What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

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Jim Beaux
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Jim Beaux »

jwblue wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:36 pm Plumbers rates do not seem reasonable.

If I buy a good one from Home Depot they can refer me to an installer. What would they charge?

What would be a good 40 gallon water heater available at Home Depot that will be reliable?
Get 3 bids from plumbers for installation of the water heater you want.
phxjcc
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by phxjcc »

Why is this thread still open?

Actions:
1. Live without hot water from plumbing.
2. Install it yourself, with or without amateur help.
3. Hire (unlicensed) Mr. Handyman to install it.
4. Hire a licensed plumber to install it.

Step, chew, step, chew, step, step, chew, chew :oops:

Note: check your HO policy, as water/fire damage resulting from 2 or 3 may not be covered.
Teague
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Teague »

corysold wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:22 pm A water heater isn't rocket science, ...
True. Well, unless this happens (and it has occasionally) because of a failed or defeated relief valve:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmJoyuUJj2Q
Semper Augustus
dsmclone
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by dsmclone »

From the prices you guys are quoting, I'm guessing most don't have a power vent. Not really sure the builder went this method but it sems like the prices are about 1 1/2 times a standard gas heater.
getthatmarshmallow
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by getthatmarshmallow »

wander wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:45 pm
baconavocado wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:13 pm Replaced my own 3 years ago and installed it myself. $600 at Home Depot plus $25 disposal fee at the dump. You don't need to be a brain surgeon. Lots of help on You Tube.
+1. This is the least expensive way.

This is what we did a few years ago, too. It wasn't hard.
iamblessed
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by iamblessed »

You could install a 30 gallon electric tank yourself for around $350
ddurrett896
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by ddurrett896 »

The absolutely cheapest way to install? Disconnect power or gas line, cut 3/4 lines, install the $40 kit below, re-connect.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/SharkBite-18-i ... lsrc=aw.ds
Jim Beaux
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Jim Beaux »

ddurrett896 wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:19 am The absolutely cheapest way to install? Disconnect power or gas line, cut 3/4 lines, install the $40 kit below, re-connect.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/SharkBite-18-i ... lsrc=aw.ds
Plumbers love sharkbite.
michaeljc70
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by michaeljc70 »

Jim Beaux wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:50 pm
ddurrett896 wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:19 am The absolutely cheapest way to install? Disconnect power or gas line, cut 3/4 lines, install the $40 kit below, re-connect.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/SharkBite-18-i ... lsrc=aw.ds
Plumbers love sharkbite.
I assume you are being facetious. I imagine plumbers don't like work being taken from them. I have also heard them say that Sharkbite connections don't last as long as soldered connections. I'm not sure that is true, but I don't need it to last 50 years on a water heater that last 15 years. I have used Sharkbite connections a few times when it was a hard to access place and using a torch could be difficult/destructive. Soldering copper pipe isn't exactly rocket science. Another thing is competent plumbers would not use Sharkbite because they are way more expensive than soldered parts and they already know how to solder.
sschoe2
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by sschoe2 »

DIY. I will do mine my myself. It is a bit more complicated in Illinois because our stupid govt does not allow the use of flexible connectors for either the water or gas hookups so it has to be hard soldered copper water and black steel for gas. I will probably have to hire a helper to pickup the new water heater get it to the basement and drag the old one the the curb. However, I can solder pipes myself and as an analytical chemist I can plumb gas lines though I work mainly with swagelok fittings not black steel but it is no that difficult.
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bonjour
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by bonjour »

Another cost-cutting maneuver: don't have it installed on an upper floor if you can avoid it.
Every plumber I spoke to when my own heater was installed offered to install it in the attic and reassured me it would never leak.
Meanwhile, I have at least three coworkers who went the upstairs water heater route and had to deal with leaks and water damage just a few years later, each used a different plumber.
Save money and your ceiling.
glock19
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by glock19 »

bonjour wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:02 am Another cost-cutting maneuver: don't have it installed on an upper floor if you can avoid it.
Every plumber I spoke to when my own heater was installed offered to install it in the attic and reassured me it would never leak.
Meanwhile, I have at least three coworkers who went the upstairs water heater route and had to deal with leaks and water damage just a few years later, each used a different plumber.
Save money and your ceiling.
Water heaters will leak! That's usually the symptom that signals they have reached end of life. Personally, I've never had an electric or gas heater that died from anything other than the tank rusting out.

Mine were installed upstairs when building my house and it's a pain when I have to replace them. I did have a 12" deep sheet metal pan built, which sets under both water heaters and has a drain. I also installed an electric valve on each supply line that senses water accumulating in the pan, and then shuts the supply off.

I can solder copper pipe but replacing it with flexible hose with threaded end fittings certainly makes for a quicker install. I have found most water heaters now last about 10 years.
seawolf21
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by seawolf21 »

As others have mentioned. This can be DIY. But check with your building dept for a permit and confirm they allow for push connector/flexible connectors/CSST for gas.

