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calendar   Thursday - December 19, 2013

Ho Ho Ho Oh No!

Went out to the garage to get some ornaments for our little 3’ artificial tree.

Noticed some water on the floor and the bottom of a couple cardboard boxes were damp.

Ah crap. The hot water heater is going. Two months after our 1 year homeowner’s warranty expires. Of course!

Called the plumber who installed the thing 15 years ago. “Oh, we don’t do that kind of work anymore.”

Called S******* plumbers; I see their trucks around all the time. “$1500 for the heater, $85 to come out there, plus haul away fee, plus township permit.” And then they called back in 10 minutes ... “We have nobody who can come over. Sorry.”

Checked with K, the condo park manager. Yes, there is a permit required for plumbers when they do the job.

Went online to Lowes. Found a Whirlpool 50 gal job for $269, in stock at my local store. Another $50 extends the warranty 5 more years. I think. For $65 they’ll deliver it. Go for it.

Hooking up an electric HWH is a matter of turning off the power, closing the inlet valve, draining the unit and your pipes. Disconnect the old one (hacksaw or pipe cutter), disconnect the wires. Pull the old one out, slide the new one in. Get one of those $30 installation kits that give you 2 compression fittings and two lengths of high temperature flex pipe. Screw things together, hook up the wires. Open the valve, start filling the tank, check for leaks. Hook up the wires, turn the power on. Check for leaks again. Done.  Pay the garbage man $20 to haul the old one away.

So a $1800 job from the plumber will set us back less than $450 with tax and shipping and disposal. No permit needed if you DIY.

Pretty sure I have a pipe cutter in my toolbox, assuming I can find or get to my toolbox. I know I have a hacksaw; it’s in the backseat of my car. In the years I’ve lived in this condo park, I’ve helped 3 other people replace theirs. I can do this. Plus, the unit is on the floor, so no lifting necessary. Cool.

No, we didn’t get the gee-whiz top of the line model with a 12 year warranty and digital doo-dads on the Command Panel. According to the specs, this one heats water just as fast and uses the same two 4500 watt elements. So this ought to be good enough.

UPDATE: Lowe’s will deliver it in the morning. Guess I’d better get up early.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/19/2013 at 05:02 PM   
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