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Natural gas water heater

1Alpha1

1Alpha1

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Depends on who's looking for me.....and why.
Our 18 yr. old water heater had to be replaced. It was done on Thur., so it's now all behind us.

What shocked me was the price quotes to have one installed, all inclusive. I got a quote from Home Depot and a quote from a well-known local plumbing company. When I say all-inclusive, I mean new water tank, expansion (safety) tank, new water / gas lines, new full-port ball valves, new flue, labor and permit.

HD's quote came to over $1200.00. The local plumber company quote came to $1800.00

No way was I going to put up with that crap. We ended up buying a 40 gal. NG RHEEM water heater from HD. Also bought the safety tank, new SS wire mesh flex water lines, a single new gas line, as well as two full-port ball valves (one for the incoming water line and one for the tank drain).

We were in another hardware store and made contact with one of their plumbing employees. He is a retired plumber with 35 yrs. of experience. I mentioned our price quotes we had received, and he said that he could do much better than that. He said that he charges $35.00 per hour. I told him that I already had the tank and new parts, and that I would remove the old tank prior to his arrival. He said that would be fine.

So, after his arrival and 2.5 hrs. later, he was done. One of the water lines I bought, had a leak near the coupling, so it had to be returned. Then, the existing flue stack had to be replaced, as it was no longer adjustable. He had to make two trips to our local hardware store.

Anyways, it's all done. Cost including everything mentioned above, parts / labor, came to approx. $525.00

Where HD and the local plumbing company came up with their pricing quotes is way beyond my comprehension. o_O
 

mga

wandering
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18 years was a good run.....don't expect any thing close to that with the new ones.

they contract out to who ever snuggles up to them.

hot water tanks are fairly easy to install.

just wondering.......did you price out the high efficiency ones?
 
1Alpha1

1Alpha1

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Depends on who's looking for me.....and why.
18 years was a good run.....don't expect any thing close to that with the new ones.

they contract out to who ever snuggles up to them.

hot water tanks are fairly easy to install.

just wondering.......did you price out the high efficiency ones?

If you mean the "tank-less heaters", I did not. Too expensive going in, and takes too long to recoup any money via savings on gas or electricity. You need to upgrade your gas and elec. service as well.

I did install the one that was replaced. But, I wasn't crazy about sweating in new valves right next to a wall. But now, future replacements won't be an issue, as I now have a full-port ball valve for the incoming water supply line.

Top brands of water heaters are Bradford-White, Rudd, and Rheem. GE and Whirlpool aren't even in the top five.
 
cantoo

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Compensation, taxes, employees wages, office staff, tools, permits, licence, Liability insurance, warranty costs and the list goes on and on. I have a grass cutting business and it's nuts the money that I have to charge and don't get to keep. Last year I had to pay almost $20,000 for income they said I didn't declare, no proof but they took my money anyway.
 
1Alpha1

1Alpha1

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Depends on who's looking for me.....and why.
Compensation, taxes, employees wages, office staff, tools, permits, licence, Liability insurance, warranty costs and the list goes on and on. I have a grass cutting business and it's nuts the money that I have to charge and don't get to keep. Last year I had to pay almost $20,000 for income they said I didn't declare, no proof but they took my money anyway.

Yes, I hear what you are saying. It can get crazy trying to run a business and keep it profitable. I'm not wealthy by any measure, but I have enough to keep me afloat. I don't get how those with less money available are able to maintain the upkeep on their homes.
 

mga

wandering
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If you mean the "tank-less heaters", I did not. Too expensive going in, and takes too long to recoup any money via savings on gas or electricity. You need to upgrade your gas and elec. service as well.

I did install the one that was replaced. But, I wasn't crazy about sweating in new valves right next to a wall. But now, future replacements won't be an issue, as I now have a full-port ball valve for the incoming water supply line.

Top brands of water heaters are Bradford-White, Rudd, and Rheem. GE and Whirlpool aren't even in the top five.
actually, i meant one of these:



but, i think if you lose power you can't get any hot water with these...am i right?
 
beerman6

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You can almost buy a 50 gallon electric water heater for what it would cost you to replace that little blower on top of that.
 
