View Poll Results: Where did you get your water heater?

Voters
10. This poll is closed
  • Local plumber

    1 10.00%
  • Big box store (Sears, Home Depot, Lowes,...)

    7 70.00%
  • Haven't needed to yet

    0 0%
  • Other

    2 20.00%
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1

    Cool New water heater: Home Depot or a local plumber?

    I am planning to replace my water heater in the next couple of weeks and I'm facing a dilemma. I can save about $500 if I go with a water heater from Lowes/Home Depot/Sears vs. getting it installed by a local plumber. What is the added benefit from using the local plumber?

    I have been looking at the higher-end water heaters from the big stores (12-year warranty with more insulation, ...). So, would I get a water heater that much better from a plumber?

    Thanks for your opinion.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: New water heater: Home Depot or a local plumber?

    You are going to get a lot of negative responses about buying from Lowe's or HD . Including " they sell inferior quality merchandise , blah , blah " . They sell much of the same products that your local plumber carries , except for maybe the really high end stuff and they sub-contract the installation to the local guys anyway .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: New water heater: Home Depot or a local plumber?

    i would get mine from the plumbing supply house.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: New water heater: Home Depot or a local plumber?

    Quote Originally Posted by misfitter View Post
    i would get mine from the plumbing supply house.
    Care to elaborate ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: New water heater: Home Depot or a local plumber?

    djohns-

    i like the big box stores for the weekends and the after hours parts store. But, for me, the plumbing supply house is were you would would find the professional advice, materials, information, and people. Yes, it is at the big box stores-sometimes. But, also the quality of the water heater itself is better.

    Check out the drain valve on the Bradford White or the AO Smith. At the big box store it is a cheap piece-o-crap plastic one. Now the one from my local supply house here in town is a nice bronze one. Yes, the price is $10-15 more. Oh well. Also, I drop off the old water heater there as well.

    I just pefer to support the local guys over the nation wide stores. This goes for Ferguson Supply as well. I like Ferguson and I think the are very proffessional, But I perfer the independent one in my town called Colemann Supply. I pefer local over the Home Depots, Walmarts, etc.

    Process of elimination. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: New water heater: Home Depot or a local plumber?

    I just had a water heater replaced a few months ago . The old one was over 20 yrs old and had a plastic drain valve , so I wouldn't use that as a reference point . The new water heater was installed by licensed plumbers . They left the gas line loose and leaking . I found it and tightened it . They also left the old unit out at the street for the trash man . At least LOWE'S installers would have removed the old one as part of the service . My point is , using a local supply house or plumber doesn't guarantee better products or service .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: New water heater: Home Depot or a local plumber?

    i checked this out before. jack the shack refer site called water heater rescue. good site has info on difference between making a five year water heater into a 15 year one. cheaper to upgrade a good brand one yourself.

    home depot only sells GE branded electric and gas water heaters. GE doesn't make water heaters, they are made by rheem.

    i'd rather get a branded rheem then a cheap home depot version that has to be supported through another company that doesn't even make water heaters.

    i wouldn't get a kenmore either also made by others usually rheem/aosmith/rodgers. i don't trust sears to be around that much longer.

    stick with a real name brand, that way you can get anyone you want who is authorized dealer or rep to get parts for you. the brand company can send out other plumber to honor their warranty if the one you used isn't around or you don't like him anymore.

    if needed someone else to do the install i'd hire a real plumber. lowes and home depot use independent sub contractors to do the install sometimes they sub it down even further. you could end up with a handyman ex-con doing your install. they usually use a flex connector on gas too and ignore a leaky old style valve.

    a real plumber will disinfect the new plumbing connection to.

    plumber will haul it if you ask him to sometimes you got to ask them to leave it cuz they take the scrap money. scrap even steel is up, plenty of peddlers will come take it if you want them to also they strip it down pound it and will sell for scrap why deny a man his living putting it in the dump?
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 06-07-2008 at 05:28 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    near St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: New water heater: Home Depot or a local plumber?

    I bought a GE gas-fired water heater from HD about 3 years ago. I am happy with it. If you go this route make sure you get the model with the 12 year warranty. They have a beefier anode rod and last longer. (Ideally you’d change your anode rod periodically but I don’t think most people do.) Also, if you are the least bit handy you can install it yourself if it is a simple swap out of the older water heater for the new water heater. (The proper venting will already be in place and all the piping will be in place. You just need to take the old one out and put the new one in.) I installed mine and saved about $300. Just make sure you use Teflon tape on the gas fitting and make sure it is the Teflon tape made for gas fittings. (I think it is yellow – check the package to be sure.) Also, after you hook the gas up to the new water heater make sure you test for gas leaks. The easy test is the sniff test – do you smell gas with your nose right up to the fitting? The other test is the bubble test. Make up a solution of liquid dish soap and water. (Or you could use laundry soap – it just has to form bubbles easily.) Paint or spray or wipe some of this soapy solution over the gas fitting. If it is leaking you will see bubbles forming as the gas leaks out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: New water heater: Home Depot or a local plumber?

    If you need an electric hot water heater, check with your electric company. Our electric co-op offers a discount to upgrade to high efficiency units and they have a life time warranty.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    near St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: New water heater: Home Depot or a local plumber?

    Whichever water heater you get make sure to check the efficiency factor (commonly abbreviated EF) of the models you are considering. This is the percentage of heat produced that actually gets converted into hot water. For example, if you hot water heater has an EF of 0.59 then 59% of the heat produced by burning gas goes into heating the water and the rest goes out the flue. Also make sure it is well insulated.

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