Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost: The Ultimate Guide

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Considering a water heater installation? Whether it’s the cost of installing an electric tankless water heater, a traditional 50-gallon unit, or any other type, understanding the expenses, operating costs, and contractor is crucial. While electric tankless heaters typically have higher upfront costs than conventional ones, they offer long-term savings through lower energy bills and longer lifespans. However, the installation process of the project can be more complex and might require upgrades to your electrical system. It’s essential to weigh the initial investment of the project against future benefits over years.

Factors such as labor costs, permits, materials, additional modifications, project installation, and tank play a significant role in determining the overall expense. In this post, we’ll delve into the various aspects that influence electric tankless water heater installation costs and provide insights into what you should consider before making a decision on your project.

Water Heater Installation Cost Breakdown

Factors Affecting Installation Costs

The electric tankless water heater installation cost can vary based on several factors /// including the project. The first factor is the type of tank unit being installed. For instance, a small point-of-use electric tankless water heater may have a lower installation cost compared to a whole-house system due to the complexity and time required for installation. Another factor that impacts the water heater tank installation price is the location within your home where it will be installed. If significant modifications or upgrades, such as electrical work or plumbing adjustments, are needed to install the new unit, this can increase the overall cost.

Labor costs play a significant role in determining the overall 50-gallon water tank heater installation cost. Complex tank installations that require more time and expertise will naturally result in higher labor charges. It’s important to consider any potential additional expenses related to obtaining permits or complying with local building codes when budgeting for your electric tankless water heater installation.

Additional Considerations

When evaluating water heater tank installation price, it’s essential to remember that investing in high-quality professional installation can provide long-term benefits such as improved energy efficiency and reduced maintenance needs. While there might be an upfront expense associated with professional services to install a tank, it often pays off over time through lower utility bills and fewer repairs.

Moreover, some homeowners choose DIY (do-it-yourself) installations as a way to save money on their electric tankless water heater installation cost. However, it’s crucial to weigh the potential risks and challenges involved in DIY tank installations against potential savings. Improperly installed tanks can lead to safety hazards and operational inefficiencies, ultimately costing more in repairs down the line.

Tankless vs. Traditional Water Heater Costs

Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost

Installing an electric tankless water heater typically costs between $1,500 to $5,000. The cost varies based on factors such as the unit’s size, brand, complexity of installation, and tank. While the initial investment may seem higher than traditional water heaters, electric tankless models are known for their energy efficiency and long-term cost savings.

Electric tankless water heaters are compact units that heat water on demand without the need for a storage tank. This means tank only consumes electricity when hot water is required, reducing energy waste compared to traditional systems. Their longer lifespan, lower maintenance needs, and tank contribute to overall cost-effectiveness.

When considering the installation cost of an electric tankless water heater, homeowners should also account for additional expenses like electrical upgrades or modifications needed to accommodate the new system. Hiring a professional plumber is crucial to ensure proper tank installation and compliance with local building codes.

Water Heater Installation Price

The water heater tank installation price for a traditional 50-gallon model typically ranges from $450 to $1,500. This includes labor costs and materials required for setting up a conventional storage-tank system in residential properties. Despite having lower upfront installation expenses compared to tankless options, traditional water heaters may incur higher operational costs over time due to heat loss from stored hot water.

Traditional 50-gallon tank models offer a constant supply of hot water but require continuous energy consumption even during periods of low usage or standby times. Homeowners should factor in potential future expenditures related to repairs and replacements of the tank when calculating the overall lifetime expenditure associated with installing a conventional unit.

In some cases where natural gas lines are not available or feasible for use at a property site, an electric-powered 50-gallon tank water heater installation cost might be preferred due to its compatibility with existing electrical infrastructure in homes.

Factors Affecting Water Heater Installation Cost

Type of Water Heater

Electric tankless water heater installation cost can vary based on the type of water heater you choose. Tankless water heaters are generally more expensive to install than traditional tank-style ones, mainly due to their complexity and specific requirements.

Keep in mind that it requires electrical outlets near the installation location and may need an upgrade to your home’s electrical system. /// This additional tank work can increase the overall water heater installation price.

