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

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

Post by jwblue »

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

Post by teniralc »

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?
I paid $1200 for a 50 gallon water heater to be installed in my garage in November. That price included the water heater and the installation. They hauled the old one away and arranged for the city inspector to come and do the inspection. I didn't even know it had to be inspected. Anything involving water and electricity, I pay a licensed and experienced person.
eagleeyes
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by eagleeyes »

I paid 1500 for when our WH crapped out on 4th of July weekend. The plumber came, diagnosed the issue, picked up a new one at Home Depot, brought it back, installed, and hauled away the old one. I over paid substantially for convenience of not doing anything at all, but the plumber is an honest guy who has come to my place twice to fix issues at no charge.

ETA: this was on holiday after hours etc
Mike Scott
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Mike Scott »

Cost is going to be very location dependent. I bet they have an advertised install charge. I would DIY for least expensive.
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whodidntante
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by whodidntante »

The big box stores will provide a quote if you tell them where you live. Some areas have higher permit costs or require the installation of a flux capacitor for a new installation, even if your old heater was incapable of travel to 1955.

It will probably be less than a plumber, but it will still be more than you'd like.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Sandtrap »

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?
What plumber rate to change a water heater is too high, too low?

Depends on the installation, what's involved, gas or electric, how difficult to remove the old and install the new one, access, etc.

There budget water heaters and high end water heaters.
Is your budget best for a low, mid, or high end 40 gallon water heater?

If you had a water heater delivered, can you install it yourself?
If you had a water heater delivered, can you then call a plumber to install it?
(get quotes from various plumbers in your area, including Home Depot, Lowes, etc, just for the installation price).
Water heaters are reliable out of the box. How many years did your old one last?
How many years do you want the new one to last?
(low, mid, high quality, and price)

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

Post by brybogle »

In my area, you're looking at around $900 for labor + water heater + parts + install + disposal. It took two people about 1-2 hours to finish the job. Considering they also had to pick up the new one from wherever, and then pay to dispose the old one, I thought it was a fair price. Most quotes were at $1k or slightly above. E-mail 5 people on craigslist and pick the cheapest one.
Domadosolo
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Domadosolo »

$900 for each gas heater 40G, parts, labor and installation. Sourced by a father-son plumber shop.
Carrying the heaters up to the 2nd floor attic is not something I could do by myself.
Uniballer
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Uniballer »

I remember going to a home dinner party some years ago. We showed up and the water heater had died, and the homeowner had a new natural gas water heater in the back of his pickup. We went ahead and had dinner, then the guys installed the new water heater and drained and hauled up the old one before dessert. We had a great time.
henry
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by henry »

OP,

Since you asked about Home Depot specifically, I thought I would reply. I bought a water heater from Home Depot about 2 years ago. It is a Rheem Performance Plus (40 gallon). It cost me $500 plus tax. Out of curiosity, I looked just looked online on the Home Depot website and it is now $449 so I guess it has gotten less expensive. So far it is working fine but it has only been 2 years.

I went through Home Depot to install it. They subcontracted with a local HVAC/plumbing firm in my area. They called me the same day I bought it to set a time for installation, and I had it installed a few days later. Installation cost was $450. That included them picking up the tank from Home Depot, installing it, and hauling away my old tank. My tank is located in my basement. (Installers may charge more if they need to go up and down stairs.).
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by gwe67 »

Find a reputable local plumber that will get a permit for the project when required by your locality. You may have to wait a while until the plumber is available because this is good plumber who is busy and has lots of repeat customers. Be flexible on the scheduling. Be nice--you will need this plumber in the future, perhaps in an emergency situation. Ask whether you can buy the water heater elsewhere in advance. Ask what brand is recommended. If you don't know how to buy a water heater, then just buy it from the plumber. Note that some plumbers will only install water heaters that they sell. Also note that the reputable plumber may require additional work to bring the install up to current codes such as increasing ventilation for gas water heaters. The reputable plumber may also want to replace things like hoses, valves and drain pan. The reputable plumber will dispose of the old water heater properly and will not just push it off a bridge. All of this will cost you, and you should be glad to pay it. Do not ask the reputable plumber for a bid. The reputable plumber will charge you normal rates for labor, materials, profit and overhead.

