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Old 04-28-2008, 12:19 PM
7 posts, read 23,079 times
Reputation: 10


I live in plano and I had a water heater leak and called the plumber company from yahoo yellow pages. A rep came in and told me that I have to replace 1 water heater immediately as it has a hole and other one was in a very bad shape and had too be replaced soon .

He said I have to replace immediately otherwise the whole house was going to flood and spoil my beautiful furniture. I asked him if he could turn the water off, he said he could not turn the knob as it was broken and when I asked him if there was any other way to shut the water off and he said no. I asked him if it would not flood and be safe at least for 24 hrs ? he said no. He said he had water heaters on his truck ready and could do the replacement immediately and I do not have to worry.

My husband was in flight and I could not reach him.So scared, I asked him to replace both the water heaters on his advise. I was first told it would cost 3900 dollars for both water heaters and later agreed to do for 3500 dollars and he took my card number even before he started his work saying he had too do before itself as it was a huge amount.

The two water heaters were replaced. The brand is Bradford white and they are of 50 gallon capacity each. As I am a first time home owner I thought that is how much they cost, later we found out from my insurance company that I had been ripped off and if I go to home depot i would get one for 500 dollars or so at the most.

I now know that the water line could have been shut off. He could have mentioned this to me when asked if there was any other way to turn the water off. I was scared as per his advise and so I had to go in. I now know I was STUPID, I was taken for a ride because of my ignorance and billed an exhorbitant amount.

When we called and confronted them the lady who picked up the phone said it was normal to charge this kind of amount in the plumbing business for 2 water heaters and we asked to speak with the person who gave us this final amount of 3500 dollars, that person first denied it was him who spoke to me then he said he was not going to talk to us on this matter and asked us to do what ever we could and hung up. Repeated tries to get to him were not successful. The lady would not put us through to him and she would hang up

So we called our credit card company and informed them of the situation and they told us they can dispute it for us. Have any of you had similar experience? Pl advise or suggest. Appreciate your input.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:18 PM
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,256,926 times
Reputation: 5787
Yes, you got ripped off. Sounds like they too advantage of someone that was not familiar w/ how to turn off the water themselves. For future reference if you have a water leak from ANY plumbing fixture the water line to THAT one fixture CAN be turned off VERY simply by yourself. If you will look on the wall behind your toilets, under the sinks, etc you will see a valve that can be turned by ANYONE to shutoff the water. Simply turn it to the right (righty tighty, lefty loosey).

I hope they put a drip pan underneath those water heaters for you. They SHOULD have. They also should have used solid gold at those prices. A standard water heater is less than what you paid to this company.

Even if you call a company to come out and you don't like what they have to say about what THEY say you "need" tell them, "BYE". Then call someone else. Is the home your in did you recently purchase within the last year? If so then you MIGHT have had a home warranty that could have covered to replace this w/ a small deductible the only out of pocket expense. Even then the company they send out you can tell them to "hit the road" if what they say you "need" is NOT w/in reason.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:18 PM
Location: Lake Highlands (Dallas)
2,395 posts, read 7,755,905 times
Reputation: 1035
For what it's worth, while buying a water heater would cost only $500 - that does not include installation. Plumbers typically charge more if the tanks were located in the attic space, as wrestling them in/out is a pain in the butt.

I know a guy in the office that was quoted $3500 to replace ONE hot water heater with a tankless unit - which only costs $1000 if he were to buy the heater from the store himself - and he got three quotes from three reputable companies (ranging from $3500-4000). So, to get two $500 units installed for a total of $3500 doesn't seem to be overly inflated. I'm the type of person that installs things for myself, so I don't know the going rate for installation though.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:41 PM
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,661,813 times
Reputation: 1362
in PA there is a company called Mr Water Heater..that's all they do and they are cheap. (wish they had thme here!) But...to replace 1 40 gal was $850 (5 years ago) My plumber quoted me 1200-1500 at the time. (he's the one who suggested the other company)
Rotorooter..was really high like 1500-1700 If I remember.
Because they come in that day and replace it...you are paying extra for a service. (like fedEx)
Also they will charge you a "haul away fee" as well. (X2..for both heaters)
and..gas units are more expensive than electric.
Lesson learned...get estimates. YOu can do this over the phone...by simply asking how much do you charge to replace and install, haul away a hot water heater.

SO, for 2 at 3500 I agree is probably a bit high and you may not have even needed new ones (depending on leak etc...) you might have only needed to replace 1. It's not outrageous.

How old were they? they start to get wear and tear about 8 years...If you get 10 years out of one you are lucky.

It's the installation cost that's the killer and yes, attic location will cost you more.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:57 PM
1,005 posts, read 3,377,127 times
Reputation: 637
Originally Posted by 5stones View Post
How old were they? they start to get wear and tear about 8 years...If you get 10 years out of one you are lucky.
Which makes installing them in the attic extra silly.
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:14 PM
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,661,813 times
Reputation: 1362
yeah, I hate that ours are up there. (in the NE they are always in hte basements and usually have a floor drain.) I am extra paranoid. Luckily we have a walk in attic and it's over the garage...I go in and inspect them about 1x week or so.

When they need replacing we are def. going tankless!
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:32 PM
Location: Richardson, TX
11,080 posts, read 17,554,568 times
Reputation: 27961
Does anybody have a recommended company for a new water heater + installation?

I have been in my house just over a year, and my home inspector suggested I replace the heater in 1-2 years, so I am planning to do that very soon.

I have a gas water heater, it is in a closet area at the end of a hallway. I do need to have a pan installed for the new one.

I had no idea installation was SO expensive!!
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:44 PM
4,370 posts, read 11,445,104 times
Reputation: 2566
If your near a subdivision being built just stop by a plumbers truck and ask. It's a pretty straight forward job and should only take a couple of hours or less to complete. They will typically do it on their way home or on a weekend morning. Every new homeowner should go to Home Depot/Lowes and buy a key so that they can take the manhole cover off and turn off the main water line. That $4 investment can save you thousands of dollars.
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Old 04-28-2008, 05:45 PM
Location: Garland Texas
1,538 posts, read 6,459,593 times
Reputation: 636
Unfortunately there are some dishonest repairmen out there who take advantage of such emergencies. The same thing almost happened to my dad, firsts with the water heater, then with the furnace.

Never make a purchase on impulse, if you don't have time to go to the store hop online real quick and do some comparison shopping for the actual parts. If you feel the repairman is price gouging, call a few others for an estimate.
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Old 04-28-2008, 07:32 PM
Location: la hacienda
2,259 posts, read 8,807,615 times
Reputation: 1147
Grain, great advice about the key --- when we had a plumber here fixing some things, he showed me where the main water turn off was, just in case I needed to know. The arrow points towards the street, the water is off, if it points towards the house, the water is on.

We need to replace a water heater, the plumber gave us a rough estimate of $1200 w/labor, this is using a Rheem water heater, suppose to be top of the line. I know how much they cost at Home Depot/ Lowes, but need to find out how much installation is.

vr2008 - I'm so sorry you were overcharged. I don't have any advice on how to fight it having never been in that situation. I would LOVE to know who you used so that I can avoid them - direct message me the name.
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