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Old 03-18-2020, 01:23 PM   #1
Califbill
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Default Cost of water heaters.

Woke to a luke warm shower this morning and a small stream in the garage. Home Depot trip for new water heater. Dang, $950 for a 50 gallon energy star gas heater. At least the last one was made in 2003, so must have been near that long ago to install. But the $95 vets discovered helped.

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Old 03-18-2020, 03:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

Wow a quick search on the Home Depot app shows me nothing above 699.00 not sure if they are energy star or not but thought most were these days.


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Old 03-18-2020, 03:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

Yes bill,I had to replace one last year and it was sticker shock. The one I had to replace was 15-20 years old.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:53 PM   #4
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50$ per month for a home warranty....
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:33 PM   #5
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50$ per month for a home warranty....
$600 a year. 2/3rds the cost of a WH. Other than replacing a faucet once in a while and replaced the stove after 20 years and need a new refrigerator after 22 years, don’t know if it pencils out.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

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Originally Posted by No Reservations View Post
Wow a quick search on the Home Depot app shows me nothing above 699.00 not sure if they are energy star or not but thought most were these days.


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The only energy star in 50 gallon tall was $965 or close. The new hoses added $22.
Last one said manufactured 2003. Mine is a natural gas heater.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

YEESH.
Last one cost me $450.00 installed and hauled.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

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Originally Posted by Califbill View Post
The only energy star in 50 gallon tall was $965 or close. The new hoses added $22.
Last one said manufactured 2003. Mine is a natural gas heater.

Thanks I was wondering about the energy star rating the website doesn’t make it very clear


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Old 03-19-2020, 07:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

Tankless is the way to go, especially if natural gas is your fuel.


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Old 03-19-2020, 09:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

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Tankless is the way to go, especially if natural gas is your fuel.


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What is the cost to install couple tankless systems? Running gas lines, and exhaust seems excessive. I have a 2500 sq ft 2 story.
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Old 03-19-2020, 09:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

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Tankless is the way to go, especially if natural gas is your fuel.


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Old 03-19-2020, 09:24 AM   #12
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

I've got an electric tankless water heater and it works great. I went electric because I'm on propane for gas and the cost using propane would be much higher.
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Old 03-19-2020, 09:53 AM   #13
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

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Originally Posted by Califbill View Post
What is the cost to install couple tankless systems? Running gas lines, and exhaust seems excessive. I have a 2500 sq ft 2 story.


You’re thinking Point of Use heaters like you see in some commercial restrooms, under the sinks.

A tankless residential unit replaces the tank style you have. You’ll still have the same lag time to get hot water to the other side of the home, just like you do now. The difference is that you will only heat the water as you need it, rather than maintaining 50 gallons of hot.

You pick a tankless by how many GPM you will need. I bet you’re fine with 4-6 gpm unless you need to run 4 showers at a time...

It will be more than $950 up front. The savings is in the use.


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Old 03-19-2020, 10:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

We never have a lag on hot water - we have a recirc on the hot water.
We are on hatural gas. So electric is usually more expensive. PArticularly when you have to run new lines from the panel.

Hot water heaters here with hard water last about 12- 15 years, Mine are at 13 years. I did a check and cost for unit, installation, hauling away items, and new lines to the house was qouted at $1450 for a 50 gallon tank Rheem . Base unit was around $900.
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

You usually will need to up size gas lines to support a tankless unit.
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:32 AM   #16
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

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Originally Posted by Califbill View Post
What is the cost to install couple tankless systems? Running gas lines, and exhaust seems excessive. I have a 2500 sq ft 2 story.
same neighborhood as you and were ballparked 5k by contractor we chose to replace our heat/air. it required a dedicated 1" gas line and vent.
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:03 PM   #17
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

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Originally Posted by SImudBogger View Post
Tankless is the way to go, especially if natural gas is your fuel.


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We replaced our furnace and water heater several years ago. Originally we going to go tankless with the water heater. After bringing in a plumber and the additional cost of the tankless water heater compared to conventional it would of taken 10 years plus to recover the additional cost.
Didn’t seem worth it to us especially not knowing how long we might remain in the house.

I’m not sure how much tankless has come down in price since then it might make more sense now.


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Old 03-21-2020, 09:56 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

