Water Heater Install $1,800!

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Andyrunner
Posts: 663
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 9:14 am

Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:09 am

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...

livesoft
Posts: 62720
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by livesoft » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:22 am

If the plumber already has work paying $1500, why would he want to switch and do your job for $600?

We have 2 water heaters in the house. Both have been purchased at and replaced by HomeDepot. The prices were about $600 each. Expect to pay a premium for more stairs to that the old heater comes down and the new heater goes up.

It is not clear to me if you know that HD sells AND installs/replaces water heaters. They contract local plumbers to do the work. They didn't even come to the house first to check. Everything is done over the phone. Just be sure you get a water heater that fits. In my attics, only certain dimensions would fit and I measured them myself and ordered the whole deal over the phone. Twice.

Of course, check out the many water heater threads on bogleheads.org. It is the primary source for information on replacing one's water heater.
Last edited by livesoft on Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
stickman731
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:42 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by stickman731 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:29 am

I had Lowe's install my hot water heater 2 years ago for cost of unit, installation, disposal and permit for a little over $700 in NJ.

RudyS
Posts: 1305
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:11 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by RudyS » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:29 am

The installation sounds high. Call Lowes and ask for total price, and call other plumbers for install / dispose price only. May be a few more bucks for a permit. If this is a newer high efficiency heater, then you may need a stainless flue liner to reduce size. That's a few hundred more. In our city, the city will pick up the thing from the curb.

alfaspider
Posts: 1543
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by alfaspider » 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?

John Z
Posts: 315
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:42 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by John Z » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:35 am

Having my electric 50 gal replaced this Thursday. Got 3 quotes from the 3 most reputable companies in the area. Lowest $1500. Goes into a garden style condo with a very small water heater closet with room for only one person to put their hands in to work. All plastic piping has to be replaced including 3 plastic shut off valves (my request), needs to be brought up to code with expansion tank and temp control valve. Has to be carried a distance from a parking lot, into a garage and then up an elevator so the logistics will take some extra time along with removal. They usually have a 2 person team. Price has gone up about $200-300 every 10 years I've had them replaced. In New England area.

Andyrunner
Posts: 663
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 9:14 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:47 am

Well called the HD, they charge 1650. So I'll see if the guy can price match, He came out for a quote the same day so I kind of feel like as long as he can price match, he should get the business.

As for tankless, Im not sure if this is a big deal, but we are in the upper midwest, which means the ground is freakn cold. From what I heard tankless water heaters arn't ideal for our weather, but that is from a non-expert friend.

killjoy2012
Posts: 1040
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by killjoy2012 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:56 am

Andyrunner wrote: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.
Make sure you're comparing apples to apples. The $500 HWHs are going to be your conventional, chimney vent, low efficiency models. High efficiency models will cost more, and usually requires changing your exhaust pipes to PVC, etc. Even with a conventional like-for-like replacement, likely need to replace the chimney liner and anything else required for warranty & code compliance. Doing this the week before Xmas probably isn't helping your price either.

Swansea
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 5:16 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Swansea » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:57 am

Check with your local government to see if an inspection of the installation is required. In my county, it is required for gas water heaters.

Tamales
Posts: 1275
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:47 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Tamales » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:03 am

Well, for what it's worth, our (gas) water heater had to be replaced in 2003. I was just going through some old receipts recently, and the installation (labor and a few plumbing parts) was $180 + $25 for a permit. It was a Sears Kenmore water heater, and the install was arranged via Sears. Disposal was around $50 extra if I recall.

$180 in 2003 adjusted for inflation is $236.

I just entered an equivalent heater at sears.com and the current install base price is $240.
BUT...there's a laundry list of other potential charges that depend on requirements for your municipality (amounting to several hundred $ in some cases), and/or how easily accessible your water heater is (another couple hundred, potentially). All plumbing parts seem to be an extra charge these days.