You won't find the reputable plumber advertising on craigslist. This is one area where "least expensive" is not recommended.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Monsterflockster »

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?
You are either going to pay someone to do it or pay for the education for you to do it yourself. Rather than risking a gas leak, explosion, fire and risk of death I recommend paying to have someone do it. There’s a reason they make good money.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by BolderBoy »

October 2020 new 50gal gas water heater (Bradford-White) installed same time as new furnace (furnace installed by furnace installer and water heater done by plumber with the same company). $1550 including permitting/inspection (done via zoom) in HCOL area.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by baconavocado »

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

Post by surfstar »

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.
This.
DIY
Took me a better part of the day, as the newer model was slightly different sized and the old one didn't drain completely, so it was quite heavy to lift out! The new 12-year warrantied ultra-low NOX model was actually cheaper than any of the lower warrantied units due to gas co rebates.
I imagine it would have been 3-4x as expensive for a plumber to do. I hope when this unit finally goes, I'll feel like paying someone, though. Last one was 6 year warranty and lasted 12, with 0 maintenance.
If I get 12 out of this one, we'll be retired and then maybe I'll look at it as something to occupy my time, or as something that we can afford to farm out...

Helps to have a friend, father, boyfriend, husband, handy-anybody that can help, though. I just needed help with the removal and install of the tanks; but pro's and straps can handle it solo.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by jwblue »

A guy on my neighborhood forum was nice enough to offer to help to do it for nothing. A little nervous installing a gas water heater though.

I still might take him up on the offer.
Starfish
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Starfish »

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?
I paid ~700$ for one with the maximum warranty (although it might be only the anode thickness) and maybe 50-100$ of tools and supplies (don't forget the pan, the straps for CA code). I put in my VW GTI, took it home and I installed myself. The I took the old one to the dump for ~20$.
Usually it's not that hard but it depends on the particular situation.
I did another one in a building I own, but at that one I run into some issues and called a plumber for the final step.
jwblue wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:34 pm A guy on my neighborhood forum was nice enough to offer to help to do it for nothing. A little nervous installing a gas water heater though.

It's nothing special about gas ones. Just as easy.
Last edited by Starfish on Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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gwe67
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by gwe67 »

surfstar wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:28 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.
This.
DIY
Took me a better part of the day, as the newer model was slightly different sized and the old one didn't drain completely, so it was quite heavy to lift out! The new 12-year warrantied ultra-low NOX model was actually cheaper than any of the lower warrantied units due to gas co rebates.
I imagine it would have been 3-4x as expensive for a plumber to do. I hope when this unit finally goes, I'll feel like paying someone, though. Last one was 6 year warranty and lasted 12, with 0 maintenance.
If I get 12 out of this one, we'll be retired and then maybe I'll look at it as something to occupy my time, or as something that we can afford to farm out...

Helps to have a friend, father, boyfriend, husband, handy-anybody that can help, though. I just needed help with the removal and install of the tanks; but pro's and straps can handle it solo.
Assuming you're not a licensed plumber and did not get a permit....That would be illegal where I live, and dangerous as well.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by surfstar »

gwe67 wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:39 pm
surfstar wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:28 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.
This.
DIY
Took me a better part of the day, as the newer model was slightly different sized and the old one didn't drain completely, so it was quite heavy to lift out! The new 12-year warrantied ultra-low NOX model was actually cheaper than any of the lower warrantied units due to gas co rebates.
I imagine it would have been 3-4x as expensive for a plumber to do. I hope when this unit finally goes, I'll feel like paying someone, though. Last one was 6 year warranty and lasted 12, with 0 maintenance.
If I get 12 out of this one, we'll be retired and then maybe I'll look at it as something to occupy my time, or as something that we can afford to farm out...

