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Old 06-08-2015, 10:29 AM   #1
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Replacement water heater...


My 50 gallon induced draft water heater is 10 years old. This winter I had to clean up the flame sensor and was surprised at how rusty it is down there. I am thinking it is better to replace it at my convenience than in an emergency.
I contacted two plumber from "HomeAdvisor". One got back to me immediately with:

'We sell AO smith and Bradford white they are the 2 top rated water heater manufacturers and the most efficient for the 50gal. power vent models they run 1236.25 for the water heater, Installs generally run 250 for fittings and labor.'

I have a few questions...
1) Do these companies just make one 50 gallon water heater, or should I be asking what model they would use?
2) AO Smith or Bradford White? Is $1236 a reasonable price?
3) I am put off by the word "generally". He hasn't seen the site so he doesn't know what is involved, so presumably the $250 is for nothing odd; which mine isn't. Is it fair to think he would tell me when he got here if it wasn't going to be $250, rather than surprising me on the bill?

Thanks
I have no experience with contractors as for 30 years I have done all my own work (including installing a water heater) but I would rather leave it to someone else now.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:46 AM   #2
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$1200 for a 50 gal power vent is about right. $250 for the install is cheap. I assume that includes removal and disposal of the old.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:02 AM   #3
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I would be suspicious of the $250 labor cost. Is the water heater located upon a stand in the garage, on the floor in the home? There are variables in the time taken and possibly the need for 2 men to do the job. These water heaters are heavy when they are new but are heavier when minerals are built up inside. You do not want anyone to hurt themselves lifting your old wh. Hauling away for disposal is another cost of time and possibly a disposal fee. Make sure you are dealing with a qualified Plumber who understands the the danger of a gas wh, if this is a gas install. Venting in the newer water heater can be expensive if they have a blower motor to vent. It is getting very costly to adhere to the new Water Heater Standards. The public pays for these high efficiency installs. Just do your homework to learn what all is involved so you can talk intelligently to the Plumber. All the best.

Last edited by srloren; 06-08-2015 at 11:05 AM. Reason: left out a word
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:27 PM   #4
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785.00 for online Rheem.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:28 PM   #5
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http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rheem-Per...42U0/204318426
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:44 PM   #6
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"rusty" isn't generally a term that I use to condemn an appliance. Usually they have a glass lining for insulation purposes. If that cracks, then you have to change it. But at your convenience can't be beat. 😉

Personally, I like the condensing hw heaters. They are double the price but quickly save that in gas costs. Usually there isn't much difference between price and quality between the models and manufacturers in the same category. The biggest differences are size, heating method, and efficiency.

$250 does sound low for around here but a few hours drive away from here, not so much. Materials for New venting alone can easily more then that depending upon the situation. Have him look at the job, and give you a solid price. Ask for his qualifications.

Good luck.

Cheers!
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