Outrageous cost of water heater replacement

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by nun, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. nun

    nun New Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    I live near Boston and I just had my tenant's 20 year old gas water heater develop a leak at the bottom. Luckily I drained most of the water into a bucket.

    Still I had to get a new one asap and got an estimate from my regular plumber of $1000 to install a 40 Gallon AO Smith ProMax the following day, I was expecting $500 to $700 assuming a cost of $400 for a good water heater.

    After picking myself off the floor I called two other plumbers and received quotes of $900 to $1100.

    What gives? Even with an "emergency call out" it looks like extorsion. As gas was involved I couldn't tackle the thing myself, I think you need to be lisenced in MA anyway, and so I simply wrote the cheque. Anyone else with similar horror stories, I need to share this pain!
  2. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

    Sep 24, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    That is about the going rate for water heaters here in Cincinnati too. Water heater prices rose 3 times last year and then went up again at the first of the year.
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  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    This is why many of us non-professionals are DYIers. Granted there can be some technical things to be aware of like code changes since the old one was installed, the proper fittings to use, and such, but when it is a basic one for one exchange and no major changes in venting, electrical, and/plumbing are required, it isn't too difficult. But, as note earlier, heater prices have risen considerably.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    water heater

    IF they were "flat rate" pricing contractors, which a lot are in that area, then it is about right, because their pricing has to also cover the installations which are not "easy", so the easy ones get overcharged. Here a price like that would get the door slammed in your face.
  6. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    water heaters and prices

    the price of all water heaters has literally doubled plus since 2003.

    A 40 gal gas used to cost 155 is closer to 355 now. This has all got to do with the cost of raw materials and the upgrades that have taken place tot he gas hot water heaters...

    Presently in Indianapois the range for a professional installation can run from a low of 545 for the junkey hardware stores , to a high of 950 from one the larger plumbing companies. I wish I could change out 4 heaters a da for 900 each too, it is crazy isnt it??

    some places are selling "life time tank warranties " for much more too.

    they have a non-transferrable warranty included all for the low, low, price of about 1600
    what a deal , huh??

    doing it yourself can cause some big problems to because the size of the new style water heaters are about 3 inches wider and as much as 5 inches taller...

    some brands actually feel like you are installing a refridgerator!! and this means having to literally come close to tearing the whole house apart to get one into a tight area.

    that might be a major factor the reason for the extra expence,
    as far as doing this yourself,

    someone in our town recently had a freind of a freind come over and install a water heater and hook up a gas dryer for him one night, payment consisted of .... for all the beer he could drink.
    Everything looked ok that night but two days later the house was blown off the foundation and it did damage to about 50 homes in the neighborhood.

    no one was killed, but you can guess the rest...
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2005
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