Helps to have a friend, father, boyfriend, husband, handy-anybody that can help, though. I just needed help with the removal and install of the tanks; but pro's and straps can handle it solo.
Assuming you're not a licensed plumber and did not get a permit....That would be illegal where I live, and dangerous as well.
Homeowners can pull permits as owner-builder and still do everything legally, as a DIYer.
But, yes check your local jurisdiction as it varies greatly. And be sure you are confident that you know what you are doing (double check for leaks!) when working with gas.
slidecreek
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by slidecreek »

+1 for DIY. I have replaced a couple, one electric one gas. I bought the same brand/size and surprisingly everything lined up, so no plumping or ventilation changes were needed. Really easy.
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Average Investor
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Average Investor »

I was in this situation about 6 months ago. I opted for DIY as I often do, figuring it would take an afternoon. Ended up taking a few days to get it all sorted. Next time I’ll probably just pay the plumber and be done with it.
Tomorrow never knows.
megabad
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by megabad »

Define "least expensive"?

~1hr 2 guys to drive to your house, drive to supply house, and pickup unit
~2hrs 2 guys to place and install new and remove the old one and take to dump/scrap

Total 6 hours

In my area, that is about $400 or $60-70 per hour. If you are a school teacher, it would likely be "less expensive" to do it yourself (you and cheap buddy). If you are a cardio surgeon, it would be far "less expensive" to hire the plumber. The way I look at it, is that a water heater should last a good 10 years. We are talking about a few hundred in max potential savings over 10 years. I would hire the plumber every time (but I shop around). This is like the other thread about mowing your own grass. Can I do it? Yes. If the unit is the exact same size and has the same piping arrangement it isn't bad. Is such a small amount worth thinking about...not to me. Now when I get up into multiple thousands I might pause. FYI, in my area, they have rebates on efficient units that you can only get through a "qualified" contractor. Of course they probably recoup that in what they charge but it may dent the damage to your wallet a bit.
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Taz
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Taz »

In my area, Home Depot farms it out to Progressive Plumbing. I wanted the Rheem 80 gal heat pump model as my 21 year old was getting "not quite right." The local guys who came out for the estimate and did the install were great. I am very happy with the new system but getting the quote back, tank ordered and scheduled was as if the mother location in NC didn't want my business. Kinda of defeats the purpose of me having to bird dog the process.

I will likely go straight to a local contractor instead of using Home Depot's service in the future. The installation portion ended up costing about $200 more than I expected. At least I'll be able to get $300 tax credit. :dollar
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by hudson »

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?
I didn't want to pay the price, so I did it myself for 40 years. I did make some mistakes, but I did save money. Now you have YouTube which is a plus. I usually had a neighbor to help me wrestle the water heaters around.

My helpful neighbor has moved on, so I no longer do it myself. In 2015, I shopped around to find a plumber and got several quotes for a complete installation for a 50 gallon electric water heater (12 year warranty) with drip pan piped to an outdoor drain, 3/4 inch cut off ball valve, thermal expansion tank, and a Floodstop emergency cut off. I didn't realize that I'd need a thermal expansion tank. The cost was $1375 out the door. If it lasts 10 years, I'll replace it even if it's working fine. I drain and flush it every September.

Which Home Depot water heater? I'd buy the cheapest one....but I'm not qualified to answer that question.

I did not get a quote from Home Depot or Lowes because their installer is unknown to me. I wanted to hire a plumber with a good reputation. I think it's extremely important to have the contact information of at least two good plumbers, electricians, roofers, and other tradesman. When friends and neighbors have work done, I ask about their experience and add the good ones to my list.
You want to have a good working relationship with all; you want to ask them the best way to contact them and make a note of that in your contact list.