If you opt for a 50-gallon traditional water tank heater, its installation cost might differ from that of a smaller capacity unit. The larger tank size could necessitate adjustments to accommodate its dimensions or reinforce the floor beneath it.

Location and Accessibility

The location where you plan to install your new tank water heater plays a significant role in determining the 50 gallon water heater installation cost. If your chosen spot requires modifications such as rerouting plumbing lines or creating new ventilation pathways, expect these changes to impact the total expense.

Accessibility is another key factor affecting costs. For instance, installing a water heater tank in a cramped space or one with limited access may require additional labor hours, potentially increasing the overall water heater installation price.

Furthermore, consider any necessary permits for installing a new electric tankless water heater; this requirement varies by location but can add an extra layer of expense.

Additional Upgrades and Add-Ons

In addition to basic installations costs, there are potential upgrades and add-ons that can impact your final expenses when installing an electric tankless water heating system:

  • Upgrading electrical wiring or circuits: If your current electrical setup isn’t compatible with the demands of an electric tankless unit, upgrading these components will be necessary.
  • Adding filtration systems to their hot-water supply setups, some homeowners choose to incorporate tank filtration systems for improved quality.
  • Installing recirculation pumps and tank: These devices help minimize wait times for hot water at faucets farthest from the heating unit.

Electric vs. Gas Water Heater Installation Costs

Initial Cost Differences

When comparing the installation cost of an electric tankless water heater to a gas one, the initial expense is a crucial factor. Typically, electric water tank heaters are less expensive to install than their gas counterparts. This is because electric tank units don’t require venting or gas line installation, which can significantly reduce the upfront expenses.

For instance, when installing a 50-gallon electric tankless water heater, homeowners may find that they spend less on labor and materials compared to installing a gas-powered unit of the same capacity due to the absence of complex venting and gas line requirements.

In terms of installation price, this means that individuals opting for an electric tankless water heater might benefit from lower overall costs at the outset compared to those who choose a gas model.

Long-Term Operating Costs

While electric water heaters with tanks have lower installation costs initially, it’s important for consumers to consider long-term operating expenses as well. In many cases, despite higher upfront costs associated with tank installation, natural gas tends to be more affordable than electricity in terms of ongoing usage.

This means that although homeowners might pay more initially for installing a natural gas tankless water heater due to additional labor and materials required for venting and gas lines, they may enjoy lower monthly utility bills over time compared to those using an electric unit. It’s essential for individuals considering both options, tank, to weigh these long-term operating costs against each other before making their decision.

To summarize:

  • Electric tankless water heaters generally have lower initial installation costs

Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters

Cost Efficiency

Tankless water heaters have a higher installation cost compared to traditional tank-style water heaters. However, they are more energy-efficient, leading to lower monthly utility bills. The initial investment in a tankless water heater may be higher, but it can result in long-term savings due to reduced energy consumption.

Tankless water heaters also have a longer lifespan than traditional models, which means homeowners will save money on replacement and maintenance costs over time. The compact size of tankless units allows for flexibility in installation locations, saving space and potentially reducing installation expenses.

Endless Hot Water Supply

One significant advantage of tankless water heaters is their ability to provide an endless supply of hot water. Unlike traditional tanks that can run out of hot water after prolonged use, tankless systems heat the water as it passes through the unit. This ensures that there is always hot water available in the tank whenever needed without the need for waiting or reheating periods.

This tank feature is particularly beneficial for larger households where multiple people may need access to hot water simultaneously. It eliminates the inconvenience of scheduling showers or other activities around limited hot water availability tank.

Lower Installation Costs

While tankless water heaters generally have a higher upfront cost compared to conventional models, they may offer lower installation costs in certain situations. For example, if a home already has natural gas lines installed but lacks suitable venting for a standard gas storage heater, installing a gas-powered tankless unit could be more economical overall.

Electric tankless units also tend to have simpler installation requirements than their electric storage counterparts since they do not require large tanks or extensive plumbing modifications. This can lead to reduced labor costs during installation.