In any case, if you have a Sears nearby, get an online quote for an install and all the surcharges applicable to your location.

alfaspider
Posts: 1543
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by alfaspider » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:13 am

Andyrunner wrote:Well called the HD, they charge 1650. So I'll see if the guy can price match, He came out for a quote the same day so I kind of feel like as long as he can price match, he should get the business.

As for tankless, Im not sure if this is a big deal, but we are in the upper midwest, which means the ground is freakn cold. From what I heard tankless water heaters arn't ideal for our weather, but that is from a non-expert friend.
I don't see how this is an issue as long as you have a sufficiently powerful unit. My tankless had no problem heating up near frozen water this morning to piping hot shower temps.

User avatar
GKSD
Posts: 254
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:01 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by GKSD » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:23 am

It was about $900 ~ 4 years back in Southern California. The gas water heater leaked and plumber got the new unit, took the old one to recycle.

Rupert
Posts: 3666
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Rupert » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:29 am

I had a 50 gallon electric water heater replaced about 6 months ago for around $750. That included everything: installation, new drain pan, expansion tank, some new piping, disposal of old tank, etc. A gas heater would have cost a little more, but not that much more. My plumber talked me out of buying a more expensive heater with a 10- or 12-year, as opposed to 6- or 7-year (I can't remember which), warranty. He said that in his experience the cheaper tank will last 10-15 years in our area. A few will fail prematurely, he said, but most don't. The more expensive tank, he said, was identical in every material way. In other words, he said you're just paying for an extended warranty with that higher-end tank, not a better tank. I have no reason not to believe the guy as he wasn't making more profit off the cheaper tank; installation cost and process was the same either way. Also, there was no guarantee that I would call this same plumber back to replace the tank if it breaks, as he was not my usual plumber. So it was really no skin off his nose if I wasted money on an extended warranty.

Edited to note that the heater I bought was a Rheem Professional.

killjoy2012
Posts: 1040
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by killjoy2012 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:36 am

alfaspider wrote: I don't see how this is an issue as long as you have a sufficiently powerful unit. My tankless had no problem heating up near frozen water this morning to piping hot shower temps.
Tankless gets very expensive in northern climates. Most units are rated for a GPH flow at somewhere between 30-50* temp rise. Rheem is the highest I've seen at 77* rise, but for that amount of rise, their unit flow is 50% of what it's otherwise capable. Where I live, winter ground water approaches 42*. I know several people in my area after going down the tankless route, having the plumber come back and install a second unit to get sufficient hot water during the winter. In other words, installing a "2-3 bathroom" sized unit that should service their entire house, having to be dedicate to one bathroom in order to get the temp rise required.
Last edited by killjoy2012 on Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

rxtra8
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:12 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by rxtra8 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:37 am

Recently ( a month ago or so ) had my regular plumber install a high efficiency 50 gallon water heater for approximately $1000. He brought the WH and hauled the old WH away. He used a good quality WH, This is in SCAL.
“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” | — Robertson Davies

travellight
Posts: 2780
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by travellight » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:40 am

I just replaced one in Utah for $960.

User avatar
FrugalInvestor
Posts: 4888
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by FrugalInvestor » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:43 am

I paid about $1,000 less than that which included a drain pan under the heater. Mine is in the garage so very easily accessible.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

BW1985
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by BW1985 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:59 am

About $1000 last year in MN. 50gal Rheem, gas I think.

Luckily the seller's agent included a 1 year warranty with the house and shockingly they actually agreed to cover something.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

Andyrunner
Posts: 663
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 9:14 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:13 am

Well called the guy to price match. He basically said you need to compare apples to apples. He installs Bradford White WHs, he could get Rheems but the customer service, warranty, and quality of Bradford Whites are superior to Rheems. After the standard un-educated google search I pretty much found this to be the case.