Bottom line:
The least expensive way? Use YouTube and do it yourself. Mistakes are likely.
The optimal way? Shop around and hire a reputable plumber. Pay him/her on the spot and build a working relationship.
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jwblue
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by jwblue »

hudson wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:18 am

If it lasts 10 years, I'll replace it even if it's working fine.
What is the reason for this?
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by livesoft »

Over the past 25 years, I have had both water heaters in our home replaced by HomeDepot & their chosen subcontractors for about $600 each. They were quick, professional, and did a superb job. I would use this service again.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by hudson »

jwblue wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:31 am
hudson wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:18 am

If it lasts 10 years, I'll replace it even if it's working fine.
What is the reason for this?
Fair question...thanks!
In retirement, I've decided to start being proactive. After 10 years, I've gotten my money's worth; I'm gambling on another 10 trouble-free years. I speculate that 10 years is a good life span.

Back when money was tight, I used to run water heaters to failure...for 40 years. I've made water heaters last over 20 years. I've replaced 3 water heaters that had lifetime warranties. Until recently, I always swapped out my water heaters.

Bottom line: I want to avoid emergency replacements.
katrid11
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by katrid11 »

Just had a water heater replaced at Thanksgiving.

I found out that Home Depot RHEEM does not stock parts. When you have no hot water you get a little miffed that the parts all have to be ordered OR you have to buy a new WH. HD told me "its easier just to replace it even if it isnt over 10 yrs old".

In the end I waited for parts to find out that didn't work. Instead of trying to save $500 going with Home Depot - I choose my plumber and a Bradford White for $1400. I have a better warranty on the work AND i know my plumber has all of the parts on his truck regularly. Some things are not worth trying to save money on....

signed mom that dealt with a family with no hot water for 4 days.....
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Shallowpockets »

December 1. had 40 gal water heater installed by Lowes. $1414 was total. One guy came and installed and took away old heater. Took about 1 1/2 hours. He did it by himself. It was the same day I went down to Lowes and looked at which water heater I wanted. Went down to Lowes at 10am and the heater was all done by 3pm.
Excellent job.
I think their fee for install is $805. That is for delivery, install with all needed parts (including soldering and new flex fittings), inspection letter, and haul away. My $1414 price included all of that including the heater.
There was no referral to an installer. I paid Lowes and they did everything else.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by jlawrence01 »

$925 for a 40 gallon water heater purchased through and installed by my local plumber.
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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?
Whirlpool from Lowes was very bad a few years ago. As I remember something wrong with the igniter on gas & the universal igniters wouldnt work. Many people couldnt get the affected part and had to buy a new heater.

Straight from my son the plumber. Rheam and State are his recommendations. Pay now or pay later. Get a good one.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by stoptothink »

I was away on business earlier in the year when our water heater kicked the bucket. My wife paid ~$1900, including the heater. When she found out that the unit only costed ~$450 and a co-worker said the following day on a chat that he would have been happy to do it for a dinner (he is totally capable, and has done it several times), she's wasn't too happy. I kept my mouth shut.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Icamp »

It's going to depend a lot on what sort of water heater (gas or electric, if gas - conventional or power vent) size and location. Do you need an expansion tank? Here most are in basements, some are tricky stairs which takes two people. How is the condition on the pipes your connecting to? Will you need a T&P valve? There is a reason plumbers cost a lot. Most get paid a lot and are worth even more. One caveat to HD is they may quote you a base price and tack on additional charges for anything outside of that.
Duckinator
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Duckinator »

OP asked for the least expensive way - I installed a new natural gas water heater myself a few years ago. Easy. But I am rather mechanically inclined, so...

Remember to installing a bonding wire/kit on copper or galvanized pipes if your old one didn't have it.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by nguy44 »

hudson wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:18 am The optimal way? Shop around and hire a reputable plumber. Pay him/her on the spot and build a working relationship.
I agree with this. We had had the same plumber who is honest and charges reasonable prices. So reasonable that we have told him to be sure he makes a good profit on us and others, we do not want him to go out of business :happy . He does not advertise, all of his work is from direct word of mouth references.

