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Choosing a replacement water heater

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Flyover

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Got news from the plumber today that our water heater is on its way out and needs to be replaced very soon. That lines up with some of the problems we've been noticing, so I trust his opinion. We have a choice between spending about 2000-3000 on a conventional tank heater & install or 5000-6000 on a tankless & install. By default I'd want the conventional one but there are a couple reasons I might consider tankless.

One is space: where our water heater is right now it's basically in a closet with our furnace. It's extremely cramped, and just getting the old one out is going to be a big enough pain as it is.

Two is resale: we're planning on moving out of the house in 1-3 years, and a fairly new tankless water heater might be a great selling point and help get more for the house. BUT I don't really know if this is true.

1. Can anyone tell me if a tankless is likely to increase my resale value much beyond what I paid for it?
2. Does anyone have any other good reasons for or against a tankless?
 

oldognewtrick

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Seems awful expensive to me, but I'm not a Plummer. Call and get a couple other quotes. If you're moving in the near future, I'd seriously reconsider the added expense of tankless, will the added cost be recouped?
 

Flyover

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Those quoted prices included labor. I believe the high cost of the conventional tank is because of the anticipated difficulty of the removal/install. It's gas, BTW.

@oldognewtrick
I'd seriously reconsider the added expense of tankless, will the added cost be recouped?
That's what I'd like to hear about, hopefully from people with more experience in this kind of thing. If the tankless is $3K or $4K more but boosts the resale value of my house by 4% (as one article I read indicated it tends to, on average), then that would likely be equivalent to about a $7K boost in what I could expect to sell the house for, plus the likelihood of a quicker sale. So it would actually pay for itself almost double.
 

kok328

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Personally, I wouldn't buy a house with a tankless water heater (too much maintenance).
Also, that quote seems high, get a couple more quotes.
 

Flyover

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@billshack Does that $1000 include removal and hauling away the old one, and installation of the new one? (Not that I expect this would double your estimate...)
 

NeilG

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I'm looking to replace my water heater pretty soon and this one is getting old. If I buy one at HD, it's between $600 and $700 for the 40 gallon unit I'd need. I've installed them before, but if you haven't and it's in an awkward spot, $1000 installed is a good deal, IMO. In my case it's outdoors ( :) SoCal, guys) and easy to get into place, so I can save the installation fee. Do you guys need permits? It's $80 here.
 

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