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Indirect water heater install quote

hot_rod
hot_rod Member Posts: 21,868
a time estimate without being there would be hard. I can't imagine a 4 hour job, unless it is a changeout of an exisiting indirect and all the connections, wiring, space, etc is in place.

If the entire system needs to be drained down, tees cut in, piping upsized, the system refilled and purged (that alone can take hours if bleed points do not currently exist).....

A thermostatic mix valve may be a good idea to allow the tank to run hotter and handle bacteria and heavy HW useage. Is this in some of the bids?

So to make a long story long :) probably not less than 4 for a code approved, professional install, and maybe 8 hours or more if major rebuilding is needed or current "out of code" conditions need to be corrected.

Will this require a permit and inspection. That will add cost and time to accomplish, also. Something I would insist on, by the way.

hot rod

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Bob "hot rod" Rohr
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Living the hydronic dream

Comments

  • Stu, Middletown, RI
    Stu, Middletown, RI Member Posts: 2
    Indirect water heater install quote

    How much labor should I expect a pro to expend to install an indirect water heater? Quotes from four heating contractors to disconnect my home's tankless hot water coil and install an indirect water heater: $2,070, using a 40-gal EX1-40L Stor-Ex; $1,500, using a Bock 40CT; $1,500, using an Amtrol 41 gal Boiler-Mate; and $450, using a unit I would provide. Since my local plumbing and heating supply will sell me a Weil-McLain for $550 or a Superstor, Bock or Amtrol for $650, is $1,000 to $1,500 for labor and miscellaneous additonal material reasonable?

    I've seen recommendations here for Bock, Superstor and others. I'm going to heed your warnings about Amtrol and steer clear of that brand. Please feel free to plug your favorite make and tell me why it's tops in your book. Thanks, gentlemen.
  • chuck shaw
    chuck shaw Member Posts: 584
    prices

    are generally something we avoid talking about on the wall. As everyone has a different pricing method. Just some things to take into account. There is probally more than just labor included in that figure. There is a circulator, there is something to control the circulator, there is wiring, there is the warrenty that you will get when someone else supplys the tank, that they wont provide if you do. There is someones time to go to the supply house and get the items.

    If you told me all you wanted was my labor to install a tank, that is one thing. You would supply it all. If there was something I needed and you didnt have it there for me, that labor figure would now become a time and materials figure. Be aware of what isnt included in that number when you supply the tank. Does that "labor only" figure include an electrician, or technichian to wire the unit. Also if you told me you were supplying the tank, I would expect it to be in the basement, near your boiler, thus, a one man job. If I had to supply the tank, now I would prefer to have two men there.

    You really cant compare the two, you are asking for two different jobs, even if the end result is the same.

    Just a few things to think about.

    Chuck Shaw

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  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    Chuck

    is right on. There's a little more to this than wheeling the indirect into the basement and plugging it in like a dryer or a refrigerator. Piping near the boiler usually needs to be re-configured to adapt for the tank's supply and return (not in the low bidder's case). Wiring,controls, piping, domestic mixing valve all take time to plan out and install, like Chuck said. One of the most common mistakes has the installer thinking 3/4" pipe and a zone valve works for every single situation/tank size-it doesn't. Properly sized piping and a dedicated, properly sized circulator-usually wired into a priority control is key for the best installation.

    I've been using Phase 3 for 15 years. I like 'em due to the low pressure drop through the boiler side, and I just like the fact there is no coil inside-Phase 3 uses a tank within a tank.

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  • john_35
    john_35 Member Posts: 29
    price

    Don't take this the wrong way now but you got NO BUSINESS coming on this site and asking us to second guess, what?, 4 different men's take on what it will cost to cover all the unaccountable intangible unforeseen things that come up in an average installation. You know what? Guys who think the bottom line is where it's at get just what they deserve!! It's ALWAYS more expensive to do things the cheapest way!! You want to know what's unreasonable? Expecting the low bid to cost you less, thinking it won't come back and bite you in the ****! Trying to make a living when you have to deal with ahos like you! That's what I think is unreasonable!
  • Ken Corwin
    Ken Corwin Member Posts: 2
    What's unreasonable?

    What's unreasonable John is that you verbally attack someone who is asking a question, and then labelling him. It's a profession, not a bar, and unfortunately there are some contractors who gouge customers and some customers who think everything is too much money, but it is definitely not a service to the customers we serve to ridicule them and put a black eye on our profession.
  • Paul Rohrs_2
    Paul Rohrs_2 Member Posts: 171
    Supply House

    As someone who works in a supply house, I am always STUNNED by the regional differences in standard operating procedures. Selling directly to a HO......?

