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Replacing a Water Heater Cost - Buyer Experiences and Price Information

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Replacing a Water Heater Comments

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water heater
Amount: $600.00
Posted by: Nick G. in TYLER, TX.Posted: March 2nd, 2009 06:03AM
Capacity: 40Brand: whirpool
Installer: self
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Replacing Water Heater
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: pugsrule in Jackson, MS.Posted: March 1st, 2009 07:03PM
Capacity: 50 gallonBrand: Whirlpool
Installer: Mr. Rooter
I started hearing a rattling noise in my attic on Friday night. It wasn't unusual for my water heater to make noises but this was more persistant. I didn't take the time to go up and check on it until I went to run a bath on Sunday and stepped into a tub full of cold water. My own stupidity. I went up to the attic immediately and saw water pouring over the top of the water heater and quickly filling up the pan underneath. I grabbed the yellow pages and started making calls to various plumbers in the area. The first one to call me back was the one that got the job. I am not saying this is the right way to choose a plumber but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. He came quickly. He told me it was a bad leak and I needed a new heater. He said he would pick up the new heater, install it, and remove the old one for $1200 approximately. He said he would need to change out some copper wiring also. I started stuttering and looking up prices on the internet and finally just looked at him and he looked competent and he was bonded and insured so I said -"go ahead". I closed my eyes and waited for him (and his son) to finish. 3+ hours later he was finished. So far so good. Maybe I paid too much but it was worth it to get it all done in a few hours with no clean up. Great for a single woman!!
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State Select with Power Vent
Amount: $1,500.00
Posted by: Dandy Dan in Eureka, IL.Posted: February 11th, 2009 08:02AM
Capacity: 50 galBrand: State
Installer: AMI
I replaced a 23 year old State Select 40 gal water heater with power vent with a new 50 gal of the same. Seems after 23 years, the dimensions are the same between the 40 and 50 gal? The installers did a nice job but did inform me that the new one will only last 10 to 12 years if I'm lucky. My quotes were between $1300 - $1500 installed from various companies on brands that included AO Smith, State, and Bradford-White. Went with this installer since he offered the same day service. Wife and daughter seemed to miss the hot water! The recession hasn't hit these guys yet, all others I called seemed to be too busy.
Friends had warned me not to go to the big box stored with their nightmare stories of waiting days for replacement parts when needed. Something about reversed threads on a thermal coupler and other odd parts made in Europe.
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Business Costs
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: a user in Arroyo Grande, CA.Posted: February 2nd, 2009 04:02PM
Capacity: 0Brand:
Installer: Contractor on CA. Coast
I agree with contractor in Los Angeles, CA. It is not cheap to run a business. Contractors in California have to be licensed, carry a bond, and though liability insurance is not a requirement, it is really a necessity. Remember also that one call back can take away the profit from the job. There is a lot of overhead and risk involved in running a business. It is expensive in California and, as you know, a lot of people are sue happy. Some of the prices here may be a bit high but without actually seeing the job it is difficult to judge. As he said, try paying the costs to run a business and see how much you need to charge to take home some money to pay your own bills.
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DIY Gas Water Heater Replacement
Amount: $385.00
Posted by: Shoestring Budget in Bay Area, CA.Posted: February 1st, 2009 08:02PM
Capacity: 40 gallonBrand: GE
Installer: Husband
We arrived at my elderly mother's house for our weekly visit and opened the garage door to discover water all over the floor. Her thirty-year-old water heater had rusted through. We drove down to Home Depot and picked out a 40 gallon GE natural gas water heater priced at $359.00 ($385 with tax-- we had no time to shop around). Then we drove back to our own house to pick up two flexible metal hoses that my husband had in the garage (he collects hardware things like that!) so we wouldn't have to buy them. They probably would have run about $15(?). (While there he grabbed his shop-vac, some wrenches and a hacksaw too.) He reused a fitting from the old water heater and was able to install the new one himself in about an hour.

