New Heater Thread

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Bob NH, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    My neice in the Houston area is house sitting for some people and doing some work in lieu of rent. They have two very old 40 gallon gas water heaters to be replaced (not leaking yet). They are in overhead (attic) areas.

    She isn't about to install gas water heaters, but thought it might save some money if she got the old ones drained, cut the pipe close to the heaters, shut off the gas and disconnected it, removed them from the space, and got the new ones into the installation location.

    She is a mechanical engineer who rebuilt her own old Mustang and works in a machine shop in her spare time, so I'm confident she can shut off the gas. She will probably hire a couple of strong immigrants or Katrina transplants to do the heavy lifting.

    Will it be worth enough to the plumber to save them a good bit on the installations? And should she get the plumber to order the heaters or try to get them herself? What brand? Rheem? ???
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    water heaters

    Some plumbers charge a fixed amount to change a water heater, although I don't know if they consider heaters in the attic a "standard installation" in that area. There would probably be a saving by removing them, but I am not sure if it would be a very substantial one.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Draining and disconnecting an attic water heater is tricky.....you cannot afford to have ANY water drip on the ceiling. Just getting the old ones down from the attic is a chore in itself. When you get those laborers from the 7/11 you better hope one doesn't hurt is back, because since you don't have worker's comp coverage on workers in your house, this guy will OWN your house before it's over.


    Now, having preached my little piece, I think you could get a plumber who would price the job according to the work you need him to do. The prep work in this case is considerable, so you could sava a lot of money. If you get the heater from a box store, then all you get from the plumber is his time. If something goes wrong with the heater today or next week or 10 months from now, Big Blue or Big Orange will be happy to give you a new heater, but no labor. True, the heater should carry a one year parts and labor warranty from GE or Whirlpool, so this may be sufficient protection for you. If you purchase the heater from your plumber, then you will have warranty coverage that will not involve talking to a voice-activated computer in India.

    It all boils down to choices, and I hope we provide you with some information to help you make the choice which is best for your particular circumstances.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If you are in a hard water area the tanks will be difficult to remove due to the added weight.

    If you can attatch a hose and drain them down that should help some to keep the price down.

    The new heater will most likely not line up with the old one.

    Like jimbo said it is all choices, call and get prices then decide.
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