Water Heater Install $1,800!

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brajalle
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by brajalle » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:27 pm

There's a hybrid water heater installation tax credit that expires at the end of the year for up to like $300. FYI.

I did some pricing, and with our local utility rebate for one, it ended up being cheaper to go a hybrid water heater than a standard one.

Our water heater install is about $600-700 (total estimate includes water softener and a frozen pipe fix, so I'm estimating), but includes some electrical work to change from gas to electric, and some pipe re-arrangement.

keith6014
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by keith6014 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:28 am

Location North Jersey
PSEG: 40 gallon tank, including installation, 6 year warrant and local permit. $1999.00.
Lowes: same, $1400
Home Depot: same, $1100

Its good to call around because the prices range a lot.
Last edited by keith6014 on Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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knpstr
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by knpstr » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:57 am

That is the price I got quoted for 50-gal powervent purchase, install, haul away. Think that was $1,850 and I know the powervent models tend to run more expensive than the passive ones.

Ended up just getting a spare powervent from a contractor I use for my rentals for $100
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

noco-hawkeye
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by noco-hawkeye » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:20 am

My rule of thumb is contractors charge about the same amount as parts do. So a 600$ water heater would cost about $1200 to have installed.

While $1800 seems high to me, I don't think it's outrageous.

I replaced a 50Ga from home depot, was a highly rated unit. We've been very happy with it. If the connections don't require sweating pipes, and the water heater is easy to get to - it's not a terribly complex job. It does require some muscle though. We also found a local scrap metal yard that would take water heaters, if you city does not take them.

tibbitts
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by tibbitts » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:28 am

alfaspider wrote:
Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:33 am
Andyrunner wrote:My water heater started leaking on Friday. I called a local plumber he came over and quoted me at 1,850. This is flat installation, disposal, heater itself, everything. He said he can come today to replace it.

After he left, I called another larger plumbing business in town and they charged me $1700. Should I ask the other smaller guy to price match?

Finally, Home Depot has water heaters same gallon and capacity for around 500-600 dollars. So I'm assuming this guy is charging me 1,000 for install, disposal and everything else. About 4 years ago days before I sold my house I had to replace the water heater, the realtor's recommended plumber charged me $850. Granted I went with the cheapest water heater possible because I just needed a working one to sell the house...
If you are spending that sort of money, why not switch to a tankless?
Because, among other reasons, tankless could easily cost two or three times more.

F150HD
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by F150HD » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:48 am

Rupert wrote:
Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:55 pm
...Bradford White is a good brand, but so is Rheem. The only brands you really need to stay away from are the GEs, Whirlpools, etc., sold at big-box stores.
https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2016/rheem ... er-heaters

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeown ... aters.html

tibbitts
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by tibbitts » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:06 am

bampf wrote:
Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:07 am
1 - Pipe cutter $12
2- Sharkbite hotwater heater connecting hoses $40
1- Gas connection line (yellow) $25
1- Overflow drain $7.99
Plumbers tape - $.99

1- Hot water heater of choice at what ever cost you are willing.

Turn off the water. Turn off heater. Make sure gas to heater is off. Attach hose to hot water heater. Drain. Open taps in house to further drain and relieve pressure. Get a bucket. Cut intake as close to hot water heater as possible. Cut hot water out pipe as close to hot water heater as possible. Disconnect venting. Disconnect gas line. Get strong people to take it out for you. Insert new heater. Attach intake with sharkbit fitting. Attach water out with shark bite fitting. Attach venting. Attach gas line. Attach overflow drain. Slowly run water into tank (10 gallons or so). Look for leaks. Drain tank to get rid of crap in tank. Fill tank. Turn on gas line. Ignite heater. Look for leaks. Adjust temperature. Take a nice long hot shower.

