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Who Should You Choose to Install a Water Heater?

Buying a new water heater for your Indianapolis area home doesn’t come cheap. It’s understandable that homeowners look to maximize savings and take advantage of discounts to lower the cost of water heater installation projects.

With new water heaters available for purchase at your local home improvement store or even online, do you really need to buy your new system from a plumber? While their low prices seem attractive at first glance, big box stores and online retailers aren’t typically the best choice for this important equipment purchase.

Of course, that sounds like something a plumbing company would say! However, Williams Comfort Air explains the details so you understand why. Buying a new water heater from a retailer is a much different experience than working with a licensed plumber to purchase equipment and complete water heater installation. 

Learn more about these two routes for purchasing a new water heater to best understand what to expect. For professional installation of quality water heating equipment, turn to Williams Comfort Air.

Buying a Water Heater from a Retailer

The water heater equipment selection available varies greatly from one retailer to the next. As retailers are in the business of making the sale, they often advertise low prices or discounts on available water heater models. 

Quality Concerns

One way they are able to do so is by offering a lower quality product with lower quality components – plastic valves instead of metal, aluminum sacrificial anode rods instead of alloy, less tank insulation, etc. Water heaters sold by retailers are not always the same models that plumbing professionals have access to, which are the brand’s contractor-grade models that feature more durable components and fabrication.

No Expert Guidance

When you buy a new water heater from a big box store or online retailer, you are at the mercy of your own knowledge and product research. Employees of brick-and-mortar retail home improvement stores are not likely to have a detailed knowledge of the specialized equipment they sell, therefore they are unable to offer you much in the way of guidance when you need help understanding equipment details and choosing what works best for your needs. If you buy through many online retailers, the product details found on their website is often all the information you get about a particular water heater.

Retail employees don’t typically have professional experience in the plumbing field and are often unable to advise you regarding the water heater installation process. If you want to switch from a tank to tankless water heater, the in-store help likely won’t be able to explain all the different considerations involved in this retrofit project. They do not have the opportunity to come to your home and evaluate your plumbing system, gas lines, or available installation area to advise you of the feasibility or additional needs involved in such an installation.

No Installation or Service

Once the sale is made and you buy a water heater from a retailer, your support ends there. You are just a number to these large national operations and they are not invested in your long-term satisfaction. There is no professional available to answer questions about using your new unit or to help you troubleshoot issues that arise later on. They don’t come to your home to make repairs or perform installation. Plus, it’s on you to get the new unit back home and inside your house.

Basically, when you buy a new water heater from a retailer, you may not be completely aware of what you’re getting or if it’s the appropriate size. You get the unit, for what seems like a great price, though no way to put it into service and use it.

Buying a Water Heater from a Plumbing Contractor

When you work with a plumbing company, you aren’t simply buying a new water heater – you purchase the new unit through the plumbing company and receive water heater installation performed by professionals. From equipment selection and procurement to placing the new system in service, water heater installation from a plumbing contractor is a comprehensive service.

The Benefit of Experience

A local plumbing company employs licensed plumbers with years of industry training and experience. These knowledgeable professionals know the ins and outs of the equipment they sell, as well as how to guide you in making the appropriate selection for your home. 

A plumber calculates your household’s hot water demand to ensure the new unit you purchase is adequately sized to meet your needs, as water heaters aren’t a “one size fits all” system. If you want to install a larger capacity tank water heater, switch from a gas to electric model and vice versa, or go for a tankless water heater retrofit, the plumber assesses your home and plumbing system to determine what accommodations must be made to support your new water heater installation.

Quality Equipment

The equipment you receive when you buy a water heater through a plumbing contractor is top quality. Plumbers make recommendations based on their knowledge of the product and their experiences with working with them for so many years. Equipment is high quality with durable components to deliver the best performance and efficiency when used in your home.

Plumbing contractors have established relationships through their businesses with equipment manufacturers and distributors for the best pricing in order to pass on savings to you. The plumber takes care of all equipment ordering and delivery so there is no hassle on your end.

Water Heater Installation and Ongoing Service

A huge benefit of working with a local plumbing contractor is the installation component – when you buy a new water heater from a plumber, you’re also hiring that company to install it in your home. A plumber’s knowledge and experience allow for expert installation of new water heating equipment, including any accommodations required for the application, such as installation of gas lines, venting, and plumbing upgrades.

Your plumber may also offer a labor warranty, which protects you for a period of time after installation in case issues arise with work performed. If system repairs are covered under warranty, a licensed plumber is able to assist with these needs also. 

All in all, buying a water heater from a plumbing contractor is a one-stop deal, including new equipment and the services needed to use it in your home. Local plumbers look to establish relationships with their customers and take care to ensure your satisfaction with the work. You are also able to turn to your plumber should your water heater require repairs or maintenance throughout its years of service.

Why a Plumber Won’t Install a Retail Water Heater

Some homeowners imagine a good way to save money on water heater installation is to buy a new unit at a cheaper price from a retailer, then simply hire a plumber to professionally install it. However, you will find it difficult to find a plumbing contractor willing to take on this job. 

When you purchase equipment yourself outside of the contractor relationship, your plumbing professional cannot guarantee the quality of the equipment you bought or even that it is appropriately sized for your home’s needs. The plumber may not be experienced working with this brand of equipment or have a relationship with the manufacturer to help you out in the event of warranty issues that occur down the road.

Retailer Water Heater Installation

Some home improvement stores and other retailers now offer installation services for purchased products, performed by licensed plumbers. To many, this seems like a viable option that allows homeowners to take advantage of discount retail prices for new equipment and receive professional installation. 

However, when you choose to go this route, you give up the control of choosing your plumbing contractor. The retailer uses their preferred contractor, which likely isn’t the same plumber you would choose. While these programs claim their contractors hold proper licenses, you do not have the opportunity to evaluate contractors on their merits and select the plumber you are most comfortable working with.

If you experience issues with the retail water heater installation project, you must work through the retail provider for resolution. This adds a middleman between you and the plumber, which often causes delays and communication issues. Many homeowners who have used such programs report issues with both the quality of workmanship performed by the retailer’s chosen contractor as well as difficulty and frustration when attempting to resolve the issues that result.

Choose Williams Comfort Air When You Need a New Water Heater

New water heater installation should bring your household enhanced comfort along with lower energy bills – this comes from the selection of quality systems that are appropriately sized for your home. Don’t leave these factors up to chance by purchasing a retail water heater in attempt to save money on the project. Working with a licensed plumber you trust to select and purchase equipment as well as perform water heater installation saves you more in the end in many cases, including the headaches.

If it’s time to upgrade the water heater in your Indianapolis area home, Williams Comfort Air is here to help. Our licensed plumbing professionals help you select the right hot water system for your needs and ensure your new unit is correctly sized for best performance and energy efficiency. We perform quality workmanship to ensure proper installation of your new unit and are available to assist you in a timely manner if issues should arise later on.

Get a quote for new water heater installation when you contact Williams Comfort Air today.

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