Your water heater can go out when you least expect it, and for many homeowners, it can create a massive headache & mess in your home. Replacing the water heater in your home shouldn’t be a hasty decision, however. Some retailers may advertise low prices or discounts on equipment like water heaters, but are they really the best choice when it comes to purchasing a new water heater? In this article we’re going to help you understand the differences between buying a water heater from a big box retailer like Lowe’s or Home Depot, vs. a local plumber like Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric. Whether your water heater has sprung a leak, burst, or you just want to upgrade for better efficiency & performance, we have you covered.
Where Can I Purchase a New Water Heater?
Many big box home improvement stores sell water heaters over the counter to anyone who wishes to purchase one. They typically carry one or more brands, and have a variety of price ranges. The benefits of buying from a retailer are that you can easily compare prices & view available stock. In addition, many times the equipment made to be sold at retailers may contain cheaper or less durable parts in order to discount the units.
In many cities, there are supply warehouses owned by either national or local wholesalers that supply equipment to local plumbing companies. Some of these supply houses may be open to the general public, but they will typically only sell parts & equipment like water heaters to licensed plumbers.
Local Plumbing Company
For a full service approach, most homeowners prefer to replace their water heater through a local plumbing company like Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric. These companies typically have ready-to-go stock, the logistics necessary to transport the water heater to your home, and the correct skills needed to properly install the water heater in your home. On top of that, they will typically dispose of your old water heater for you as a courtesy, and will provide warranties on the parts & labor for the water heater installation. This is in contrast to a handyman or low cost “marketplace installer” that may not warranty their labor or the equipment itself.
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Pros & Cons of Purchasing a Water Heater from a Big Box Retailer
There are some benefits & disadvantages of purchasing a water heater from a retailer, namely;
- Can be less expensive than buying from a supply house or local plumber.
- Easy to view prices on units.
- Readily see what is in stock.
- You still have to call a local plumber to install the water heater.
- You have to transport the unit & dispose of the old one.
- Usually constructed from cheaper & less durable parts to bring cost down.
- Retail salesperson won’t be able to advise you on the correct system you need.
- Sometimes the retailer will still have to order the equipment in for you depending on what you need.
- There may not be a warranty on equipment.
- No support if anything goes wrong with the installation.
Pros & Cons of Purchasing a Water Heater from a Local Plumber
These are the benfits of purchasing a water heater from a local plumber like Paschal, namely;
- Plumber can advise you on the correct water heater that you need.
- Plumber will supply the unit & handle transportation of the new unit & disposal of the old unit.
- Plumber can expertly install the new water heater.
- Most plumbers warranty the work if anything goes wrong with the water heater installation.
- The parts are usually warrantied.
- Full Service companies like Paschal can typically install your water heater in less than 24 hours whereas some smaller companies may be booked out days to weeks
- Typically more expensive than purchasing from a big box store.
At the end of the day, you should choose the option that makes the most sense for you & your home. We never recommend that a homeowner attempt to DIY-install a water heater, especially a gas heater, as there could be a possibility of damaging your home or possessions with a faulty installation. If you need water heater repair or installation in Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, or the Fort Smith River Valley, give the professional plumbers at Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric a call at 479-202-8961.