Total spent on it out of pocket (excluding gas to drive to Home Depot and over to our house for the hoses) was $385.48. We still need to get rid of the old water heater, but our local garbage company has free dump days a couple of times a year, so we'll get rid of it then. My mother has no clue how much having a handy son-in-law has saved her over the years. :-)
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Hot water Heater
Amount: $1,388.54
Posted by: noodle in Raleigh, NC.Posted: January 29th, 2009 02:01AM
Capacity: 40 gallonBrand: State Select
Installer: Progressive Plumbing and Piping
I woke up at 3 am smelling smoke and wires burning in my basement. After getting my children out of the house I went in the basement to investigate and saw where my electric hot water heater wires had caught on fire. The fire department came and shut the power off by the breaker box. Progressive plumbing charged $842.54 for a State Select Water Heater(approx $508.00 per year to run for efficiency rating)40 gallon tank, expansion tank cost $98.00, electrical permit $99.00,plumbing permit $99.00 ( I personally have never seen these two permit fees) and electrical disconnect $250.00. Total $1388.54. The technician was helpful but forgot to turn the breaker switch back on when he left. Upon inspection that night I noticed this oversight and flipped it back thinking it would bring the hot water back. Later in the night I got up and noticed we still had no hot water. I called the 24 hour line and was called back in about 20 minutes. The technician had also forgotten to turn the breaker fuse over to pass the current and heat the water. Did I pay too much? The service was on time and the plumbers were nice and informative. I had no problem with the team. I would have expected a larger tank for the money based upon investigating after the fact. I suppose I shouldnt worry about it; now that it is done.
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Fair price
Amount: $800.00
Posted by: Boudreaux in Dallas, TX.Posted: January 10th, 2009 07:01AM
Capacity: ~50Brand: Bradford White
Installer: Independant Contractor
Found a plumber who was contracted by Home Depot. He agreed to do the job for me on the side. He installed a new water heater, new plumbing lines (in and out of new water heater) with a modern shut-off valve, an oversize drip collection pan, a new PVC drain pipe from the drip collection pan, and a city permit for the installation. The job was clean.
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Water Heater Replaccement
Amount: $685.00
Posted by: Christopher Waters in Oceanside, CA.Posted: January 10th, 2009 01:01AM
Capacity: 40 gallonBrand: Rheem
Installer: HRPlumbing
I recently had a situation with a busted water heater and after numerous quotes up to $1600 I found an ad online for $685 to
replace a 40 gallon water heater so I gave them a shot and to my surprise they delivered. They were clean, did nice work, installed new valves and connectors and hauled off the old one. There was no hidden costs. The price was as quoted. I'm very pleased.
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Bradford White Warranty Replacement
Amount: $843.95
Posted by: USWC in Henderson, CO.Posted: January 7th, 2009 10:01AM
Capacity: 40Brand: Bradford White
Installer: AAA Service
6 Year old house, water heater was still under warranty. Was unsure of the original installer, so had AAA Service install it. Thought it was going to cost $450, at the max. Was almost double that though. Here was the delemia, do I get the company to stand by their product, or do I go to home depot, pay 500 and install myself? I decided to make the company standby their product. Did this cost more in the long run? Most definetly, and I really do not see the pros of having a "pro" do the work. Next time, I'll save some money and diy...
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water heater swap
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: moentrol in coldspring, TX.Posted: January 4th, 2009 04:01PM
Capacity: anyBrand: Rheem
Installer: Calvert Plumbing
Well i work for Calvert Plumbing in Texas and we flat rate our water heater change outs at 3 hours for $225 labor. we also change all valves and water heater flex lines standard in the installation. thats only costs you $40 in parts. we only carry Rheem water heaters which range from $230-$500 depending on type and size. or customers and supply the water heater. if any extra work is required like running t&p or pan drain line or even moving water lines to fit the new heater the only extras you pay are for parts unless we have to go over 3 hours which is the $70 per hour but we bill at 15 minute intervals so if we go half an hour over you dont pay for the hour just $35 for the half hour. some of these prices i read about above were unbelievable. in my opinion anyway.
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Replacing a Water Heater
Amount: $970.00
Posted by: Homeowner in San Carlos, CA in San Carlos, CA.Posted: December 28th, 2008 01:12PM
Capacity: 50Brand: Rheem w/ 12 year warranty
Installer: Water Heater Only Inc.