I can do a heater in about 45 minutes. You probably need a permit. Umkay. If you aren't comfortable with gas, pay your guy to do it. It is now completely trivial to do and is about as complex as putting a battery in a car.
You are greatly simplifying the task and grossly underestimating the skill involved. Just as one example, how does someone without any experience know whether the copper in their house meets the requirements to use the sharkbite fittings you mentioned? Most people could spend more time just answering that one question than you allow for the entire job. Most people would take 45 minutes just rounding up the tools they need for the job, assuming they already own them. And who are these "strong people"? Where do you find them and how much do you pay them? I really believe you are completely failing to account for years and years of experience and trial-and-error that got you to the point you're at, and assuming everyone else has that same background.

dbr
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by dbr » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:21 am

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:06 am
bampf wrote:
Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:07 am
1 - Pipe cutter $12
2- Sharkbite hotwater heater connecting hoses $40
1- Gas connection line (yellow) $25
1- Overflow drain $7.99
Plumbers tape - $.99

1- Hot water heater of choice at what ever cost you are willing.

Turn off the water. Turn off heater. Make sure gas to heater is off. Attach hose to hot water heater. Drain. Open taps in house to further drain and relieve pressure. Get a bucket. Cut intake as close to hot water heater as possible. Cut hot water out pipe as close to hot water heater as possible. Disconnect venting. Disconnect gas line. Get strong people to take it out for you. Insert new heater. Attach intake with sharkbit fitting. Attach water out with shark bite fitting. Attach venting. Attach gas line. Attach overflow drain. Slowly run water into tank (10 gallons or so). Look for leaks. Drain tank to get rid of crap in tank. Fill tank. Turn on gas line. Ignite heater. Look for leaks. Adjust temperature. Take a nice long hot shower.

I can do a heater in about 45 minutes. You probably need a permit. Umkay. If you aren't comfortable with gas, pay your guy to do it. It is now completely trivial to do and is about as complex as putting a battery in a car.
You are greatly simplifying the task and grossly underestimating the skill involved. Just as one example, how does someone without any experience know whether the copper in their house meets the requirements to use the sharkbite fittings you mentioned? Most people could spend more time just answering that one question than you allow for the entire job. Most people would take 45 minutes just rounding up the tools they need for the job, assuming they already own them. And who are these "strong people"? Where do you find them and how much do you pay them? I really believe you are completely failing to account for years and years of experience and trial-and-error that got you to the point you're at, and assuming everyone else has that same background.
It's not uncommon that people with experience, tools, know-how, and strong friends make light of all sorts of diy jobs that a more average individual would be nuts to attempt on their own. My experience as a homeowner is that the more experienced and knowledgeable I have gotten the more quickly I just hire someone to do the work.

neilpilot
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by neilpilot » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:41 am

dbr wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:21 am

It's not uncommon that people with experience, tools, know-how, and strong friends make light of all sorts of diy jobs that a more average individual would be nuts to attempt on their own. My experience as a homeowner is that the more experienced and knowledgeable I have gotten the more quickly I just hire someone to do the work.
My experience is somewhat opposite. As I gain experience & knowledge, I will attempt more DIY repairs. Unfortunately, as I age my physical ability declines as my experience grows.

I will tackle DIY jobs that many (most) homeowners will hire out, simply because I know that they are likely to be relatively quick and easy if you can simply access the required knowledge (including YouTube), are not afraid to fail occasionally and the downside of failure isn't great (i.e. injury or no heat/AC/hotwater for an extended period). However, I typically don't call in friends to help and draw the line on changing a hot water tank.

dbr
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by dbr » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:46 am

neilpilot wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:41 am
dbr wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:21 am

It's not uncommon that people with experience, tools, know-how, and strong friends make light of all sorts of diy jobs that a more average individual would be nuts to attempt on their own. My experience as a homeowner is that the more experienced and knowledgeable I have gotten the more quickly I just hire someone to do the work.
My experience is somewhat opposite. As I gain experience & knowledge, I will attempt more DIY repairs. Unfortunately, as I age my physical ability declines as my experience grows.