Average Labor Cost for Water Heater Installation

Factors Affecting Installation Costs

The electric tankless water heater installation cost can vary based on several factors. The primary determinants of the installation cost, including the complexity of the installation, location, necessary upgrades, and tank. For instance, if your home requires electrical or plumbing modifications to accommodate the new tank, this will increase the overall installation expense. Labor costs may differ depending on your geographical region due to varying local regulations, codes, and tank.

Another crucial factor is whether you are replacing a tank or installing a brand-new system in a different location within your home. Replacing an existing water heater might involve additional tasks such as removing and disposing of the old unit, which can influence the total labor cost.

Additional Expenses Involved

Apart from direct labor costs, there are other expenses associated with electric tankless water heater installations that homeowners should consider. These may include permit fees required by local authorities for installing a new water heater and any potential unforeseen issues encountered during installation that could lead to extra charges.

Moreover, obtaining professional advice before purchasing a new electric tankless water heater is advisable. This initial consultation with an experienced installer might come at a fee but can prove invaluable in selecting the most suitable unit for your specific needs while avoiding unnecessary future expenses.

Comparing 50 Gallon Water Heater Installation Cost

When comparing 50 gallon water heater installation cost with that of tankless units, it’s essential to consider long-term energy savings alongside initial investment differences. While traditional 50-gallon tanks generally have lower upfront installment costs compared to electric tankless heaters due to their simpler setup requirements, they tend to be less energy-efficient over time. Therefore, although investing in a 50-gallon tank may result in lower immediate labor expenses than opting for an electric tankless model, it’s crucial for homeowners to weigh these upfront savings against potential higher operational costs down the line.

Additional Costs for Water Heater Installation

Permits and Inspections

When installing an electric tankless water heater, you may need to obtain permits from your local building department. These permits are essential to ensure that the installation meets safety and building code requirements. The cost of permits can vary depending on your location, but it’s crucial to factor this into your budget. Some areas require inspections after the installation is complete, which may incur extra fees.

In some cases, a professional plumber will include the permit costs in their overall quote for the installation. However, it’s important to clarify this beforehand so that you have a clear understanding of all potential expenses associated with the water heater installation.

Upgrading Electrical Wiring and Circuit Breaker

One significant additional cost when installing an electric tankless water heater is upgrading electrical wiring and circuit breakers. Unlike traditional tank-style heaters, electric tankless models often require higher voltage and amperage capacity due to their on-demand heating nature. This means that if your current electrical system isn’t equipped to handle the increased load, you’ll need to upgrade it.

Upgrading electrical wiring and circuit breakers should be done by a licensed electrician who can assess your home’s electrical capacity and make any necessary adjustments. The cost of this upgrade will depend on factors such as the distance from the breaker box to the water heater location and any existing obstacles that could complicate the process.

Considering these potential additional costs before embarking on an electric tankless water heater installation can help prevent unexpected financial burdens down the line.

Ventilation System Installation

Another consideration for electric tankless water heater installations is ventilation system requirements. While gas-powered units typically necessitate venting systems due to combustion byproducts, electric models might still require ventilation for heat dissipation or moisture control purposes.

If your home doesn’t already have adequate ventilation in place for a new unit or if modifications are needed due to different placement than previous units had required previously (such as moving from inside closets), then factoring in these costs upfront ensures proper functionality without compromising safety or efficiency.

Selecting the Right Type of Water Heater

Electric Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost

Installing an electric tankless water heater can cost between $1,000 and $3,000. The price varies depending on factors such as the heater’s brand, size, and complexity of installation. Although the initial cost is higher than traditional tank water heaters, electric tankless models are more energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan.

Electric tankless water heaters do not require a storage tank to heat water. Instead, they use heating elements to warm up the water as it passes through the unit. This on-demand heating method reduces energy consumption and eliminates standby heat loss that occurs with traditional tanks.

The installation process for an electric tankless water heater involves connecting it directly to the home’s electrical system. It requires professional expertise due to electrical work involved in ensuring safety and compliance with building codes.

