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Old 01-13-2015, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
1,856 posts, read 5,678,475 times
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Now is a good time to consider replacing these with gas tankless water heaters. Depending on the current configuration (both current tanks serving the entire house together) you might be able to go with just one tankless heater. Cost wise you're looking at near the same price as replacing two storage tank type water heaters.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:04 PM
 
92 posts, read 74,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TGentry View Post
2URGSE, do you recall how long the warranty is for the tanks for the price you paid?
9 year warranty. They were not the energy star rated units.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:07 PM
 
92 posts, read 74,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escanlan View Post
Now is a good time to consider replacing these with gas tankless water heaters. Depending on the current configuration (both current tanks serving the entire house together) you might be able to go with just one tankless heater. Cost wise you're looking at near the same price as replacing two storage tank type water heaters.
The last time I got quotes for tankless was about 2.5 years ago, and the cost was more than double the cost of two 50 gallon tanks. The payback was a bit longer then I was looking for.

Perhaps tankless prices have come down recently.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Prosper
6,268 posts, read 12,118,539 times
Reputation: 9325
Wow, can't believe that's the going rate these days for water heater replacement!

If you're going to be spending that much, I'd get tankless instead. You should save on installation costs, since they are much smaller and easier to work with.

If you are at all handy, I'd buy a tankless water heater, remove the old tanks yourself and put it out with the garbage, then call a plumber to install the tankless heater. (Or you can do that yourself too, if you're comfortable working with gas lines. The water line part is easy.)

Part of what you are paying for is the labor to remove the old tanks and get them out of your house and to haul it away, and your local trash service will pick them up if you give them a call.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:02 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,611 posts, read 31,169,837 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post
Wow, can't believe that's the going rate these days for water heater replacement!

If you're going to be spending that much, I'd get tankless instead. You should save on installation costs, since they are much smaller and easier to work with.

If you are at all handy, I'd buy a tankless water heater, remove the old tanks yourself and put it out with the garbage, then call a plumber to install the tankless heater. (Or you can do that yourself too, if you're comfortable working with gas lines. The water line part is easy.)

Part of what you are paying for is the labor to remove the old tanks and get them out of your house and to haul it away, and your local trash service will pick them up if you give them a call.
I dunno, I'd check with the city first where the OP lives; they might require a permit, and they might have regulations that dictate who is authorized to pull a permit for plumbing work and who is authorized to perform that work.

Also, the OP is not likely to know what municipal codes require for installing a gas hot water heater (I sure don't) and if there's a gas or plumbing leak later and the installation isn't code-compliant, their insurance company will probably tell them to pound sand.

Personally (and this is just ME), I would never ever touch gas lines. The person who installed my hot water heater claimed to be a licensed plumber. He was using someone else's license number and wasn't actually a plumber at all. The installation was not up to code in more ways than one, and caused a gas leak in my house a few months after he installed it. Luckily the home warranty company did cover the gas leak repair, but I was out of pocket to bring the install up to code (about $300). If I'd had to pay out of pocket for everything, it would have been over $2000. If my hot water heater pressure had gotten too high, the line leading out from the T&P valve would have melted shut because it was the wrong type of PVC. If there had been an explosion, my insurance company would not have covered it because the install was not to code and no inspection had been performed at the time of the original installation. I was unaware of this; the contractor told me that everything was "fine" and that the city signed off on the install. They hadn't.

It's up to code NOW and nothing bad happened (apart from the gas leak), but I shudder to think about what could have happened. I dodged a huge bullet there.

So...my advice to the OP would be to not tackle major plumbing jobs themselves. Especially when gas is involved. There's an empty lot in the neighborhood next to mine that used to have a house on it. That house was destroyed when a gas hot water heater with a gas leak exploded. The occupants were all killed.

Food for thought.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:10 AM
 
7,292 posts, read 8,128,081 times
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I've got two dying AO Smith 50 gallon water heaters. I just got a $2,940 bid to R&R them with new 50 gal. high efficiency units with electronic automatic shutoffs and a recirculation unit on one of the heaters.