Opinion from a retired **** Herder.
I've replaced hundreds upon hundreds of water heaters.
My first job as a plumber was at the warranty replacement company in the L,a,/ O,C. area of SoCal used by essentially every manufacturer of water heaters at that time.
Some days I'd replace 6 or 7 of them.
Most actually took more time to drain than to actually change out.
I want to stress the importance of permitting your replacement.
The reason is I've sold more code upgrade work on homeowner installed heaters than you could imagine.
If you aren't familiar with the codes you can create a hazard.
Not only can you violate your home insurance, you could be endangering your family and yourself.
Okay, now about that price. Yeah, water heaters have become outrageously expensive.
Yet aside from some minor changes to the control/burner assemblies, little in the design of most of them has changed.
Some of the more energy efficient heaters are entirely different design though. Multiple heat exchange/flue tubes are the most notable. Still, the projected life of a tank type water heater is average of 7 years, so consider that 10 year warranty when buying a replacement.
But what about those tankless heaters?
I'm a big fan of tankless. I started promoting and selling them almost as soon as they became available at "reasonable" prices.
Before you run out and buy one, understand that you're going to need to have it professionally installed.
tankless heaters have a much higher burn rate (BTU demand) than a tank storage type heater.
That almost always means a new gas supply line. They also require an electric supply outlet. Dedicated is best but as the demand for electric is not very high most times they can be added to existing circuits.
Then there's the venting. Tankless heaters cannot use the same vent as your old tank type. So re-venting is always needed unless they are installed on an external wall and can be direct vented to the air.
All of this make replacements of tank storage type with tankless a expensive undertaking.
On the plus side, a tankless water heater has a lifespan of about 20 years provided they are properly installed and maintained. If properly sized for demand, you never run out of hot water. A big selling point if you live in a home with teenagers. They also save fuel. instead of keeping a tank of water hot in case you need it and reheating it every time a little hot water is used, not to mention that standing pilot that always is burning, tankless heaters only use fuel when you open a hot faucet tap.
Okay that's about it for water heater education. Hope it helps.

If you can af
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

My electric "Corona" special water heater turns 57 years old this year... Speaking of heaters, one at better half's house just quit heating, bet it's elements are bad, her house is a 1920's but it's a 90's era heater I think.

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Old 03-28-2020, 07:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plumbertom View Post
Opinion from a retired **** Herder.
I've replaced hundreds upon hundreds of water heaters.
My first job as a plumber was at the warranty replacement company in the L,a,/ O,C. area of SoCal used by essentially every manufacturer of water heaters at that time.
Some days I'd replace 6 or 7 of them.
Most actually took more time to drain than to actually change out.
I want to stress the importance of permitting your replacement.
The reason is I've sold more code upgrade work on homeowner installed heaters than you could imagine.
If you aren't familiar with the codes you can create a hazard.
Not only can you violate your home insurance, you could be endangering your family and yourself.
Okay, now about that price. Yeah, water heaters have become outrageously expensive.
Yet aside from some minor changes to the control/burner assemblies, little in the design of most of them has changed.
Some of the more energy efficient heaters are entirely different design though. Multiple heat exchange/flue tubes are the most notable. Still, the projected life of a tank type water heater is average of 7 years, so consider that 10 year warranty when buying a replacement.
But what about those tankless heaters?
I'm a big fan of tankless. I started promoting and selling them almost as soon as they became available at "reasonable" prices.
Before you run out and buy one, understand that you're going to need to have it professionally installed.
tankless heaters have a much higher burn rate (BTU demand) than a tank storage type heater.
That almost always means a new gas supply line. They also require an electric supply outlet. Dedicated is best but as the demand for electric is not very high most times they can be added to existing circuits.
Then there's the venting. Tankless heaters cannot use the same vent as your old tank type. So re-venting is always needed unless they are installed on an external wall and can be direct vented to the air.
All of this make replacements of tank storage type with tankless a expensive undertaking.
On the plus side, a tankless water heater has a lifespan of about 20 years provided they are properly installed and maintained. If properly sized for demand, you never run out of hot water. A big selling point if you live in a home with teenagers. They also save fuel. instead of keeping a tank of water hot in case you need it and reheating it every time a little hot water is used, not to mention that standing pilot that always is burning, tankless heaters only use fuel when you open a hot faucet tap.
Okay that's about it for water heater education. Hope it helps.

If you can af

As the responsible party for over 30 rentals, I replace at least a couple every year. My honest plumber friends and the County inspectors agree that replacing like with like does NOT require an upgrade to modern codes. No expansion tanks in my places, no booster pumps on pressure relief lines to make water flow uphill. We have home warranties on several places. Last time the warrantee company plumber tried to upcharge us a grand for upgrades I visited his boss, got him to admit it was "recommended, not required", and got the plumbing company removed from the warrantee company list of vendors!



ps. The "permit" is simply a sticker you pay the County for and place on your heater. No inspections, just $$$ to the County.
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Old 03-28-2020, 08:31 PM   #21
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

Just replaced both heat elements and both thermostats on an electric 50 gal water heater that is about 33yrs old. Cost less than $100. Easy and works great.
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Old 03-29-2020, 04:38 AM   #22
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Lightbulb Re: Cost of water heaters.

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Just replaced both heat elements and both thermostats on an electric 50 gal water heater that is about 33yrs old. Cost less than $100. Easy and works great.
Check for continuity in your elements first

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Old 03-29-2020, 03:55 PM   #23
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

Actually had a plumber check the resistance (ohms) and both elements were OK. Determined one of the thermostats was bad. They came in a double pack so replaced both. When I undid the wires from each element to test them the entire plastic insulator on both crumbled away (and I mean all of it) so I replaced both elements. Like I said, under $100.
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:11 PM   #24
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Califbill View Post
What is the cost to install couple tankless systems? Running gas lines, and exhaust seems excessive. I have a 2500 sq ft 2 story.
It is. .min 7k depending on install. Hvac, plumbing and electrical involvement
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Old 03-30-2020, 02:01 PM   #25
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

We did ours roughly 2 yrs ago through HD paid around $750 installed (tank, hoses and expansion tank) and the plumber who did it also put a mixing valve on it to give us added time of use. We can easily run everything in the house as well as several avg showers before losing any hot water.
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Old 03-30-2020, 05:30 PM   #26
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

I am curious about the lifetime comment. What would drve such a short life?

