Price for installing an indirect water heater?

lml999 Posted By lml999, Aug 1, 2016 at 7:32 PM

  1. lml999

    lml999
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    Oct 25, 2013
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    I'm swapping out a natural gas hot water heater for an indirect, as the NG heater doesn't have enough stack to make any real draft, and we're getting blowback into the basement. (see the photo below for the installation).

    The boiler has five zones currently, so we'll be adding a sixth zone with DHW priority.

    I just got a quote for the following:

    SuperStor 80 gallon indirect (double coil setup, so I have the option to plumb in solar later)
    Install sixth zone valve
    All necessary plumbing
    Clean up old setup, remove tank, etc.

    Cost was around $5200.

    Seems a bit high, since I've seen pricing on the indirect tank itself for just under $3K. Zone valve is $300 or so, miscellaneous plumbing parts is a couple of hundred. Labor in the range of $2K for this job?

    Seems a bit high, but maybe I'm cheap. :)

    Thoughts?

    Lee

    2016-07-19 13.34.36 copy.jpg
     
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  2. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm
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    May 29, 2012
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    That is an expensive water tank.

    Why not heat pump hot water heater? At one point you could get a GE GeoSpring for ~$500 with rebates, etc. and install wouldn't be bad. Probably a few hundred for a plumber and you can run the circuit yourself for <$100 in materials. In principle I just don't like running the boiler in the summer.
     
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  3. cableman

    cableman
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    Sep 26, 2013
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    Indirect would have cost me 2800 installed. Im glad i procrastinated and ended up installing a ge geosprings hphw 80 gallon for 1600 total. My boiler is now off for the warm months.
     
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  4. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Oct 17, 2008
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    I managed to get my geospring practically free. $700 in Rebates and tax credits.and i needed my old WH for a rental so that saved me around $300. New Geo was $999 at lowes. Your federal tax credit is $300 , Ck with your power provider for their rebate.
     
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  5. moey

    moey
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    Jul 12, 2012
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    Get a second quote. You may be paying a "boston premium". Id also look into a heat pump water heater but you electric rates I suspect may be quite high.
     
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  6. lml999

    lml999
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    Oct 25, 2013
    411
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    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    I've been reading up on the Geospring. Not sure it works for us...I'm concerned about recovery time.

    House is fairly large (4 bed, 3 1/2 bath, laundry, dishwasher, etc). In the summer time, with house guests we may have 5-10 showers each afternoon. I'm also putting in an outdoor shower, and I doubt people will want to take short showers under the open sky!

    Upside is that we're putting in solar PV and power will be free. Downside is that if guests end up with cold showers, they'll leave. Hmmm. :)

    Savings is pretty attractive, tho...both upfront and ongoing... If I put a couple of solar hot water collectors up, the indirect operating costs will also be lower, probably $0 during the summer. I have good exposure on a second roof for hot water collectors...

    I'm on the fence...but still leaning toward the indirect...
     
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  7. lml999

    lml999
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    Oct 25, 2013
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    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Good suggestion. You may well be right. This would be a "Cape Cod summer premium." I do want to do business with the company that quoted me as I'm intending to take a service contract with them on the boiler. Their technicians are quite knowledgeable, and I don't mind paying a (small) premium for expertise and ongoing good service.
     
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  8. cableman

    cableman
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    Sep 26, 2013
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    What about those gas tankless units? Maybe not so good for a big house idk.
     
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  9. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    Jun 23, 2014
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    I'm blown away that anyone would pay $5k for any water heater for a home.

    Bought my plain ole 40 gallon electric that works perfectly for a family of 4. Cost $250 and I installed it (with electrical) for under another $100, including breakers.
     
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  10. moey

    moey
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    Jul 12, 2012
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    I'm not familiar with not getting enough draft for a hot water tank. Have you spoken with anyone who seemed knowledgeable about your specific situation about draft for your existing appliance.