    My local Taco rep opened an account with a residential plumber the other day, it was kind of a big stink. He didn't value the business we had already established I guess. Essentially, he was bypassing us and selling directly to the plumber. (Think large east coast gas co)

    They have a business to run, we have a business to run. I am currently in the process of depleting my Taco inventory and running with B&G. They also lost my business with ALL of the their other lines. If they don't need wholesale distribution, they don't need wholesale distribution and I am not going to cater to that mentality. I guess that is why it is hard for me to stand by and watch other distributors squander (again,only my opinion) what I am still trying to protect. (Liscenced Contractors)

    Stu, I encourage you in your endevours and this is in no way an attack on what you are trying to achieve. I am just noting regional differences in wholesale operations.

    Regards,

    PR
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Not knowing....

    what is involved adding this to your existing system, it's impossible to give you a price from here. The pricing you have quoted actually seems low to me. I think you need to have each contractor explain why he is doing it the way he has quoted. After that, pick the contractor and forget about the price. My prices are always higher than my competitor's pricing. I have no problem with that since I shop for clients like you are shopping for contractors.

    Take a look at the Mega Stor by Crown and the Vitocell by Viessmann. They are at opposite ends of the indirect spectrum, but either will give you what it is you are looking for. The Viessmann indirects are absolutely the highest quality and overall efficient line of indirects on the market, but it sounds like it is not the tank for you. They are worth looking into though.

    hb

    http://climatecadvanced.com/products/Viessmann/Vitocell/vitocell.html
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    Paul,

    > As someone who works in a supply house, I am

    > always STUNNED by the regional differences in

    > standard operating procedures. Selling directly

    > to a HO......?

    >

    > My local Taco rep opened an

    > account with a residential plumber the other day,

    > it was kind of a big stink. He didn't value the

    > business we had already established I guess.

    > Essentially, he was bypassing us and selling

    > directly to the plumber. (Think large east

    > coast gas co)

    >

    > They have a business to run, we

    > have a business to run. I am currently in the

    > process of depleting my Taco inventory and

    > running with B&G. They also lost my business

    > with ALL of the their other lines. If they

    > don't need wholesale distribution, they don't

    > need wholesale distribution and I am not going to

    > cater to that mentality. I guess that is why it

    > is hard for me to stand by and watch other

    > distributors squander (again,only my opinion)

    > what I am still trying to protect. (Liscenced

    > Contractors)

    >

    > Stu, I encourage you in your

    > endevours and this is in no way an attack on what

    > you are trying to achieve. I am just noting

    > regional differences in wholesale

    > operations.

    >

    > Regards,

    >

    > PR





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  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    Paul

    If your supply house was in my area, you would find us to be your loyal customer. It has long been my policy to not purchase products from suppliers who sell to the public - especially if they choose to do so at our cost level.

    It is not fair to our loyal customers that our mechanics should be made to wait while supply house counterpeople waste valuable time answering the miriad of questions most DIY'ers (not all) need to ask. Then there's the protracted check writing delay too (in some cases).

    We've been approached by several manufacturers with offers for direct sales and we have declined their offers because we value the service and relationship we enjoy with our local suppliers.

    One local supplier, who went out of business, tried offering a program where they would print us business cards to hand out to consumers while "giving" us 2% of the plumbing fixture sale if we were the installer. The day they instituted that program was the same day we stopped buying anything from them.

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  • Bill Wright_3
    Bill Wright_3 Member Posts: 7
    Well said Ken ...

    One of the biggest hurdles (IMHO) in this industry, is our mindset. The customer is NOT the enemy !!

    We need to realize that we are all salesmen (not installers, designers, engineers, etc.) It is reasonable for a customer to question our quotes -- and the burden is on us to explain "what he getting for that price". If we can't rationally justify our quote, then something is wrong (with us, not the customer). The contractor with the high bid should have a reason why his bid is higher (... Maybe his work higher quality, or he has a better service department, or a better warrenty program, or his people are more professional) ... doesn't matter what he uses to differentiate himself, but he should have a justification for his quote.

    Those that can provide the rationale behind their quote, can (and usually will) demand a higher price.

    Don't shoo away the customer just because he questions your price!! It's his money, and he wants to spend it wisely (just like you would). Explain exactly what you are going to do for that price and convince him that you are giving him the best "bang for his buck". If his "buck" is too small, then he'll have to settle for less "bang" -- but at least you explained what he is losing by not accepting your bid.

    Bill W.

  • Stu, Middletown, RI
    Stu, Middletown, RI Member Posts: 2
    Indirect water heater install quote

    Thanks for all the feedback, gentlemen. John, too. :)

    So, back to my original question...What's a reasonable amount of labor for installing (plumbing, wiring, etc.) one of these units? Assuming the tank is in place and unpackaged, is this a 4 man-hour job? Twelve man-hours? Not being in the trade, I've no idea, but as a consumer with limited funds I'm price-conscious. I seek the best value for my buck, not necessarily the lowest bid. As I said, if a Bock or Stor-Ex sells for $600, I'd be paying one contractor at least $1,200 for labor and additional materials, over $1,400 in the case of the highest quoter. I'm wondering if these are reasonable figures.
  • Paul Cooke
    Paul Cooke Member Posts: 181
    What's a reasonable amount of labor for installing (plumbing, wi

    This is not an easy question for anyone here to answer because
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    Stu,

    To be fair, there's no way we can guestimate a reasonable installation without an eyes-on walk through. That wouldn't be at all fair to the hard working professionals you've already had spend their time. If the businesses you requested estimates from performed a site visit, then their pricing will reflect a much more accurate estimate.

