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New Water Heater Mandate - Effective April 16, 2015

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by KTdid, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    If you are considering buying a new water heater, you might want to do it soon because updates to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) that will go into effect this spring will impact your choices and costs in the future.

    In essence, this NAECA update means that it will be mandatory for manufacturers to have new efficiency standards on all residential water heaters made after April 16, 2015. Those changes to gas water heaters will include additional insulation, new flue baffling technologies and the incorporation of electronic ignition in lieu of a pilot light, or any combination of these changes and in effect, larger units.


    And just like most changes mandated by the government, it will hit our pocketbooks.

    “Industry consensus is that prices will go up hundreds on gas water heaters under 55 gallons,” Kronk said. However, if you have the need for a lot of hot water, for example your whirlpool tub, and are today using a 75-gallon unit, the impact could be huge.

    “These changes are mostly impacting people who use more hot water,” Kronk said.
    He added in order to get that amount of hot water following the new mandates, people that use the larger 75 gallon heaters will either need to buy two 40 or 50 gallon tanks, get a 75-gallon condensing unit that could cost more than $2,000, or go with a tankless water heater.


    While April 16, 2015, is the date the act goes into effect, wholesalers and manufacturers will be able to sell their existing inventories after that date, but they can’t manufacture products that don’t meet the new standards after that date.

    With the majority of water heaters in use being gas-fired, this law also mandates changes for oil-fired and electric water heaters. Regardless of which type you have today, the bottom line is you will need to be proactive if a new water heater is on the horizon for your home, so you can save some money now.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/life/home-garden/2015/02/05/water-heaters-costlier/22948713/
     
  2. pauleyc

    pauleyc Member

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    The hardest part of this mandate is the new venting requirements. Its my understanding that its a horizontal vent that has to exit the house and can't be within 6ft of a door or window. All our flues are vertical and out the roof. I don't know about your basement layout, but I would have to build a bulkhead in the basement to support that requirement. Unacceptable from a looks and cost perspective.
     
  3. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    I don't see anything that suggests venting must be horizontal - it must be through pvc pipe though and most already are.

    Also, anyone buying new construction should consider whether their utilities closet will accommodate the newer water heater and if not, they should make sure the builder makes concessions for it.
     
  4. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    I'm going to replace my water heater before the rules change, plus it's 15 years old.
    Anyone have recommendations? I've gotten two quotes. One was $1800 from a company in Middleburg, and $1600 from Modern Mechanical.
     
  5. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    One thing to bear in mind...the original water heaters will be around for some time due to excess inventory, and then there's the 'black' market - just like Freon. Some folks will want to change theirs in a year or two (not now) so you may want to eventually purchase one and store it until your ready to replace the old one. They can be purchased for $600-$900.

    I had the 'builder installed' water heater replaced by FH Furr based on a recommendation so while I expected to pay $1800, they came in at $1950. They operate on a fixed fee schedule so they refused to give a phone quote. I think this is a poor business model as most homeowners base their decision on quotes. The pressure tank had water in it and had to be replaced, and the original install by the builder so sloppy that the technician removed and replaced some of the copper pipe to set it right. The new pressure tank is less than 1/2 the size of the old one and the unit had to be moved out from the wall to accommodate the drip pan. The builder never connected the water heater to the drain pipe which sticks up out of the concrete a good 6 inches. That will be a future project...

    One final note: the room which houses the water heater is in an unfinished basement room. The room was always warmer than the rest of the house...now that the new heater is installed, the room is colder. According to the County Inspector, the old heater's insulation was probably damp and it put out ambient heat, which should never happen. The new heater is also louder when it's reheating the water but reheats the water in a shorter amount of time.

    Hope to get another 15 years out of this one.
     
  6. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    I thought about just buying one as well and not installing it. However, I do not trust government regulations. They could decide on a whim that it is no longer legal to install the old style at some point. New ones come with at least a 10 year warranty, and I plan to sell the house by then, so I figured I'd just install it and be done.
     
  7. jmbranch

    jmbranch New Member

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    Cliff and KT, what size tank are you installing?
     
  8. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    Stayed with a 50 gallon...
     
  9. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    :huh: Said he, who works for the FAA!
     
  10. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    You got it! The incredible amount of waste and asinine regulation I see in just my one little corner of one Agency has guided my opinion.
     
    latka likes this.
  11. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    I have a 75 gallon tank and want to keep one. I don't believe there is any change if you want to keep a 50 gallon tank.
     
