A New Water Heater for the Cottage

First I want to mention that I have always called the household water heater a
“hot water heater”. I have just recently realized how redundant the word “hot” is.  I don’t think you can call it a water heater if it doesn’t make hot water.

The Cottage has a full bathroom and plumbing for a washer/dryer so it needs hot water.
The Cottage has a full bathroom and plumbing for a washer/dryer so it needs hot water.

Now that I’ve corrected that I’ll get on with the process of selecting a new one.  The water in The Cottage has been turned off for over a year because the hot water  heater began to leak.  It has been drained.

Consumer Reports is a reliable resource.
Consumer Reports is a reliable resource.

Finally we’re ready to commit to a new water heater. First, of course, I checked Consumer Reports which did not give a “best” brand but did lay out some guidelines one of which is to get the longest warranty available — 10 to 12 years. “Coverage for most heaters typically runs 3 to 12 years. While you’ll usually pay a bit more for longer-warranty models, we’ve found that they tend to have larger elements or burners that can speed up water heating, essentially increasing the hot water available, along with thicker insulation for less heat loss. We suggest choosing models with the longest warranty available.”

My plumber said the standard warranty is 6 years and if you increase that the price increases because you are actually paying for an extended insurance policy rather than an improved product. One plumber (see below) added $200 to the cost for a 10-year vs. 6-year warranty.

The water heater in The Cottage is in a closet and 16-inches in diameter.
The American water heater in The Cottage is in a closet and 16-inches in diameter.

The water heater we’re replacing is a 30-gallon propane tank.  We want something similar.

Our county's permit fees.
Our county’s permit fees.

The pricing for a water heater in our area is the cost of the water heater itself, a permit to install, and the installation. The county permit costs about $50 and is included in the overall price.

My plumber likes Bradford-White because while it's under warranty B-W sends a new unit.
My plumber likes Bradford-White because while it’s under warranty B-W sends a new unit.

Our first estimate from the plumber who is installing the shower fixtures is $1076 for a Bradford White water heater installed.

Additional estimates:                                                Brand                  Price

My Plumber                            6-yr                                Bradford White   $1076

Plumbing Service                   6-yr                                Bradford White     $961

Local Plumber A                    6-yr                                State or Rheem      $967

Local Plumber  A                   10-yr                               Bradford White   $1167

Local Plumber B                                                             A O Smith             $

The more information we have the more difficult the ultimate decision seems. Why do things have to break?

What is the last appliance you replaced?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

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