    As was mentioned in a post above, there's a great deal more than just the tank that is needed for a completed working installation. As for products, I'd be inclined to go with the one being promoted by the installer of choice. The majority of us have developed loyalties to certain brands due to the product reliability (our warranties often exceed the time limits of the manufacturers) and, perhaps most importantly, the service we receive from our suppliers. In our case, the suppliers we choose to do business with provide service that mirrors our own. As an example - last winter we had a combustion inducer blower wheel fly apart late on a Sunday night. It was 6 degrees outdoors. The manager of a local supplier drove to another town to pick up the needed part from one of their branches and delivered it to our on-call mechanic who then returned to the home and restored the heat. The work was performed under warranty at no charge to the customer, which is one of the reasons why we need to mark up the materials for profit. No profit = no warranty or after hours freebies.

    If a customer wants to purchase their own products, they must assume the warranties. If that product breaks during handling or installation, we are not going to replace same. If it doesn't fit or is the wrong product, the lost time is billed as an extra. If we have to return it to the DIY home center, that's billable time too. Any sundry materials used in the process of attempting an installation for products that can't ultimately be made to work will, if necessary, be replaced during the installation of corrected materials and billing will be for both sets of materials. Any defects, leakage, cracks, blemishes, etc. that appear following an installation of customer supplied materials that are not caused by defects in our workmanship will be billed T&M for being corrected.

    We have seen far too many inferior, seconds grade or imported products that can't pass muster once installed. Imported pedistal sinks with china bowls that are paper thin where the pop-up assembly must be installed (hey - for $29 bucks it was a bargain - right?). Faucets that drip with one that blew itself apart on a third floor and flooded the dentists x-ray and dental chair on the 1st floor by the time the HO returned on Monday. Builders Square offered them a new faucet, but ended up paying for the damages - but not before a year had passed and lots of heartache for the HO. Would have been covered - immediately - by us if they'd spent the extra few bucks they'd saved. And so on, and so on...............

    On the other hand. When the customer purchases products we sell, they get 100% total coverage on both the labor and all materials. We also take full responsibility for what we've sized and recommended. If we make a mistake, the corrections are performed at no charge - including a change in materials or equipment if needed. Given the limited profits we charge per installation, that's cheap insurance and a deal that can't be beat.

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  • Rich_2
    Rich_2 Member Posts: 40
    Stu

    Maybe indirect isnt the best way to go,just keep using your coil that should save you money & you wont have to see any plumbers!
  • jg2700
    jg2700 Member Posts: 21


    stu i use bock inderects i love them not one leaker yet to date .i cant say that for other brands. please stay away from stor x. i cant tell you what it will cost but do some research on the contractors.go with who you feel comfortable with.you might pay alittle more for alot less hassles down the road.jmho jg.
  • John Abbott
    John Abbott Member Posts: 356
    Hey John............

    > Don't take this the wrong way now but you got NO

    > BUSINESS coming on this site and asking us to

    > second guess, what?, 4 different men's take on

    > what it will cost to cover all the unaccountable

    > intangible unforeseen things that come up in an

    > average installation. You know what? Guys who

    > think the bottom line is where it's at get just

    > what they deserve!! It's ALWAYS more expensive to

    > do things the cheapest way!! You want to know

    > what's unreasonable? Expecting the low bid to

    > cost you less, thinking it won't come back and

    > bite you in the ****! Trying to make a living when

    > you have to deal with ahos like you! That's what

    > I think is unreasonable!



  • John Abbott
    John Abbott Member Posts: 356
    Hey John............

    A homeowner asked a perfectly reasonable question and recieved a lot of help and information and your reply attacking him in particular and homeowners in general.You do a great disservice to our industry with your attack.IMO this attitude and language has no place on the wall or any other forum.

    John
  • John@Reliable_2
    John@Reliable_2 Member Posts: 104
    Stu, have you considered...............

    just replacing the tankless? Cost would be allot less. I have found that when done right they work very well. Unless you have 6 people trying to shower or filling a whirlpool tub. I have found over the years most tankless systems get a bad rap (run out) due to installation and not the product. John@Reliable
  • JohnNY1
    JohnNY1 Member Posts: 62
    Phase 3

    I've been using PhaseIII for a few years now with great success. Very fast recovery. Good construction.
    However, I'm having a problem with one now that seems to be producing dirty water.

    Any thoughts?
This discussion has been closed.