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Who OWNS a Water Tank or Tankles Water Heater? Have a few questions for you

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[OP]
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
7200 posts
2235 upvotes
0 downvotes

Who OWNS a Water Tank or Tankles Water Heater? Have a few questions for you

Hello. I am in the process of acquiring a Water Tank or Tank-less Heater that is NOT a rental, that will be purchased by me. ALL the rental companies I spoke to for the last year (Enbridge, Direct Energy, Enercare, Reliance Home Comfort, etc), have WARNED me that even a simple service call for my Water Heater can be very pricey like in the $200 dollars range, plus if it needs repairs, expect a bill of about $500 and up. Is this true or are they saying this to me to sway me into Renting a tank from them for $30-40 per month, and telling me all the service calls for the rental are included to try to buy me as a customer?

those of you who own your own tank not rental, how often do u do service calls, and how expensive is it? this data is what I will use to justify buying versus renting my tank
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33 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 25, 2004
1519 posts
1044 upvotes
Longueuil
Electric water heater from 1998 here
Service calls so far: 0

I might be lucky for a '98 heater but a water heater is a reliable appliance compared to your other appliances. You might want to change the anode but otherwise, there should not be a lot of work involved. Even if you pay for service calls, it is very unlikely that it would be more expensive than renting in the end.
Try not! Do or do not, there is no try...
Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
3788 posts
2327 upvotes
Woodbridge
I installed Rinnai roughly 7-8 years back. Had serviced it once after 3 years and found that it was waste of time and money ( vinegar). Service is more required when your area have hard water. Also note that I do not have water softener.
All the big companies survive due to Rental business and on the fact that there are minimum service calls. I used to work for Direct Energy ( now Enercare). I found out that there are 1000's of people who called may be once in 10 -15 years ( rental or insurance covered) .
Tankless pay out is roughly five years. All the parts on ANY tankless are covered for 5 years, so I do not see a reason how you may end up spending tonnes of money in first few years.
GoodFellaz wrote: Hello. I am in the process of acquiring a Water Tank or Tank-less Heater that is NOT a rental, that will be purchased by me. ALL the rental companies I spoke to for the last year (Enbridge, Direct Energy, Enercare, Reliance Home Comfort, etc), have WARNED me that even a simple service call for my Water Heater can be very pricey like in the $200 dollars range, plus if it needs repairs, expect a bill of about $500 and up. Is this true or are they saying this to me to sway me into Renting a tank from them for $30-40 per month, and telling me all the service calls for the rental are included to try to buy me as a customer?

those of you who own your own tank not rental, how often do u do service calls, and how expensive is it? this data is what I will use to justify buying versus renting my tank
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Member
Dec 26, 2017
225 posts
156 upvotes
I'm from Alberta and own a water tank, its shocks me how many people rent a standard fixture like a hot water tank, do people rent all their other appliances too?... The one i have is a 6yr old Rheem and just recently the pressure relief valve spewed out water and upon inspection there was calcium buildup interfering with its operation. I called a guy to come and replace it (simple job, spin out old, spin in new) and with parts the total was $40 and all is good again.
Maybe i'm old school but I think if you own a house you should also own everything inside of it and have at least a common knowledge of how everything works so you can diagnose what problems arise and know what symptoms to look for. Calling someone else to fix every single problem (small or large) that comes up while owning a house would not only drive me nuts but cost so much more!
Deal Addict
Oct 20, 2011
1156 posts
436 upvotes
Mississauga
Owned a ng hwt, pressure relief valve went after 19 years and rather than replace the relief valve I replaced the tank. The second tank is 16 years old and the pressure relief valve went and rather than replace the tank I replaced the relief valve and am on the look out for a deal for a new tank, but I figure I have about 3 years.

I would never rent as purchase has been my best option.
Deal Addict
Jun 12, 2008
1490 posts
1019 upvotes
Ripley
Disclaimer: My spouse is a plumber. This would make you think he spends a lot of time making sure our plumbing fixtures are in top shape but he doesn't.

He installed our water tank in 2002. A couple of months ago he serviced it for the first time. He was curious what the anode looked like so he took it out. It was still in perfect condition. We are on town water so this might differ if you are on well water. That is the first time he had touched it since we installed it. Zero service has been needed.

