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Water Heaters

Water heaters… code upgrades…permits. . . removal! It’s a nightmare. Thank goodness you have a residential service contract on your house – because you are going to save money – especially if you need to have your water heater replaced.

Many people think that the only remedy for a water heater problem is replacement. Actually, 80% of our water heater claims are repaired without replacement.

However, for the 20% that do need replacement, I want to share some information with you. Five years ago Nations could install a new water heater and all you would have had to pay was the co-pay.

Those days are long gone. The average cost (Home Depot) to replace a water heater and bring the equipment up to city code is running close to $1,200.00.

When you call Home Depot, they will quote $189 installation fee, only. But, when they get to your house you can expect that $1,200 invoice.

With the major movement to make water heaters safer in homes, national organizations that create standards (such as the Uniform Plumbing Code) and city inspectors are creating that safety. Most water heaters that are replaced were installed over fifteen years ago when code requirements were very simple.

It really makes sense, when you think of the homeowner’s insurance company’s vulnerability, to have stricter rules for installing the equipment. Imagine a water heater that is installed in an attic, without a pan, bursting. It could cost the company tens of thousands of dollars to repair the home.

Nation’s contractors are responsible and must abide by each city’s code regulations (over 50 cities in the Metroplex and 50 different requirements), and the homeowner has to pay the contractor for these additional new code items that are required.

If the equipment is installed incorrectly, the insurance company could deny paying claims if the house floods or burns later.

The company’s responsibility to the homeowner is to replace the water heater and the average cost is $500.00. The following items are what we provide:

  1. Either gas or electric water heater (50 gallon maximum). A gas water heater is $130 more than an electric, because it has a closed gas system to control nitrous oxide gases (mandated as of August 2003).
  2. Gas valve (when gas water heater is replaced)
  3. Drain valve
  4. Temperature/ pressure valve
  5. Water shut-off valve
  6. Labor to install the water heater
  7. Labor to move old heater to curbside

When a water heater needs to be replaced, residential service companies do not pay for code upgrades, permits, removal, extra labor or access to the unit under the basic coverage. Most replacements, because of the new codes, require the following items that the you are responsible to purchase. The average price is $700.00.

  1. Dielectric corrosion protection- to prevent water lines from corrosion
  2. Water heater permit /city inspector fee to inspect after installation
  3. Gas stop shut off – turns by hand
  4. Gas flex line- is not reusable per manufacturer’s specifications
  5. 18” stand and re-piping the water lines
  6. Drain pan with a gravity flow drain line
  7. Flue fittings
  8. Removal of water heater from property

Other costs that you may face are special code upgrades, extra labor or access fees. These prices are quoted, from the plumbing contractor, on a case per case installation:

  1. Extra labor and handling fees for water heaters that is above the ground level floor
  2. If there is inadequate work space, the labor fees for access to the water heater
  3. Installation of a drain line from the drain pan to the outside of house (required on pier and beam houses)
  4. Water sensing and automatic shut-off unit installed in pan
  5. Expansion tank (2 gallon)
  6. Upgrade flue pipe installation
  7. Circulation Pump
  8. Any additional changes required by the city inspector.

Helpful Hint: To extend the life of the water heater, have it “flushed” out once a year.