Water Heater: Is self-cleaning ok? Install cost?

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The better models at Home Depot (GE) and Lowes (Whirlpool) are "self-cleaning". Is that worth getting or is it sort of a gimmick?
Also, Lowes quoted $285 for installation with a $300 water heater. Home Depot had a sign saying that installation would be $625. Say what?
So I called HD to find out why the much higher install cost. After going over the particulars, I was quoted $845 for a 50 gal or $792 for a 40. I really only need 40 although I have a 50 now.
I don't know what Lowes will actually cost for the real install of course, but I'll grill them later.
I do realize that it would be cheaper to use a private plumber, and I called my plumber first. But getting him to come over is always tough. He might be here tonight but clearly is not going to make it. This can't really wait very long.
The advantage to HD or Lowes is that they both say that if I order before noon, it gets installed that day.
HD did say that the water heater was guaranteed for as long as I live in the home. Parts or replacement and labor. Nice, but I probably won't still be here in 15 years.
Oh, neither quote includes the permit needed here in NYC and I have no idea how much that is.
Any info greatly appreciated.
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I priced water heaters a few years back through various sources, and my heating contractor turned out to have the best deal. I know it sounds absolutely insane that this could be the case, but you might want to expand your universe beyond the two stores you mentioned.
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On Tue, 23 Oct 2007 02:03:11 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

Thanks Joe. Especially since I just read the reviews on the Whirlpool Flame Guard. I have never read such bad reviews on a product in my life. No kidding. It must have a thermocouple made of plastic. One fails after another. And they claim that the 12 year warranty includes replacing a part once? After it fails every few months? It CAN'T be that bad, can it?
No, no, not for me. I realize that mostly the folks that write in are the ones that have something to complain about, but reading one review after another is too much for me.
I'll call the plumber again tomorrow. For now, the cold water intake is shut (as I mentioned in another post). If I have to, I shower at the gym. I might as well get something out of my membership (besides a staph infection - another good reason not to go to the gym). If he can't get it done, I pick one out of the phone book. That's how I got him in the first place.
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Why not ask your neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, church members, etc.. Who they use and if they are happy with their work.
Picking a number from the yellow pages is like picking out an apple with your eyes closed!!
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Why would that be insane?
Do you think everyone has become that clueless that because big box stores have enough money to create the illusion that they are less expensive and experts on everything that it is true?
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I was being sarcastic, George. The OP mentioned only the two big box stores for buying the heater itself. It's as if some people never wonder where water heaters were purchased before those stores existed.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

I understand the sarcasm and that was what I was doing too. It seems most people think that big box is the be all/do all/end all for everything because of the mindshare they were able to purchase by constantly telling everyone that they are "experts" etc.
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well my experience has been the big box thanks to their buying power tend to cost less, but everyone should check prices as needed
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The buying power thing is only theoretical for some product categories. Major appliances are an example. Back in the early 1980s, a couple of large buying groups formed to serve small independent appliance dealers, who can now access wholesale pricing that's as sharp as what HD, Sears & Lowe's get.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

But big box stores also have big expenses. They spend millions on advertising each week to tell us how great they are. Then home depot paid their ex leader $245 *million* as compensation for the last five years he worked there.
Smaller local shops have buying co-ops to get good pricing.
If you buy from the home depot they box up the money and send it to Atlanta while paying their associates (your neighbors and maybe friends) crappy wages and rewarding their top people with mega salaries.
I know the guy who owns one of our local appliance shops. He is active in the community and gives back to it. He also pays his employees wages they can live on and still has good pricing.
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my
stores
and
stores
Hehe, who offered the golf outing last week? :-)
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NYC? The only self cleaning needed, as far as I know, is in areas where there is limestone dissolved in the hard water.
I heard that NYC has one of the best fresh water system in USA. Almost no Limestone (which is why acid rain is so damaging to the NYC water collection basin upstate.) Gimmick? Not in many Mid West cities where water is hard and loaded with minerals. Pittsburgh is one example where it would be useful.
Seriously, Licensed plumber for NYC, or inside any major city.
Phil
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It's true. People who slam it have never seen the reservoirs, which are gorgeous and quite well protected.
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On Tue, 23 Oct 2007 02:35:28 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

True to a point. Now it seems that development upstate is going to require us to build a billion dollar filtration plant.
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dgk wrote:

I am only a few hours from NYC and we used to have a similar water system with pristine protected reservoirs and great tasting water. Eventually the big money developers got their envelopes to the right places and they started developing the land around the reservoirs. One of the sheeny developers overflowed their sewage treatment plant by connecting more than double the homes it was designed for which led to a giardia outbreak which was officially caused by "beavers". Then they had to build mega expensive filtration plants and now we have the most expensive water in the US.
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The filtration plant is only for the small Croton part of the system (East of Hudson River) in Westchester county where development has been out of control. The much larger Catskill/Delaware part of the system (West of Hudson) just got another 10 year exemption from the nationwide filtration requirement for surface water. Still, as pointed out the required plant, is costing billions.
--
Peace,
BobJ



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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

And all you need to do is taste it to confirm how good it really is unless you happen to believe water can only come out of a designer bottle.
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I read of a taste study of "bottled waters" once. NYC water was one of the highest rated.
Bob
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Time for a laugh - watch how Penn & Teller harpoon the bottled water industry.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
fZK3m7bDc
During the last two minutes, they're selling overpriced bottled water to restaurant patrons with unbelievable bullshit stories. The patrons say they taste interesting differences. Meanwhile, another guy is outside the restaurant filling the bottles from the same garden hose. Hilarious.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

There is a spring fed water reservoir near here that became polluted and was taken out of service. There is a nearby bottling plant that judging buy the dozens of Walmart trucks that are always there seems to bottle exclusively for Walmart. Each day there are tankers that shuttle back and forth bringing water from the polluted spring fed lake to the bottling plant. Presumably this is so they can print "spring fed water" on the labels.
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