I will tackle DIY jobs that many (most) homeowners will hire out, simply because I know that they are likely to be relatively quick and easy if you can simply access the required knowledge (including YouTube), are not afraid to fail occasionally and the downside of failure isn't great (i.e. injury or no heat/AC/hotwater for an extended period). However, I typically don't call in friends to help and draw the line on changing a hot water tank.
What knowledge and experience add is a better appreciation of the possibility that something is not going to be as simple as hoped.

Chip
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Chip » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:54 am

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:06 am

You are greatly simplifying the task and grossly underestimating the skill involved. [...] Most people would take 45 minutes just rounding up the tools they need for the job, assuming they already own them. And who are these "strong people"? Where do you find them and how much do you pay them? I really believe you are completely failing to account for years and years of experience and trial-and-error that got you to the point you're at, and assuming everyone else has that same background.
Absolutely. I consider myself an accomplished DIYer and it took me a half a day to replace my water heater (my first time doing so). Just getting the new heater down into the basement and the old heater disconnected, drained and up those same stairs was at least 45 minutes. Add in time to gather tools, sweat fittings, reinsulate pipes, hook up gas lines, check for leaks, etc. And I thought that the job went VERY well.

Plus there's the additional trip to Home Depot to return unused fittings.

neilpilot
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Location: Memphis area

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by neilpilot » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:57 am

dbr wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:46 am
neilpilot wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:41 am
dbr wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:21 am

It's not uncommon that people with experience, tools, know-how, and strong friends make light of all sorts of diy jobs that a more average individual would be nuts to attempt on their own. My experience as a homeowner is that the more experienced and knowledgeable I have gotten the more quickly I just hire someone to do the work.
My experience is somewhat opposite. As I gain experience & knowledge, I will attempt more DIY repairs. Unfortunately, as I age my physical ability declines as my experience grows.

I will tackle DIY jobs that many (most) homeowners will hire out, simply because I know that they are likely to be relatively quick and easy if you can simply access the required knowledge (including YouTube), are not afraid to fail occasionally and the downside of failure isn't great (i.e. injury or no heat/AC/hotwater for an extended period). However, I typically don't call in friends to help and draw the line on changing a hot water tank.
What knowledge and experience add is a better appreciation of the possibility that something is not going to be as simple as hoped.
Again, my experience has been that jobs that some might consider complex are very often simple. Here's an example, although not a home repair. I have radio with a display problem. A replacement display costs $1.5k, and probably another $400 in labor to have the new display installed. That radio can be replaced with a used one for about $2.5k. An internet search has revealed a potential repair that involves no parts, just a screw driver and some contact cleaner. I will attempt that simple repair next week. The downside is that the repair fails or I break the radio in the process. Nothing much lost, since I'll likely spend the $2.5k on a replacement anyway. Physically quick and easy, but a repair that most would not attempt.

criticalmass
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by criticalmass » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:17 am

Consider the warranty. Tanks with 5-6 year warranties have ONE anode rod. Tanks with 10-12 year warranties have TWO anode rods (or sometimes a really thick single rod).

Think of the rod as a timer to tank failure. The speed depends somewhat on water quality, pH, etc. The rod sacrifices itself as the water slowly corrodes it due to chemistry. When the rod is finally gone, the exposed areas of the tank start corroding instead, and you end up with a leak. Replace the rod before this happens, and the tank can last a very long time, perhaps indefinitely (until something else goes wrong like the burner is no longer economically serviceable, etc).

See anode rod photos here: http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/Longev ... nodes.html

p14175
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by p14175 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:45 pm

My DH noticed a puddle under the electric hot water heater when he was showing the buyer where the tank was located. We spent $1100 on a 40 gal water heater that the buyer didn't want but the mortgage company demanded as a condition of sale.

ncbill
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by ncbill » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:20 am

criticalmass wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:17 am
Consider the warranty. Tanks with 5-6 year warranties have ONE anode rod. Tanks with 10-12 year warranties have TWO anode rods (or sometimes a really thick single rod).

