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Thread: Two questions re: 75 gallon WH replacement

  1. #1
    DIY Member Montalvo's Avatar
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    Default Two questions re: 75 gallon WH replacement

    I have to replace a 10-year-old 75 gallon WH that's leaking and would like some "expert advice" on two things:

    1. If I have relatively easy access to the heater, could installation be a DIY job for one person? I've replaced a 40 gallon WH before by myself but I have no idea how much a 75 gallon WH weighs!

    2. Is the Sears unit I've picked out a top choice for a replacement: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...3176000P?mv=rr? It's got two magnesium anodes, 81 gph recovery at 90 degree rise, a 12 year limited warranty on parts and tank and is selling for $850. I'm going to be in the house for a long time and want a reliable unit. But it doesn't get a lot of use, since my wife and I are empty-nesters with occasional guests. It's sized mostly to enable my wife to take a bath in her large soaking tub.

    Thanks for any advice you can give me!

    Bob

  2. #2
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Weights on 75 gallon water heaters are in the 240-300lbs range- roughly 2x or more than the heft of a 40 gallon unit (120-140lbs). Been working out?

    If it's all level ground and you have an adequate hand truck for moving it around you may be able to get it into place. I managed to get a ~325lb reverse-indirect HW heater into my house down 8 concrete steps to the basement door off the driveway by myself, but that took some ramp-design and a rigging a belaying system, and couple of hours of figuring it out. (You may not be as crazy as I am. :-) ) Getting it out would be a bit tougher than getting it in.

  3. #3
    DIY Member Montalvo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the prompt reply, Dana. I HAVE been working out and I AM probably as crazy as you when it comes to doing things myself. But hearing what this puppy weighs, I think I'll let the pros handle it. They'll pull a permit on it, cart the old one away and stand behind any problems that arise, too. What with tax, permit, etc., the installation will add about $450.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; What with tax, permit, etc., the installation will add about $450.

    It would be a rare 75 gallon gas water heater that would be installed that cheaply in this area. $85.00 tax, $90.00 permit, etc., then a two man crew.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  5. #5
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Default what planet do you live on???

    Quote Originally Posted by Montalvo View Post
    Thanks for the prompt reply, Dana. I HAVE been working out and I AM probably as crazy as you when it comes to doing things myself. But hearing what this puppy weighs, I think I'll let the pros handle it. They'll pull a permit on it, cart the old one away and stand behind any problems that arise, too. What with tax, permit, etc., the installation will add about $450.
    the sears units are basically junk..
    it will be installed by sub contractors for sears....

    the water heater will cost you about 790

    the installation sounds dog dirt cheap...
    and I would not trust them....


    you ought to look into a Rheem pro or
    a bradford white before you are stuck with
    that pos..

  6. #6
    DIY Member Montalvo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark View Post
    the sears units are basically junk..
    it will be installed by sub contractors for sears....

    the water heater will cost you about 790

    the installation sounds dog dirt cheap...
    and I would not trust them....


    you ought to look into a Rheem pro or
    a bradford white before you are stuck with
    that pos..
    Thanks for your frank opinion, Mark. I Googled Rheem and found a commercial 75 gallon WH, model 42VP75FW. The cheapest price was $435 MORE than the Sears one I described AND the one review relates a rather unflattering result:

    "Our new water heater is only 2 years old, and is leaking already. It's nice to know it is covered under warranty, however, having to spend $500.00 for the new installation, just doesn't seems right. This is my first experience with Rheem, and if I did not have to replace this with a like product for warranty reason, I surely would not."

    http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Rheem+75+gallon+water+heater&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9761425719053984938&sa=X&ei=O_SET5b KLYafiQfs7ojIBw&ved=0CJQBEPMCMAI

    I'm sure that ALL manufacturers' water heaters can have problems and, as this review suggests, a warranty ISN'T a guarantee you won't have difficulties. But I think I'm gonna take a chance on the Sears, notwithstanding you opinion of their product and installation.

