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Boiler replacements

Water heater replacements

Water Heater Size


Unsuprisingly, the larger the tank, the more expensive it is. If a hot water tank is undersized, it may cost less to install but you will find yourself running out of usable water when you want it most.




Natural Gas, Propane or Electric


There are several different types of hot water tanks on the market:

  • Natural Gas
  • Propane
  • Electric
  • Heat Pump/Electric
Natural gas hot water tanks which are the most common in Chilliwack are relatively inexpensive to operate. Gas also heats up quickly which allows a smaller tank to be used in place of a larger electric tank. Propane hot water tanks are less common but still utilized in the more rural areas of Chilliwack. Propane tanks are typically more expensive than their natural gas cousins upfront and to operate. Electric hot water tanks are the cheapest tanks to install but the most costly to operate. Given the availability, price and benefits of natural gas, if your home utilizes an electric tank you may want to consider switching. Heat Pump hot water tanks are somewhat new to the market. These tanks are electric but use heat pump technology to significantly lower operating costs. If you are in an area without gas then the additional upfront expense of a heat pump water heater may be worth it to you.




Pricing


Now that it is time to replace your hot water tank system you are likely curious about the cost. In the Fraser Valley, the price for a complete replacement of a hot water tank is approximately $1,499, but prices range between $1,099 to $4,499. Cost range is attributed to a number of considerations that equate to the total cost of your complete hot water tank installation.




Efficiency


The standard natural gas water heater operates at approximately 67% efficiency while Energy Star models operate up to and over 90%. There is a price increase as efficiency rises but FortisBC often offers rebates up to $1000 on select Energy Star water heaters. While an electric hot water tank is nearly 100% efficient the price of electricity makes them costly to operate. Heat Pump hot water tanks can run up to 2-3x more efficiently than a standard electric making them extremely cost effective long term.




Installation Requirements


Location: Base pricing for a hot water tank installation operates on the assumption that your water heater is located in an accessible location on the main level of the home. If the water heater is located within the crawl space, attic or obstructed by other appliances this can factor into the overall cost of replacement. The same applies for water heaters located on top floors or in apartments. Chimney: High efficiency gas water heaters require special gas rated, plastic chimneys. The location of your water heater within the home dictates the cost of installation. Installation may not require much additional work providing the water heater is located near an exterior wall; however, a water heater situated in the middle of your home may require a labour intensive install affecting the overall cost. Modern BC Building Code Safety Requirements: All water heaters are subject to the BC building code requirements. As codes change these changes should be reflected in your new installation to ensure the safety of the home and occupants. Requirements like a water expansion tank and proper securing straps can prevent potential disaster. Drainage: Many high efficienct hot water tanks produce condensation that must be safely discarded. Most homes will have a drain located in close proximity to the existing tank. In situations where no useable drain is near the hot water tank additional components, such as pumps, will need to be used. Power: In new installations or conversions, line voltage power from the electrical panel may need to be run to the water heater. Wire size, length and difficulty of installation will factor into the overall cost.




Installing Contractor


Unlike other household appliances a hot water tank cannot simply be plugged in. It must be integrated into your home and should be installed by a qualified professional backed by a reputable company. Employing a company that adheres to high standards will affect the value of your installation both short term and long term. You can expect to pay more for a company that:

  • is insured, licensed and bonded
  • is qualified to determine the size requirements for the system
  • has experienced and highly trained installers
  • offers longer warranties
  • is associated with industry standard groups (TECA, Fortis, BBB, etc)
  • maintains a great reputation locally and on-line
You may pay less for an individual or company:
  • without insurance or valid licenses
  • who is inexperienced
  • who offers little to no warranty
  • has a bad or non-existant local or online reputation (no website, reviews, unmarked vehicle)
As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for." Systems that are installed correctly and maintained properly have long lives, produce great comfort and low utility bills. Whereas systems improperly installed function incorrectly, require frequent repairs, and can increase your utility costs. Make sure your company:
  • Provides you a written and detailed quote. You should feel comfortable asking related questions. A professional should be able to respond to your questions with confidence and assuring answers
  • Can provide details regarding the equipment they will be installing. Don't get caught with a contractor installing a product he/she has never seen or worked on before
  • Offers a written warranty and has a guarantee on their work
  • Is insured and possesses a valid gas license
  • Has good on-line reviews (Google, Homestars, Facebook, etc...) A contractor with active and positive on-line reviews is a good indication that they are looking to make their clients happy not just make a buck





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