He replaced our water heat about 7 years ago and charged us $1000 for it, including removing the old one. That was fine by us. He has performed other plumbing fixes/checkups for us at time for free.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Abe »

You can buy a 50 gallon electric water heater for around $400 at home depot. I have a guy (handyman) who installs them for me for about $125. It's no big deal installing a water heater. There's no reason why it should cost $1,500 or even a $1,000. You don't need a plumber. A good handyman can do it a lot cheaper.
Last edited by Abe on Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by gwe67 »

Lots of dangerous advice is being posted about using unqualified persons for this type of work.

"Installing a tank water heater might seem easy, but some of these common mistakes could be life-threatening."
https://www.finehomebuilding.com/2019/1 ... violations
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by tim1999 »

I've had probably a half dozen hot water heaters replaced by Home Depot and their subcontractors over the years. The total price was always better than what I would get quoted from a plumbing company, and HD could usually have someone come in 1-2 days vs. a week wait with a plumbing company. These were all electric water heaters, easily accessible/no stairs, no municipal permits required, and one man did the whole job.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by wander »

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

Post by illumination »

It's definitely a job most any handyman should be able to do if you wanted it done cheap. Most difficult part is just moving them around and out.

My plumber charges like $1200 for like a Bradford White gas one installed, my guess is the unit itself and fittings are around $800 and like $300-$400 in labor to install and haul old one away. Probably around a 2 hour job, plus additional time hauling the old one away.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by iamlucky13 »

gwe67 wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:21 pm Lots of dangerous advice is being posted about using unqualified persons for this type of work.

"Installing a tank water heater might seem easy, but some of these common mistakes could be life-threatening."
https://www.finehomebuilding.com/2019/1 ... violations
That is a bit of a generalization and conflation of safety with paper qualifications.

Sometimes formal qualifications are required by the law, but regardless, the focus should be on doing the work properly for a safe installation.

In my area, for example, if the installation work is hired out, a licensed plumber is required to do the work, so it would be illegal for a handyman* to take the job (or there is a dollar cap - I can't remember), although plenty of handymen are perfectly competent to do the work, and I believe in some jurisdictions they can legally do such work. It is also legal for the homeowner to do it.

I did my own. On paper, I am unqualified. Since a permit was required regardless of who installs it, it was inspected to verify code compliance and safety.

If a permit is not required, I look for resources like the one you linked, or the codes themselves, in order to help ensure I do the work properly. The previous home owner did not do the work properly for the old tank, so I had some things to fix.

Paper qualifications, unfortunately, also don't always mean safely. I fixed a bit of moderately dangerous negligence on the part of an electrician the bank forced me to hire to work on my own home when I was buying it (easy fix for me, and I told him how much he owed me off my bill).

* I'm referring to trade licensing here, not the more general category of contractor licensing. In many states, handymen have to get contractor licenses and insurance, too.
michaeljc70
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by michaeljc70 »

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?
I have to believe in most jurisdictions HD is going to hire a plumber (or licensed contractor at least) to install it legally. HD is going to find someone to install it for you and take it cut so don't think it will be cheaper. They will guarantee it though and so you don't have to worry about some yahoo messing it all up and not taking responsibility. There is also a convenience to having HD schedule it and handle finding someone.

I installed mine with the help of my father. As others said, it is not rocket science if you are used to DYI stuff.
IMO
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by IMO »

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.
It can be a little more complicated if you need to cut and sweat pipes together, and for things like an expansion tank. But absolutely, it's not rocket science. As far as the gas line, if you can hook up a gas dryer or gas stove with a standard appliance gas line hookup and some yellow gas thread tape and know how to check the fitting for leaks it's pretty straightforward.