Think of the rod as a timer to tank failure. The speed depends somewhat on water quality, pH, etc. The rod sacrifices itself as the water slowly corrodes it due to chemistry. When the rod is finally gone, the exposed areas of the tank start corroding instead, and you end up with a leak. Replace the rod before this happens, and the tank can last a very long time, perhaps indefinitely (until something else goes wrong like the burner is no longer economically serviceable, etc).

See anode rod photos here: http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/Longev ... nodes.html
40+ years so far for a relative's electric water heater.

In addition to checking the anode regularly once a year he also drains the tank, then unscrews the (brass) drain valve to remove sediment from the bottom via a wet/dry vacuum.

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BigFoot48
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by BigFoot48 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:39 am

There's a company in Tucson, "Just Water Heaters", that has a big ad on the side of their vans offering a $599 install of an A. O. Smith electric 40 gal tank, including permit. http://justwaterheaterstucson.com/

We paid two plumbers, who I happened to see at a neighbors, $670 for an electric 50 gal in 2012. They even did some wall patching in the heater closet as a bonus!

I view $1,800 as outrageous unless it's just what the local market can ask and get.
Last edited by BigFoot48 on Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Luke Duke
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Luke Duke » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:02 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:06 am
bampf wrote:
Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:07 am
1 - Pipe cutter $12
2- Sharkbite hotwater heater connecting hoses $40
1- Gas connection line (yellow) $25
1- Overflow drain $7.99
Plumbers tape - $.99

1- Hot water heater of choice at what ever cost you are willing.

Turn off the water. Turn off heater. Make sure gas to heater is off. Attach hose to hot water heater. Drain. Open taps in house to further drain and relieve pressure. Get a bucket. Cut intake as close to hot water heater as possible. Cut hot water out pipe as close to hot water heater as possible. Disconnect venting. Disconnect gas line. Get strong people to take it out for you. Insert new heater. Attach intake with sharkbit fitting. Attach water out with shark bite fitting. Attach venting. Attach gas line. Attach overflow drain. Slowly run water into tank (10 gallons or so). Look for leaks. Drain tank to get rid of crap in tank. Fill tank. Turn on gas line. Ignite heater. Look for leaks. Adjust temperature. Take a nice long hot shower.

I can do a heater in about 45 minutes. You probably need a permit. Umkay. If you aren't comfortable with gas, pay your guy to do it. It is now completely trivial to do and is about as complex as putting a battery in a car.
You are greatly simplifying the task and grossly underestimating the skill involved. Just as one example, how does someone without any experience know whether the copper in their house meets the requirements to use the sharkbite fittings you mentioned? Most people could spend more time just answering that one question than you allow for the entire job. Most people would take 45 minutes just rounding up the tools they need for the job, assuming they already own them. And who are these "strong people"? Where do you find them and how much do you pay them? I really believe you are completely failing to account for years and years of experience and trial-and-error that got you to the point you're at, and assuming everyone else has that same background.
It definitely isn't a 45 minute job, but I changed mine in a half-day. It was in the attic and I didn't have any help. I put an eye hook in a rafter and used one of these to raise and lower the new and old heaters.

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TimeRunner
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by TimeRunner » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:50 pm

We have natural gas tankless heater in garage for laundry setup that works fine. We've kept natural gas tank technology in the house because:
1. It's really nice to have hot water during a power failure, and
2. The tank may be a convenient supply of potable water in an earthquake, etc.

I'd use a local plumber who stands behind their work and equipment warranty over a Lowes/HD. Having just dealt with Lowes for a hot water tank warranty, it was a very sucky experience. They outsource to Asurion who deals much more in electronics warranties. Asurion cut me a check because they didn't want to deal with finding a local plumber to do the work or arranging shipment of a new tank. While I got some money out of it, it clearly wasn't what the warranty said or what Lowes sold at the time. (But I had better things to do than dork around with this, and in the meantime I still needed hot water. Much happier with a responsive local plumber who provided quality heater and did the work the next day.)
One cannot enlighten the unconscious. | Endurance athletes are the Bogleheads of sports. | "I like people - I just don't want to be around 'em." - Russell Gordy

bampf
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by bampf » Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:46 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:06 am
bampf wrote:
Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:07 am
1 - Pipe cutter $12
2- Sharkbite hotwater heater connecting hoses $40
1- Gas connection line (yellow) $25
1- Overflow drain $7.99
Plumbers tape - $.99

1- Hot water heater of choice at what ever cost you are willing.

