Water heaters look like simple pieces of equipment on the outside, but they are extremely complex. Gas-powered water heaters that aren’t installed properly can be dangerous and may even lead to fires or carbon monoxide leaks in your home.
You may be wondering if you can call your friendly local plumber to assist you with your water heater installation project. In this article, we’ll explore whether or not plumbing companies are able to assist you with replacing your old water heater or not.
Can Licensed Plumbers Install New Water Heater Systems?
Many homeowners aren’t sure whether or not they can use their plumber to install a new unit in their home or what the labor costs will be.
While most plumbers are perfectly willing and able to install a water heater for you, some states have stringent licensing requirements that plumbers have to meet before they are allowed to install a water heater.
Many cities and municipalities will also have their own regulations and codes for plumbing work, so make sure that the plumber you hire is licensed and experienced enough to ensure the work is carried out safely and up to code.
Installations and Warranties
Bear in mind that some manufacturers require that their products are installed by certified or approved plumbers in order to validate their warranty.
This means that the plumber you choose has to have completed the specific training and qualifications set by the manufacturer.
A few of the companies that have these policies include Bryant, Carrier, Lennox, Rheem, and Weil-McLain. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s warranty policy when purchasing a water heater to ensure that the plumber or installer you hire is certified by the manufacturer as required.
How Much Do Plumbers Charge to Install a Water Heater?
The installation cost may vary depending on the type of water heater, location, and complexity. The cost of labor will be higher for complex installations, including whether or not the plumber has to relocate the water heater, upgrade the venting system, or make changes to the plumbing.
A standard tank water heater installation project will take around 4-6 hours at an installation cost that could be as low as $180 or as high as $900 or more.
Tankless water heater installation can take between 6 to 8 hours, with a labor cost of $270 to $1200 or more. Always get quotes from multiple licensed plumbers to ensure that you get a fair price for the work.
Bear in mind that there could be additional costs. Some jurisdictions require a plumbing permit for certain installations at the cost of $50 to $500.
If your home requires an expansion tank (a safety system that prevents pipes from bursting, often found in older homes), expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $350 extra.
Some companies will charge an extra fee for tank removal, especially if it’s big and bulky. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500.
Questions to Ask Before Installing a New Water Heater
A new hot water heater is always an expensive investment. Always ask the right questions and do your research before making a decision. Some of the questions you may want to ask your plumber include the following:
Is it better to buy a tankless water heater or a traditional water heater?
- Whether you choose a traditional or a tankless water heater largely depends on your needs. Tankless systems are generally more energy efficient and have a longer lifespan, but traditional water heaters are cheaper and easier to install.
- Large households with a lot of occupants or bathrooms should opt for traditional water heaters instead of tankless hot water heaters as they need more hot water on demand.
What size tank do you need?
- The size of the tank will depend on the size of your home and the number of occupants who live there. The average size of a water tank is around 20-50 gallons, but you may want a larger tank if you use a lot of hot water…unless you enjoy cold showers!
How energy efficient is the new system?
- Tankless water heaters are generally more energy-efficient, although they are more expensive and can only produce a limited amount of hot water per minute. Discuss your needs with your plumber before deciding.
How long will installation take?
- Most plumbing companies won’t be able to provide an accurate quote until they view the property. Ask them to provide an estimate of how long installation will take so that you can get a better idea of the overall cost. It will also give you a good indication of how long you’ll have to cope without hot water.
How will they dispose of the old water heater?
- Make sure that your plumber will dispose of your water heater safely and properly. Some plumbers charge an extra fee for tank removal; others include it in their quotes.
Does the water heater have a warranty?
- Your water heater will likely have a warranty of between 5 to 10 years. These warranties are often voided if the heater isn’t installed by a certified or approved plumber, so make sure to research warranties before committing to a particular brand or installer.
Do I need to book a maintenance appointment?
- Some warranties require that you maintain your water heater on an annual basis. This maintenance appointment may be conducted for free as part of your purchase. Ask your plumber whether or not you need to book this appointment or whether they will approach you closer to the time.
Which brands can I choose from?
- Some plumbing companies are exclusively bound to specific water heater brands; most will likely recommend a variety of brands. Ask them which brands you’ll be able to choose from and why they recommend those brands or not. A licensed plumber will have the experience to make a recommendation based on your budget and requirements.
If you are thinking of having a new water heater installed at your home, it’s always best to speak to a professional before making a purchase or choosing an installer. Your local plumber may be able to assist you, so give them a call right away for advice and assistance.