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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Default Water Heater Installation Cost

    My water heater broke and I bought one from Lowes for $330 and opted for a Lowes contractor to install it for a base installation price of $300.

    The new heater was just a tad shorter than the old one so they had to put in new copper pipes to accommodate it. They also increased the size of the vent to a 4", which I was told was due to code. These were considered upgrades and they ended up charging me an additional $500 to install it. Total install cost: $800.

    My question is, was I ripped off? I watched them the entire time and they weren't exactly performing brain surgery by cutting the copper pipes and soldering them together. It took them about 2 hours to get everything done including bringing in/out their equipment. They made it sound like the job was really complicated when they were asking whether I wanted them to install it or not (meaning opt for the upgrade) I was left to believe it was something intensive. I have no handyman experience at all. If I was not ripped off, why does this cost so much?

    I live in North New Jersey and the contractors were Bogush in Wallington, NJ.



    Last edited by HelloJerry; 02-05-2014 at 10:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Water Heater Installation Cost

    When a water heater is too short, you can either:

    1. Lengthen the supply pipes, as your installers did.

    2. Use flex supply lines, as we do in California. This option still needs additional plumbing and soldering.

    3. Place the new water heater on a stand that you can build from extra materials laying around: 2x4s, bricks, blocks.

    Now let's talk about the charges. $300 basic installation - acceptable for Northern New jersey. $500 for additional upgrades - excessive, even for your area.

    Now, remember that watching the plumbers (?) working is still not a criteria to determine that they don't deserve that much money. A plumber in your area charges up to $125 an hour, so you do the math.

    If you feel that you were ripped off, contact Lowe's and your state contractor's board. You might get a small rebate, or not. Lowe's is acting as a middleman here, but it still supposed to be responsible for their subcontractors' actions.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Water Heater Installation Cost

    Another thing: Have they installed a 3/4" copper pipe, leading to the floor on the P&T valve? pictures don't show that.

    And one last thing: Don't store any flammable materials near the water heater (gas containers, old paint buckets, chemicals, etc.)

    Keep us informed.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Water Heater Installation Cost

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Another thing: Have they installed a 3/4" copper pipe, leading to the floor on the P&T valve? pictures don't show that.
    Yes. Additional pic below.



    Thanks for the info above. I tried calling a 3 plumbers and Home Depot today but no one answered their phone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Montreal Canada
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    Default Re: Water Heater Installation Cost

    the job looks well done in my opinion,When people ask for a quote on a job not seen extras will happen. I would have suggest changing the gas valve, those valves (lubricate Plug) can leak when used and not retightened. There is something that i never saw before is a ground wire from the hot to the cold pipes. Where is this required by code and why I am curious.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Water Heater Installation Cost

    The T&P valve copper pipe looks fine.

    Tell me, is that a dent on the bottom of the water heater in the latest photo?

  7. #7
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    7,243

    Default Re: Water Heater Installation Cost

    It bears mentioning, that the subcontractors to big box stores are locked into a specific price for the services rendered. You were charged $300 by the box store for a basic installation, the installer probably got half of that, maybe 2/3. Where the big boxes LOVE to make their money is on the extras. They give you the basics relatively cheaply, knowing you will need something more, and this is where they get you.

    IMHO, if the plumbers were in and out of there in 2 hours, the $800 price tag for the job was rather steep. Having just replaced a water heater myself, I can tell you that the additional materials they used were less than $100, which means they were over charging for the work - IMHO.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  8. #8
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Water Heater Installation Cost

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    The T&P valve copper pipe looks fine.

    Tell me, is that a dent on the bottom of the water heater in the latest photo?
    No, that is a plastic bag that contains documentation. THAT...is...probably a fire hazard and I should remove it. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2014
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    13

    Default Re: Water Heater Installation Cost

    Quote Originally Posted by bill shack View Post
    the job looks well done in my opinion,When people ask for a quote on a job not seen extras will happen. I would have suggest changing the gas valve, those valves (lubricate Plug) can leak when used and not retightened. There is something that i never saw before is a ground wire from the hot to the cold pipes. Where is this required by code and why I am curious.
    I'm in Nutley, NJ and when the city inspector comes, I'll be sure to ask about the ground wire.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Water Heater Installation Cost

    I would go back to the person at Lowes that made the arrangements for the installation and explain to him/her what happened. You may get some money back.

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