Turn off the water. Turn off heater. Make sure gas to heater is off. Attach hose to hot water heater. Drain. Open taps in house to further drain and relieve pressure. Get a bucket. Cut intake as close to hot water heater as possible. Cut hot water out pipe as close to hot water heater as possible. Disconnect venting. Disconnect gas line. Get strong people to take it out for you. Insert new heater. Attach intake with sharkbit fitting. Attach water out with shark bite fitting. Attach venting. Attach gas line. Attach overflow drain. Slowly run water into tank (10 gallons or so). Look for leaks. Drain tank to get rid of crap in tank. Fill tank. Turn on gas line. Ignite heater. Look for leaks. Adjust temperature. Take a nice long hot shower.

I can do a heater in about 45 minutes. You probably need a permit. Umkay. If you aren't comfortable with gas, pay your guy to do it. It is now completely trivial to do and is about as complex as putting a battery in a car.
You are greatly simplifying the task and grossly underestimating the skill involved. Just as one example, how does someone without any experience know whether the copper in their house meets the requirements to use the sharkbite fittings you mentioned? Most people could spend more time just answering that one question than you allow for the entire job. Most people would take 45 minutes just rounding up the tools they need for the job, assuming they already own them. And who are these "strong people"? Where do you find them and how much do you pay them? I really believe you are completely failing to account for years and years of experience and trial-and-error that got you to the point you're at, and assuming everyone else has that same background.
To be clear, I didn't say "You could do a hot water heater in 45 minutes." I said I could. I really am not greatly simplifying the task. It is literally three connections for a gas water heater. Sharkbites make this trivial. A pipe cutter or a hacksaw is very easy to use. An empty hot water heater isn't easy to maneuver with one person, although I have done it two or three times. I used a handtruck and straps and I am a big strong guy (or at least I was).

I don't view this as a skilled job. If you can use a saw and tighten a bolt, you can replace a hot water heater. However, if you do it poorly, you can cause a great deal of damage. If you install it and it leaks and it is in the attic, you can cause lots of damage. A leaking gas line can kill you. The task is not complex. Whether one can do it or should do it is an entirely personal choice. However, knowledge is power. If you know what it involves, then you are a lot less likely to swallow a quote for $1800. Best of luck to you all.

A440
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by A440 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:47 am

I'm most likely too late with this post. But for other's who are considering it:
I wanted to replace our Bradford White 40 gallon gas atmospheric vent water heater, as it was 15 years old (no leaks). Three quotes to replace were around $1,300.

A replacement Bradford White 50 gallon (better FHR and insulation) cost $599 including delivery to my front porch (supplyhouse.com). I don't know how to sweat pipes, so I purchased push-to-connect fittings (e.g. "sharkbite") and a new flexible gas line from local big box store. The total cost to replace (DIY) was just over $700, including a case of beer for a friend to help remove the old tank and sit the new tank in place. :beer

As a side note, I never replaced one of these before, nor did I have the interest. The last time (2002) I paid a plumber $800 and there was no such thing as "YouTube" :happy Fast-forward to 2017...the cost went up to $1,300 and YouTube was available to learn how to do the job. This time, I was motivated and had the interest and time to try the work with the help of some extra muscle.
Last edited by A440 on Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

tibbitts
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by tibbitts » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:29 am

bampf wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:46 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:06 am
bampf wrote:
Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:07 am
1 - Pipe cutter $12
2- Sharkbite hotwater heater connecting hoses $40
1- Gas connection line (yellow) $25
1- Overflow drain $7.99
Plumbers tape - $.99

1- Hot water heater of choice at what ever cost you are willing.