Oh and of course the local government requests their fair share and there are permits and disposal fees involved.

carolinaman
Posts: 3252
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by carolinaman » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:31 pm

Andyrunner wrote:Well called the HD, they charge 1650. So I'll see if the guy can price match, He came out for a quote the same day so I kind of feel like as long as he can price match, he should get the business.

As for tankless, Im not sure if this is a big deal, but we are in the upper midwest, which means the ground is freakn cold. From what I heard tankless water heaters arn't ideal for our weather, but that is from a non-expert friend.
IMO, I would pay more for a good plumber to install the water heater (also assuming you are comparing apples to apples water heaters). My experience and knowledge of HD and Lowes is that the do not use good trades people. They pay low ball prices and get what they pay for.

neilpilot
Posts: 1848
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by neilpilot » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:35 pm

Andyrunner wrote:Well called the guy to price match. He basically said you need to compare apples to apples. He installs Bradford White WHs, he could get Rheems but the customer service, warranty, and quality of Bradford Whites are superior to Rheems. After the standard un-educated google search I pretty much found this to be the case.

Oh and of course the local government requests their fair share and there are permits and disposal fees involved.
I had to identical 50 gal Bradford-White gas units installed 6 years ago, a few months apart. They are 7-year warranty units, and after about 5 years one of the gas controls failed. I replaced it under warranty. A month ago, the same failure occurred on the other unit.

So based on my small same, and confirmation after searching online, the BW units with Honeywell gas control valves have a very high probability of premature failure.

Elena
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Elena » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:51 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Andyrunner wrote:Well called the HD, they charge 1650. So I'll see if the guy can price match, He came out for a quote the same day so I kind of feel like as long as he can price match, he should get the business.

As for tankless, Im not sure if this is a big deal, but we are in the upper midwest, which means the ground is freakn cold. From what I heard tankless water heaters arn't ideal for our weather, but that is from a non-expert friend.
IMO, I would pay more for a good plumber to install the water heater (also assuming you are comparing apples to apples water heaters). My experience and knowledge of HD and Lowes is that the do not use good trades people. They pay low ball prices and get what they pay for.
Ditto on that. I am paying for the confidence to know that if anything goes wrong my plumber will be here even on a holiday. She also advised me on what heater to get (good quality, but not a ripoff). I wanted to add that some energy efficient heaters *might* produce a tax deduction.

Rupert
Posts: 3666
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Rupert » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:55 pm

Andyrunner wrote:Well called the guy to price match. He basically said you need to compare apples to apples. He installs Bradford White WHs, he could get Rheems but the customer service, warranty, and quality of Bradford Whites are superior to Rheems. After the standard un-educated google search I pretty much found this to be the case.

Oh and of course the local government requests their fair share and there are permits and disposal fees involved.
I got a quote for a Bradford White from a different plumber. It was $50 higher (not $1000 higher) than the price of the comparable Rheem that I actually bought. 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.

User avatar
FrugalInvestor
Posts: 4888
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by FrugalInvestor » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:51 pm

Andyrunner wrote:Well called the guy to price match. He basically said you need to compare apples to apples. He installs Bradford White WHs, he could get Rheems but the customer service, warranty, and quality of Bradford Whites are superior to Rheems. After the standard un-educated google search I pretty much found this to be the case.

Oh and of course the local government requests their fair share and there are permits and disposal fees involved.
Mine is a Bradford White 50 gal. "Defender" installed by a plumbing company with a good reputation. I don't believe we have a government fees for permitting or disposal for a replacement water heater.

In our previous home I had a water heater replaced for about the same price - around $800. It was a good water heater installed by an independent plumber that I had told to not worry about the permit. There were a few things I had done 'on the sly' in that house. When I sold it I called the government entity involved and asked for an inspection of those things to make sure they didn't become a future liability problem for me. As it turns out by combining the inspections into one rather than doing multiple permits/inspections I saved money. The inspector and I talked but he never really looked at anything during his 'inspection.'
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

stats99
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by stats99 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:53 pm

I had to pay near $2,000 in 2011 to replace 50 gal Water heater..why so high? Building code changes forced additional venting work, blah blah blah.....

