$900 to install a hot water heater? (hot water heater cost extra)

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Does that sound right?

I've gotten two estimates. Both only had a final price with no breakdown of costs. I was able to find the cost of the model of the water heater they were going to install and it was $900 less than the total cost. After doing a little reading, it seemed like $400 was a reasonable rate for the cost of installation. I'm wanting to buy and deliver the water heater to my house as it's not a big deal.

I'm really disappointed in both companies because it sure feels like they are pulling a fast one. I'm not big into haggling but I'm not a fan of getting ripped off either.

Am I really this far off and the labor really should cost $900?
 

EagleGuy

Well-known member
I can't remember how much I was charged about ten years ago to have a water heater installed, including the cost of the heater.

However, I think I would remember if it were much more than $1000. That said, your estimates sound like they are on the high end for installation alone.


BTW Agree 100% with your last statement. Sad. You would think two or three estimates would be enough but, sometimes not. Good luck.
 

Zunardo

Well-known member
$900 seems very pricey just to install a tank heater. Bought a new one three years ago at a nearby smalltown Ace Hardware, and they hooked me up with a local guy to do the install. Think he charged $200 or so.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
It is way too much, the problem is finding a plumber to show up. We have a guy that was always a little higher but not rip off, he did great work and showed up so we stayed loyal and he returned the favor. They kind of have you by the balls as living without hot water is not possible especially with a lady in the house. Good luck.
 

CatAlum

Well-known member
Isn’t this how markets work?

Generally, service people who are competent and reasonable to a little high priced do best. At the moment, the market is in flux and we don’t have enough labor. Charging more…pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered. If you’re in that industry, don’t you charge more? Not to the point that you burn a bridge…right?

Just a theoretical question for us. We’ve got an HVAC/plumber close relative…we jump to the front of the line; he’s very good and he’s a little on the high end…but well worth it.

At least we‘re not talking about oil…the only industry where the public seems to take an interest in how prices are determined, etc.
 

arizonawildcat

Well-known member
I've stuck with the same plumber for the last five years. He started out as an apprentice when he was 16. He then became a full-fledged licensed plumber. Now he doesn't even charge for small tasks. Last time I talked with him he was complaining about all the taxes he had to pay. He told me he made $184,000 last year and he is only 21. The heck with college, become a plumber.
 

Auggie

Well-known member
I've stuck with the same plumber for the last five years. He started out as an apprentice when he was 16. He then became a full-fledged licensed plumber. Now he doesn't even charge for small tasks. Last time I talked with him he was complaining about all the taxes he had to pay. He told me he made $184,000 last year and he is only 21. The heck with college, become a plumber.
This. My plumber’s wife drives a G Wagon.

Also electricians are in the same category and have better hours as they usually don’t get the emergency calls a plumber does.
 

irish_buffalo

Well-known member

I helped a buddy swap his out a couple years ago. I understand people's apprehension to screwing around with gas lines and electrical but it is not as difficult as you might think.
 

NothingButTheTruth

Well-known member
We just replaced the electric hot water heater at our family farm in Southwestern Pennsylvania this summer. The farm is about a 25 minute drive from town. Total price including installation was $1,308.
 

D4fan

Well-known member
Electric water heater install should be significantly lower than gas. Is the heater in a basement? If so, is getting the old heater up and out part of the install?

I can easily do 2 swap outs a day, so ten heaters / week @ $900 each equals $9,000 in labor. That does seem high, as in 3-4 times what I typically see. But don't know how short tradesmen are in your area? In our area, HVAC guys are charging $200-$300/hr . A typical whole house new installation that used around $4,000 in materials cost $26,000 on a new home build I worked on this year. The plumber a d electrician were much more in line with historical norms.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
New water heater was installed and they did it for less than $350 for labor. Took less than 2 hours.

After the first two estimates, I figured they were both trying to pay people at multiple levels to make a good amount of money. Hiring an independent person with one truck and no extra overhead saved alot of money. I would rather help out the little guy who is reasonable rather than paying for the worker, the accountant, the answering service, the manager, and the owner. It was a real eye-opener.
 
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