Home & Garden

The Great Water Heater Rental Scam

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 17th, 2018 5:38 pm
Member
Feb 20, 2017
227 posts
65 upvotes
Barrie, ON
jeeva86 wrote:
Aug 22nd, 2017 8:04 am
I'm closing on a new place in March, it comes with the famous reliance tankless water heater. In our purchase agreement there was a line about assuming the water heater from company abc. Does that screw me?
This is correct and is a standard clause, you can contact Reliance once you take possession to see how much the payout for the contract is.
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Jul 4, 2005
5001 posts
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Ottawa
Zombly wrote:
Aug 22nd, 2017 8:11 am
This is correct and is a standard clause, you can contact Reliance once you take possession to see how much the payout for the contract is.
Payout as in buyout? Or to terminate the contract and return item? I've been reading that tank based systems are better than tankless, aside from space savings. I'd want to find a replacement online and have it there upon possession.
Member
Feb 20, 2017
227 posts
65 upvotes
Barrie, ON
There's a fee if you terminate the contract and return or if you buy out the contract either way you're stuck paying some sort of fee. If you have the information regarding the property you may be able to phone in now to see what the fees are to get out of it. I know personally I haven't gotten out of my contract as it's cheaper to rent for another year to buy it out currently.

Pretty much they got you by the balls.
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2010
914 posts
305 upvotes
jeeva86 wrote:
Aug 22nd, 2017 8:41 am
Payout as in buyout? Or to terminate the contract and return item? I've been reading that tank based systems are better than tankless, aside from space savings. I'd want to find a replacement online and have it there upon possession.
Depends how old it is - do you know? If it's over 10 years there's probably no contract. If it's under contract you can keep it as (renting), buy it out or cancel the contract for a fee. I would say find out how old it is, and the cost of each of the options and go from there.
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2010
914 posts
305 upvotes
Gee wrote:
Aug 19th, 2017 10:17 pm
I would change it every 5 years to 8 years depending on how hard your water is.

If you look at the top of your water tank, you will see a hexagonal bolt. That's the anode rod, if you want to see what they look like, go to Home Depot and look for a replacement one.

If you neglect to change the anode rod, you risk having your tank rust out after 10 or more years. Changing the rod is a way to extend the life of your tank from rusting out
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Aug 20th, 2017 12:16 pm
If the anode has never been replaced, it can be very difficult to get loose. You'll most likely need a 1/2" by 36" breaker bar, and a 1/2" 1-1/8" size (I think that's the correct size) socket. If you are not good with tools, I wouldn't suggest attempting this. There are instructional videos on YouTube.
There is no way of knowing if it needs to be replaced without removing it for visual inspection.
With certain water conditions, the anode will corrode faster than 'average', and once it's gone, the inside of the tank will begin to corrode.


Water hardness isn't really a factor on the rate of decay of the anode. Salinity introduced by a water softener is though, as salt water is a good electrical conductor.
I contacted the company I bought the tank from to ask about the manufacturer warranty and any recommended maintenance - this was the response:

The tank has a 6 year warranty from time of install and parts are 3 years, labour 1 year.
There is no maintenance required on the tank which is a great thing with these types of tanks
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28109 posts
3756 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Jazmina wrote:
Aug 22nd, 2017 10:59 am
I contacted the company I bought the tank from to ask about the manufacturer warranty and any recommended maintenance - this was the response:

The tank has a 6 year warranty from time of install and parts are 3 years, labour 1 year.
There is no maintenance required on the tank which is a great thing with these types of tanks
The plastic lined tanks don't have an anode rod. Maybe you have one of these plastic water tanks
Penalty Box
Feb 7, 2010
1355 posts
199 upvotes
Toronto
jeeva86 wrote:
Aug 22nd, 2017 8:04 am
I'm closing on a new place in March, it comes with the famous reliance tankless water heater. In our purchase agreement there was a line about assuming the water heater from company abc. Does that screw me?
If it is a pre-construction home from the builder, you are not locked-in whatsoever (as long as you do NOT pay the first bill).
You can have a new waterheater purchased from HD or something and have it installed, then return the Reliance tank (either yourself, or pay them maybe $200 to pick it up).
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Oct 6, 2010
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Toronto
reyoasian wrote:
Aug 15th, 2017 11:07 am
What are some good gas+tank water heaters to buy?
I saw the GSW one from Lowe's (my parents have a GSW rental through Direct Energy, so I'm assuming it would be a good product?)

