Hot Water Heater Let Loose on New Years Day

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The electric hot water heater decided to give up the ghost some time last night. It's an 80 gal electric model. I'm located in Exton, PA (west of Philadelphia). Anybody got a guess at what might be a fair price to have someone come out to replace it today? How much less would it be if I were to wait until tomorrow and shop around?
Thanks, DrDad
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How much less

Here in Grand Rapids, Mi. I just had a 40 gal gas one go out. After shopping around it seemed like everyone I checked with was right around $250.
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DrDad wrote:

Mine always fails on the weekend and plumber charges time and a half. Probably not an emergency so waiting a day should not hurt. If you have a plumber you deal with, I would put in call today to get on his list. Fortunately, we've had a warm winter here as plumbers are usually busy this time of year with frozen pipes. Frank
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I'd guess it would cost 2X or 3X what it would cost tomorrow. Just finding a plumber willing to come out is going to be difficult. Then he has to be able to get a heater. Boil water in a pot as needed to get through the day and save a bundle of money.
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Gas water heater around here last 8 to 10 years,. So I replace them a little early at MY schedule after shopping around!
The little $ I lose is replaced by the inconvenience time and hassle saved.
Let6s say a new tank is 500 bucks installed. Kinda high and I install my own but we need a number
the 500 buck tanks annual cost is between 40 and 60 bucks. for 20 bucksa a year a early replacement is well worth it
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DrDad wrote:

Give Home Depot or Lowes a call and see what they say. They've got contractors who do installation, and you'll probably have better luck with them today than you would with an independent plumber.
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DrDad wrote:

Unless you are handicapped, replacing it is about one of the simplest of DIY projects. Entire job shouldn't take much over 1/2 hour once you have the new one on premises. Tools required would be a medium pipe wrench (12 - 18") and a screwdriver (assuming no new pipe is needed).
Harry K
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Add to that "assuming the prior heater was installed correctly."
The house I recently bought had some handyman or DIY special replace the water heater apparently. No cutoff valve, no dielectric unions, and brilliantly rotated at the most inconvenient angle for adjusting or lighting the thing.
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Todd H. wrote:

My house the previous owner had all kind of records where they paid "professionals" to install things such as the hot water heater. When it started leaking a couple years ago I drove to Lowes and bought a new one and all the shut off valves and unions to install it right. You can't always blame a bad install on DIY. Didn't take more than a couple hours to desolder the old pipes, install valves and unions and put the new heater in place.
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How does one "desolder" things?
Tx
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<aspasia> wrote in message wrote:

With a torch, of course. What term would you have used to describe breaking a solder joint? Unsweat?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

"Cut". <G>
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"Mortimer Schnerd, RN" <mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com> wrote in message

Please explain the next few steps.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

1. Cut tubing. 2. Stare at parts. 3. Call plumber.
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Steve B wrote:

I had to replace a hot water heater once. The guy at Home Depot made it sound so easy I figured I'd do it myself. He sold me a hacksaw and a blowtorch, explained how to do a sweat coupling, and sold me some little copper unions and some solder and flux for re-joining the copper tubing after I cut it. Then I went home and did it. Fourteen years later it's coming up on time to do it again...
I'll try to explain it, but it's a lot easier to explain with parts in front of you. The hot water heater is attached to the house by some copper pipes. You hacksaw through the copper pipes and pull out the old hot water heater, which weighs a TON even after you drain it, because after 15 years of heating hard water it's got 18-24 inches of scale (rock) at the bottom. Mine was a 40 gallon heater; I'd hate to pull out an 80 gallon heater by myself. (I had to "bear hug" mine behind me and tip it forward onto my back to move it.)
Then you put the new heater in place and arrange it so that all the pieces are easy to get to. The new hot water heater will have a copper tube sticking out, and this is what you have to join to the copper tube that leads into your house. To join the copper tubes, you use little 2" long copper tubing union pieces from Home Depot. These fit inside of each of the copper pipes you're attempting to join together. You have to brush on some flux before sliding the union into the pipes. The flux helps homogenize the heating process so you get a better solder joint.
Once the union is in place, use the blowtorch to heat the copper. When the copper is good and hot, you apply the solder to seal the joint. When the unions are all soldered, let it cool and you're done. (Tip: heat the copper a little bit away from where you're applying the solder so that all the copper in the area is good and hot. I applied the flame with a little back and forth motion about an inch and a half from the solder spot. If you heat the solder spot directly, you can apply the solder when the surrounding metal is still cold -- this looks like it's working, but you can end up with a "cold solder," which can leak.)
The spot you need to solder is the circumference of the pipe (all the way around) where the outer copper pipe meets the union piece. The two solder spots will be very close together, but to get a really solid solder joint you should heat each one of the outer copper pipes separately. It takes a few minutes longer, but you get a better seal.
Oh, before you put in the new hot water heater, make sure you put down one of those plastic trays underneath it. The guy who owned this house before me didn't do that, and I found out my hot water heater was leaking when there was water all over the kitchen floor and I couldn't find where it was coming from.
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BZ wrote:
- The guy at Home Depot ...sold me a hacksaw .
OK...I gotta ask. How many people cut their copper pipe with a hacksaw?
At least tell us the guy at Home Depot recommended a tube cutter first and you decided on a hacksaw because you thought you would use it more often. Please?
BZ wrote:

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DerbyDad03 wrote:

All of 'em what don't know any better.

Nope. Told me I needed a hacksaw and a blowtorch, and that's what I bought. And hey, it worked.
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BZ wrote:

And HD strikes again. Clerk wrong on two counts - wrong tool for cutting the pipe, wrong term for the torch. A real blowtorch is an awkward, dangerous tool and I doubt very many people under the age of about 50 have ever seen one much less used one.
Harry K
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BZ wrote:

Pretty good but:
The "unions" you are refering to are "couplings". If the WH was intalled correctly, there will be a "Union" Very near to the cold water inlet. It will have a big nut in the middle. Unscrew that and the pipe comes apart. If there is no union, then install one with the new tank. Same with the shut-off valve. If none is present, install one. Best is a 1/4 turn ball valve.
Harry K
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

Now you're commenting more on the advisability of doing it rather than what it means.
:-)
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