How Much Does It Cost to Install a Tankless Water Heater in Idaho?

November 29, 2017

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In Idaho, it can cost anywhere from $2,800 to $5,400 to install a tankless water heater.

So what causes the price to fluctuate?

Well, the price of a tankless water heater installation depends on 4 main factors:

  1. Type of water heater (electric vs natural gas)
  2. Whole-home vs point-of-use units
  3. Size of the water heater
  4. Labor

We’ll walk you through each of these factors to explain how they affect the final price tag on your tankless water heater installation.

Need a professional quote for your tankless water heater installation? Just contact us.

Factor #1: Type of water heater (gas vs electric)

The bottom line: A natural gas tankless water heater costs more to install than an electric tankless water heater.  However, natural gas tankless water heaters cost less to operate which means lower monthly energy bills. Note: Tankless water heaters that use propane gas (as opposed to natural gas) usually cost more to operate than electric water heaters.

The two most common types of tankless water heaters are natural gas and electric. When it comes to upfront installation costs, gas tankless units typically cost more upfront because the installation process is often more involved.

Additional costs you could encounter with gas tankless units:

  • If your home doesn’t currently have access to natural gas, you’ll need to have gas lines installed to your home which could cost up to several thousand dollars.
  • If your home currently has gas lines, installers may have to cut into walls to allow for special venting tubes (to allow combustion gases to vent outdoors). 
  • Installers may also have to extend current gas lines to reach the water heater. 

Additional costs you could encounter with electric tankless units:

  • If your home’s electrical panel isn’t large enough to handle the electrical needs of the tankless unit, you’ll need to pay the additional cost of upgrading your electrical panel (which can cost several thousand dollars).

But even though electric units are cheaper to install, many homeowners opt to install gas tankless water heaters because natural gas is cheaper than electricity in most cities (i.e. lower utility bills).

Factor #2: Whole-home vs multiple point-of-use units

The bottom line: Installing a single whole-home tankless unit usually costs less than installing multiple point-of-use tankless units.

When it comes to tankless water heaters, you actually have 2 different kinds to consider:

  1. Whole-home units
  2. Point-of-use units

Whole-home units serve all the water appliances in an entire home and work to send hot water to every water appliance in the house. Point-of-use units serve only one water appliance and are installed near the appliance itself.

Because of the additional time and labor it takes to install multiple point-of-use units, it’s usually cheaper to install a single whole-home tankless water heater.

Factor #3: Size of the water heater

The bottom line: The larger the tankless water heater’s size (i.e. its “flow rate”), the more expensive the installation price.

Tankless water heaters are sized by their “flow rate”, i.e. how many gallons of hot water the unit can provide in a minute. The higher the flow rate, the “larger” the water heater size and the more expensive the unit.

Wondering what size tankless water heater you need? It’s relatively easy to determine. Just add up the flow rate of all the water appliances you think you’d use at the same time and match that number with a tankless water heater with a comparable flow rate.

To help, here are the flow rates for common water appliances:

  • Bathroom faucet: .5 - 1.5 gpm
  • Kitchen faucet: 3.0 - 7.0 gpm
  • Shower: 1.0 - 2.0 gpm
  • Dishwasher: 1.0 - 2.5 gpm
  • Clothes washer: 1.5 - 3.0 gpm

Most water heater manufacturers will give you the flow rate of a tankless water heater alongside a specific “temperature rise”—the difference (in degrees) between the incoming cold water and the hot water output. 

Tankless water heater size based on temperature rise

For example, this Rinnai tankless water heater unit has a “9.4 GPM at 30° rise”, which means it can only provide a flow rate of 9.4 gallons per minute when the required temperature rise is 30° or lower.

Factor #4: Labor

The bottom line: Higher quality plumbers typically cost more but offer higher quality installations that save you money in the long run.

Just like any professional service, you get what you pay for. Lower quality contractors typically offer very low prices but many lower-priced contractors speed through a sloppy install job which can lead to higher monthly energy bills and frequent repairs.

Want a quote on your tankless water heater install?

Just contact us. We’ll send out a plumber who can inspect your home and water heating needs then offer a fair quote on a tankless water heater.

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