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

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Out of curiosity, is there a reason you wouldn't install it yourself? I assume you mean an electric unit - I have done a couple, and with a borrowed handcart to move things around, the process mainly consists of removing electrical and water connectors and re-attaching them to the new tank. The first one I did required the wiring and plumbing, which was more demanding. Replacing them is pretty easy with common household tools.
Perhaps the disposal of the old tank is an issue - can't do curbside recycle or such? It just sounds like a lot of money for installing a simple device.
Also, I am wondering why NYC would require a permit for changing a household applicance? Never heard of such a thing before.
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Natural gas. Since I've never worked with gas connectors before, there is a certain fear of blowing myself and family and neigbhors into the next world. It really seems quite simple but obviously won't be. Still, it looks like I might try it. I just got a quote from a reputable plumber of $975 for the heater and installation. Say what? One cold water pipe, one hot water pipe, and one gas pipe.
The old one can be left on the curb. The permit is only needed if a contractor is doing the work, a homeowner can do it without.
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Ah. Gas explains the cost of the tank I guess. When we replaced our leaking NG unit we opted for an electric since we could get one so inexpensively and use it rarely.
I'd still be tempted to try it myself. The plumbing is already in place, and with a liberal coat of thread sealant the chances of a leak at the connector are small. NG has the advantage that if it does leak, you can easily smell it. Perhaps simpler than an electric, although it's easy for me to say since I haven't done one. Good luck.
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$975 is probably cheap for your area... just priced one out that was just over a grand. Are you concerned whether the flu gases are venting properly to the outdoors? Remember, any fuel burning appliance creates CO. It can and will kill you under the right conditions.
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