I came home after Christmas vacation to a basement full of water. After pumping the water out I received a few quotes and decided to go with Water Heater Only Inc. as they could get it installed over the weekend for no extra cost. Over the phone they quoted me $850-1,100 for a new Rheem heater w/ 6 year warranty and installation. When he arrived he inspected the connection to the old heater which had a combination of galvanized, brass and copper. He replaced it all including a new shut off valve as part of the install price of $850. I purchased the extended 12 year warranty for an additional $120. I would highly recommend Water Heater Only.
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replace water heater
Amount: $900.00
Posted by: Chris Barreras in Diamond Bar, CA.Posted: December 22nd, 2008 09:12PM
Capacity: 50 gallonsBrand: GE
Installer: Plumbing Pros (Southern, CA)
Three days before Christmas and I come home at 8pm with a small river in my garage. I called Plumbing Pros .. luckily I have used him (Bill) in the past and he has been fair. My water heater decided to die/leak on me 6 months before my limited warranty expired. Bill walked me trough the process and GE gave me a $218.00 credit towards a new GE water heater, awesome!! Just had to take it to Home Depot, (which Bill did for me the next day) and I got my credit right there at the store.
I bought a new water heater, paying the difference and Bill charged me $450.00 for labor and install. Overall I payed close to $900.00 total for a new 50 gallon water heater including the install. After reading some of the other postings here I feel I got a fair price. It sucked to have to deal with this so close to Christmas, but it was a nice early present to now not have to worry about my water heater for hopefully a decade.
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DIY Surprise
Amount: $404.00
Posted by: New homeowner in East Lansing, MI.Posted: December 20th, 2008 05:12PM
Capacity: 40Brand: GE
Installer: Myself
I came into my basement to see my hot water heater was leaking. It was slow, so I was able to stem the tide by mopping a few times a day so i could figure out what to do. With the help of my uncle, I now have(as of today) a new hot water heater happily chugging away. It took about 1 hour 45 minutes to do, but 45 of those minutes were for a second trip to the hardware store to get a few extras.

If you have the time(and energy) and willingness to get your hands dirty, I would recommend going the DIY route. I was surprised at how easy it really was.
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Not as much as expected
Amount: $620.00
Posted by: a user in Portsmouth, VA.Posted: December 6th, 2008 03:12PM
Capacity: 40Brand: Whirlpool
Installer: Integrity Plumbing
I woke up at 3am this morning to drips coming from my attic. I went up to check the water heater and found it was busted with water coming up from the top of the tank. I went to Lowe's and paid $370 for a new tank and install kit and started calling plumbers to see If i could get an appointment for an install. I wasn't really expecting to have it fixed today because it was a saturday, but Integrity was very good, nice and installed it today for $220.
I did help lift the new tank up to the attic, but I expected to pay more because it was up there and not in a garage or closet. I think this price was very reasonable for the workload and tipped them an extra $30 for a job well done.
Hopefully the new water heater won't crap out like in the reviews I've read about it, but if it does, I know a good plumber to call that won't screw me over.
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water heater replacement
Amount: $950.00
Posted by: A user in Denver, CO in Denver, CO.Posted: December 5th, 2008 02:12PM
Installer: DIY
Home from Thanksgiving trip to find water heater leaking. Last time this happened (14 years ago) went with private plumber but felt overcharged; this time went to Lowes, bought 50 gallon model for $429, $279 install package, $30 misc parts and $60 permit fee. All went well -- very fast response -- bought Sunday afternoon and installer called first thing Monday. Had to pay $75 extra for cutting water pipes and reconfiguring exhaust vent since new unit is taller (seemed to me that this should have been part of standard install, but I guess I can't complain too much about $75). All in all, I was very happy with Lowes
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Amount: $900.00
Posted by: homeowner in California in California, CA.Posted: December 5th, 2008 11:12AM
Capacity: Brand: Noritz
Installer: Self
It's fun to DIY if you have the time.