He has had many calls over the years from people who have rental water tanks. They have had something go wrong and their rental company says it will be 3-5 days before a tech can come look at it. All that extra money every month just to have to wait for service when a local plumber can get there within hours. Instead of calling the rental companies try calling a local plumber. They will tell you how often they service water heaters and which model is best for you.
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2003
4798 posts
4547 upvotes
Toronto
It's unlikely that you will need a service call the first six years or so (typical extended warranty period of a hot water tank). If you hold onto it for 10-15 years and do no maintenance on it, you might have one service call near the end of its life. Yes, a service call might be $150 (minimum for a plumber to visit) to a few hundred if you need to replace major components. BUT, renting it is costing you THOUSANDS.
Deal Addict
Jun 11, 2010
1500 posts
913 upvotes
ottawa
Echoing everyone else. I bought out my last water heater that was 18 years old, robbery that they asked $100 for it, but that paid itself off after 6 months. Then it corroded badly about a year and a half later, but I found a new tank that was an identical replacement for ~$350 on clearance at home depot (Rheem). Installed it myself using sharkbite connections (though it was in an unfinished basement so I was less concerned about leaks) and didn't have a single issue for several years after and then we moved. I would never pay a rental fee on a hot water tank they're too basic of a device there's like 2 things it does: heat water & sense the water temperature.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 14, 2008
8312 posts
1897 upvotes
Ontario
GoodFellaz wrote: Hello. I am in the process of acquiring a Water Tank or Tank-less Heater that is NOT a rental, that will be purchased by me. ALL the rental companies I spoke to for the last year (Enbridge, Direct Energy, Enercare, Reliance Home Comfort, etc), have WARNED me that even a simple service call for my Water Heater can be very pricey like in the $200 dollars range, plus if it needs repairs, expect a bill of about $500 and up. Is this true or are they saying this to me to sway me into Renting a tank from them for $30-40 per month, and telling me all the service calls for the rental are included to try to buy me as a customer?

those of you who own your own tank not rental, how often do u do service calls, and how expensive is it? this data is what I will use to justify buying versus renting my tank
Out of curiosity, why put any stock into the opinion of a rep/company who financially benefits from keeping you as a rental customer? Take what they say with a sea of salt.

Does the prospect of servicing any major appliance in your home raise questions if you should rent that appliance instead of own?

While you can be hit with bad timing, or a lemon (like everything else), you're probably less likely to experience that with a HWT. In fact, you would probably still be ahead if you just bought a new HWT tank instead of repairing anything major versus rent. People I know who have been renting their HWT for 20+ years have had barely a peep or issue or something relatively simple to address.

Just do the math. Even if we say $40/m and keep it level for 10, 15, and 20 years (it will obviously rise with unilateral increases you have no say to reject), you're looking at $4800 over 10 years, $7200 over 15 years, $9600 over 20 years, etc

Cost and install probably run on average $1500? Hell, even if it was $2500 you would have to buy a brand new HWT 4 times in 20 years and still only come out EQUAL to the rent side (and it would be for an older, inefficient model whereas since you are on your 4th model, tech would be better in 15 years, etc) You can see from even a ridiculous scenario rent benefits only the company, not you.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
21166 posts
7549 upvotes
Toronto
Yes, service calls can be expensive, but typically they aren't required for many years, and even with expensive service calls, it's usually much cheaper than renting in the long run.
JEDI Force wrote: Electric water heater from 1998 here
Service calls so far: 0

I might be lucky for a '98 heater but a water heater is a reliable appliance compared to your other appliances. You might want to change the anode but otherwise, there should not be a lot of work involved. Even if you pay for service calls, it is very unlikely that it would be more expensive than renting in the end.
Electric has no moving parts and of course doesn't require gas. Unfortunately, electric is not advisable in Ontario. Heating costs too much.

Even then you're very lucky it's a 22 year-old tank, especially if you haven't replaced the anode rod.
Member
Jan 10, 2017
296 posts
224 upvotes
My 0.2c - don’t rent and find good trades people to call when you have issues, especially run don’t walk from Enercare and their folks. I’ve heard the lions in the old coliseum days had more empathy for their customers.

You will rent in perpetuity the way they design their contracts , eg when your rental water heater dies and they deem it unfixable they start a new contract term. Had to argue with them as they didn’t explain it to my parents who thought they were simply agreeing to receive a “new” heater under their contract. Went to Home Depot, bought a new one and had the contractor I use install it. It will be paid off in less than 3yrs. In 20yrs they had one service call, they replaced the whole unit with a used one and had to pay $500 to replace a pipe to new code as it’s not covered under the rental agreement.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 14, 2008
8312 posts
1897 upvotes
Ontario
One more thing to consider. If renting a HWT was such a good financial decision, why do they have to setup predatory contracts, insert clauses into home purchases you cannot escape from without paying thousands, make it onerous for you to buy out an old tank, etc.

