It’s the middle of the night. Your hot water tank has burst and you are wondering what to do next. Navigating the complicated hot water tank replacement market in Calgary can be so confusing. Companies routinely will give low estimates to you on the phone, only to tack on potentially dozens of extra charges after they arrive at your home. To insiders, this is known as the Water Heater Shuffle. What style do you have, what size? Most importantly, how much should it cost?
This document was created to help you understand the complete picture of a hot water tank replacement. Let’s get started with the basics.
- What kind of hot water heater do I have?
There are many different styles and uses for water heaters, but generally you need to know: is your tank an atmospheric style or high efficient model? Is it electric or gas? These styles differ greatly in efficiency and cost. Having the correct model and serial number from your existing tank is the only way to get an accurate replacement quote.
- What size is my hot water heater?
Just like peoples homes, the sizes of hot water tanks can also vary greatly. Some common sizes are 40, 50 or 60 US gallons. It’s not possible to get a firm price on replacement with out this information. Our competitors often guess at a size, only to surprise you with a quote much higher than discussed on the phone.
- What should be included in the replacement quote?
Of course, there are connecting components to every water heater. When getting verbal quotes from other companies on the phone, they neglect to mention the extra charges to replace these components. On top of that, they often “forget” to mention that they charge extra for removal and disposal. This is all an attempt to appear to have the lowest price and get in your door. Very often, the emergency shut off to the hot water tank will need to be replaced. The venting for the unit may be unsafe and needs to be brought up to code. What about the gas shut off? This needs to be checked for leaks and proper operation. All of these things are included in the service you receive from Plumbing Paramedics.
- How long should this take? What materials will be used?
Another very common way companies undercut pricing from qualified, honest plumbers is to cheap out on the install time and materials used. What a competitor may do is send an inexperienced technician that makes a lower wage to your home. That technician will be getting paid by the install, so for them time is of the essence. Care will not be taken in your home to protect walls, to roll out floor protectors, or to do a proper job with the actual install. We routinely hear of our competition taking 45 mins or less to change a leaking hot water tank. This is not enough time to do a good job.
Our competitors also save money and time by using what’s known as a Sharkbite connector to reconnect the water. This allows unqualified plumbers to complete the work, even with insufficient training. Real plumbers use hard pipe. Real plumbers solder or crimp their joints. We also use dielectric unions to prevent electrolysis from corroding the connections. We only use Sharkbites in an emergency. Our standards are higher.
- What kind of warranty service can I expect?
Every company will say they have good warranty service, but few can actually provide it. What good is your 10 year warranty if you have to wait 3 weeks for an appointment? Larger companies have too many commitments to service your hot water tank quickly. We get a huge number of service requests from customers who have obtained a warranty from another company, only to be told it’s a 2 or 3 week wait for a service call. That’s a long wait for hot water you’ve already paid for, and to us, that’s not fair. We service all of our warranty customers with great priority.
At Plumbing Paramedics, we don’t participate in the Water Heater Shuffle. We send a fully trained, competent technician to come out and give you a real, complete in person quote. We tell you the complete picture, with no games. So when you’re considering another company, keep in mind they may not be telling you the whole story.
Our quotes include:
- All extras that may be required such as valves, venting, unions
- Removal and disposal of your old unit
- A helper to assist removing your old tank, so as not to damage your home (if required).
- Floor protectors to prevent dings and scrapes.
- Fully trained technicians that DO NOT get paid by the job, allowing them the ability to take all the time required.
- Fantastic warranty service (check out our reviews!)
- And much more!
Kellen Pretulac (Owner)