Post Reply The last time you replace your Water Heater ?
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Posted 12/26/17 , edited 12/28/17
Our water heater died on Christmas Day It's almost 11 year old. I'm asking for quotes from the local home depot and costco to see how much it will cost or should i install it myself. Anyone here replaced the water heater before ? How much did you pay for the it (parts + labor? Same day service ?

I read through the guides and watched the installation videos. I'm still a bit nervous since it will be the first time doing this for me

Do you have any tips/advice for someone who will be doing it for the first time ?





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Posted 12/26/17 , edited 12/26/17

dulun18 wrote:
Do you have any tips/advice for someone who will be doing it for the first time ?


This belongs in the Advice, Info, Recommendations forum, so I've moved it there. In the future please take more care -- don't just post everything in Miscellaneous.
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Posted 12/26/17 , edited 12/26/17
Wish I could help you. They replaced my water heater in my apartment earlier in this year, but that was all on the maintenance and not on me.
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62 / M / Earth
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Posted 12/26/17 , edited 12/26/17
If it's gas, don't do it yourself... Mess that up, and everyone in your house could die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Conventional water heaters are a ripoff. Whether it is gas or electric, either one is at best 55% efficient. You are wasting almost half of your energy costs just keeping a tank of water hot, and then you can still run out.

You're lucky your old one lasted you 11 years. Don't expect more than 5 out of a direct replacement... they purposely don't make them any better than they have to to last that long.

A plumber can charge as much as $1000 to do a conventional one for you.

An on-demand gas heater (again, professional install only) can cost you 3-4 times that much, but they are guaranteed for 20 years, so in light of planned obsolescence of the conventional ones, the installation costs are a wash over time.

But an on-demand gas heater is 96% efficient, and you don't ever run out of hot water. Mine is rated to deliver up to 7 gals/minute, my shower only uses 1.6. I can have shower, dishwasher, laundry, and sink all going and not run out.

Over that same 20 years, you save about half of what you are paying in energy costs, so you come out ahead in the long run to have one of those. If you have hard water, though, you may need to descale it annually, or install a water softener, so there's that.

Electricity in my area is much more expensive than gas, so I would never recommend an electric conventional heater. My gas bills are set up in a weird tier, $40 fixed cost per month just to be hooked up, and then the additional amount by actual therms used. This past summer, with the on-demand heater the variable monthly charge for therms used never cost me more than an additional $4, so it is very cheap to operate compared to my old one.
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Posted 12/26/17 , edited 12/26/17
i got quote from a contractor via Costco.

$1299 to replace a 50 gallon 40,000 BTU gas water heater with 10 year part and 2 year labor. The saleman didn't like it when i asked a lot of questions about how they will do theconnection the new water heater or about the specs of the water heater that they will install for me

I guess it's a no dealg :/ i'll just install it myself. The new water heater has similar dimensions beside the flue and drain pipes i don't need to make any other adjustments... The only worry is how to get this 160lb water heater up and down 2ft concrete block by myself :sweatingbullets:

Uniform Energy Factor 0.64
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rheem-Performance-Plus-50-Gal-Tall-9-Year-40-000-BTU-High-Efficiency-Natural-Gas-Water-Heater-XG50T09HE40U0/204698003

The energy star certified ones are around 0.68-ish so i think this will be ok. I live in Phoenix Arizona we only need to use the water 2-3 months out of the year, other months it's on pilot lighting setting pretty much. I can't wait for 2 weeks to get those energy star certified models. We need hot water now.

