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Water Heater Repair Rip Offs

Water Heater Repair Rip Offs

There are several large plumbing companies in the Las Vegas valley charging exorbitant prices for water heater replacements.

I know this to be true because whenever I see one  in the plumbing supply I ask them what they get for various plumbing tasks and they are not bash full about telling me.

The most recent time the man told me they charge $1750.00 for a 40 gallon gas water heater with the standard, minimum 6 year warranty.

Shocked, I then asked him what his sales approach was that allowed his company to charge $500 to $600 dollars above the average for the heater.

He told me that they use a very choreographed presentation which involves replacing everything connected to the heater.

Even if the heater already has earthquake straps and a pan he replaces them. I asked him why and he said he tells the customer that there could be a hole in the pan under the heater that cannot be seen and that the straps could be rusty and may fail in the event of an earthquake.

I do not agree as those pans are aluminum and the straps are strong metal and if they were rusted you could see it.
He also said that he always replaces the flex lines and the valve feeding the tank. This procedure I do agree with unless the ball valve looks fairly new.

The main thrust of his sales pitch is the service agreement which is part of the price. The company says they will return once a year to flush the heater and pull out the anode rod to see if it is eaten away enough to replace.
The anode rod attracts the bad elements in the water and sacrifices itself so the inner tank won’t rust out as fast, thereby extending the life of the heater.

They should be changed out every 2 years, they do not need to be pulled and checked.

As far as flushing the heater I have written in a previous blog that it does no good because the way the tank is built the drain valve is a few inches above the bottom of the tank where the the rust and gunk is. I know this because if I can get the valve to work at all, I have to lay the old tank down to get all the water out before I take it away.

The valves manufactures put on all water heaters are always the cheapest and many time won’t drain the tank. I have to unscrew them and quickly thread in a piece of pipe and a ball valve connected to a hose to drain the tank. Many towels are usually involved.

These companies always carry 40 gallon and 50 gallon heaters on their trucks so so the customer can sign on the dotted line and there is no chance they can change their mind.

I do not believe these companies go back to these houses every year and if they do they  accomplish nothing.
All they want is the $1700.

This particular service tech asked me what I charged for a water heater and when I told him he accused me of low balling HIM!!

The other people in the supply house at the time found it difficult to keep a straight face.

Watch out for the big, grandiose sales pitch.

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