If you’re considering installing a tankless water heater in your Pittsburgh home, you want to know how much it’s going to cost.
We'll be honest with you, the only way to accurately determine how much it will cost is to have a professional visit your home and provide a quote.
The cost to install a tankless water heater depends on several factors specific to your home.
These factors include...
- Type of unit
- Size of unit
- Fuel type
- Labor costs
Although you’ll need a professional to give you an exact estimate, we’ll walk through each of the cost factors that impact the price to install a tankless water heater in your Pittsburgh home.
Looking for an estimate from a professional now? Our experienced team of plumbers is available 24/7 and would be more than happy to provide you with more information about the tankless water heater installation services we offer or give you an estimate.
Cost factor #1: Type of unit (whole-home or point-of-use)
There are two types of tankless units:
- Whole-home- Whole home units are exactly what they sound like; they heat all of the water that moves through your home’s appliances and faucets.
- Point-of-use- POUs are smaller units that are installed near one appliance or faucet and heat water specifically for that appliance or faucet.
You should install a whole-home unit if:
- You have a smaller home- A whole-home unit is usually the least expensive option. The cost of labor is less to install one unit as opposed to multiple POU units.
- You have a larger home- In this case, you will likely need to install both a whole-home unit and one or more POU units. Why? In a larger home, there are going to be several appliances that are installed farther away from the whole-home unit. This will require a POU unit to be installed for those appliances.
You should install a point-of-use unit if:
- You have a larger home (like we mentioned above)
- You want a dedicated unit for one specific appliance- If you have one or more appliances that use a significant amount of hot water (like a washer or dishwasher), you may want to install a POU unit specifically for that appliance.
Cost factor #2: Size of unit
Because tankless water heaters don’t actually hold any water, the “size” of these water heaters is determined by flow rate and temperature rise.
1. Flow rate- Flow rate is the number of gallons of hot water a tankless heater can produce in one minute (measured in gpm).
The flow rate you need for your home depends on how much hot water you use at once.
For example, if you want to be able to shower while your washer is running, you’ll need a tankless water heater with a flow rate that equals the washer flow rate + the shower flow rate.
To accurately determine what flow rate you need, a professional should come to your home and assess your home, appliances and hot water needs.
However, for quick reference, here is a list of common appliances and their estimated flow rates:
- Bathroom faucet: 0.5–2.5 gpm
- Showerhead: 1–3 gpm
- Washing machine: 1.5–2 gpm
- Dishwasher: 1–2.5 gpm
2. Temperature rise- Temperature rise is the difference between the incoming water temperature and the temperature you want your water to be.
Essentially, it measures how many degrees the water needs to be heated.
So, if you live in Pittsburgh, where the average groundwater temperature is 52 degrees, but you want your water heated to 120 degrees, you need a water heater with a temperature rise of 68 degrees.
Before installing a tankless water heater, you should consult a plumber to help you determine what flow rate and temperature rise you need to successfully supply your home with the right amount of warm water.
Cost factor #3: Fuel type
Gas water heaters are more expensive than electric water heaters.
However, gas is a less expensive fuel source than electricity, so having a gas water heater may cost you less money in the long-run.
That being said, the fuel type you “choose” for your water heater will likely depend on the type of fuel your home has access too.
If you already have gas lines, we would suggest installing a gas water heater. You will likely save money over time with a gas water heater.
If you have electricity, it will be less expensive for you to purchase an electric water heater, because installing gas lines can cost $3,000+.
Cost factor #4: Labor costs
The biggest cost factor outside of the water heater itself is the cost of labor. The cost of labor is affected by:
1. The plumber you hire: Typically, the more experienced a plumber is, the more expensive they are. However, the price of a plumber can also be affected by whether they charge a flat rate or an hourly rate. With flat-rate pricing, you pay the same amount for your installation regardless of how long it takes. With hourly pricing, you could end up paying a large amount depending on how long the installation takes.
When looking for a quality plumber, you should check to see that they:
- Are licensed and insured- You can check this on their website
- Have good reviews- On sites like Google and Facebook
- Will provide a written quote before any services begin- That way, you don’t have to deal with increased prices or surprise costs after your installation
2. The difficulty of the installation: Depending on how difficult (or time-consuming) your tankless water heater installation is, it may affect the overall cost of installation. Factors that could increase the difficulty (and price) include:
- Type of unit(s) you’re installing (whole home vs. multiple point-of-use units)
- Whether or not water lines need to be run to the new unit
- Whether or not the fuel type is changing (gas to electric or vice versa)
- Whether or not ventilation needs to be installed
Ready to install a tankless water heater? Call the best: Calfo!
Whether you’re ready to install a tankless water heater or want some more information before making a decision, our team is here to help. We train each of our plumbers for over 10,000 hours, so everyone on the Calfo team is experienced and knowledgeable. We can answer any question or handle any installation. Contact us for more information or…