    With that many showers you would be running cold with a electric hot water heater let alone a heat pump one would be useless.
     
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  11. lml999

    lml999
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    Oct 25, 2013
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    Not ideal for a larger house.
     
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  12. lml999

    lml999
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    Oct 25, 2013
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    Yes, several. All agreed that the tank size (height) is the problem. 22 year old house, 3 year old hot water heater. I'll bet the original was 40 gallon, much shorter than the current tank With the 80, there's no vertical run for the exhaust gases before they tee into the flu for the boiler. So they bounce bank. Previous owner oversized the tank without consideration of venting.

    And no building permit was pulled...
     
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  13. moey

    moey
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    They can be put in series to give the desired results. Would be pricey though but so is adding a indirect.
     
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  14. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Big house here (14 sinks, 4 showers, 2 tubs, 2 dishwashers, endlessly running laundry, etc.), and I also run on indirect. There's just no beating the firepower of an oil-fired boiler for heating a whole bunch of water piping hot very fast. We never run out of hot water, even running three showers, clothes washer, and two dishwashers simultaneously. I'm debating adding a HPWH, but it will be in addition to my BoilerMate, not instead of it. I'd like to shut down the boiler for the summer to reduce my cooling bills, but I don't want to live with a slow (and less hot) HPWH all winter, when we tend to have more house guests.
     
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  15. lml999

    lml999
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    Oct 25, 2013
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    That's why I'm going with the dual coil setup...solar hot water in the summer, NG boiler driven if necessary year round. I'm curious to see how much I can generate with solar only...

    And a follow up...been working with my chosen furnace company to get a quote...and the last one is over $6K. I get the feeling the sales person is charging me for making him work to get the quote right...He added $1K for quoting me the SuperStor rather than a Buderus. Units are the same darn price...

    I'm going to get a second opinion...
     
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  16. Ashful

    Ashful
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    As someone who quotes costs for custom systems, yes, that does happen. Go in with your known wants and requirements the first time, to get the best price. Each time I have to open the file and put more hours on it, the price has to go up to compensate for the wasted time.
     
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  17. lml999

    lml999
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    Oct 25, 2013
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    I'm in a similar business and completely understand the issue. That's why I was very clear about what I wanted up front. It took four proposals and a week to get it on paper.

    Really disappointed with the company. I called my "choice B" earlier today and got a verbal quote for half of what the first guy wants. Business owner is coming out Monday to nail down the details (they're somewhat familiar with my setup already) and to get me a formal quote.

    Guess which way I'm leaning...
     
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  18. lml999

    lml999
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    Oct 25, 2013
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    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Sigh...

    Note to self...never go with "choice B". Choice B turned out to be slightly more expensive than choice A and installed a zone controller that messes with my Nest thermostats. Would have appreciated a "heads-up" on this prior to the install, looks like I need to rewire the thermostats with (at least) three lead wires. (Power to zones gets cut when controller goes into HW priority mode). Oh well...
     
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  19. lml999

    lml999
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Oct 25, 2013
    411
    101
    Loc:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    And an update. We went with the 80 gallon indirect. As far as I know it hasn't tried to kill us yet.

    And we're spending about $1400/year for heat, hot water, clothes dryer, cooktop and grille. Not too bad. Electric would have been less expensive to purchase/install, and no ongoing expense, but the indirect just works so well WRT recovery...we have not run out of hot water once in the last 18 months...

    Our NG expense in the summer, for hot water, dryer and cooktop, is about $25-$30, so I can't imagine that I'm spending more than $5-10/month just for the hot water...

    Not too bad...and it doesn't really motivate me to put a couple of panels on the roof for solar hot water. I did get the two coil tank so that I could add solar...but there's no financial payback for doing so. It's cool and good for the planet...but not worthwhile financially...
     
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  20. fbelec

    fbelec
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    and the nice thing about a superstore type of tank is they are warrantied for life
     
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