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waterheaterzone.com
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I posted this at the Ridgid forum, and I thought it would be good here too:



Yet another reason I am slowly transitioning to mostly drain-cleaning. Not only are water heaters being made worse and worse every year, but the cost keeps going up and up. Here in NC, it is supposed to be illegal for anyone to install a water heater without pulling a permit and having a plumbing license. Yet, every day unlicensed handymen install water heaters without a permit.:cursing:
Now that water heaters are so expensive, and my unlicensed competition is so cheap, its gotten to the point that I rarely ever get to replace one. Most people call for a price, then they keep calling until they get the cheapest guy in town who has no license, no insurance, and will not bother with a permit.
I used to get upset about it, but now I have come to accept it. It wont change, the almighty dollar drives the market and people will continue hiring unlicensed, uninsured installers as long as they are cheaper than a legitimate plumber.
I just decided to move one. I sell a water heater maybe once a month for customers who are willing to pay a little more for quality, permitted, inspected, insured work. Other than that, I get lots of "I'll just get it at lowe's" (and have my handyman install it).
So now I have some of the best drain-cleaning/inspection equipment in the county and hopefully within a few years I'll have so much drain business that I won't even bother with the ridiculous politics of water heaters installs any more.
 

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We don't have that problem here, but yes all water heater installs require a permit.
 

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Have you ever thought of doing work for Lowes? Our Lowes informs their customers of code requirements (water heater stand, exp. tank etc.). From what I understand you decide how much you want to do for them. It may be a way to gain valuable customers.

We love doing water heaters because that is the most profitable for us. However, we don't do them for Lowes.
 

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I think our Lowes pays $240.00 for 40 gallons or less, simple swap on electric. Extra money for expansion tank, shut-offs etc.
 

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I think our Lowes pays $240.00 for 40 gallons or less, simple swap on electric. Extra money for expansion tank, shut-offs etc.
Is that labor only?
 

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Plumbing labor only. It doesn't sound like much, but when you factor in you didn't spend anything to get the customer (let's use $50.00), $290.00 for 2- 2.5 hours work isn't bad for the small guy starting out. A local contractor with 8 trucks started out that way - I thought it might be a good way for Carl to get his name out there.
 

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Last I heard, they were getting $300 for an install around here. Of that money Lowe's takes HALF! So the plumbing contractor gets $150. He has to pick it up at Lowe's and bring it to the customer's house and install it to code for only $150!!! I can't do that.
I know a guy who works at Lowes here, I will ask if they keep 50%.

As a side note - our Lowes laid off all their full time employees and only kept part timers due to the slow economy.
 

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Thats about the average time to do a heater, we will add a extra hour to dispose of the heater. We basically have a set charge, and if we get it done in good time, we make money on them.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter #12
Last I heard, they were getting $300 for an install around here. Of that money Lowe's takes HALF! So the plumbing contractor gets $150. He has to pick it up at Lowe's and bring it to the customer's house and install it to code for only $150!!! I can't do that.
BTW, I got this info. firsthand from someone who was doing installs for them.
 

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Doing a heater for $150.00 is a joke!

Ron, we figure 3 hours for all electric water heaters and 9/10 times our guys get them done in 1.5-2hrs.
 

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Thank you.:)

Yes, that is my point in posting this thread basically. Not just the bigbox stores, but also all the unlicensed guys out there that are doing them that cheap.:furious:

I also agree $150 is wayyyyyyyyyy to cheap for anyone, Hell man, what happened to the good ole days of America when the rule of thumb was labor was 3x the price of parts.......no wonder everyone is broke :)

I have mixed feelins about big boxed stores, I mean crap, if wal-mart wasn't here I would starve :)
 

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I'm with you all . If I get a water heater once every couple weeks ,,thats great . If not ,, oh well.
I refuse to install that CRAP from the big box stores . If a customer wants /needs a water heater from me ,,, it's Bradford White .

Cal
 

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Around here, the company which installs HD water heaters maintains his own inventory in a couple of warehouses. He does not have to send a truck to the store for every job. That would be ridiculous, because I am guessing that in San Diego, HD does a few dozen a day. About 2 or 3 a day per store.??
 

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Just a question - The hot water tanks you install into peoples homes - these people have house insurance right?

What are the requirements in their house to maintain their house insurance? Would their house insurance companies be a little upset if they found out some handyman was installing a new hot water tank and not a licensed, insured, Plumbing Contractor?
 

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Have you ever thought of doing work for Lowes? Our Lowes informs their customers of code requirements (water heater stand, exp. tank etc.). From what I understand you decide how much you want to do for them. It may be a way to gain valuable customers.

We love doing water heaters because that is the most profitable for us. However, we don't do them for Lowes.
Install Whirlpool Water Heaters for Lowes?:eek:
Are you kidding?
I'd rather go on a date with my ex-mother-in-law!
 

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www.DunbarPlumbing.com
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GE PowerVents are getting to be very troublesome even though they have Robertshaw control valves on them.


I worked on a Lowe's gas WH two sunday's ago...got paid and never fixed the problem. Apparently the guy couldn't wait for me and had someone else replace the heater. Can't move already scheduled calls.


I'm starting to get some good background knowledge on Intelli-vent gas controls though.
 
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