Also, to contribute to this post - if you purchased a pre-construction home from the builder and they put in a Reliance tank (not sure about other companies), you are not obligated by any contract as long as you DO NOT pay the first bill (once you pay their first bill, you've sold your soul to the devil for the next gazillion years). You will still need to get the tank back to them by either dropoff or pickup, and I'm sure there is a fee if you request them to pick it up. But there's no contract termination penalty.

I'm closing a brand new house in less than a month, and will be replacing the tank as soon as I get the keys.
reyoasian wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2017 9:39 am
If it is a pre-construction home from the builder, you are not locked-in whatsoever (as long as you do NOT pay the first bill).
You can have a new waterheater purchased from HD or something and have it installed, then return the Reliance tank (either yourself, or pay them maybe $200 to pick it up).
Yes, I heard about this. Can you actually post the fine print from your contact that says failure to pay bill is refusal of the hot water tank?

Direct Energy on the other hand, you're apparently stuck for at least 1 year, or in your contact, more.
Penalty Box
Feb 7, 2010
1355 posts
199 upvotes
Toronto
I just did PDI on a new home I'm taking delivery next month.
The tank is from Cricket Home Comfort (not Reliance), and billed through Enbridge.
According to information on the tank, homeowner is not on any rental program until they call in to opt into one.
According to others, their rental rate for their typical tank one is $40/month, but they can reduce it to $30/month.

I will most likely pull it out though, looking at this one: https://www.lowes.ca/water-heaters/gsw- ... 73595.html
Anything else I should be looking at?
Penalty Box
Feb 7, 2010
1355 posts
199 upvotes
Toronto
koffey wrote:
Aug 23rd, 2017 11:13 am
Yes, I heard about this. Can you actually post the fine print from your contact that says failure to pay bill is refusal of the hot water tank?

Direct Energy on the other hand, you're apparently stuck for at least 1 year, or in your contact, more.
I don't have any fine print or whatever but I have other sources.
I only know this for Reliance, unsure about other companies.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28109 posts
3756 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
reyoasian wrote:
Aug 31st, 2017 12:21 pm
I don't have any fine print or whatever but I have other sources.
I only know this for Reliance, unsure about other companies.
The Circket tank, is it one of those EnviroSense tanks? Do you have one of those green homes?

If so, you're better off buying the tank from them instead of replacing it.
Penalty Box
Feb 7, 2010
1355 posts
199 upvotes
Toronto
Gee wrote:
Aug 31st, 2017 3:48 pm
The Circket tank, is it one of those EnviroSense tanks? Do you have one of those green homes?

If so, you're better off buying the tank from them instead of replacing it.
Yea it had a EnviroSense sticker on it.
What's so special about it?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28109 posts
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East Gwillimbury
reyoasian wrote:
Aug 31st, 2017 7:11 pm
Yea it had a EnviroSense sticker on it.
What's so special about it?
You have a green home, that tank has a 90+% efficiency rating and a high recovery. You can go with the cheaper big box store tank, but they're not efficient

Look at your schedule A for the buy out cost and negotiate with Cricket
Sr. Member
Aug 5, 2008
664 posts
171 upvotes
Finally kicked the Enercare tank to the curb. It was 25 years old. 7 in my possession. 40 Gal. Probably sucking up natural gas like no tomorrow. At the highest setting, it was somewhat hot, but far from what I'd expect.

Got a new 50 Gal Rheem from HD for around $850 and paid install $300.

ROI - around 5 years. Assuming no breakdowns and not accounting for much better efficiency. At the lowest setting, it's about as hot as the old one was at the highest.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
28109 posts
3756 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
junkmail2002 wrote:
Sep 1st, 2017 11:40 pm
ROI - around 5 years. Assuming no breakdowns and not accounting for much better efficiency. At the lowest setting, it's about as hot as the old one was at the highest.
Set your tank to a minimum of 60 degrees to prevent legionella. Anything lower and you're at risk

I set mine to 65 and use the mixing valve to cool it down.

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