Posted

Pricing a water heater today? You may ask, “Are water heaters increasing in price?” Find out the real answer in this post. (And it’s not because plumbers want to change their prices on residential water heaters!)

If you’re like many homeowners who need to replace their water heater, you get on the phone and call plumbing contractors for a replacement water heater quote. Back in the day, it was typical to get this information over the phone–today, it’s another story. Since the new National Appliance Energy Conservation Act requirement went into effect on April 16th requiring higher Energy Factors (EF) for water heaters, it will cost manufacturers more to build water heaters, and it will take more time to install that water heater, which is why a new water heater is predicted to cost more money no matter where you purchase it!

Now you know– the price increase on water heaters has nothing to do with plumbing contractors wanting to charge more for water heater replacements! In fact, I bet the majority of plumbing contractors would like to go back to the days when only one plumber was needed to replace the water heater in a home!

On the plus side– the new water heaters have improved in efficiency and will save you money on your energy cost!

Below is a summary of the changes to the manufacturing and regulating of water heaters that is driving the cost increase to replace water heaters:

  • Higher efficiency requires additional materials and insulation in the manufacturing which will result in an increase in water heater size by at least 2 inches in height and diameter—driving up the cost to build a water heater.
  • The time to install a water heater will increase. Some heaters that never needed an electrical connection may need one now. Many water heaters may now require a connection for the spark ignition system. And some of the new dampers for gas-fired water heaters may require an electrical connection.
  • Size increase will mean that a replacement water heater that once fit into a small closet may no longer fit. This will be a problem for small apartments and multi-family apartment buildings with small footprints. Many will have to find the room to relocate the replacement water heater or simply look into the option of installing a tankless water heater.
  • Heavier water heaters will require the strength of 2 plumbers, rather than 1 plumber.
  • Some new water heaters will require a drain for the condensate.
  • For basement installation, a condensate pump maybe required if no drain is available in the floor.
  • Venting the new water heaters will require some upgrading because the standard venting may not be adequate for the new high-efficiency water heater.
  • Some new water heaters may require a blower or fan for operation–which will add to the cost and increase the noise level.

While there are still some uncertainties of when the stock of pre-existing water heaters will be gone and the new ones will have to be installed, plumbing contractors have feverishly been working on implementing and preparing for this changes.

The big concern a plumber and a homeowner will have when replacing their existing water heater: Will the new water heater still fit in the utility closet? Will plumbing contractors see a rise in heat pump water heaters and tankless water heaters? Only time will tell… In the meantime, remember the installation of these new water heaters is going to take some expertise. Be sure to work with a licensed and qualified plumber who is employed with a reputable plumbing contractor–like M.E. Flow. Have questions about replacing your water heater? Give us a call.

M.E. Flow has been serving the Northern Virginia area since 1951. With office locations in Leesburg, Alexandria, and Winchester, plumbing contractor, M.E. Flow is just a 15 minute drive to Ashburn, 20 minutes from Annandale, and 14 minutes from Stephens City, VA. Call heating, air conditioning, and plumbing contractor M.E. Flow today and meet with one of our professional plumbing advisors for a quote to replace your home’s water heater. M.E. Flow is now serving West Virginia, too, with complete plumbing services.