a larger home, you may need a whole-home unit and one or more POUs.
Point-of-use units can be installed near hot water appliances that use a lot of water or are far away from the whole-home unit.
Cost Factor #2: Flow Rate & Temperature Rise
Two factors that determine the “size” of a tankless water heater include:
- Flow rate
- Temperature rise
Temperature rise is the number of degrees you need to heat up the water before it's ready to be used.
The bottom line? The higher the temperature rise needed, the less hot water the tankless unit can provide per minute.
Let's take a closer look at both flow rate and temperature rise.
How do I determine what flow rate I need?
The flow rate you need depends on the hot water appliances you use at the same time.
For example, if you want to be able to run your dishwasher at the same time as your shower, you need a flow rate that equals the flow rate of your dishwasher + the flow rate of your shower.
To accurately determine what flow rate you need for your tankless water heater, a plumber will need to assess your home and appliances.
For a quick estimate, you can add the average flow rates of the water appliances you think you’ll use simultaneously. Some common appliance flow rates are:
- Bathroom faucet: 0.5–2.5 gpm
- Showerhead: 1–3 gpm
- Washing machine: 1.5–2 gpm
- Dishwasher: 1–2.5 gpm
For example, if you live in Michigan, where the average groundwater temperature is 47 degrees, but you want your hot water to be 120 degrees, you will need a tankless water heater with a temperature rise of 73 degrees.
Cost Factor #3: Fuel type
Natural gas water heaters are more expensive to install than electric water heaters but cost less to operate on a monthly basis.
Our recommendation to Michigan homeowners is to invest in a gas tankless water heater. Although gas heaters have a higher upfront cost, gas is a cheaper fuel source in Michigan, and will likely save you money on your monthly energy bills.
Note: If your home doesn’t have access to natural gas, a plumber will have to install gas lines, which could increase your installation cost by $3,000+. In this case, installing an electric tankless water heater is probably a more cost-effective option.
Cost Factor #4: Cost of Labor
The cost of your tankless water heater will depend on certain labor costs, like:
1. The plumber you hire: The plumber you hire will impact the overall cost of your installation. However, this is not a cost you want to cut corners on. When hiring a plumber, you want to make sure they:
- Are licensed and insured. Check their website or the Better Business Bureau
- Will provide a written quote, so you aren’t facing unknown costs after your install
- Have good reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, BBB
2. The difficulty of installation: The more difficult the installation, the more it will cost. A few factors that could boost the cost of your installation are:
- Installing point-of-use units versus a whole-home unit
- Running water lines to the new unit
- Building new ventilation (for condensing units)
Ready to install a tankless water heater? Hire our Michigan pros
Our team is ready to help. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with your tankless water heater installation so you can have peace of mind that you’re receiving the best service possible.
Schedule an appointment today!