User avatar
Abe
Posts: 1788
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:24 pm
Location: Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Abe » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:00 pm

I have rental properties. I get hot water heaters installed for $100 labor plus cost of heater. You probably can't get it done that cheap, but I would think anything over $250 labor is too much. Ninety nine percent of the time, you will come out better buying the heater yourself and then paying someone to install it. You can get them at Lowes or Home Depot or many other places.
Slow and steady wins the race.

ponyboy
Posts: 565
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:39 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by ponyboy » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:05 pm

Why not just do it yourself? Plenty of youtube videos on this.

User avatar
pennstater2005
Posts: 2463
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:50 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:19 pm

I used a 10% off coupon and got a Whirpoool 40 gallon tall water heater for $330. Six year warranty I believe. Installed it myself using Shark Bite connections. Zero soldering. $1800 blows my mind. I watched a video online to complete.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

User avatar
Fletch
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:25 pm
Location: USA

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Fletch » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:26 pm

75 gal Bradford-White high efficiency, bring up to code with external expansion tank, pull permits, inspections, install with new shutoff valves and minor copper tubing revisions, minor iron gas line revisions, minor vent line revision, haul away old - February 2013. $1506.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

Rudy63
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:56 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Rudy63 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:30 pm

I had a plumber come out to do the install for the quoted price last year--I want to say $1200. However, in seeing my set up (water heater in back corner of a closet, between furnace and wall) he said he needed to special order a narrow one and then get a 'team' to lift it over an obstruction, etc. I then called a company that only replaces water heaters (not a general plumber) and they came out the next day and did it for $1075. This was for a Rheem, 40 gal, with the longer warranty; I think it's a 10 year or 12 year tank (as opposed to their 6.)

You might see if there's a company near you that just does hot water heaters.

arizonaslim
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:29 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by arizonaslim » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:47 pm

Earlier this year, I had to replace my water heater.

First plumbing company's quote was $2,500. Ouch!

So, I called a local handyman and contractor referral service. They sent me a plumber who charged $850 for a Ruud water heater. The guy did great work and I really like my new heater.

Tamales
Posts: 1275
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:47 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Tamales » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:02 pm

ponyboy wrote:Why not just do it yourself? Plenty of youtube videos on this.
Ah! like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bU-I2ZiML0

hightower
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:28 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by hightower » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:06 pm

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...
I installed a tankless water heater in our house myself last year. They aren't that bad honestly. I knew how to do PVC work, electrical work, and gas line work already, but even if I hadn't, I still think its a job a homeowner could tackle themselves if interested in saving some dough. Plus, tankless are worth the extra cost in gas savings BTW. Ours is so gas efficient its amazing. Our gas bill instantly went down after putting it in service.

hightower
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:28 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by hightower » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:12 pm

Tamales wrote:
ponyboy wrote:Why not just do it yourself? Plenty of youtube videos on this.
Ah! like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bU-I2ZiML0
LOL! Thanks for the comic relief! That is incredible. That is what happens when your water heater has a pressure relief valve failure. Not a problem on tankless BTW because you're not storing any hot water under pressure.

User avatar
AAA
Posts: 1042
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by AAA » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:15 pm

Earlier this year we had our water heater (in Pennsylvania) replaced. It's a 50 gallon, gas unit. Cost was $1250 for everything. We've used the same trusted plumber for over 30 years and didn't get other quotes. It's probably not the most efficient model as I called the manufacturer and he said it didn't qualify for any tax credits.

tim1999
Posts: 3484
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by tim1999 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:25 pm

Last year I had Home Depot replace a 40-gallon electric water heater in an easily accessible location for around $800 including the heater, labor, and haul-away. They came the same day I bought it.