It's not difficult if replacing a like for like unit both in size and in fuel type. If you keep the same size, you should be able to get it replaced without touching the vents, gas, water etc.

Just grab some sharkbite fittings. To connect water, you would need two to connectors for hot and cold side. The cold side should require a stop valve.
https://www.sharkbite.com/products/bras ... connectors

For gas, a CSST connector at correct length and BTU similar to https://www.homedepot.com/p/EasyFlex-1- ... /310653202

I spent $600 for the unit from HD and probably $100 in parts and a couple of hours one afternoon. A hand truck could come in handy as well. The old unit is not too heavy for two adults when empty.
Last edited by seawolf21 on Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
seawolf21
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by seawolf21 »

michaeljc70 wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:22 am
Jim Beaux wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:50 pm
ddurrett896 wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:19 am The absolutely cheapest way to install? Disconnect power or gas line, cut 3/4 lines, install the $40 kit below, re-connect.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/SharkBite-18-i ... lsrc=aw.ds
Plumbers love sharkbite.
I assume you are being facetious. I imagine plumbers don't like work being taken from them. I have also heard them say that Sharkbite connections don't last as long as soldered connections. I'm not sure that is true, but I don't need it to last 50 years on a water heater that last 15 years. I have used Sharkbite connections a few times when it was a hard to access place and using a torch could be difficult/destructive. Soldering copper pipe isn't exactly rocket science. Another thing is competent plumbers would not use Sharkbite because they are way more expensive than soldered parts and they already know how to solder.
+1

I think it's also that Sharkbite doesn't have the long term (decades) field experience for people to put them behind walls. While I'm not a plumber, I'm comfortable installing it anywhere exposed especially a water heater.
iamlucky13
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by iamlucky13 »

bonjour wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:02 am Another cost-cutting maneuver: don't have it installed on an upper floor if you can avoid it.
Every plumber I spoke to when my own heater was installed offered to install it in the attic and reassured me it would never leak.
Meanwhile, I have at least three coworkers who went the upstairs water heater route and had to deal with leaks and water damage just a few years later, each used a different plumber.
Save money and your ceiling.
Any jurisdiction that follows the International Plumbing Code requires a drain pan and line to a suitable plumbing drain or outside the building if the water heater is installed in a location where a leak could cause damage. If this was new construction or a modification to relocate the water heater, somebody made a significant miss.

For existing construction, replacing the water heater in the same location does not require retrofitting a drain, but it is commonly recommended to go ahead and put the pan under the water heater because they are cheap, and if combined with a simple alarm that detects water in the pan, can help address a slow leak before a big mess occurs.

Also, I would black list any plumber who claimed a water heater would never leak. Maybe they installed the required drain system and claimed that if the water heater leaked, the drain would prevent any problems, which would be more understandable. However, even the drain is not a guaranteed protection, because it is possible for drains to get clogged, especially seldom used drains that insects might like to nest in.

https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/IPC20 ... ype=public
michaelingp
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by michaelingp »

Jim Beaux wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:50 pm
Plumbers love sharkbite.
If you're implying that plumbers would not use Sharkbite themselves, or that Sharkbites fail a lot and you have to call a plumber, I think your information may be outdated. The last two plumbers I used both used Sharkbite. Well the first guy wasn't a very good plumber in my view, but the second guy was a great plumber. He knew how to solder very well, but explained to me that my crawl space was very tight, and he didn't think it was safe to take a torch down there. And he seemed to have a good selection of Sharkbite in his truck.
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TxAg
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by TxAg »

This makes me feel even better about replacing it myself earlier in 2020. It was in the attic, too!
Jim Beaux
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Jim Beaux »

michaeljc70 wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:22 am
Jim Beaux wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:50 pm
ddurrett896 wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:19 am The absolutely cheapest way to install? Disconnect power or gas line, cut 3/4 lines, install the $40 kit below, re-connect.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/SharkBite-18-i ... lsrc=aw.ds
Plumbers love sharkbite.
I assume you are being facetious. I imagine plumbers don't like work being taken from them. I have also heard them say that Sharkbite connections don't last as long as soldered connections. I'm not sure that is true, but I don't need it to last 50 years on a water heater that last 15 years. I have used Sharkbite connections a few times when it was a hard to access place and using a torch could be difficult/destructive. Soldering copper pipe isn't exactly rocket science. Another thing is competent plumbers would not use Sharkbite because they are way more expensive than soldered parts and they already know how to solder.
Assume all you want pal. Though I suggest you get your advice from an expert as I do.The plumber is going to charge by the hour, and he can either sweat a joint or use sharkbite, both under an hour. The plumber does not want a call back so he will choose the best method of repair. Its all about skill and knowledge.