1Alpha1

1Alpha1

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Depends on who's looking for me.....and why.
actually, i meant one of these:



but, i think if you lose power you can't get any hot water with these...am i right?


We looked at a Whirlpool water heater that had an exhaust fan on top of it. The fan looked kind of cheesy though. Not real well made or sturdy. It was a high-efficiency model, but I'm not exactly sure why the addition of a fan makes it more efficient.

All I know is that a fan is a moving part, and moving parts tend to break down or wear out. And, it required a 110V outlet of course.

I'm very happy with the RHEEM water heater that we decided on. It's virtually noiseless and recovers quite quickly. I'm thinking it will last as long or longer then the one we just replaced. And.....I'm really going to try to remember to drain it once a year.
 
RacerX

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He said that he charges $35.00 per hour. I told him that I already had the tank and new parts, and that I would remove the old tank prior to his arrival. He said that would be fine.



Where HD and the local plumbing company came up with their pricing quotes is way beyond my comprehension. o_O
What contractor can make a living earning $35/hr? There's the answer as to where they came up with their prices.
 
Dalmatian90

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What contractor can make a living earning $35/hr? There's the answer as to where they came up with their prices.
At the same time...

So, after his arrival and 2.5 hrs. later, he was done.
There's a world of difference between $35/hour and $300/hour which is what the HD quote would've worked out with the same materials.

No mention if the retired guy pulled permits or went through the work with an inspector afterwards -- so the contractors might have had a bit more time into the job, then again they probably would've had a valve on their truck and possibly even the needed flue pipe.

Look -- I don't blink at bids for just about any type of professional or trade work that is in the $125-175 range by the time you deal with payroll, taxes, benefits, insurance, office help, an office, etc., etc. Unless you live in a very frugal society like the Amish, or you have another job to provide steady income and a source of benefits like this guy who works at the hardware store and plumbs on the side does...you're not going to make it in business at $35/hour.

In this case I suspect the "bids" may have just been standard estimates and no one from either HD or the local plumber came out and sized up and said this was a simple job they could have a two-man crew in and out in an hour.

And yes, there's even additional costs to taking on these little jobs for the contractors -- even if you get enough in a week to fill up a day or an afternoon, you're down 15 minutes or more between jobsites, quickly adds up to an hour or two a day you're not billing compared to when a crew is on day long job.
 
philoshop

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If I even tried to charge that much for a water heater install, I'd have a lot more free time to spend cutting firewood and drinking beer.
Now I forgot what point I was trying to make. o_O
 
1Alpha1

1Alpha1

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Depends on who's looking for me.....and why.
What contractor can make a living earning $35/hr? There's the answer as to where they came up with their prices.

The guy is a retired plumber with 35 yrs. of experience. He works part-time at a True Value Hardware Store. He's no longer licensed or bonded, and he didn't pull a permit with the city. I didn't have a problem with any of that.

I installed the water heater that was removed. It was no big deal at the time. But, this time, I wanted someone who'd been doing it for a while. I can sweat pipes, but I'm not comfy do it next to a wall. And, I'd rather have someone sweat the pipes that's been doing it for a long while.

He did a great job installing the heater. I watched and helped him the whole time and picked up a couple of good tips in the process. I didn't expect him to have all the parts needed on hand. I told him what I had already purchased and was told that I was good to go. The bad water hose and the fact that the flue stack needed to be replaced wasn't his fault. He offered to go pick both up and I said fine.
 
1Alpha1

1Alpha1

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Depends on who's looking for me.....and why.
At the same time...



There's a world of difference between $35/hour and $300/hour which is what the HD quote would've worked out with the same materials.

No mention if the retired guy pulled permits or went through the work with an inspector afterwards -- so the contractors might have had a bit more time into the job, then again they probably would've had a valve on their truck and possibly even the needed flue pipe.

Look -- I don't blink at bids for just about any type of professional or trade work that is in the $125-175 range by the time you deal with payroll, taxes, benefits, insurance, office help, an office, etc., etc. Unless you live in a very frugal society like the Amish, or you have another job to provide steady income and a source of benefits like this guy who works at the hardware store and plumbs on the side does...you're not going to make it in business at $35/hour.