    Bob

  7. #7
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Mark is a little harsh. The brand sold by sears ( manufactured by AO Smith family of water heater brands, probably State or American, possibly Craftmaster or Reliant) has had some issues, mainly design rather than quality related, since the advent of FVIR. Since your 75 gallon now also falls into the FVIR catefegory, I would consider that issue. Rheem and Bradford White came out of the gate with a better design. Both of them have excellent quality reputations. Do they have an occasional lemon.? Can happen. In general, any water heater which fails in two years,..you need to look for other issues, either water chemistry, or electrical system issues in the building.

    Yes, you will pay more for another brand, and you will pay somewhat more for the install. You get what you pay for. A box store will quote you a very low install price, but since the installer makes so little on that, they will upsell you on "not included" necessities or "upgrades to code". No free lunch out there.

    You should ask around your town and find out who has an excellent reputation for doing warranty service.... if that is sears, that would be a plus. If it is one of the local contractors who has the best rep...that is important to consider.

  8. #8
    DIY Member Montalvo's Avatar
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    Default Thanks, Jimbo...

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Mark is a little harsh. The brand sold by sears ( manufactured by AO Smith family of water heater brands, probably State or American, possibly Craftmaster or Reliant) has had some issues, mainly design rather than quality related, since the advent of FVIR. Since your 75 gallon now also falls into the FVIR catefegory, I would consider that issue. Rheem and Bradford White came out of the gate with a better design. Both of them have excellent quality reputations. Do they have an occasional lemon.? Can happen. In general, any water heater which fails in two years,..you need to look for other issues, either water chemistry, or electrical system issues in the building.

    Yes, you will pay more for another brand, and you will pay somewhat more for the install. You get what you pay for. A box store will quote you a very low install price, but since the installer makes so little on that, they will upsell you on "not included" necessities or "upgrades to code". No free lunch out there.

    You should ask around your town and find out who has an excellent reputation for doing warranty service.... if that is sears, that would be a plus. If it is one of the local contractors who has the best rep...that is important to consider.
    Thanks for taking the time to provide some additional info...very helpful for us homeowners who don't have a clue!

    I've got two other plumbers coming out soon to give me an estimate, since I've learned that it's ALWAYS helpful, not just to get a competitive price but also because it's informative. Among other things, I'm a bit worried about an open-frame shelf that I've built above the existing WH and whether it will complicate getting my inspection approval. It's made of 2x4s, is 2" above the top of the WH and the closest framing member is 4" away from the exhaust pipe. I guess these guys coming out to give me an estimate will tell me if I have to take it down.

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    IF most heaters start to leak during the warranty period, you could call me and I would come and replace the water heater. If a Sears heater leaks, you MUST call them so they can inspect it first, and who knows how long that woud take, and then they have to deliver the heater, again not knowing how fast it would be. Then I, or someone else, could install it. In the meantime you are living with cold water only. As a side issue, but was disconcerting to one my customers who bought the house because it had a Sears Lifetime water heater, the heater is registered to YOU, and you only. If the house is sold the new owner has NO warranty regardless of how new the water heater, or what its warranty period, is.
    Last edited by hj; 05-05-2012 at 01:54 PM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  10. #10
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Red face Listen to what HJ has to say about this....

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    IF most heaters start to leak during the warranty period, you could call me and I would come and replace the water heater. If a Sears heater leaks, you MUST call them so they can inspect it first, and who knows how long that woud take, and then they have to deliver the heater, again not knowing how fast it would be. Then I, or someone else, could install it. In the meantime you are living with cold water only. As a side issue, but was disconcerting to one my customers who bought the house because it had a Sears Lifetime water heater, the heater is registered to YOU, and you only. If the house is sold the new owner has NO warranty regardless of how new the water heater, or what its warranty period, is.

    Mark is too harsh and too blunt....
    where-as HJ is much more diplomatic .and is 100% correct....