If it's too much of a hassle, then go to HD/Lowes and get and estimate, and/or start calling up plumbers and ask for the model and the rate they charge to install it/remove old tank. As some have noted, some places require permits to be pulled.

Also, having an earthquake strap put on the water heater is a good idea, even if you're not in earthquake country.
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dratkinson
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by dratkinson »

megabad wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:02 am Define "least expensive"?
...
+1. I could spend a lot of time/energy running around trying to save a dollar, or I could handle problem like an American... call someone to make the problem go away in exchange for dollars.

Called plumber I'd used before and liked their work.
--Told them what I wanted (40gal, standing pilot light, drain brass ball valve, single magnesium anode in second port, dip tube swirls sediment, come out every 5yrs after warrant up to replace anode, basement ceiling height,...).
--They researched manufacturers' models and found one that did what I wanted.
--We scheduled a date and they came out, removed old WH, and installed new.
--They found one item that was not up to code and fixed it (pipe end protector used as coupling).
--At my request they replaced corroded compression shutoff valve with new brass ball valve shutoff valve.
--They'll be back in 5yrs to replace anode.

Don't remember what I paid, but more than HD. But not unreasonably so.
d.r.a., not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.
slidecreek
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by slidecreek »

dratkinson wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:26 am
--We scheduled a date and they came out, removed old WH, and installed new.
When something as important as a water heater breaks, I want it replaced now. Not in a couple days, not next week, today.

I am sure some plumbers would install a WH on nights/weekends for an extra fee, but finding a reputable place that does could be just as much work as replacing it yourself.
michaeljc70
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by michaeljc70 »

IMO wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:09 am
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.
It can be a little more complicated if you need to cut and sweat pipes together, and for things like an expansion tank. But absolutely, it's not rocket science. As far as the gas line, if you can hook up a gas dryer or gas stove with a standard appliance gas line hookup and some yellow gas thread tape and know how to check the fitting for leaks it's pretty straightforward.

If it's too much of a hassle, then go to HD/Lowes and get and estimate, and/or start calling up plumbers and ask for the model and the rate they charge to install it/remove old tank. As some have noted, some places require permits to be pulled.

Also, having an earthquake strap put on the water heater is a good idea, even if you're not in earthquake country.
If you are able to buy the equivalent model it can save a lot of time and effort for a DYI install. By equivalent I mean a the model where the gas and water hookups are the same or very close to the old ones (though the controller and internals are probably updated). My water heater was 20 years old and I was able to do that.
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lthenderson
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by lthenderson »

surfstar wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:48 pm (double check for leaks!) when working with gas.
+1

Even if you hire someone to do the install, I will now double check for leaks myself after they leave. When I bought this house, the water heater was nearly rusted through so I had it replaced. For THREE YEARS after I paid a licensed plumber to install it, I would randomly enter the utility room and smell a gas smell. I always assumed it was the floor drain and would pour some water in it to make sure the trap hadn't evaporated dry. The smell would go away and be gone for a couple months before it came back again.

Flash forward to a year ago, I was working on the gas line to my cooktop in the kitchen which is connected to the gas pipe to my water heater about ten feet away. I put a wrench on the pipe and immediately heard hissing from the water heater. I went over to inspect and found the union coupling that the plumber used to attach the water heater to my gas line had never been tightened. It was just threaded together loosely. I quickly tightened it up and the gas odor hasn't been back since. But now whenever I see a house explosion on the news due to a gas leak, I always wonder if we might have been one of those someday had I not caught the mistake.
Kagord
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by Kagord »

lthenderson wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:30 am
surfstar wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:48 pm (double check for leaks!) when working with gas.
+1

Even if you hire someone to do the install, I will now double check for leaks myself after they leave. When I bought this house, the water heater was nearly rusted through so I had it replaced. For THREE YEARS after I paid a licensed plumber to install it, I would randomly enter the utility room and smell a gas smell. I always assumed it was the floor drain and would pour some water in it to make sure the trap hadn't evaporated dry. The smell would go away and be gone for a couple months before it came back again.