In this case I suspect the "bids" may have just been standard estimates and no one from either HD or the local plumber came out and sized up and said this was a simple job they could have a two-man crew in and out in an hour.

And yes, there's even additional costs to taking on these little jobs for the contractors -- even if you get enough in a week to fill up a day or an afternoon, you're down 15 minutes or more between jobsites, quickly adds up to an hour or two a day you're not billing compared to when a crew is on day long job.

The local plumbing company did come out and gave the job a look over. While he was here, he re-lit the pilot light. As I stated, he was a nice guy, and said that he understood my concern over his $1800.00 quote. He said that he's only the tech and doesn't set prices.
 
philoshop

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A semi-retired guy who knows what he's doing, with little or no overhead. Nothing wrong with that.
You trust him, help him carry stuff, maybe even make the run to the store for parts to help out. He probably shows you a few things, and he gets the job done.
Then you have a beer.
I am that semi-retired guy, and I no longer take work that my former co-opportunists want and work hard for. I get the calls for stuff they don't want to do.
My 'fair price' for the job has come down a bit, and I've kept busy and met some really nice people. And had some pretty good beer.
I'm glad it worked out for you.
BTW, sharkbite fittings are your friend in the plumbing world. I rarely even take a torch to the job anymore.
 
Shagbark

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I had one installed in a rental last year. 40gal natural gas $650 complete. Included disposal of old unit.

I'll make a phone call and let my plumber handle everything else for that price.
 
griffonks

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I have a brand new water heater in an empty retail shop that I own. My repair shop is in there now. I am going to replace the 20 year old water heater in my house with the one from the shop.

Then find a tankless for the shop. You see I have to get so many green and brown credits to get a permit to remodel my shop....

A tankless is good for some green credits.

Welcome to the Peoples Republic of Boulder Colorado.....

Sent from my SCH-R530C using Tapatalk
 
Cerran

Cerran

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Our 18 yr. old water heater had to be replaced. It was done on Thur., so it's now all behind us.

What shocked me was the price quotes to have one installed, all inclusive. I got a quote from Home Depot and a quote from a well-known local plumbing company. When I say all-inclusive, I mean new water tank, expansion (safety) tank, new water / gas lines, new full-port ball valves, new flue, labor and permit.

HD's quote came to over $1200.00. The local plumber company quote came to $1800.00

No way was I going to put up with that crap. We ended up buying a 40 gal. NG RHEEM water heater from HD. Also bought the safety tank, new SS wire mesh flex water lines, a single new gas line, as well as two full-port ball valves (one for the incoming water line and one for the tank drain).

We were in another hardware store and made contact with one of their plumbing employees. He is a retired plumber with 35 yrs. of experience. I mentioned our price quotes we had received, and he said that he could do much better than that. He said that he charges $35.00 per hour. I told him that I already had the tank and new parts, and that I would remove the old tank prior to his arrival. He said that would be fine.

So, after his arrival and 2.5 hrs. later, he was done. One of the water lines I bought, had a leak near the coupling, so it had to be returned. Then, the existing flue stack had to be replaced, as it was no longer adjustable. He had to make two trips to our local hardware store.

Anyways, it's all done. Cost including everything mentioned above, parts / labor, came to approx. $525.00

Where HD and the local plumbing company came up with their pricing quotes is way beyond my comprehension. o_O
FYI if you got those SS wire mesh flex lines at Depot I'd highly consider replacing them with the older style copper ones. I've had two of the Home Depot flex lines like that disintegrate and start to leak, one of them almost flooded our pantry.
 
Cerran

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actually, i meant one of these:



but, i think if you lose power you can't get any hot water with these...am i right?
That's a power vent model, not necessarily a high efficiency model. They are typically used in installations where a stack for the water heater is not an option so you vent the water heater exhaust through the wall. The fan doesn't pull a lot of power. They are common with retrofits and yes you need power for the water heater to work as they usually don't have a standing pilot.
 
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