    Like he has stated, if you have a Sears water heater leaking, they dont trust you to know your thumb from your ass, and want to send out a Sears repair man to "inspect" the heater to be sure it is leaking...

    this usually cost $115.00 and they will come out to your home sometime between the hours of 8am and 5.pm.
    YES, they do charge you for this call... aint that nice of them??.

    Its really no big deal, all you have to do is take the day off work and wait on the Sears guy. When he shows up , he will verify that your heater is leaking , (which you already knew because it totally flooded your home) oops..... there goes my sarcasam again.....

    then he will take your money and set you up with an appointment sometime over the next few days or weeks for one of their ....sub-contractors-- low end --underpaid installers ....to come out to install a new pro-rated water heater..

    This also will happen between the hours of 8 and 5. and this willl also cost you another installation charge.......


    all this is well worth the big dollars you save initially going with a low end , crappy sears water heater..... oops, my bad again.....

    LET THE BUYER BEWARE
    here is a link to some of their complaints over the past years....http://baheyeldin.com/technology-in-...er-heater.html

    oops, excuse me ..

    I am getting too harsh and carried
    away with myself,,,, again....

    dont want to hurt anyones feelings.

  11. #11
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Yes, you will pay more for another brand, and you will pay somewhat more for the install. You get what you pay for.
    Methinks its ben proven time and time again that you no longer get what you pay for, Its a huge crapshoot out there.

    I would buy 2 30's or a 30 and a 40 with the 30 as a preheat. when moms not in her boat, turn off the 30. that would set you back perhaps 450 dollars and now you have hot water even when one dies. And no rigging to get the 75 gal beast inside.

    Check the anode and add a longer one if its cheap short one.

    Nowadays they make a purse out of a sows ear and wrap it in silk. we have flocks of over educated college twits sitting about figuring out how to add a doo-dad to a car or heater to quadruple the profit.

    I have a hybrid car. Its a 2000 dodge caravan with monster drawers filled with tools and a dog and a kid. I drive up a big mountain to get to work on a lonely road. On the way home I kill the ignition and get 75MPG++ miles downhill. I have a jeep patriot, and it records mileage with the engine off. Yesterday on the run down the mountain with occasional shutoffs, I kid you not- the gas mileage hit 2,205 MPG.

    take the battery out of a "hybrid" and add auto shut-off with electric brakes and steering and you'l have 45 MPG without all the overthinking.

  12. #12
    DIY Member Montalvo's Avatar
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    My, my...sounds like there's no love lost on Sears, huh? Well, I took a chance and bought from Sears anyway, paying about $500 less and getting a twelve-year warranty rather than a six year warranty and TWO magnesium anodes. And their commitment to quickly perform the installation the day I placed my order was rather remarkable, such that I had to tell them to wait a few days since the old water heater's leak was minor.

    While the concerns raised above might be significant for some, they simply don't carry any weight in my situation. I'm retired and therefore don't have to take time off from work for a repairman. I have a second water heater, serving the other wing of the house, and worse-case would simply have to shower in one of our three guest rooms so a delay in repair wouldn't matter anyway. The water heater is in an equipment/storage room with a floor drain, mitigating concerns about leaks or discovery. As far as the warranty transfer, that again is of little concern since a) we plan on living in our dream house 'til we croak and b) a buyer is going to be mightily impressed with a water heater whose warranty hasn't expired REGARDLESS whether the warranty rights transfer to him/her (remember, the "professional' plumber's warranty was only six years). Finally, the buyer reviews I found on the Sears water heater were very favorable, especially in comparison to that found on the Rheem recommended by "master plumber mark".

    I appreciate all of you submitting your opinions on this, notwithstanding the fact that some were obviously tainted by pride, self-interest and prejudice. Thanks!

  13. #13
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Lets all support Sears, or we are in deep do-do for price competition with the few remaining big boxes.

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