Colorado13
Posts: 751
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:58 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Colorado13 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:29 am

I didn't get quotes, just went with a positively reviewed 50-gallon tank model from Home Depot. The cost was $500, installation was $300, and the inspection fee was $200 (paid to HD, but passed along to the county, which does the inspection.) They installed it a few hours after I made the appointment and I'm very happy waking up to a warm shower every day.

momm77
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:46 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by momm77 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:03 am

I had a new water heater installed by a local plumber for $850 around Thanksgiving. I would be leery of giving the big box stores my business as I have had issues with their installers who are sub contractors. I believe a local plumber would be a better option.

fishboat
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:15 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by fishboat » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:46 am

hightower wrote:
I installed a tankless water heater in our house myself last year. They aren't that bad honestly. I knew how to do PVC work, electrical work, and gas line work already, but even if I hadn't, I still think its a job a homeowner could tackle themselves if interested in saving some dough. Plus, tankless are worth the extra cost in gas savings BTW. Ours is so gas efficient its amazing. Our gas bill instantly went down after putting it in service.
It's been a number of years, though when I last looked into the tankless option the net view at the time was that, given the higher cost of a tankless unit (and installation costs), even with higher efficiency you never broke even on it vs the total ownership costs of a traditional tank unit. I know you installed it yourself and saved that money, but has the break-even view changed on tankless? At the time..this could have been 10-12 years ago..even "This Old House's" Richard Trethewey stated in a show that the extra efficiency of tankless didn't offset the extra costs of the unit..installing one was more a choice of having unlimited hot water or utility room space.

Not stirring the pot..it's just that I have a water heater in my future (currently running an 22 year-old OEM A.O.Smith unit that's running fine..but..) and the break-even of tankless would be good to know..

Runner01
Posts: 290
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:14 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Runner01 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:49 am

The plumber is likely quoting a Bradford White water heater while the HD/Lowes water heaters are likely AO Smith branded as Maytag or something. I recently had my 25 year old 40 gallon Bradford White power vent (still working but I was worried about the tank cracking) replaced with another Bradford White for $1,600. YMMV but a couple of my coworkers went the HD/Lowes route and had issues with the water heaters needing replacement parts within a few months. They didn't have to pay anything out of pocket but one coworker didn't have hot water for 2 weeks while the replacement part was being ordered.

bampf
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:19 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by bampf » 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.

User avatar
hand
Posts: 1195
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 8:42 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by hand » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:23 am

Andyrunner wrote:Well called the guy to price match. He basically said you need to compare apples to apples. He installs Bradford White WHs, he could get Rheems but the customer service, warranty, and quality of Bradford Whites are superior to Rheems. After the standard un-educated google search I pretty much found this to be the case.

Oh and of course the local government requests their fair share and there are permits and disposal fees involved.
I did the same research and ended up with a Bradford White. I've been happy over the last 5 or so years, however my research failed to identify the hassle factor related to replacing Bradford White anode rods. As far as I can tell, Bradford White design changes anode rod replacement from a easy DIY project to one that is likely to require a plumber for many. I can't see any good engineering benefit to making anode rod replacement more of a hassle. I can only imagine this is another reason plumbers are so excited to sell Bradford White.

If you live in an area where water quality requires frequent anode rod replacement, be sure you understand the hassle / costs required to properly maintain this brand.

inbox788
Posts: 5536
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by inbox788 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:02 pm

bampf wrote:... 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.
I worry about the missing pathways where "Yes" is the answer to look for leaks. There are other possible misadventures for inexperienced. Just to be safe, have a backup plan/person if everything doesn't go as planned.