The most expensive single itemized cost for a rental company is the cost of getting rid of them, and it usually far exceeds the cost to repair one you own (thousands just to get out of these contracts, sure, let me have a $500 repair lol)

Without that setup in place, people generally wouldn’t even consider renting in the first place, much like the majority of households do with their furnace. Do you see people seriously questioning if they should rent a furnace instead of own because of the potential of furnace repair and/or maintenance?
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2015
1464 posts
1219 upvotes
Durham Region
onlineharvest wrote: Out of curiosity, why put any stock into the opinion of a rep/company who financially benefits from keeping you as a rental customer? Take what they say with a sea of salt.

Does the prospect of servicing any major appliance in your home raise questions if you should rent that appliance instead of own?

While you can be hit with bad timing, or a lemon (like everything else), you're probably less likely to experience that with a HWT. In fact, you would probably still be ahead if you just bought a new HWT tank instead of repairing anything major versus rent. People I know who have been renting their HWT for 20+ years have had barely a peep or issue or something relatively simple to address.

Just do the math. Even if we say $40/m and keep it level for 10, 15, and 20 years (it will obviously rise with unilateral increases you have no say to reject), you're looking at $4800 over 10 years, $7200 over 15 years, $9600 over 20 years, etc

Cost and install probably run on average $1500? Hell, even if it was $2500 you would have to buy a brand new HWT 4 times in 20 years and still only come out EQUAL to the rent side (and it would be for an older, inefficient model whereas since you are on your 4th model, tech would be better in 15 years, etc) You can see from even a ridiculous scenario rent benefits only the company, not you.
/thread

All you need to know. This is worthwhile to copy and paste into every water rental tank post
Member
May 12, 2003
371 posts
246 upvotes
GTA
When I rented it

0 service calls in the first 10 years, I did however call enercare sometimes to come take a look just to make them spend some money on it :P
2-3 service calls from year 11-15

Then I asked them to pick it up, got the same speel (we can replace it, no cost to you, service calls are free)

I got mine mid last year for $900 + 400 installation. Haven't looked back since.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 30, 2009
730 posts
171 upvotes
Vancouver
As someone from BC, I echo what everyone else is saying: buy the appliance. I don't know anyone here who rents a water tank. My sister's tank went wrong about a year ago, but that was at least 15 years old. When they replaced it, renting never even came up as an option.
[OP]
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
7200 posts
2235 upvotes
0 downvotes
Yes thanks for the comments, I did not rent it by choice, the previous home owners signed up for this tank from a door to door sales pitch and as me buying a used house from someone else, I assumed to take over the tank rental if any when purchasing the house so the agreement transferred to me. I am a big believer in owning too, and I own my own furnace and air conditioner, but once this tank contract expires, i will return it, my En-bridge bill will also decrease too no more rental fees.

I just saw 2 brands, GSW and RHEEM, are they any good? i will go with the power vent one so i can finally cap off my B-Vent once and for all
Say NO to the WAR!
PEACE is the answer!
Deal Addict
May 23, 2006
1521 posts
552 upvotes
Vancouver
Wow, water heater lasts 20+ years?
JEDI Force wrote: Electric water heater from 1998 here
Service calls so far: 0

I might be lucky for a '98 heater but a water heater is a reliable appliance compared to your other appliances. You might want to change the anode but otherwise, there should not be a lot of work involved. Even if you pay for service calls, it is very unlikely that it would be more expensive than renting in the end.
Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
3788 posts
2327 upvotes
Woodbridge
Age of the water heater depends on various factors like overall usage and water quality. However technology has changed drastically. All new water heaters are equipped with flame vapor sensor now. Its a very sensitive device towards paint, boot polish, nail polish etc.One cannot expect a water heater to last even 15 years without breakdown.
Fantastical wrote: Wow, water heater lasts 20+ years?
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Deal Addict
Mar 12, 2008
1646 posts
201 upvotes
Toronto
Ive owned mine for 10 years after i bought it out. Tank is now 15 years old. I had 1 repair (bad flame sensor thing) was 600$ . far outweighs the cost of rental. over 10 years i would of paid 4700$ in rental fees so far(35$ a month + tax for a power vent)

So i mean you can almost replace it every 5 years for the cost of renting

Just make sure you install a water sensor in case it breaks and you need to shut the water off quick. .
Member
Oct 27, 2012
384 posts
345 upvotes
Shwa
I bought a new gas HWT in 2007. Cost me around $400 at HD and paid a HVAC guy around $200 to install it and take my old tank. Haven't done any maintenance on it whatsoever. Never had to do any service calls. Maybe I'm just lucky.

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