Turn off the water. Turn off heater. Make sure gas to heater is off. Attach hose to hot water heater. Drain. Open taps in house to further drain and relieve pressure. Get a bucket. Cut intake as close to hot water heater as possible. Cut hot water out pipe as close to hot water heater as possible. Disconnect venting. Disconnect gas line. Get strong people to take it out for you. Insert new heater. Attach intake with sharkbit fitting. Attach water out with shark bite fitting. Attach venting. Attach gas line. Attach overflow drain. Slowly run water into tank (10 gallons or so). Look for leaks. Drain tank to get rid of crap in tank. Fill tank. Turn on gas line. Ignite heater. Look for leaks. Adjust temperature. Take a nice long hot shower.

I can do a heater in about 45 minutes. You probably need a permit. Umkay. If you aren't comfortable with gas, pay your guy to do it. It is now completely trivial to do and is about as complex as putting a battery in a car.
You are greatly simplifying the task and grossly underestimating the skill involved. Just as one example, how does someone without any experience know whether the copper in their house meets the requirements to use the sharkbite fittings you mentioned? Most people could spend more time just answering that one question than you allow for the entire job. Most people would take 45 minutes just rounding up the tools they need for the job, assuming they already own them. And who are these "strong people"? Where do you find them and how much do you pay them? I really believe you are completely failing to account for years and years of experience and trial-and-error that got you to the point you're at, and assuming everyone else has that same background.
To be clear, I didn't say "You could do a hot water heater in 45 minutes." I said I could. I really am not greatly simplifying the task. It is literally three connections for a gas water heater. Sharkbites make this trivial. A pipe cutter or a hacksaw is very easy to use. An empty hot water heater isn't easy to maneuver with one person, although I have done it two or three times. I used a handtruck and straps and I am a big strong guy (or at least I was).

I don't view this as a skilled job. If you can use a saw and tighten a bolt, you can replace a hot water heater. However, if you do it poorly, you can cause a great deal of damage. If you install it and it leaks and it is in the attic, you can cause lots of damage. A leaking gas line can kill you. The task is not complex. Whether one can do it or should do it is an entirely personal choice. However, knowledge is power. If you know what it involves, then you are a lot less likely to swallow a quote for $1800. Best of luck to you all.
Again, just as an example, although I happen to know what a sharkbite fitting is, probably 90% of people don't, and don't know how to evaluate the requirements for plumbing it can and can't be used with. Also you had to buy and then store, or rent, a handtruck and straps - you may just assume everyone has these things already, but again, 90% of people don't. So you have to allow for the years and investment it took you to gain that knowledge and assemble the necessary tools, and then consider what else you might have done with that time and money.

dbr
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by dbr » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:00 am

tibbitts wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:29 am

Again, just as an example, although I happen to know what a sharkbite fitting is, probably 90% of people don't, and don't know how to evaluate the requirements for plumbing it can and can't be used with. Also you had to buy and then store, or rent, a handtruck and straps - you may just assume everyone has these things already, but again, 90% of people don't. So you have to allow for the years and investment it took you to gain that knowledge and assemble the necessary tools, and then consider what else you might have done with that time and money.
Definition of easy: Anything you know how to do.

Definition of hard: All the things you don't know how to do.

It is simple to overlook how hard something is for someone else when you have the knowledge, experience, tools, and equipment to do something and they don't. That is also true of investing advice on this forum. Investing is simple but not simpler than it is.

littlebird
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by littlebird » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:43 pm

Just got an estimate for an 55 gal. electric heater/tank of $850 plus $150 for an extra "guy" to help remove my 36 year old, 80 gal. very heavy solar/electric from a garage.

As an aside, the plumber told me that continuing to use the electric portion of my current heater (the solar has become inoperable) would be about as efficient as a new 55-gal. heater, since the efficiency of the new electrics comes from their 3 inches of foam insulation (compared to older electrics) whereas my old solar/electric had that insulation from way back.

euroswiss
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by euroswiss » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:50 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:28 am
alfaspider wrote:
Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:33 am
Andyrunner wrote:My water heater started leaking on Friday. I called a local plumber he came over and quoted me at 1,850. This is flat installation, disposal, heater itself, everything. He said he can come today to replace it.