I'm getting a bid on a tankless unit or two smaller tankless units as well that'll be ready later today.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:31 AM
 
769 posts, read 488,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
I dunno, I'd check with the city first where the OP lives; they might require a permit, and they might have regulations that dictate who is authorized to pull a permit for plumbing work and who is authorized to perform that work.
The Texas Homestead Act specifically allows a homeowner to work on the homestead's plumbing (including gas lines):

OCCUPATIONS CODE CHAPTER 1301. PLUMBERS

Sec. 1301.051. PLUMBING BY PROPERTY OWNER IN HOMESTEAD. A property owner is not required to be licensed under this chapter to perform plumbing in the property owner's homestead.

Welcome to the City of Dallas, Texas - Building Inspection

"Under the Texas Homestead Act, Texas Plumbing License Law and Texas Mechanical License Law, a person who owns, occupies and has homesteaded the home where the work is to be performed is exempted from the requirement of having a licensed person do the work and may do any kind of plumbing or mechanical work on his/her homestead themselves. The work performed by a homeowner requires a permit (when required by Chapter 52 of the Dallas Building Code) and inspection (if required). If no permit or inspection is required, the homeowner is required to comply with the plumbing/mechanical code."
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Prosper
6,268 posts, read 12,118,539 times
Reputation: 9325
As octo stated, you do not need to be licensed, and replacing water heaters does not require a permit either. It's just a simple swap, two water lines, and 1 gas line.

All the connections should already be there, it's just a matter of shutting off the valves for the water and gas, and unhooking the connection to the water heater, then reinstalling the new in the same way.

Tankless would be a different story, as you'd also have to run electrical and make sure that is done to code, but as far as I know, that still wouldn't require a permit.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:50 AM
 
Location: North Texas
23,611 posts, read 31,169,837 times
Reputation: 26678
Quote:
Originally Posted by octo View Post
The Texas Homestead Act specifically allows a homeowner to work on the homestead's plumbing (including gas lines):

OCCUPATIONS CODE CHAPTER 1301. PLUMBERS

Sec. 1301.051. PLUMBING BY PROPERTY OWNER IN HOMESTEAD. A property owner is not required to be licensed under this chapter to perform plumbing in the property owner's homestead.

Welcome to the City of Dallas, Texas - Building Inspection

"Under the Texas Homestead Act, Texas Plumbing License Law and Texas Mechanical License Law, a person who owns, occupies and has homesteaded the home where the work is to be performed is exempted from the requirement of having a licensed person do the work and may do any kind of plumbing or mechanical work on his/her homestead themselves. The work performed by a homeowner requires a permit (when required by Chapter 52 of the Dallas Building Code) and inspection (if required). If no permit or inspection is required, the homeowner is required to comply with the plumbing/mechanical code."
Quote:
Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post
As octo stated, you do not need to be licensed, and replacing water heaters does not require a permit either. It's just a simple swap, two water lines, and 1 gas line.

All the connections should already be there, it's just a matter of shutting off the valves for the water and gas, and unhooking the connection to the water heater, then reinstalling the new in the same way.

Tankless would be a different story, as you'd also have to run electrical and make sure that is done to code, but as far as I know, that still wouldn't require a permit.
Well, fine; but just because you're legally allowed to do something doesn't mean you should.

My recommendation to the OP would still be to let a licensed plumber do the work.

I've personally plumbed in sinks, bathtubs, and toilets and have installed washing machines and dishwashers in houses I've owned. It's never as easy as you think it is!
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:14 AM
 
94 posts, read 90,329 times
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OP here. Just got back from purchasing my new hot water tanks. Ended up at the competitor of the "orange" big box store. After using a 10% off coupon (not on installation charges), total with tax came to $2100 for 2- 50 gallon tanks. (Included in this price was an $120 charge to re-hook the recirculator, plus I purchased extended warranties for $60 per tank. There were also lots of little other things that were required, such as new copper pipes, "nipples"... whatever those are, etc.)

Apparently, the manufacture warranty (9 years, in my case) includes parts and labor only for the first year. Years 2-9 would be parts only. Although as a general rule I don't purchase extended warranties, I felt it was a wise move in this case. A different plumber, from whom I received a quote for $2600, told me his tanks were warranted under the manufacturer's warranty for 6 years. Not I understand that that meant parts only for years 2-6.
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