As the old heater failed (in my 3 houses I've had 3 water heater failures) slowly (leaking), I ordered a NOritz tankless heater online. It took about 10 days to arrive. By Day 8 we were heating water on the stove for BATHS. Remember those?
In the interim, I ran 120V AC from the outside breaker box to the outside water heater location. That was cool. I even added a 2nd junction box for AC for fiber optic INternet someday.
Then on the day of the Noritz install I had to make two runs to three hardware stores to get the correct hardware/fittings. And now I have a tankless heater of which I am very proud.
The NOritz was $700. The hardware/expendables was about $200. Looking at my work hanging on the wall: priceless.
Now w/ a fake contractor invoice for the install, I will get a $200 rebate from the gas co.
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Changing out water heater
Amount: $729.00
Posted by: Lady from the heart of Illinois in East Peoria, IL.Posted: November 6th, 2008 09:11PM
Capacity: 50 gallonBrand: Whirlpool 9 year warranty
Installer: Lowe's-Joe the Plumber
My water heater committed suicide at 9 pm tonight and I need to leave tomorrow or Saturday latest for a week. I called Lowe's for advice on how to be sure everything is turned off properly to avoid my house sympathetically blowing itself up along with its friend.

He was very helped me make sure everything was okay, gave me estimates over the phone, did not point me to the highest, most expensive, but to a middle range that he felt was the best value. He knows the plumber personally who does their installations, quoted me $250, add on $150 extra for emergency service if I want to go to the head of the line, but did not advise it. He said it was very possible that the installation could be done tomorrow, and we're checking on it first thing in the morning. I paid $729 even for the water heater and installation. He said any extra would be quoted, and with our house being 15 years old, there should be no extra quotes, maybe the odd piece, but not a lot more than $5-10. He also assured me that if I changed my mind and wanted to find my own plumber, that is fine, just call and cancel, and the money will be refunded. Since my husband is in Europe and I don't think I could manhandle that thing up the basement stairs, this seems like a pretty good deal. I'll come back and let you know how it went.
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water heater replacement
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Cayenne in Chicago, IL.Posted: November 6th, 2008 09:11AM
Capacity: 40Brand:
Installer: local gas co
This page has been so helpful to me. I want to replace my heater cause it is banging louldly and well past the 5 year warranty. I just got a quote from my local gas company that I have a home appliance repair(water heater, furnance, washer and plumbing) plan with and they will install a new water heater under the plan for $395 including the heater so I guess this is the best deal in Chicago. Thanks for all your input.
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Gas Water Heater replacement
Amount: $800.00
Posted by: Robo in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: October 26th, 2008 10:10AM
Capacity: 50 gallon gasBrand: HD
Installer: Ginteras
[Comment: Lowe's and Home Depot are notorious for substracting to unproven companies, some of whom fail to show after HD and Lowe take a deposit on the work and refuse to return deposits without "absolute proof of no-show."]

Home buyers don't consider the price and whistles on a water heater you install, even if you tell them. The fancy ones last no more longer. Buy a regular one. Installation is considered intermediate-level and involves removal and installation, which means unhooking and rehooking. Hire the pro to inspect but not to install.

Prices -- including labor -- are quickly falling in this economy now. It is a buyer's market. Even necessary skills like plumbing are not recession-proof when everyone is competing for diminishing dollars.

Cost of one immigrant handyman to buy new one, install, and dump old one: $300. Cost of water heater: $500. Grand total: $800.

From someone who stupidly paid $4600 to Newton Plumbing of Culver City for emergency plumbing earlier (and had to come back when it leaked a day later).
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hot water heater
Amount: $925.00
Posted by: wasp22 in portsmouth, VA.Posted: October 8th, 2008 10:10AM
Capacity: 50 gallonBrand: state
Installer: rons plumbing
I got a basic water heater installed and felt I overpaid, he did replace the valve that shuts off the water to the tank. However, after reading the post about the Lowes installler I dont feel too bad. I guess sometime the homeowner just has to suck it up......or DIY, both of these options stink!!