After he left, I called another larger plumbing business in town and they charged me $1700. Should I ask the other smaller guy to price match?

Finally, Home Depot has water heaters same gallon and capacity for around 500-600 dollars. So I'm assuming this guy is charging me 1,000 for install, disposal and everything else. About 4 years ago days before I sold my house I had to replace the water heater, the realtor's recommended plumber charged me $850. Granted I went with the cheapest water heater possible because I just needed a working one to sell the house...
If you are spending that sort of money, why not switch to a tankless?
Because, among other reasons, tankless could easily cost two or three times more.
I just had a tankless (Rheem) heater installed for $2000 flat (through Lowes). So, yes, a little more, but not by much!
(That said, I would self-install a regular water heater for less than $700, so the $1800 seems exorbitant to me)

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topper1296
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by topper1296 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:58 pm

ncbill wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:20 am
criticalmass wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:17 am
Consider the warranty. Tanks with 5-6 year warranties have ONE anode rod. Tanks with 10-12 year warranties have TWO anode rods (or sometimes a really thick single rod).

Think of the rod as a timer to tank failure. The speed depends somewhat on water quality, pH, etc. The rod sacrifices itself as the water slowly corrodes it due to chemistry. When the rod is finally gone, the exposed areas of the tank start corroding instead, and you end up with a leak. Replace the rod before this happens, and the tank can last a very long time, perhaps indefinitely (until something else goes wrong like the burner is no longer economically serviceable, etc).

See anode rod photos here: http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/Longev ... nodes.html
40+ years so far for a relative's electric water heater.

In addition to checking the anode regularly once a year he also drains the tank, then unscrews the (brass) drain valve to remove sediment from the bottom via a wet/dry vacuum.
I have a water heater that is about 10 years old now and I am NOT able to check the rod without pulling the entire unit out since my water heater unit was install under my HVAC with only about 6 inches of clearance between both units, however I have been draining it yearly.

divideby9
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by divideby9 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:52 pm

Wow many of you guys are getting away easy. I just shopped 3 different plumbers and $2150 was the lowest quote I could get for an installed bradford white 75 gal/75,000 btu. I didn't want to do the work myself because it's natural gas and I'm not messing with anything that emits CO.

criticalmass
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by criticalmass » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:04 am

topper1296 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:58 pm
ncbill wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:20 am
criticalmass wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:17 am
Consider the warranty. Tanks with 5-6 year warranties have ONE anode rod. Tanks with 10-12 year warranties have TWO anode rods (or sometimes a really thick single rod).

Think of the rod as a timer to tank failure. The speed depends somewhat on water quality, pH, etc. The rod sacrifices itself as the water slowly corrodes it due to chemistry. When the rod is finally gone, the exposed areas of the tank start corroding instead, and you end up with a leak. Replace the rod before this happens, and the tank can last a very long time, perhaps indefinitely (until something else goes wrong like the burner is no longer economically serviceable, etc).

See anode rod photos here: http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/Longev ... nodes.html
40+ years so far for a relative's electric water heater.

In addition to checking the anode regularly once a year he also drains the tank, then unscrews the (brass) drain valve to remove sediment from the bottom via a wet/dry vacuum.
I have a water heater that is about 10 years old now and I am NOT able to check the rod without pulling the entire unit out since my water heater unit was install under my HVAC with only about 6 inches of clearance between both units, however I have been draining it yearly.
Six inches is ridiculously tight but for those with a bit more room, flexible or folding anode rods are available.

Helo80
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Helo80 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:59 am

euroswiss wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:50 pm
I just had a tankless (Rheem) heater installed for $2000 flat (through Lowes). So, yes, a little more, but not by much!
(That said, I would self-install a regular water heater for less than $700, so the $1800 seems exorbitant to me)

Very regional dependent as Lowe's outsources this sort of work (I would bet money on it)

But, $2000 flat with Rheem unit and install? Or $2000 install plus price of unit?

euroswiss
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by euroswiss » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:27 am

Yes, Sir! 2000 all-in. I did use a 10% off coupon for the heater and parts (coupon doesn’t apply to labor), so that saved some but labor is the larger part of the total cost.

