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Replacing water heater before buying home

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  • Jan 23rd, 2013 11:33 pm
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[OP]
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Jan 8, 2007
3264 posts
372 upvotes
Ontario

Replacing water heater before buying home

I'm buying a 9 yr old house and I noticed a gas smell beside my water heater. A certified gas guy came ASAP and said it was ok. Later I had a home inspection and the guy said due to the life of the heater and odour he recommends replacement. It's a rental. I put a clause in the deal for current owner to call gas company and have it replaced with 2012/13 model before I move in and he accepted.

Deal is firm now. My question is what are the chances the gas company will actually replace it? Given age and odour? The tank looks fine externally.

It has a chimney design which uses convection and ducts into furnace ducts and out the roof, rather than direct vent with fan. Could be backdraft but inspector recommended replacement.
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Mar 23, 2007
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Edmonton
If the current owner accepted your offer he's obligated to make sure the hot water heater gets replaced. It really is that simple. Did you include any specs? If you didn't spec it out, go in prepared to either live with or replace the cheapest of the cheap low volume hot water heaters. If there is no replacement before closing you should be able to get some money back or walk away from the deal and sue if you're that kind of guy.
You can't steal in slow motion
[OP]
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Jan 8, 2007
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Ontario
This isn't a deal breaker it would be nice to have it replaced tho. Whether he does or not we are still takin the place. Just wondering if the gas guys will rock up and say "there's no reason to replace it and it works fine". It's not like they just replace water heaters on any request right? It would need to be broken?
Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
1294 posts
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There are several threads going on currently on RFD with similar issues . If I was you I would rather look into getting RID of this rental WH completely as this is a golden chance for you . Weigh Rental Vs. Own and than take a decision .
Slawek wrote:
Jan 22nd, 2013 12:56 pm
This isn't a deal breaker it would be nice to have it replaced tho. Whether he does or not we are still takin the place. Just wondering if the gas guys will rock up and say "there's no reason to replace it and it works fine". It's not like they just replace water heaters on any request right? It would need to be broken?
[OP]
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Jan 8, 2007
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Thanks for the recommendation but I'm not interested in purchasing at this time. I also don't want to get into a flame war of own vs rent. I have weighed the pros and cons.

Reason I want this done before moving in is warranty may not be transferable so I want the current owner to take care of it.
Deal Guru
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Oct 24, 2012
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Montreal
Slawek wrote:
Jan 22nd, 2013 1:10 pm
Reason I want this done before moving in is warranty may not be transferable so I want the current owner to take care of it.
What warranty? It's a rental.
Are you SURE you know the pros/cons of rental? Because you seem to think there's a warranty on the item (And not a warranty on the rental contract you will be taking on).

Though, a 12+ years old WH is often no longer covered by the home insurance. If the WH floods your basement and it's 10-12 years old, the insurance company could deny your claim.
[OP]
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Jan 8, 2007
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I won't be buying a tank, like I said. Stick to topic if you're gonna contribute. There is already a flame thread about rent vs own which is why I started my own.
Deal Guru
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Oct 24, 2012
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Slawek wrote:
Jan 22nd, 2013 2:13 pm
I won't be buying a tank, like I said. Stick to topic if you're gonna contribute. There is already a flame thread about rent vs own which is why I started my own.
Maybe I misunderstood me, but you said you were worried about the warranty not transfering to you, I thought you were talking about the warranty on a RENTAL HWT. I guess you were talking about if the current owner BOUGHT a HWT and then you wouldn't get the warranty (you would).

I did contribute, buddy. I mentionned the insurance issue which is more incentive to get that tank replaced. Anyway the seller is forced to abide by the purchase offer conditions, so you should ask for a confirmation when said condition is completed and then go check out the new tank (If it's indeed new). Maybe the seller will even have purchased a new tank (No rental).
[OP]
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Jan 8, 2007
3264 posts
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Ontario
No offence mate, thanks. And yes sorry I was talking about warranty if bought.

I called Reliance to ask some questions. They said I should have put replace the tank and all ducting if required, to code. They said if they put a new tank in and find out that the ducting needs replacing to accommodate new codes in 2007, then he might back out as its his expense. It's not a direct fan forced vent, it connects into the existing furnace ducts, up thru attic and out the roof. So there may be code issues as the house was build 9 years ago.

I'm hoping he just does it properly. Deal is done and off to lawyer, so now I guess I wait till closing and hope its done. If he fails to do it, well, sucks for me I guess :S I hate the waiting game.
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Dec 12, 2009
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Not trying to cause a flame war here, but I would have insisted on the seller replacing the rental with a new non rental unit. That would negate the need to worry about rental fees or anything for at least a decade or longer.
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Nov 2, 2012
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Hamilton
Have your lawyer contact his lawyer.

He needs to be reminded that the tank must be replaced - as per the contract - and obviously it
has to be replaced to code.

Any failure to do so will result in a claim against the home owner and you will win.

If you had it in the contract that you wanted a new roof - he can't just do a half- ***** job on the roof.
It would have to meet basic code requirements. Otherwise, it's unsafe.

At the end of the day, a new water heater is a small price to pay to seal the deal when we're talking about a house sale.
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