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Posted 12/26/17 , edited 12/26/17
I installed it myself and took about 2 hours because you have to drain the old tank and then fill the new tank sort of thing. remember to measure the spot/heater and then go from there. it's not that complicated and/or hard to do, and there are youtube self help videos that's what helped me a lot. it could be easier to just let someone else do it for you, however I'm the type of person who wants to be as independent and knowledgeable as possible. it cost around 400 bucks give or take because it had to be a small one to go back into the spot it came from. the first one lasted for 15 years the second one is running on 5 years now, so I'm not certain how much they cost now, but I'm certain they have gone up in price like all things have. best of luck, and at least yours lasted a good long while.
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Posted 12/26/17 , edited 12/26/17
It really isn't difficult to replace a water heater, gas or electric. As long as the dimensions of the space it is going in are sufficient, they're kind of the equivalent of "plug n' play." I'll write it out in steps:
1. Be sure to turn the gas to the old on off before anything else
2. Turn the cold water supply off. If you don't have a shut off at the tank, now would be a good time to install on
3. Open the hot side on any faucet to release the pressure. Close it about half way and leave it there, as you'll need to purge the air from the tank through it anyhow.
4. Drain the old tank--and that can be more difficult than it sounds if it hasn't been maintained yearly, as sediment builds up in the bottom and plugs the drain valve. If it's in a basement without a sump pump or rainwater drain, you'll need to pail the water outside or to a drain by hand. If it's above ground level, just run a garden hose from it to outside and let it flow at the most convenient location. If, by chance, nothing comes out when you open the drain valve, skip this step--you'll have to horse the tank to wherever you can safely dump the water and either turn it on its side or give the valve a solid blow with a large hammer.
5. Remove the old tank--straightforward: disconnect the two water lines and gas line; the vent more or less just sits on there but might be screwed to the exhaust duct. The new water heater comes with one, so remove it, too. You'll also want to save the line coming from the pressure relief valve if it is present
6. Inspect your water supply lines; braided lines will have rubber washers in the ends that wear out and should be replaced, galvanized lines usually have a coupling just above the tank.
7. Roll the old tank out of the way
8. Roll the new tank into position. You noted that it is up on 2 feet of concrete; if you're moving it by yourself, make a ramp out of a 2x4 or plank of plywood and "walk" it up
9. Reconnect the lines and install the exhaust. The tank should be stamped on top with "C" and "H," for cold and hot, or have red and blue inserts around the connections; make sure the lines are going to the correct one.
10. Connect piping to the pressure relief valve--code insists that it be present and terminate, I think, it was no more than 6 inches from the floor and no less than twice the pipe diameter. If it isn't present... don't ever have the gas company make a service call
11. Open the cold water supply and wait for the tank to fill. The faucet that you left open will hiss as the air is purged from the tank; once you have a continuous stream of water, the tank is full and you can turn it off.
12. Open the gas valve at the tank and light the pilot.

Consequently, if you don't use hot water often, consider a tankless (or "on-demand") replacement. They aren't difficult to install, either, but code compliance is an issue of concern with them, so professional installation would be recommended.
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Posted 12/27/17 , edited 12/28/17
Modern water heaters should last about 10 years. Mileage may vary based on maintenance and type of water you have. The Anode should be replaced relatively often, every 2-3 years or when it starts to wear out. When my dad was replacing them, we got about 20-25 years off of each tank, the last one after he passed away I forgot about that and it wore out in about 11 years. So back to replacing the anodes.

Ours was about $6k, but that includes the solar panels to heat the water, most of which was covered by rebates. Total cost installed was about $1500. I realize you probably cannot wait, but going solar on a water heater is a serious electricity / gas saver. Much of an electrical or gas bill is tied up to the heater. In Phoenix, you should get enough sun most of the year that a solar heater setup would make a lot of financial sense. Along with a Solar PV system for regular electricity. Although expensive (but falling in price all the time, although the rebates are expiring) they do pay for themselves pretty quickly in many locations. Especially for water heaters. Almost all homes here use them.

Of course, in the case of a new installation it is pricey because water lines will need to be run from the roof to the tank. Although I think there are newer systems which are powered by a PV panel or two and a battery by the tank. Which would minimize the cost somewhat I think. Still, again with the gas / power savings, it should pay for itself and any future tank replacements.

Personally I would have a professional do it. If they screw it up, it is on them. If something happens later on and you do it, then chances are your insurance will not cover it even if the fault was not in your installation. To me fighting an insurance company is not worth the few hundred bucks of hiring a bonded professional. It has less to do with their skills, so much as how easy it is to collect on insurance when something happens. And something always happens.
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Posted 12/28/17 , edited 12/28/17
Advice when looking at quote see if dumping the old unit is part of the price in California its expensive to take to dump(50-100.00) pending size.
Not a hard project-probably the hardest part is installing the earthquake strapping high and low points-in my area their are companies that install and supply them 7 days a week-Just HotWatterheaters.com
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Posted 12/28/17 , edited 12/28/17

dulun18 wrote:

Our water heater died on Christmas Day It's almost 11 year old. I'm asking for quotes from the local home depot and costco to see how much it will cost or should i install it myself. Anyone here replaced the water heater before ? How much did you pay for the it (parts + labor? Same day service ?

