COMMUNITY FORUM

BarbaraJean

03:54PM | 09/15/01
Member Since: 09/14/01
12 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
I need to replace my leaky 50 gal. electric hot water heater. A plumber gave me an estimate of ~$650 for a new one including installation. I found one for ~$200 at the home supply store with a 9 year warranty. Anyone know why such a huge difference here or does it really cost $400 for labor?
Thanks, Barb

rpxlpx

10:10AM | 09/17/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
I believe plumbers not only charge for labor, they also mark up the hardware considerably. If you could buy the unit, put it in place and then just pay the plumber an hourly rate to install it, you might save a bundle.

BarbaraJean

09:05AM | 09/18/01
Member Since: 09/14/01
12 lifetime posts
Thank You for the advice. I think I will do that. Do you think I should look for a heater with a longer warranty, say 12 years instead of 9?

rpxlpx

09:51AM | 09/18/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
I forgot to mention; if you know someone who's handy, you can buy a universal installation kit that uses compression fittings instead of having to solder the pipes. The kit runs about $20 at Lowes.
The job requires moving the electrical wires from the old one to the new unit also.
If you can skip the plumber, now your cost is the price of the heater, plus 20 dollars.
As to the length of warranty, I suspect you'll get a better product if you go for a longer warranty, but I'm not really certain of that. I think the best way to make it last a long time is to be GENTLE with it when moving and installing it, and avoid scratching the paint if it will be installed in a crawl space.
Others may be able to offer more advice about warranties.

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited September 18, 2001).]

JasonG

11:42AM | 09/19/01
Member Since: 07/05/01
25 lifetime posts
Thought I'd add my 2 cents. . .we purchased a Whirlpool, electric 50 gal water heater at Lowes for $249, which has a lifetime warranty. We did set up installation through Lowes, and the total for the heater and installation was $630. At about $380 for labor, this was the cheapest installation we got from the 6-8 plumbers I contacted. It did only take the plumber about 45-60 minutes to do the work. But the plumber who did the work said that his company charges $55 to show up and $100 the first 30 minutes and $75 each additional 15 minutes.
Jason

BarbaraJean

07:09PM | 09/19/01
Member Since: 09/14/01
12 lifetime posts
Dang! Maybe I need to learn to be a plumber...

j-manplumber

09:55PM | 09/21/01
Member Since: 08/18/01
16 lifetime posts
It isnt all that great, I work as a plumbing forman on large comercial jobs, my company bills me out at $65 and hour, my share of the profits ????? 1/3 of that.As well, back to the topic, you should check whether you qualify for warranty if you install the heater yourself.
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