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: contractor in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: October 3rd, 2008 12:10PM
While I agree that most of the prices quoted were ridiculously high, a lot of people on here seem to not grasp the difference of a business vs. hourly labor rates. Being a business owner, it strikes me to see all my effort in placing ads in phoonebooks, mags, etc. etc. and the high cost, having a full time office which does invoicing, estimating, answers phone calls, etc. being compared to "Oh and I think $200/hr is too much for a plumber." If you want to pay $20/$30 hourly, then directly hire an employee, pay his taxes, workers comp, insurance, plus pay him for the downtime during an 8 hour work week, or the less than busy days over the week. My point being, you are not comparing apples to apples when complaining about costs. Yet many of the same people will happily pay $5.00 for hot water filtered through coffee at starbucks.
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new home
Amount: $1,600.00
Posted by: goonie in manassas, VA.Posted: September 21st, 2008 04:09AM
Capacity: 50 galBrand:
We had a home inspected and was told the water heater was in great shape when we moved in we found out that we had no hot water we called a heater comp and was told it was at end of life it cost us 1600.00 and 250.00 to light the pilot. Take this word of wisdom always get to inspections.
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Insight regarding legitimate cost
Amount: $825.00
Posted by: Mario in Cambridge, MA.Posted: September 7th, 2008 06:09PM
Capacity: 40 gallonBrand: State Select
I just recently had a 40 gallon State Select gas water heater installed (6 yr. warranty). Overall, the cost was $825.00 for the water heater, removal of the old water heater, and labor. However, the plumber did not specify the the corresponding amount in conjunction with each category on the invoice. Do you think I was overcharged? Greatly appreciated, Mario
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water heaters
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: chris h. clark in indianapolis, IN.Posted: August 6th, 2008 09:08PM
Capacity: 40gal gas/50 electricBrand: bradford whites
Installer: glenn h. clark&sons plumbing co.
i work and own part of this company.most if not all the prices that i've seen are way out of line.
we get a lot less than these and i get people complaining about my prices.
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BEWARE - Water Heater Install
Amount: $1,151.00
Posted by: Beware of Lowes in Minnesota in West Saint Paul, MN.Posted: July 10th, 2008 01:07PM
Capacity: 40 gallonsBrand: Whirlpool
Installer: Lowe's
I bought a 319.00 short water heater from Lowe's. The installation was 332.00 and would be done the same day. Not bad, since I had a quote of 800.00 from another company, who was doing my new furnace and air conditioner. But I had done 10 to 12 thousand dollars worth of business with Lowe's in just the last year and had 200.00 in gift cards; so after using the gift cards, I had to come up with 450.00. I could swing it even though money was tight. Of course I needed a few "extras" so when they arrived they said the install would be 5-600.00. I was very embarrased when I had to pay and realized this was not including 332.00 I had already payed. So for a 3/4 copper pipe, new ball valve and gas shut off and a 4 inch elbow valve that he had to (I watched this) make a 4 inch hole from a 3 inch hole (code) that took little effort and minutes to create I was charged another 500.00. The pipe, vent and valves cost 38.00 at Lowes. I ended up paying over $277.00 and hour for one guy. That is giving him a generous 3 hours of labor. When I called the Lowes manager in charge of installs he did not think this was outrageous; and told me they only hire the best. If I wanted the best, I would not go to Lowe's. I also called 2 other copanies that are bonded and insured and the highest hourly rate was 82.42 and hour! Lesson learned.........I will update you if Lowe's District Manager thinks 277.00 an hour is comparable. BEWARE of the quotes from LOWE'S.
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Replacement of water heater
Amount: $927.50
Posted by: a user in Virginia Beach, VA.Posted: May 28th, 2008 06:05PM
Capacity: 50 galBrand: State
Installer: American Mechanical
Our water heater start leaking and i called the warranty company. They gave me the phone of American Mechanical and I did call them.(Mistake #1)
1. They never disclosed the prise upfront. The technician called the warranty company from her truck and get replacement preautorized and gave me upfront to sign invoice with total price $427.50 that I agree to pay (Mistake #2), but never show me that there is $500 more already paid by the warranty company.