I read through the guides and watched the installation videos. I'm still a bit nervous since it will be the first time doing this for me

Do you have any tips/advice for someone who will be doing it for the first time ?






as the diagram indicates you have an electric water heater I feel it's my duty to offer professional advice. I'm an electrician and i MUST INSIST you take utmost precaution. Your water heater uses 220/240 volts AC power. Coupled with possible water on the floor from draining and this is a recipe for serious or fatal accidents. Before you even remove the set screws that hold the electrical wire turn off your breaker. This isn't really an optional step. Getting zapped by your run of the mill electrical outlet is one thing, the volts/amps your water heater draws is lethal.

That said I recently replaced my 7yr old water heater with a tank less. My house is 3bed 1 bath and the tank less I purchased is rated for 4bed 1 and 1/2 bath. That said it keeps water hot up to 9 gallons per minute. I can take a shower, do dishes, ect and water never goes cold. The only exception is my bath tub faucet runs full blast at about 11 gallons per minute so the bath has to fill a bit slower then full blast. Tank less ran my $300, 2 60amp breakers ran by $43, 70ft of #6 wire ran me $130 and full install took me an hour. I simply ran the new wire from breaker panel, 20 feet over and used the existing water connections. Plus now I am putting a garage sink in where the water heater was as my tank less is mounted on the wall. Yay me! Had it up for 3 months now and electric bill is down an average of 5,000kw

If your swapping tank for tank other then earthquake strapping and electrical precautions it will be pretty straight forward and shouldn't take you more then an hour or two tops.
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Posted 12/28/17 , edited 12/28/17

DevinKuska wrote:



as the diagram indicates you have an electric water heater I feel it's my duty to offer professional advice. I'm an electrician and i MUST INSIST you take utmost precaution. Your water heater uses 220/240 volts AC power. Coupled with possible water on the floor from draining and this is a recipe for serious or fatal accidents. Before you even remove the set screws that hold the electrical wire turn off your breaker. This isn't really an optional step. Getting zapped by your run of the mill electrical outlet is one thing, the volts/amps your water heater draws is lethal.

That said I recently replaced my 7yr old water heater with a tank less. My house is 3bed 1 bath and the tank less I purchased is rated for 4bed 1 and 1/2 bath. That said it keeps water hot up to 9 gallons per minute. I can take a shower, do dishes, ect and water never goes cold. The only exception is my bath tub faucet runs full blast at about 11 gallons per minute so the bath has to fill a bit slower then full blast. Tank less ran my $300, 2 60amp breakers ran by $43, 70ft of #6 wire ran me $130 and full install took me an hour. I simply ran the new wire from breaker panel, 20 feet over and used the existing water connections. Plus now I am putting a garage sink in where the water heater was as my tank less is mounted on the wall. Yay me! Had it up for 3 months now and electric bill is down an average of 5,000kw

If your swapping tank for tank other then earthquake strapping and electrical precautions it will be pretty straight forward and shouldn't take you more then an hour or two tops.


My bad. I'm the visual type so i like to include some random picture of the topic in the 1st post. I have a natural gas water heater. I got it up and running as of 11PM :). I still need to do some soldering to direct the TP drain line to the outside though. There's no earthquake or drain pan requirement here.

Tankless for $300? are you talking about those point of use ones? since the whole house tankless water heater will cost you a few grands. I don't remember them being that cheap


https://www.homedepot.com/b/Plumbing-Water-Heaters-Tankless-Gas/N-5yc1vZc1u0

I think there's also point of use water heater. You can buy one and set one up under the kitchen sink.
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Posted 12/30/17 , edited 12/30/17
Things to learn - Replaced water heater - !!

total cost (tax included in prices)

$650-ish for the heater
$140-ish for tools and supplies (new water lines (x2), gas line, compression fittings, solder kit, cooper pipe, connectors, etc..)

$790-ish installed (Do it yourself) vs $1299 quote i got from Costco's contractor. 9 year part and 2 year labor warranty. The new tools i had to buy i can reuse so the 2nd time on word will be a lot cheaper. I would just need the new water heater ($650) water supply lines (x2) ($10-$12 each) and gas line ($18) . and that's it !

I picked the one with a separate anode rod so it will be easy to replace. It will be easy to tilt the tank so there's no need to pay for those $45-$60 anode rod anymore, any $15-$20 anode rod will work now I can replace the anode rod every 3-4 years and get 20+ years out of this water heater! The compression fittings will make it easy to replace the water heater in the future as well. It should not take more than 1 hour to install a new water heater with this set up.

** I still have to solder the drain line though*** I'll do it on my free time. It's no rush now that we have hot water again.



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