Water Heater Installation Price

When considering water heater installation prices, homeowners should factor in both equipment costs and labor expenses. On average, installing a new water heater can range from $500 to $1,500 for a standard model. However, this figure may increase based on additional requirements such as modifying existing plumbing or electrical systems.

It’s essential for homeowners to engage qualified professionals for water heater installation to ensure proper setup and adherence to local regulations. Hiring licensed plumbers or technicians will also provide peace of mind regarding warranty coverage for the installed unit.

50 Gallon Water Heater Installation Cost

For those opting for a 50-gallon water heater, typical installation costs fall within the range of $700-$2,000+. The final expense depends on various aspects including any necessary upgrades or modifications required during installation.

A 50-gallon capacity is suitable for medium-sized households where hot water demand is moderate-to-high. While these units come at a higher upfront cost compared to smaller tanks, they offer ample supply without running out during peak usage times.

Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters Over Traditional Models


Switching to an electric tankless water heater can lead to significant long-term cost savings. While the initial installation cost may be higher than that of a traditional model, tankless heaters are more energy-efficient, resulting in lower monthly utility bills. The absence of a storage tank means no standby heat loss, which occurs with traditional water heaters.

Tankless models also have a longer lifespan compared to traditional units, reducing the frequency and expense of replacements. Since they only heat water when needed, they consume less energy overall.

For example:

  • A 50-gallon electric tank-style water heater typically costs between $500 and $700 for installation.
  • In contrast, the average water heater installation price for an electric tankless unit ranges from $1,000 to $1,500.

Space-Saving Design

Another advantage of tankless water heaters is their compact size. Unlike bulky storage tanks that require substantial floor space or dedicated closets for installation, tankless models can be mounted on walls or installed under cabinets. This space-saving design makes them ideal for smaller homes or properties where maximizing living space is crucial.

The reduced physical footprint also allows flexibility in terms of placement within the property. For instance, installing multiple smaller tankless units at different points-of-use throughout a home eliminates the need for long pipe runs and minimizes heat loss through piping systems.

In addition:

  • Traditional 50-gallon tanks typically measure around 60 inches tall and 24 inches wide.
  • Meanwhile,50 gallon water heater installation cost can be significantly impacted by retrofitting requirements due to its large size.

Closing Thoughts

You’ve now got a clear picture of the costs and considerations involved in water heater installation. Whether you’re leaning towards a traditional or tankless model, understanding the breakdown of expenses and the impact of different factors can help you make an informed decision. Remember, it’s not just about the upfront cost but also the long-term savings and efficiency that matter. So, when you’re ready to upgrade your water heater, weigh the pros and cons, factor in installation costs, and select the right type that suits your needs and budget.

Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, take the next step by reaching out to professional installers for quotes tailored to your specific requirements. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek recommendations based on your household’s hot water demand. Making a well-thought-out choice today can lead to lasting benefits tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main differences between tankless and traditional water heater costs, gallons, and different types?

Tankless water heaters generally have a higher upfront cost but lower operating costs over time. Traditional water heaters are cheaper to install, but their operational expenses tend to be higher due to energy inefficiency.

What factors can affect the installation cost of a water heater? plumbing expert, average costs, expansion tank, free estimates

The installation cost can be influenced by factors such as the type of water heater chosen (tankless or traditional), location for installation, complexity of the installation process, and any additional upgrades or modifications required in the plumbing system.

Is there a significant difference in electric vs. gas water heater installation costs?

Yes, typically electric water heater installations may have lower upfront costs compared to gas ones. However, this could vary based on local utility rates and availability of natural gas infrastructure in your area.

What are some pros and cons of using tankless water heaters in homes?

Tankless water heaters offer energy efficiency, space-saving benefits, and longer lifespan but come with higher initial investment. On the other hand, traditional models have lower upfront costs but may lead to higher long-term operational expenses due to energy usage.

How do I select the right type of water heater for my needs, gallons, hour?

Consider factors like your hot-water usage pattern, available space for installation, fuel options (electricity/natural gas), budget constraints, and maintenance requirements when deciding between tankless and traditional models.


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