I have lived in California, Texas, Oregon, and back to Arizona. Most natural gas and one was electric.

Every one lasted at least 13 years.( When I sold the house)
When I checked the other day I was given an estimate of 10 -15 years in our area and water conditions and we have a bit of mineral content in our hard water.

So is there something that you have experienced that drives a 7 year life?

I wil let mine go til it fails. I have two units - one with hot water recirculation.. I bet I get at least 15 years.





[QUOTE=plumbertom;16289083]Opinion from a retired **** Herder.
I've replaced hundreds upon hundreds of water heaters.

Still, the projected life of a tank type water heater is average of 7 years, so consider that 10 year warranty when buying a replacement.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:55 AM   #27
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

This was my GF's problem, finally got around to fixing it. Melted thermostat assy, most likely from poor connection that overheated. Time will tell if it was worth fixing vs replacing the whole thing but a $15 part and an hour of my time including social distance line waiting at the hardware store.

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Old 04-13-2020, 11:30 AM   #28
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadiesassy View Post
I am curious about the lifetime comment. What would drve such a short life?

I have lived in California, Texas, Oregon, and back to Arizona. Most natural gas and one was electric.

Every one lasted at least 13 years.( When I sold the house)
When I checked the other day I was given an estimate of 10 -15 years in our area and water conditions and we have a bit of mineral content in our hard water.

So is there something that you have experienced that drives a 7 year life?

I wil let mine go til it fails. I have two units - one with hot water recirculation.. I bet I get at least 15 years.
planed obsolescence in the manufacturing of tanked heaters. Steel tanks are glass lined and as soon as you heat them up expand and crack the glass, this begins the breakdown of the tank that lasts years. Depending on the content in the water in your area will affect how long water heaters last. The heater companies try and time it best as possible to last through the warranty and most are prorated after a certain time frame.

I had the exciting opportunity to tour a WH factory and asked what the difference between a 6 and 10 year warranty heater was since there was only one production line, the employee smiled and said the sticker on the side of the tank that stated the warranty.

There were companies that made the tanks of concrete and another out of stainless steel. Both are out of business because the tanks were truly a lifetime heater other than the electric parts which were inexpensive to change out.
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Old 04-13-2020, 05:46 PM   #29
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

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planed obsolescence in the manufacturing of tanked heaters. Steel tanks are glass lined and as soon as you heat them up expand and crack the glass, this begins the breakdown of the tank that lasts years. Depending on the content in the water in your area will affect how long water heaters last. The heater companies try and time it best as possible to last through the warranty and most are prorated after a certain time frame.

I had the exciting opportunity to tour a WH factory and asked what the difference between a 6 and 10 year warranty heater was since there was only one production line, the employee smiled and said the sticker on the side of the tank that stated the warranty.

There were companies that made the tanks of concrete and another out of stainless steel. Both are out of business because the tanks were truly a lifetime heater other than the electric parts which were inexpensive to change out.

While I don’t doubt that manufacturers will continue to look for ways to cut costs, I just can’t see a team of engineers hidden in a back room smoking cigars and working on the newest formula that will last exactly 6 years and 3 days before a catastrophic failure.

I think that we, as consumers, have demanded the lowest price to the point of reduced quality. You want a high end part that will last? You pay a lot more for it. In my experience, it is typically a better value to buy the high end if it’ll be used regularly...

That said, I’d love to hear more about your experience that proves manufactures are intentionally sabotaging their products. Not trying to be a Richard, but I just don’t believe it.


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Old 04-14-2020, 10:13 AM   #30
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Default Re: Cost of water heaters.

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While I don’t doubt that manufacturers will continue to look for ways to cut costs, I just can’t see a team of engineers hidden in a back room smoking cigars and working on the newest formula that will last exactly 6 years and 3 days before a catastrophic failure.

I think that we, as consumers, have demanded the lowest price to the point of reduced quality. You want a high end part that will last? You pay a lot more for it. In my experience, it is typically a better value to buy the high end if it’ll be used regularly...

That said, I’d love to hear more about your experience that proves manufactures are intentionally sabotaging their products. Not trying to be a Richard, but I just don’t believe it.


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Just my learning from selling water heaters for 12 years, by no means are they timing it out to the day but to think they want a water heater to last indefinitely is not their target either.

Also, a "lifetime" water heater wasnt a good business plan either, most people move before the true lifetime warranty pays for itself when the tanks ran 3-4x more then a traditional heater. By all means, if you want a longer warranty tank then a piece of mind for the cost is well worth it.

That said, to the OP, prices have certainly skyrocketed over the years, especially the gas tanks
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