Tankless Water Heater Installation Cost?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by rdtompki, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    I know it's hard to generalize, but I'm looking at a tankless WH installation, one of the smaller units such as a Rinnai 2020W, Nortiz 63S or Taguchi Jr. My bathroom is completely gutted and the 3/4" hot/cold run right to the outside wall on which the unit will mount. Need 30' of 3/4" gas line run in the attic (cut into an existing line). What's a reasonable range for this sort of job?

  2. $900 to $1500 easily. Anything less is a newbie trying to make a buck.
  3. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Is that with/without tankless HWH? I can tell you that the one quote I got was almost 3X the top of your range.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Not RUGGED but yes, that would be without the heater.

    It is not surprising that you got a price 3X higher.

    What part of the country do you live in?
  5. tankless heaters in INDY

    their is one BIG advertiseing plumbing company in our town that is
    now playing up the tanklesswater heaters big time....

    a sales man comes out to your home in a suit and tie
    and gives you this big sales pitch about how much you
    are gonna save ect--ect

    the final bottom line price for a gas tankless unit

    runs $4500.

    this place looks for every angle to make a buck
    any way they can.....and I suppose they get
    their fair share of suckers---thats what the advertiseing is for.

    we installed a normal tank type brad white 50 gal for 750
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2006
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Since we are not going to drive to your location to install the heater, our "reasonable" price would have no bearing on your installation. A reasonable price in your area would probably be whatever the average is between several quotations.

  7. I'm talking labor only, no materials. I wouldn't touch one less than $1900 in labor, just because.
  8. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    I'm in California so I expect to pay more. It can be very difficult to get multiple quotes especially as I'm in a pretty small town south of San Jose. I'm more than willing to pay a fair cost-based price including material overhead and such and I recognize the inefficiency of a small one-day job, but I'm finding pricing for these small residential jobs to be much more market-based. I guess that's life.
  9. I guess my question would be why you want to spend literally thousands of dollars for an item that you will never recoup the cost? It just won't happen with a tankless. And you will have to take that device apart and clean it of calcium buildup in the heating compartment to keep it running as efficient as the day it was installed. Along with having a service tech on a short rope to help you spend 100's on that unit when things go wrong.

    On one of these forums I had a comeback that, "Do you know how expensive square footage is in California is?" when I made a statement that the square footage you gain is a bad reason to install a tankless over a tank water heater. I don't buy that lame excuse. Closet space is closet space, buy ventilated shelving and work around your situations.

    I mean if you want to be in the in crowd and have something that only a select few have in your area, go for it. Wave of future designs have their setbacks in many ways, give it 20 years and they might be price competitive to the tank water heaters.

    Remember, history always repeats itself; Remember the old RUUD water heaters that worked solely off pressure? Instant hot water water, some are still working today. Huge coil of copper piping inside the cast iron heater and when there was a fluctuation of pressure the heater kicked on and there is your hot water.

    If you go forward with this, go with a 9-12 gpm flow tankless, especially if you have any square footage to the house you have to mention of. GOOD LUCK
  10. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Good points in the above post, but I think my situation warrants a tankless unit. I'm installing a large whirlpool tub and a 4.5 gpm shower in the master bath which would be adjacent to the tankless install. The only other bath in my modest-sized ranch is within 30' of the mb. My 50 gal. HWH is located in the center of the house, but cannot be enlarged due to space limitations (and, yes, I do want to move it as well as move the furnace up the the attic). So, kitchen and laundry room on one end, baths on the other and no room to enlarge the existing unit.

    I confess I'm an engineer so technology interests me, but my only other option is a large (75 gal?)HWH in the garage some 100' away from the whirlpool tub which seems like an awfully long run for recirculation line and such.

    If anyone would like to weigh in on the practicality and efficiency of running recirculation over that distance I'm more than willing to listen!
  11. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    New Hampshire
    I'm an engineer too. I consider that the object of engineering is to find the solution that meets all of the requirements with low life-cycle cost and high reliability.

    Here is an alternative for you to put in your tradeoff comparison matrix.

    Put your big heater in the garage, and install a 4 gallon electric point-of-use heater, such as the Ariston GL4, in the hot water supply line at your master bath. Supply your second bath after the POU heater.

    When you do the analysis you will find that the POU heater will provide instant hot water, and when you use your tub or shower the hot water from your main heater will arrive before you have a significant drop in temperature from the small amount of pipe water diluting the hot water in the POU heater. There will be no loss due to recirculation, and you will not be dumping water while you wait for the shower to get hot.

    A variation on the small POU theme, depending on how it fits your house, is to put a slightly larger electric heater (maybe a low-boy 30 or 40) in the area of the master bath and leave your 50 where it is. You will not be heating much water with the electric heater; just keeping hot what came from the main heater. Your main energy consumption would be the main gas heater.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2006
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