Straight Answers From Our Master Tradesmen - Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air's Blog

Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost

Straight talk from our Wisconsin Master Tradesman about what a tankless water heater installation costs and the factors that affect the installation costs.

When one of our clients is considering upgrading their tank water heater to a tankless, one of the most common and logical questions is how much does a tankless water heater installation cost. What most homeowners are trying to figure out is how much more does a tankless cost and is it worth it.  

Today, the installation of a residential tankless water heater can cost roughly $4,000 at the low end and $8,000 at the high end.

This large range would be inclusive of all of the variables that we typically run into with a tankless water heater installation and include all of the labor, materials and equipment required for the installation. Read on for an explanation and breakdown of tankless water heater installation and replacement costs. 

What factors determine the true total cost of a tankless water heater replacement?

At Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air we pride ourselves on providing our clients with the exact cost of all projects up front before any of the work begins. We provide this price to clients in one easy to understand investment, but inside of the one price are three major cost categories that combine to determine what a tankless water heater installation will ultimately cost.  

  • Equipment & Materials. The tankless water heater itself, installation materials and other required components would fall into the category of equipment and materials. This is where the lion's share of the installation cost will fall. 
  • Installation and Required Plumbing Modifications. Most homeowners in Wisconsin do not have an existing tankless water heater, which means we are converting from a tank style to a tankless water heater. The installation cost is typically looked at as the labor and total scope of work required to put the new tankless water heater in your home and connect it to the existing plumbing system. A factor in what is required will be permits, which do not contribute a significant amount of cost to the tankless installation itself, but are required by the state to insure that the water heater is installed to code. Because the installation must meet state and federal codes, work required to be completed to pass inspection can be a factor in the total cost of the installation. 
  • Accessories & Upgrades. Many of our clients have additional accessories on their hot water heaters that improve the user experience of their hot water heaters or would like them installed with their new tankless water heater. Some examples of accessories or upgrades that can add cost to a tankless water heater installation are recirculation pumps, leak detectors, mixing valves, and emergency shut off valves. 

Let’s drill into each of these categories and break down the costs of each.

Potential Cost of Equipment & Materials: ~$2,000-$4,000

Specific Equipment Costs: $1,800- $2,500

We do not sell tankless water heaters as retail items, so when we sell a tankless water heater it's included as an installed product. However we do purchase tankless water heaters and are able to break out the typical equipment cost associated with a tankless water heater installation. 

Potential Required Installation Materials: ~$150–$500

Even in the most simple tankless water heater installation there is a great deal of plumbing fittings, materials, and consumables required to complete the installation. Here are some common examples of basic plumbing materials and supplies required to complete a tankless hot water heater installation. 

  • Hot/cold water shut-off valves
  • Tankless water heater service valves
  • Electrical, wire and fittings 
  • Gas pipe, fittings and valves
  • Condensate pipe and fittings 
  • Copper water piping 
  • PVC or exhaust piping

Installation & Plumbing Modifications: ~$2,000–$4,000

For reasons of compatibility, your existing water heater, home plumbing system, gas or electrical system, and exhaust all play a role in determining the price of replacement. In addition to the examples mentioned earlier in this article, this also includes infrastructural considerations like the shape of your flue piping, the desired location of your new heater (if changed), and any venting, intake, or drains that need to be installed.

In short, the more dramatic the change, the more complex the installation must be—and therefore the greater impact it will have on your total cost.

Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air’s typical tankless water heater installation includes: 

  • Delivery of the tankless water heater
  • Floor protection materials (drop cloths or other methods)
  • Removal, haulaway, and disposal of your old heater
  • Connecting the new water heater to your existing hot/cold water piping 
  • Connecting the new water heater to your electrical or gas system
  • Connecting the new water heater to your current venting or exhaust system
  • Installation of any accessories purchased
  • Completion of any necessary plumbing code updates 
  • Customer training and install overview
  • Warranty registration and post-installation followup

Potential Cost of Water Heater Accessories: $100-$2,000

Upgrading to a tankless water heater does eliminate the need for many common water heater accessories, but not all of them. Below are some of the most common accessories that could impact the cost of installation. 

Most Commonly Purchased Accessories for New Water Heaters

These include:

  • Recirc pumps. A hot water recirculation pump makes sure that you have instant hot water waiting at the most common hot water fixtures in your home. Some homeowners call tankless water heaters instant hot water heaters and think that this instant hot water appears at the fixture. Unfortunately, this is not how tankless water heaters work but if you want instant hot water at a faucet in your home, you will need a hot water recirculation system.
  • Extended warranties. Out of the box, most tankless water heaters have a five year parts warranty and over 10 years on the heat exchanger. Some manufacturers have the option to pay extra for extended warranties. If you are the type of homeowner that typically purchases extended warranties, you may consider that as an upgrade for your tankless heater. 
  • Smart tankless water heater controls. Some tankless water heaters have smart controls that allow a homeowner to control the water heater and its set point from an app.

What is the Breakdown of a Tankless Water Heater Installation?

In the simplest form, a tankless water heater installation is almost always a 50/50 split between equipment and material costs, and labor and installation costs. This means if the total installed price of your tankless water is $6,000 there will be about $3,000 of labor and installation required for the installation. 

FAQs About Tankless Water Heater Installation

Does a tankless water heater installation cost more or less than a tank installation?

The upfront installation cost of tankless water will be more than standard installation of a tank style water heater. It is important to keep in mind that often the majority of initial installation is the conversion from the tank water heater to the tankless and will be a one time upfront expense. 

How much more is a tankless water heater than sticking with a tank? 

Assuming that you have a standard venting gas water heater, you can expect to spend about double the cost of a like-for-like replacement to convert from a tank style to a tankless. Keep in mind that most of that cost is a one time cost. 

What is the return on investment for converting to a tankless?

Check out our complete guide on all the factors that go into calculating your return on investment. Although there are plenty of savings to be had when you switch from a tank to a tankless water heater, there are too many actual variables to state a true return on investment. 

Why Choose Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air for Tankless Installation?

Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air has been serving Southeast Wisconsin for over 80 years and has helped thousands of homeowners with their hot water heater needs. Our team of experts can help you decide if a tankless water heater is right for you and your home and will ensure your new water heater is installed properly for years of trouble free operation. 

Eric Smith

Eric Smith is a 3rd generation State of Wisconsin Master Plumber, Water Well Pump Installer, Plumbing Contractor, Water Well Contractor, HVAC Contractor and Water Treatment Expert and the owner of Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air.

More Resources From Our Master Tradesmen

Scroll to Top Call Now Button