  12. PDILLM

    PDILLM Active Member

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    VACliff- Just sent you a PM
     
  13. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    My experience with Modern Mechanical:
    Called a few weeks ago to get a price to replace my 75 gallon water heater. I was quoted $1609. My next lowest estimate was $1800.
    Last Friday, I decided to move forward with the work. Stopped by Modern Mechanical to place the work order. I was told that they weren't sure any were in stock and that supply is quickly drying up. They promised to call back later that day to let me know if they could get one. While I was waiting to hear back, I confirmed that my second choice company with the $1800 quote still had a tank. the answer was yes.
    Modern Mechanical calls me back. Good news! They had a tank in the warehouse on hold for someone, but they cancelled the order. The tank was now available to me! At over $2100! I reminded Emily that she quoted me a price of $1609 a few weeks ago. She said they were hard to find and prices were going up. I reminded her that they didn't have to "find" the tank, and that it was already in the warehouse. She said that I can try to find a cheaper one elsewhere, but the $2100 price was it. I tolkd Emily that I didn't appreciate companies taking advantage of consumers and price-gouging simply because they can. I'm going with the $1800 company.
    Not what I expected from a company that won the "small business of the year" award.
    I will never do business with a company like this and hope anyone reading this won't either.
     
    Pirate likes this.
  14. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    Agree, sounds like they were price gouging... What brand did go with?
     
  15. Genco

    Genco Member

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    I just had Pipe Kings replace a 75 gallon HWH and they did a great job! Paul showed up on time and as promised and did a great job.
     
  16. PDILLM

    PDILLM Active Member

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    Just another confirmation of my experience with them. I've been PM'ing people the details of my experience with them in the hopes that it was an isolated case, but it appears it is not. Note that my comments about fair prices were my experience, but this was months ago and things have obviously changed. I would not recommend them to anyone.....


    We had them replace our hot water heater....

    Well...... Let me start out by saying their prices were fair and reasonable (about 500 less than the others). They came out and looked at our old heater and confirmed it needed replacement (which I knew). They suggested the same size heater and once they returned to the office I was contacted and we set up a time for the next week. Was scheduled for between 8-12, so I took the morning off from work. When 12:30 rolled around with no one showing up, I called the office and they said there was no appointment for us! After some discussion they realized they dropped the ball and scheduled it for a few days later. They showed up on time that day and replaced the heater. At one point one of the guys came up the stairs and said his wife was having a baby and he had to go! The other worker came up a minute later and said all was complete. I went down about an hour later and saw water spraying against the wall by the water heater! I called MM and conveyed I can't blame the new father for leaving, but why would they send a guy out on a job when his wife was due any day! I stopped the water as best I could and they returned the next day and repaired the leak. I asked them if they could also look at one of my leaking sinks while they were here, and they conveyed it was all fixed. Sure enough, I went upstairs and it was leaking more than ever! So, I called them back and they said they would come back the next day.

    At this point I asked to speak to the owner, who after our conversation, offered to buy us a dinner ($50) for our troubles. Nice gesture, but by this time I had eaten three days of vacation and spent almost $1500 with them. The $50 seemed like he didn't understand what 3 days of vacation was worth...let alone $1500!

    So, fair prices but unless the attention to detail has improved and they work the problem until it is fixed I found the cost on my side to be too much! If I needed to check on plumbers to make sure there are no leaks, and they were 0-2, then I decided I can't afford them.
     
  17. dsd

    dsd New Member

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    With the prices of the old tank rising sharply, tankless doesn't seem like such a penalty. Has anyone gone that route? That is what I am leaning towards when our 100gallon gives up the ghost.
     
  18. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    If you currently have a 100 gallon - presume you use a lot of water? 2 level house? It's recommended you have at least two installed especially if you tend to run a dishwasher/washing machine and/or shower at the same time.
     
  19. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    I used Artisan plumbing. I would recommend them highly. The tank manufacturer is Bradford White.
     
  20. z28lt1

    z28lt1 New Member

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    I was not planning on replacing our hot water heater, but ours sprung a leak on the Friday of Easter weekend, with family in town staying with us. Since it was the weekend, and actually leaking, I wasn't price shopping, and just wanted to find someone who could get it done. Some of the plumbing companies I've used in the past could not come until Monday. I called Bowman's, at around 2:00 who I've used for AC stuff before, but never plumbing. The plumber was there by 3:00, scheduled the replacement for the next morning (Saturday) and got it all wrapped up by lunch on Saturday. 75 Gallon Bradford White, at a fair price, and the install was well done and professional. I'm very pleased. Also happy that if the tank went, it went in time for me to still get one before the changes.
     

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