Who Should You Choose to Install a Water Heater?

Replacing the water heater in your Cincinnati area home is no small project. When buying a new water heater, many homeowners wonder if it’s ok to purchase equipment retail, either online or through area home improvement stores, instead of using a plumber.

Retailers advertise low prices on equipment, but are they the best choice when buying a new water heater? We may be a plumbing company, but we’re not biased when we say it’s best to purchase your new water heater through your plumber.

There are many key differences Cincinnati homeowners don’t expect when buying a new water heater from a retail store versus a local plumbing contractor. However, these differences have real impacts to your water heater installation project.

Before you hit the plumbing aisle at the closest big box store, learn about the differences involved when you make a water heater purchase via retail versus a plumber. With the information below, you know what you’re getting into either way you go.

Don’t take risks when buying a new water heater – turn to Thomas & Galbraith for superior equipment backed by quality installation. Receive a free estimate for water heater installation when you contact us today!

The Retail Experience When Buying a New Water Heater

The number of home improvement stores and online retailers out there give homeowners a wide range of water heater systems to choose from and compare. Advertised discounts and low prices seem like this route helps you save on your water heater installation project, but is the low price worth it?

Water Heater Quality

The units available at a retail store or online typically are not the same as those sold through a local plumber. Low retail prices are often possible due to lower product quality and the use of less durable components. Water heaters available for retail purchase may use plastic valves, aluminum anode rods, less insulation, and other components not of the same quality as professional models. Such components don’t have as long of a service life and are more prone to malfunctions due to material choices.

No Experts on-Hand

Ensuring the right selection when buying a new water heater depends on specialized knowledge, which average homeowners do not have themselves. Well, neither do retail employees, in most cases. Retail employees typically do not have the detailed knowledge of plumbing systems and water heating equipment that a licensed plumber does, so you have no professional to consult when making your choice. Usually, the only information you have to go off is the product details printed on the display or online.

Because retail employees rarely have professional plumbing experience, they also are not knowledgeable regarding the process involved to install a new water heater bought from the store. Homes may require additional work beyond hooking up the new unit to facilitate proper use, such as plumbing system upgrades, rerouting plumbing or gas pipes, and more. Such work is often necessary when buying a new water heater to upgrade capacity, switch fuel sources, or go from tank to tankless systems.

Sales Only, No Service

Selling you a new unit is the only concern of a retailer. Once the sale is complete, retailers do not remain available to assist you throughout your home improvement project. National chain stores and online retail giants are less concerned with your satisfaction in their goods than a local company. They do not offer any help for you regarding problems you may encounter over your water heater’s years of service.

Retailers do not perform installation services. So, what are you going to do with a brand-new water heater if you don’t know how to install it? And, how are you going to get this giant, heavy thing home? When buying a new water heater from an online retailer or big box store, you are on your own.

Buying a New Water Heater from a Local Plumbing Company

Buying a new water heater from a local plumbing company means more than just equipment, it means installation services, too. A plumbing professional guides you through selecting a new water heater determines proper sizing so the new unit is able to accommodate your household’s needs, and performs reliable installation services. Plus, a plumber is there for you ongoing, should you require help after installation.

Plumbing Expertise

Licensed plumbers possess years of industry experience along with dedicated training. A local plumber knows the specifics of the water heater models that are suitable for your home and is a great resource to consult as you evaluate features and potential energy savings.

When buying a new water heater through a plumber, this professional calculates the hot water demand of your home to make sure your new model provides enough hot water for all your family’s needs. Your plumber is the person to talk to about what it will take for more complicated water heater installations, such as larger capacity units, installing a gas water heater in place of an electric model, or switching to a tankless unit.

Quality Water Heating Equipment

Plumbers purchase water heaters through industry wholesalers, distributors, or direct from the manufacturer. Through these professional channels, plumbers have access to higher-quality equipment, built with more durable components than systems available through retail. Relationships established through years of doing business provide plumbers with better pricing so they can pass savings on to homeowners. They make orders and manage deliveries so you don’t have to.

Installation and Future Care

After buying a new water heater from a plumbing company, it is installed by a licensed plumber. He or she performs all work necessary to place your new system into service for your family’s use. This includes not only the installation of the unit itself but all other work necessary to accommodate it, such as running gas lines or rerouting plumbing piping.

When buying a new water heater and having it installed by a plumber, you also benefit from the contractor’s labor warranty. Plumbers typically offer a warranty term that protects you from unexpected repair costs if an issue arises with installation work. If your system requires repairs covered under your manufacturer’s warranty, your plumber is also able to perform this work.

Your support doesn’t stop after installation when you work with a local plumbing company – plumbers are in the business of creating lasting relationships with their customers. Your satisfaction matters to a local plumbing company. Call upon your plumber for reliable service in the future whenever your new water heater requires maintenance or repairs.

Don’t Expect a Plumber to Install a Retail Unit

It might sound like a good idea, buying a new water heater from a retailer and hiring a plumber to perform the install – you’d save money on the project by taking advantage of the retailer’s discount prices. Unfortunately, most licensed plumbers do not perform these types of water heater installations.

Buying a new water heater outside of your relationship with a plumber means the plumber has no ability to guarantee the unit’s quality or even that it is the appropriate model for your home. Depending on the equipment model, your plumber may not have experience with the brand you have selected. Most plumbing companies are unwilling to perform installation of water heaters that homeowners have bought elsewhere.

Retailer Installation Woes

In the last few years, major online and home improvement retailers have started to offer installation services for equipment bought through their companies. These services advertise that the work is performed by a licensed professional, so many homeowners believe it is a good option. Since a local plumbing company won’t install a water heater purchased from a retail, just use the retailer’s service, right?

There are some drawbacks to using such a service when buying a new water heater. You do not have the ability to pick your preferred plumbing contractor – you are stuck using the contractor hired by the retailer. If you have issues with the contractor’s qualifications or reputation, there is really no remedy.

When issues arise with installation, homeowners have to work through the retailer, who acts as a middleman. This extra step between you and the plumber adds more time to achieve resolution and the potential for communication errors. Homeowners who have chosen to use these services have reported poor workmanship by retailer contractors as well as hassles getting their issues corrected.

Choose Thomas & Galbraith for Water Heater Installation

Don’t run the risk of buying a new water heater through a retailer when your home’s hot water supply is so important to everyday life. Thomas & Galbraith works with our customers to assess needs and match them to the perfect new unit when buying a new water heater. Plus, our licensed plumbers deliver quality workmanship on every installation job. We guarantee your satisfaction, or else the job isn’t finished.

When your Cincinnati home needs a new water heater, contact Thomas & Galbraith to receive a free estimate for equipment and installation.

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