Tankless water heaters: Q&A with experts

Tankless water heaters: Q&A with experts

Thinking about transitioning to tankless? Three highly rated plumbers spout advice on traditional versus tankless water heaters.

How does a tankless water heater work?

Jack Hope: A tankless water heater basically has a water line that comes into it. The water is heated with a heat exchanger as it flows into the water heater.

Dan Allen: It boils water with a precise combination of gas and air only when there is a call for water.

Jay Bedell: It heats the water as it passes through it.

Can a tankless water heater be installed in the same place as a traditional water heater?

Who we spoke to:

Hope Plumbing
Jack Hope, owner
Broad Ripple

Allen Plumbing

Dan Allen, owner


Bedell Plumbing
Jay Bedell, owner

Hope: It’s always an option. The caveat is I have no idea how much work it would take to make that happen. We could do it one way or another, but we might have to drill a hole in your floor.

Allen: The gas and water connections can be used, but the vent will have to be run by itself through the roof line.

Bedell: They have to be repiped and have their own exhaust pipe, so you usually can’t utilize any of the equipment that’s there.

What are the advantages to going tankless?

Hope: They last about twice as long. Depending on the size of your home, you can save quite a bit of money on energy.

Allen: It will never heat the same water repeatedly like a tank water heater, so it can save you money.

Bedell: In my opinion, there aren’t very many advantages. They require more maintenance than tank water heaters.

How much does it cost to have one installed?

Hope: Depending on how much work is involved, it could cost between $3,000 to $5,000 to put one in.

Allen: A best case scenario would be $3,000, and the worst case $4,000.

Bedell: They can be as much as $5,000 depending on the type.

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