Water heater? Worth buying if you currently rent?

Even a google group search for this topic doesn't seem to return as many results as i thought it would.
I'm in a now 1 year old house with 3.5 bathrooms, one with a jaccuzi tub. When we bought the place the builder suggested renting a heater from the local energy supplier and that the 'big' one would be best since we had the tub. So i believe we have a 50 gallon natural gas powervent which costs us $20 (canadian) a month. We knew nothing about water heaters when we bought the house.
Since we plan on staying in the house for a long time to come we're trying to decide how best to save money. So there is the question of the water heater. Continue to rent, buy it out from our energy supplier, or buy one ourselves from homedepot and pay all the miscelaneous installation and removal costs.
One would assume that buying will be cheaper than renting in the long run but after reading enough online information i'm not totally sure. A couple repair calls and you've spent a large chunk of money on something that would have been covered under rental. We do have a water softener so we're not as worried about mineral buildup damage which seems to be one of the main reasons to rent.
How does one decide wether or not to buy a heater over renting?
Any thoughts appreciated.
Kevin
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I would not rent you will pay for it many times over that way. Buy your own. they usualy work till they leak.
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They are generally trouble free for 10 or 20 years. If you rent for 10 years it will cost you $2400. How much to buy? Ed
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wrote:

I guess that was my real question. What is the expected lifespan of a water heater.
It's a 60 Gallon (just found that out) 2002 natural gas powervent. If i was to buy it from my energy supplier which terminates all rental and monthly fees it would cost the same as 3.5 more years of renting. Since it's now 1.5 years old , 3.5 years from now i'd have a 5 year old water heater and would break even on cost.
If they're expected to be trouble free for 10 years, and possibly last till 20 years, i can put up with a few repair bills and still come out way ahead. Hopefully the fact that it's brand new and that i have a water softner will get me more towards that 20 year goal.
Thanks.
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kevins_news wrote:

The basic rule for all appliances is that you buy, never rent. Even if you have to pay installation charges, which are usually rediculous, you are far ahead buying compared to renting. If you do the installation yourself you save big money. Washer, dry, refrigerator, and freezers are simple. Dish washers are a bit more difficult as you usually have to move a water pipe. Water heaters require more connections but are usually fairly easy to get to. All appliances can be expected to last at least 10 years with no problems, but often last for 15-20 years.
You are talking about a 60 gallon gas powered water heater, right? Go to HD or electrical supplier and see what they cost. I just looked not long ago but I can't remember if they have a 60 gallon model. A 50 gallon model will cost lest than $300 (I think that's an 8 year guarantee, but expect at least 12 years no problem). Compare that to buying what you have $20/month for 42 months more month $840.
You're worried about the other costs, right? Removal- should be $0 as that is the owner will remove. If he doesn't remove it, then keep using at no cost. Replacement, is easy and costs practially nothing if you do it yourself. You have three flexible water connectors (hot, cold, overflow/safety) and you have 1 flexible gas pipe connector. There is no special magic in making the connections. You buy new connectors at $6-10 each and just connect them with regular wrenches; turn on the water, turn on the gas, and light the pilot. (or if you have an electrical start you have to connect the electricity to it and just turn it on). Oh, one other thing, you may have to buy and add and extension to the gas exhaust flue.
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A thought occured...
If this is an "extra" water heater, needed because of the use of an indoor jacuzzi, why not just by any type of water heater that's cheapest, and plumb it to the existing heater with a small circulator? Let the mechanics of the existing heater do the work while the supplemental "heater" is used only for it's additional storage capacity.
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On 05 Nov 2003 01:34:50 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (HA HA Budys Here) wrote:

Thanks for all the advice everyone.
But no, this is just the one and only water heater. The jacuzzi isn't a special indoor hottub or anything, it's just a two person bathtub with jets that is larger than your everyday bathtub. I know we don't need the 60 gallon right now. The reasoning was that once there were 4 of us in the house all trying to shower in the morning, a 60 gallon would be good. But that's not going to happen for many years to come so the large tank seems a waste. I assume it costs more to continually heat 60 gallons than it would 50 gallons.
So my choices seem to be buying out the current 60 gal one from my energy supplier for a slightly inflated price, or buying from home depot which will need the tank and installation costs but i could get a 50 gal instead. I'll put in a new faucet in the kitchen but i don't know if i wnat to deal with installing a 50 gallon water tank. Now i just have to find out how much a tank and installation costs.
Last question. We're on an energy efficiency kick. Front loading washing machine, high efficiency appliances, etc. Is a Home depot Water heater going to be en energy efficient model? Or do i have to go looking somewhere else for a good one?
I'm in canada, don't know if that makes a difference.
Kevin
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To save on utilities get an Aquastar 166000 btu tankless
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kevins_news wrote:

Hey, if you are willing to install a new faucet, know that installing a water heater is likely to be easier. My experience is that faucets are more difficult that water heaters just because the working room is smaller and there are lots of different sizes and types of water connections.
I believe Home Depot has two different efficiencies (but it may depend on your particular HD), with the higher efficiency costing more. Don't limit yourself to HD, there may be other electrical supply businesses that have the same or other brands of water heaters at a similar price. I believe that a high efficiency water heater will have an electrical start (no pilot light) and you may find that the increased efficiency is minimal.
A water heater is a rather simple thing. A really cheap one isn't much different than an expensive one. At the high end, the increased cost may be mostly for the guarantee (which you will probably never use) than any improvements in material or increased features.
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What I'd like to know is, if this is a rental, and a brand new home, why are YOU responsible for the water heater?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (HA HA Budys Here) wrote in message

He's renting the hot water Heater. He owns the home. Thanks, Tony D.
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Oh OK. So, is it common for utilities to actually "rent" appliances such as water heaters? I've never heard of such a thing. My local gas company will GIVE you a water heater or a boiler IF you promise not to switch to oil!
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On 6 Nov 2003 05:07:08 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Tony D.) wrote:

Yeah. I own the home. I rent the heater. If i decide to buy a water heater i want to get this all out of the way before i think about finishing the basement.
And i found out that a 50 gallon natural gas powervent costs $669 Canadian at home depot. and the same at Home Hardware. They only have one version available. You can get natural gas non-powervent heaters at home depot for $320, $440, or $550 for their three levels of efficiency. But it seems powervent ones are expensive. With installation costs of $150ish (i'm still working on my handyman status) it's about the same price as just buying out my existing one.
Bah.
Kevin
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Utilitiy companys rent and sell many things they can make a buck on.
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