2. The water heater is the lowest possible model from State Mfg. - never heard about them.
3. Refused to give me an itemized bill.Don't know it it is legal?
4. I felt ripped-off to pay the price - at least $600 for labor for 2.5 hours.
5. And you think the health care is expensive.....
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Replacement of water heater
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: a user in kennesaw, GA.Posted: May 19th, 2008 04:05PM
Capacity: 50Brand: don't know
Installer: superior plumbing
My pressure was low, so I called a plumber. He indictated that my water heater was faulty and the pipe in the center was not attracting minerals like it was supposed to, therefore letting them pass through the pipes and clogging the system. I was quoted at 1200 for a 50 gallon tank, he said he would fix a gas leak too. it seemed expensive before, but maybe not.
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Replacement of water heater
Amount: $2,500.00
Posted by: Boo bear in Bonita, CA.Posted: May 14th, 2008 12:05PM
Capacity: 50 GallonsBrand: Bradford White
Installer: Affordable Water Heaters
Our water hearter started leaking, only 4 year ols so I called the original installer since it would be under warrenty. They did come to my aid quickly and even though they said the unit was under warrenty it cost me $1062 to have it replaced. I do think I got ripped off but when you are up to your ankles in water and it is late at night you are at your weakest. They said they needed to do all these upgrades but when I compared the new bill to the one 4 years ago the same this were listed.
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Replacement of Water Heater
Amount: $2,500.00
Posted by: a user in Redondo Beach, CO.Posted: February 19th, 2008 09:02AM
Capacity: 50 gallonBrand: Bradford White Direct Vent Defender
Installer: Payless 4 Plumbing
My water heater developed a leak and I contacted Payless 4 Plumbing based in the Inland Empire. The technician appeared competent and indicated that I need to get it replaced. Because it was a direct vent water heater and piping and all could take a lot of time to fit in the space in my garage, he quoted me $1500 for the water heater and $1300 for the installation which would require 2 people. I thought it was a rip-off, but it was late Friday afternoon and I needed to get it replaced quickly and he was willing to offer a 10% less than any other bid that I would get in the interim. I felt that I could have gotten a tankless water heater, but he discouraged me because it would cost me more since it would require upgrading my 1/4" gas line to 1/2" from the street. To save time, I elected to go with him and negotiated the pricing down to $2500. The installation took about 4 hours and I would say considering it was a like replacement with some dimensional adjustments, the job was satisfactory, but not extraordinary. It finally hit me that I was probably ripped off but I had no recourse since I signed a "contract" at the $2500 flat rate price. Even if the water heater, which the plumber claims is top of the line and in compliance with new California regulations that went into effect 1/1/08, for 4 hours of installation work, $1300 or even $1000 is a total ripoff. Regardless of how difficult or easy the job, the pay per hour for a plumbing service should be the same! I feel like an idiot for paying $325/hour for 2 people. It should have been at the most $200/hour or $800.00.
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Some quotes we got...
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: fixer upper+homeowner in San Jose, CA.Posted: February 11th, 2008 01:02AM
Capacity: 40 gallonBrand: a few different kinds
The pipes to our water heater struck a leak, so we got some quotes to fix/replace it. Because the water heater was located in our kitchen, we also got quotes to move it to the garage (safer).
1) We got a quote of $200 (ripoff!) to fix the leak. Another plumber replaced the hose for free because it was so easy. He just had to replace the hose with a ratchet/wrench.
2) To replace the 40 gallon water heater, and install a pan & drain (so a leak would flow outdoors) w/a 40 gallon Bradford White water heater, the quote was $975.
3) To move the water heater to the garage, clear old the old water heater in the kitchen, run new gas lines to a 50 gallon Bradford White water heater, the quote was $1,975.
4) To move the water heater to the garage with a Rinnai *tankless* water heater, the quote (from a plumber who did a lot of tankless) was $3,100 for the heater, installation, exhaust pipes and gas line to the garage. Doing some research, it looks like the two most recommended tankless water heater brands are Tagaki and Rinnai, but this plumber only installs (and recommended) Rinnai.
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