User avatar
tinscale
Posts: 386
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:16 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by tinscale » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:20 pm

I paid somewhere around that amount 2 years ago in the DC area, but mine was in the attic. :shock: Home Depot would not do it.

jasper
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:26 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by jasper » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:40 pm

Ha! I paid $1800

The morning we were heading out for spring break and in the basement getting our ski gear my wife noted she had seen the water heater leaking for "some time" :oops:

So we had to take the first guy that could come out, not the best bid
It was a $700 unit :twisted:

We were able to negotiate a better rate after the fact. But still took a bath on this

I would recommend getting other quotes.

hightower
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:28 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by hightower » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:24 pm

I can't really answer that question because I've never done the math on it. But, to me if its more energy efficient, its worth the extra cost even if I don't break even. But, that's just me. I hate wasting fossil fuels.
fishboat wrote:
hightower wrote:
I installed a tankless water heater in our house myself last year. They aren't that bad honestly. I knew how to do PVC work, electrical work, and gas line work already, but even if I hadn't, I still think its a job a homeowner could tackle themselves if interested in saving some dough. Plus, tankless are worth the extra cost in gas savings BTW. Ours is so gas efficient its amazing. Our gas bill instantly went down after putting it in service.
It's been a number of years, though when I last looked into the tankless option the net view at the time was that, given the higher cost of a tankless unit (and installation costs), even with higher efficiency you never broke even on it vs the total ownership costs of a traditional tank unit. I know you installed it yourself and saved that money, but has the break-even view changed on tankless? At the time..this could have been 10-12 years ago..even "This Old House's" Richard Trethewey stated in a show that the extra efficiency of tankless didn't offset the extra costs of the unit..installing one was more a choice of having unlimited hot water or utility room space.

Not stirring the pot..it's just that I have a water heater in my future (currently running an 22 year-old OEM A.O.Smith unit that's running fine..but..) and the break-even of tankless would be good to know..

Tamales
Posts: 1275
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:47 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by Tamales » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:06 am

When I looked into a tankless a number of years back, I seem to recall that (for the unit to work at full capacity) people often had to have a new, higher capacity gas line run (the traditional slower heating water heaters use much less cfm of gas at any given instant (but more over the long term since they heat even when the hot water isn't needed)), which means your house might be plumbed with an undersize gas line compared to the needs of a tankless). Also potentially a new vent stack thru the roof (my neighbor had to do that). Ditto for electric tankless heaters...might need a new 240V circuit run with higher capacity.

Depending on the distance from the gas/electric source to the water heater, that new run could cost over a grand, beyond the basic parts and labor.

It might have something to do with the age of the house, and maybe newer houses anticipate a possible tankless in the future even if one is not installed by the builder. Do many builders install tankless in new homes these days?

investor4life
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:45 am

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by investor4life » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:17 am

Had a 50 gallon gas water heater (Rheem) installed by Home Depot in August 2015. $1075.87 out the door, including disposal. Install was in basement and they had to negotiate two flights of stairs, including a 90-degree turn. All done with a single phone call to HD. Great product and service.

ddj
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:21 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by ddj » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:28 am

+1 to DIY if electric, if you're somewhat handy, meaning know how to use quick-connect (i.e. sharkbite) plumbing, know how to check that electricity is off. I replaced 50 gal electric a month ago after a slow ooze of rust pooled around the base of the old. I have a small/lightweight hand truck that helped with getting the new one downstairs/old one up. Not a complex job if saving $1k outweighs the value of your time to complete the project.

2comma
Posts: 1241
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Water Heater Install $1,800!

Post by 2comma » Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:12 am

As a DIY'r and someone who lives in a LCOL area I can't imagine paying $1800 for water heater install but to be fair to tradesman they've got to figure in all of their other costs to make a profit and many customers usually just don't get that. I worked for my brother as an electrician's helper and have some idea of what it took for him to make a profit. Having installed water heaters on my own and knowing what's involved, I can't imagine how plumbers can come up with the prices they command for this job. If my brother had been a plumber I think it would have been smart for me to get my plumbers license instead of wasting my time time getting a masters in computer science. In general good tradesmen don't need to take work from big box stores - the good ones have plenty of work that pays better - but for a water heater install shop around on price, it ain't rocket science!
If I am stupid I will pay.

Post Reply