Water heater died. Need advice on picking new one


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Old 06-04-20, 12:18 PM
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Water heater died. Need advice on picking new one

My current water heater is a Bradford White 48 gallon natural gas unit. The ventilation fan just runs all the time but the gas burner never comes on. So now I'm looking to get it replaced but need some help in my research.

I went to a Menards store and looked at what they had and talked to a salesperson. They told me that I need to get one that's the same height as my current one, but that seemed a bit odd. Can't an installer change the vent pipe length to accomodate the height of the new unit? Mine has a tank height of 46.5" and the height to the vent pipe connection is 55". I didn't see a unit in the store that exactly matched that.

As for price, it seemed that the big factor that made a unit more expensive was the rate of gas flow to reheat the water in the unit. I live alone in a 2 bedroom house, so large capacity and quick recharge aren't big concerns for me. I'd be happy enough with a 40 gallon unit.

Now for the questions: Is Richmond a good brand? That's what they sell at Menards.
Also, I was thinking of buying the unit there and hiring an installer to deliver it and install it. Is that the way to do it? I only have a car and am not experienced in this type of work, so I wouldn't be able to do it myself.

Thank you in advance for the help!
 
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Old 06-04-20, 12:48 PM
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I do know the plumbing pro highly recommends Bradford White water heaters.
 
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Old 06-04-20, 06:59 PM
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Richmond is Rheem..

stick with bradford white if you can.

You can get anything if the warranty is there..

example regardless of the heaters we install you get a 6 yr, or 10 year parts labor tank warranty..

What does your guys offer?
 
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Old 06-05-20, 03:48 AM
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The least expensive install cost should be with the replacement heater being same model as the removed one. Gas and vent connections should not require any changes. If the installer charges by job versus time, charges for material and labor are included so you can choose any brand.
 
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Old 06-05-20, 04:01 AM
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How old is the old heater? About 5 to 7 years ago, new regulations demanded increased insulation so size of heaters are bigger in both height and diameter, and piping changes will be necessary to replace an old one. But that should not be a problem.

I have found that "best" rated heaters seem to change from year to year regardless of brand. Most are 6 year warranty. Now days any WH will have a life span of about 10 years. Plan on buying a new one about that time.
 
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Old 06-10-20, 01:08 PM
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My heater is 18 years old.
 
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Old 06-10-20, 04:28 PM
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You won't see that again. I just replaced my 18 year old unit last year.

I think HD is offering a 12 year warranty. Neighbor just called and asked if it's worth it. I said at the price of a 6 year of another brand, sure.
 
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Old 06-13-20, 02:29 PM
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Would the water heater last longer if the anode rod was replaced after 6 or 12 years, depending on how long the warranty was good for? I never replaced the anode rod in my heater, and it's still lasted for 18 years. Would it have lasted longer if I had replaced the rod?
 
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Old 06-13-20, 02:55 PM
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Probably not. Sediment builds up making for an inefficient burner. Often the cold water dip tube begins to deteriorate. Figure it this way. A new heater cost between $400 and a $1000. Divide that by 8 to 10 years and you get about $40 to $100 a year for use of the tank. All things considered, not too bad.
 
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Old 06-14-20, 03:48 PM
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The biggest issue is the labor. I use Home Depot and Rheem is its biggest brand. After filtering the choices by
1. 40 gallon
2. tall
3. atmospheric (no power vent or direct vent or power direct vent)
4. natural gas
Only 10 left. And almost everyone chooses the cheapest one with 6 years warranty (3000+ reviews vs 200 reviews etc). The cheapest one only cost $400. The more expensive models have (1) low NOx (I don't care) (2) brass drain valve (I can put my old brass drain valve back on) (3) heat water faster (I don't care and am happy to save energy bill) (4) longer warranty. (I heard the difference is the number and size of anode rods in the WH.)

So the cost of the heater is very low. The labor part is the killer. $600+ for installation and about $200 for permit. I guess as long as one can install the WH himself, it is a very cheap job.
 
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Old 06-15-20, 11:31 AM
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Permit? I didn't know a permit was needed. And at $200, it's half the cost of the heater I was planning on getting.
 
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Old 06-16-20, 03:34 AM
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Some areas require a permit, some areas required a licensed plumber, and some place do not require any special qualifications. If your town requires a permit or a licensed plumber and you do not want to follow those rules, then you do it on the sneak, and take your old tank to the town dump yourself. You do not leave it curb side.
 
 

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