Many thanks for those who offered advice on water heaters. We did decide to go with a tankless gas unit because of the need to recover space to be able to reach our electrical panel. We called around to see what plumbers would charge for installation. The experience reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies:
I got a bid out of the gate at from Home Depot’s installers was 2500. Second bid was 4200 from a local plumber. Third bid was 1000, which is about what I expected the job to run. This is just labor for installation, and some parts. I had explained that we’ll buy the hardware. I would expect if I were to undertake doing this myself, the whole job would take me a weekend. I’d also have to buy a 250 dollar 6″ masonry coring bit to core the hole for the vent, and then rent a coring drill, if I didn’t want to feel like I was trying to escape from Alcatraz by chipping through the masonry with the tools I have.
I figure 10 hours would be a generous estimate for the number of hours it would take a pro. Given that, the 2500 bid was 250/hr and the 4200 bid was 420/hr. I don’t think the Endodontist who did my root canal was pulling down 420/hr. I could hire a decent lawyer for that kind of money! I’m wondering if the 4200/hr bidder ever gets people to accept those kinds of bids, but I guess people do or they wouldn’t be in business. Needless so say, we’re going with the 1000 dollar bid. For 4200 bucks I’ll chip through my masonry walls with an ice pick myself!
One thing I had to do yesterday was install an outlet in the area the water heater is going to be mounted to power the micro-controller on the unit. The most expensive bidder wanted a separate circuit, and I have no spare stabs in the box. That seems silly to me. I can understand a furnace, sump pump, or stove — something the integrity of the house depends on or is a heavy draw — but is it really a disaster if you lose hot water from a breaker trip? The low bidder just wanted an outlet, so that’s now done. Hopefully I can be done with taking showers out of a bucket of stove heated water by Tuesday.