I need to replace my water heater since it's started leaking. I tried to replace the anode a few years ago, because of sulfur smell, but the lack of overhead clearance mandated an articulated rod, and I couldn't find an easy local source here in Ottawa, Canada and never got around to it, and I guess the leaking has made that moot now.
Locally, 60 gallon electric heaters here are in the $*00 - $*00 Canadian range in the stores, about $250 - $500 US at current exchange. Local plumber quoted me about $*00 Canadian or about $*00 US to replace, all labor included. This was for a Giant brand heater allegedly made nearby in Montreal. Anyone know anything about this brand ? http://www.giantinc.com/english/products/index.htm Also known as Cascade for the better models having 9 or 12 year warranty versus the standard 6 or so. Local hardware chain Rona carries these also and the current leaking heater is a Giant model that is now about 8 years old.
So given all the good reviews here and elsewhere for Bradford White, I asked about that brand and was told they deal with those also, and can install for about $15 more. But they only seem to want to deal with the 6 year warranty model and I think there is a 10 year version available.
So should I 'give in' and just let them install the 6 year Bradford White model, or search for a more flexible plumbing contractor ? I'm half tempted to attempt to install a heater myself, given all the sub-par experiences I've had with plumbing contractors here the last several years. I'm reasonably handy, but a plumbing amateur. I DID install a backup sump pump a few years ago, after frustration with inflated cost estimates and unnecessary proposal complexity from another local contractor.
I've noted that the Giant/Cascade heaters with longer warranty are bottom entry, while my current setup is top entry. I'm not sure if Bradford White premium 10 year heaters are also bottom entry. I'd hope to avoid having to add new plumbing.
I might also consider a smaller heater than the current 60 gallon unit. 2 adults and 2 young kids, but we've never run out of hot water yet. I'm thinking a 40 gal unit might give me better clearance for anode replacement/inspection. Unit is in basement about 2 1/2 feet off the ground above a septic system tank/pump.
We ARE on city water, BTW, so I'm not exactly sure why we've had issues with sulfur smell.
Thanks for any feedback !