What happens when your property manager gets a maintenance call at 5:00 PM on a Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend from a tenant that has no hot water! We handle it. With the help of some amazing vendors of course. In this case, the water needs replacing.
Typically, the next call is to the homeowner with the quote to replace that hot water heater. His reply…..”I can purchase a hot water heater at the big box store for $700.00 … why is it so much more than that?”
Property Maintenance is usually by far the top pain point for owners with their property managers.
This question piqued our interest, so we started calling around to different companies and plumbers to see what they charge & if our client is really getting the best bang for their buck.
What did we find when it came to replacing a water heater?
We called 3 well known Treasure Valley HVAC companies and they provided verbal estimates to replace a 40-gallon hot water heater. These prices ranged from $1300 – $1500.00.
All 3 Treasure Valley vendors were all using a plumber’s grade Hot Water Heaters and all 3 include new drain pan, flex piping, expansion tank and disposal of the old unit.
During these calls, we developed a wealth of understanding of hot water heaters.
There are many differences between a plumber’s grade hot water heaters and a box store graded water heater. The plumber’s grade offers better efficiency and is made with better materials that offer a longer life span. A plumber’s grade hot water heater will typically last between 12 – 14 years and the box store one typically lasts 8-10 years. A typical warranty for the plumber’s grade is 2 years standard and then you can purchase additional plans that extend the warranty up to 10 years. A box store warranty is about 6 years, but it is a limited warranty and the items that usually break are not covered so you have to purchase the part and pay labor rates.
So not completely satisfied with that information, I reached out for a few other options outside of an HVAC company:
- One plumbing company will come out and install a hot water heater for $450.00; however, they will not pick up or dispose of the old one. This means I would have to arrange for the water heater to be delivered to the property and then picked up once it has been replaced.
- One box store will install a water heater through a contracted plumber. However, there is a $45 consult fee and a basic install starts at around $239; the turnaround time is 7 – 10 days which is not feasible in an occupied rental in Idaho.
So how does a big box store compare to a local HVAC company?
So, let’s just put some prices together if we had the plumber install the hot water heater. I go to the big box store, and I purchase the hot water heater for $700.00
What else do I need:
Expansion Tank – $30
Flex Piping – $30
Drain Pan – $30
Plumber to Install – $450
Handyman to dispose of old hot water heater $90
Disposal Costs – $100
Permit – $55
That all totals $1490
Did you know a permit is required in the state of Idaho for water heaters to be installed?
- Ada County and costs $55
- Canyon County it is $40
An expansion tank, new flex pipe/fittings and a new drain pan are required in the state of Idaho if not already present or damaged which costs roughly around $100.
Our HVAC vendor installed a plumber’s grade 40-gallon hot water heater with all parts, materials, permits, disposal, and labor (including the initial work order for the diagnosis) for $1390.00. (this is not a set price, just an example and varies depending on materials needed) Plus, we know that we used a trusted, locally owned company that has been in business for 30+ years and they will continue to be around if any issues arise.
At RentWise Property Management, we promise that we make every effort to act in our client’s best interest in every front.
Interested in learning more about our services and how we can provide you with this type of service? RentWise Property Management. Less Hassle. More Happy.