Evidently, I imagine youve never sweat a line you are unable to drain and the water is dripping.

btw my expert is a successful master plumber, who employees 8....my son.
Jim Beaux
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Jim Beaux »

michaelingp wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:34 pm
Jim Beaux wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:50 pm
Plumbers love sharkbite.
If you're implying that plumbers would not use Sharkbite themselves, or that Sharkbites fail a lot and you have to call a plumber, I think your information may be outdated. The last two plumbers I used both used Sharkbite. Well the first guy wasn't a very good plumber in my view, but the second guy was a great plumber. He knew how to solder very well, but explained to me that my crawl space was very tight, and he didn't think it was safe to take a torch down there. And he seemed to have a good selection of Sharkbite in his truck.
I didnt imply nothing. I stated a fact.
michaeljc70
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by michaeljc70 »

Jim Beaux wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:16 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:22 am
Jim Beaux wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:50 pm
ddurrett896 wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:19 am The absolutely cheapest way to install? Disconnect power or gas line, cut 3/4 lines, install the $40 kit below, re-connect.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/SharkBite-18-i ... lsrc=aw.ds
Plumbers love sharkbite.
I assume you are being facetious. I imagine plumbers don't like work being taken from them. I have also heard them say that Sharkbite connections don't last as long as soldered connections. I'm not sure that is true, but I don't need it to last 50 years on a water heater that last 15 years. I have used Sharkbite connections a few times when it was a hard to access place and using a torch could be difficult/destructive. Soldering copper pipe isn't exactly rocket science. Another thing is competent plumbers would not use Sharkbite because they are way more expensive than soldered parts and they already know how to solder.
Assume all you want pal. Though I suggest you get your advice from an expert as I do.The plumber is going to charge by the hour, and he can either sweat a joint or use sharkbite, both under an hour. The plumber does not want a call back so he will choose the best method of repair. Its all about skill and knowledge.

Evidently, I imagine youve never sweat a line you are unable to drain and the water is dripping.

btw my expert is a successful master plumber, who employees 8....my son.
You made a pretty vague statement so some interpretation was needed. It is like saying "drivers love Toyotas". Some do, some don't.

What percentage of your son's work is soldered vs Sharkbite? If he has to fix plumbing in a wall in his own house does he solder it or use Sharkbite? As I indicated in my post, there are certain circumstances where they are a good choice. However, if I am paying a plumber big bucks (and they cost big bucks where I live), he better not be putting all my pipes together with push connectors.

I have not had a line that I was unable to drain. I have had lines I had to drain to solder them. Sharkbite didn't exist for most of the time copper plumbing has been in use so Sharkbite may be more convenient, but there are ways to get things done without them.
Enjoy11
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Enjoy11 »

In the trades, we have an old saying: “skilled labor isn’t cheap, and cheap labor isn’t skilled.”

Hire a union plumbing contractor to have the job done in a workmanlike manner and to code. Whoever you hire should be a licensed journeyman plumber/pipe fitter.

Or take a gamble and hire bob the handyman, or your neighbor joe, or try it out yourself. Personally, I’d have a licensed professional do the work, and I’d pay for it to be done right.
Jim Beaux
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Jim Beaux »

michaeljc70 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:47 pm
Jim Beaux wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:16 pm
michaeljc70 wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:22 am
Jim Beaux wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:50 pm
ddurrett896 wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:19 am The absolutely cheapest way to install? Disconnect power or gas line, cut 3/4 lines, install the $40 kit below, re-connect.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/SharkBite-18-i ... lsrc=aw.ds
Plumbers love sharkbite.
I assume you are being facetious. I imagine plumbers don't like work being taken from them. I have also heard them say that Sharkbite connections don't last as long as soldered connections. I'm not sure that is true, but I don't need it to last 50 years on a water heater that last 15 years. I have used Sharkbite connections a few times when it was a hard to access place and using a torch could be difficult/destructive. Soldering copper pipe isn't exactly rocket science. Another thing is competent plumbers would not use Sharkbite because they are way more expensive than soldered parts and they already know how to solder.
Assume all you want pal. Though I suggest you get your advice from an expert as I do.The plumber is going to charge by the hour, and he can either sweat a joint or use sharkbite, both under an hour. The plumber does not want a call back so he will choose the best method of repair. Its all about skill and knowledge.

Evidently, I imagine youve never sweat a line you are unable to drain and the water is dripping.

btw my expert is a successful master plumber, who employees 8....my son.
You made a pretty vague statement so some interpretation was needed. It is like saying "drivers love Toyotas". Some do, some don't.

What percentage of your son's work is soldered vs Sharkbite? If he has to fix plumbing in a wall in his own house does he solder it or use Sharkbite? As I indicated in my post, there are certain circumstances where they are a good choice. However, if I am paying a plumber big bucks (and they cost big bucks where I live), he better not be putting all my pipes together with push connectors.

I have not had a line that I was unable to drain. I have had lines I had to drain to solder them. Sharkbite didn't exist for most of the time copper plumbing has been in use so Sharkbite may be more convenient, but there are ways to get things done without them.
Yawn...
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