I should add that the bids ranged from $2000 to $3700.... I observed the entire installation and it was not difficult (easy access to all services although had to drill through brick to get lines into crawl space), so the $3800 quote obviously had huge profit built in.

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Ice-9
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Ice-9 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:40 am

I didn't read through the entire thread, but I did a control-F search on the word "lining" and got no hits, so I apologize in advance if this was already mentioned.

I just replaced my water heater and also was surprised at the high initial estimate - $2100 in my case. All friends and neighbors I spoke with about it told me they had replaced their water heaters several years back for prices in the $1300-1400 range and noted of course the obviously lower simple purchase price at Home Depot.

I got a second estimate from a company headquartered about 25 miles away from me. The staff providing the estimate gave me two numbers, $1300 and $1800, depending on whether or not my small municipality was one of the many that recently added a requirement for aluminum lining in the chimney with all new water heater installs. He said this was a new trend among various jurisdictions but something experts in the field didn't consider necessary unless code required it. He later researched it and discovered that my municipality indeed required this, so I went with the $1800.

You may want to check to see if your jurisdiction also recently added this requirement for chimney lining, which may explain the higher than expected estimate.

Nowizard
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Nowizard » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:15 pm

Some have mentioned tankless water heaters, but we would never get one by choice. They take a very long time to heat up at the faucet, and our current water heaters have instant hot water from a constantly circulating system. They do take less space, and they are advertised as less potentially dangerous from a burst water heating tank. How many have had that problem, however? Just an opinion, and a small, instant tank can be installed at, for example, the kitchen sink to speed up the time for obtaining hot water, but what are the advantages that compensate for the disadvantages?

Tim

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MnyGrl
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by MnyGrl » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:20 pm

I bought a house last year and the inspector said that when I need to replace the hot water heater, it will cost more than the old ones due to new federal regulations - he said to plan on around $1800 all inclusive (I live in a HCOL area). Here's information about the regs:

https://www.freep.com/story/money/busin ... /25818509/

euroswiss
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by euroswiss » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:12 am

Nowizard wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:15 pm
Some have mentioned tankless water heaters, but we would never get one by choice. They take a very long time to heat up at the faucet, and our current water heaters have instant hot water from a constantly circulating system. They do take less space, and they are advertised as less potentially dangerous from a burst water heating tank. How many have had that problem, however? Just an opinion, and a small, instant tank can be installed at, for example, the kitchen sink to speed up the time for obtaining hot water, but what are the advantages that compensate for the disadvantages?

Tim
The vast majority of individual homes do not have “constantly circulating hot water”, so you are comparing apples and oranges. The time to get hot water at the faucet depends on the distance from the water heater and the degree of insulation of the pipes. That’s why a point of use heater is so effective. Tankless are no slower or faster than regular heaters in this regard - both dispense hot water pretty much instantaneously and the delay at the faucet is whatever time it takes for the hot water to reach it.

westie
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by westie » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:07 am

If feasible, give some thought to having your WH installed in your garage instead of inside the house. Easier to install, maintain, and eliminates worry about leaks.

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Geneyus
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Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Geneyus » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:33 pm

I swapped out my electric water heater this year. I bought one for around $500, strapped it to a dolly with a ratchet strap, and hauled it up to the attic. If it's an electric water heater, the only semi-difficult part is connecting the incoming and outgoing lines. If you have a handyman friend who knows how to solder copper pipes with a blowtorch, they can get it hooked up pretty quickly. Maybe offer to buy them dinner and some beers.

If you have to hire a plumber to hook it up, I'd have the water heater sitting in the pan with the pipes and everything you need, and get a quote just for connecting the pipes. I bet it will be around $100-200 just for that small amount of labor.

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