Flash forward to a year ago, I was working on the gas line to my cooktop in the kitchen which is connected to the gas pipe to my water heater about ten feet away. I put a wrench on the pipe and immediately heard hissing from the water heater. I went over to inspect and found the union coupling that the plumber used to attach the water heater to my gas line had never been tightened. It was just threaded together loosely. I quickly tightened it up and the gas odor hasn't been back since. But now whenever I see a house explosion on the news due to a gas leak, I always wonder if we might have been one of those someday had I not caught the mistake.
Technically, ordinances usually require a gas fitment licensed person for gas line work. But the iron pipe transition from copper may be a gray area for the homeowner to break apart for a replacement. I always put a sniffer on it and spray it a few times with soapy water to check for leaks. In my experience, it's not uncommon for the union to need be torque'd down with leveraged force to seal it. It's more than a mistake, it's gross negligence for a plumber to leave a union unsealed, IMHO, shocked to hear that actually happened if it was hissing, I would call their boss on that one.
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lthenderson
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by lthenderson »

Kagord wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:48 am
lthenderson wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:30 am
surfstar wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:48 pm (double check for leaks!) when working with gas.
+1

Even if you hire someone to do the install, I will now double check for leaks myself after they leave. When I bought this house, the water heater was nearly rusted through so I had it replaced. For THREE YEARS after I paid a licensed plumber to install it, I would randomly enter the utility room and smell a gas smell. I always assumed it was the floor drain and would pour some water in it to make sure the trap hadn't evaporated dry. The smell would go away and be gone for a couple months before it came back again.

Flash forward to a year ago, I was working on the gas line to my cooktop in the kitchen which is connected to the gas pipe to my water heater about ten feet away. I put a wrench on the pipe and immediately heard hissing from the water heater. I went over to inspect and found the union coupling that the plumber used to attach the water heater to my gas line had never been tightened. It was just threaded together loosely. I quickly tightened it up and the gas odor hasn't been back since. But now whenever I see a house explosion on the news due to a gas leak, I always wonder if we might have been one of those someday had I not caught the mistake.
Technically, ordinances usually require a gas fitment licensed person for gas line work. But the iron pipe transition from copper may be a gray area for the homeowner to break apart for a replacement. I always put a sniffer on it and spray it a few times with soapy water to check for leaks. In my experience, it's not uncommon for the union to need be torque'd down with leveraged force to seal it. It's more than a mistake, it's gross negligence for a plumber to leave a union unsealed, IMHO, shocked to hear that actually happened if it was hissing, I would call their boss on that one.
Due to the configuration of my pipes, the weight of my money wrench applied enough force to pivot the pipe and force the union coupling apart resulting in the hissing. I'm assuming what saved my bacon was when there was no wrench involved, the weight of the pipe above was enough to seal the union joint... most of the time since the odor wasn't there all the time, only rarely. I can't explain why it only happened occasionally over those three years that enough gas escaped that I could smell it. Change in gas pressure perhaps? Vibrations on the floor where the gas pipe was attached to the underside? Since three years had gone by, and I didn't have proof of purchase any longer nor proof that it was negligence on their part versus it just vibrated apart, I didn't say anything. But I would have had I caught the problem a lot earlier. It just reinforced me belief that even professionals can have a bad day and that we as homeowners always need to do our homework and not just put our trust in others.
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Re: What is the least expensive way to have a water heater installed?

Post by corysold »

Home Depot isn't going to be sending Joe Schmoe from Craigslist to install your water heater. They are going to send a plumber. He might be cheaper, but he will still be a plumber.

At the end of the day, as with all things in life, you generally get what you pay for.

A water heater isn't rocket science, but if you can't or won't do it yourself, you're going to pay someone else to do it.

The difference between the Craigslist guy and a professional plumber is probably few hundred dollars at most. It is up to you to decide if that is worth it or not in this case.
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