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Courtney Murphy
  • SF East Bay
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Plumber or Handyman to install water heaters

Courtney Murphy
  • SF East Bay
Posted Oct 11 2022, 10:15

Hello,

Our handyman says he could install 2 water heaters in our STR (house is 100yrs old). It would save us some $$ but I'm concerned if something goes wrong that we would wish we had a plumber to be accountable.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks!

Courtney

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Julie Marquez
  • Investor
  • Skagit County, WA
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Julie Marquez
  • Investor
  • Skagit County, WA
Replied Oct 11 2022, 10:26

@Courtney Murphy Does your municipality require hot water installations to be permitted? If so, you could have the handyman do it and get it inspected. Would the handyman not be held accountable?

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Kevin Sobilo
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Hanover Twp, PA
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Kevin Sobilo
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Hanover Twp, PA
Replied Oct 11 2022, 10:29

@Courtney Murphy, a water heater is a fairly simple install. So, in terms of being confident a handyman could do the work I would feel ok about that.

However, if you want to be cautious I would consider a couple other details before making a decision. First, where are the water heaters located? If they are in a basement where an issue wouldn't cause appreciable damage then having a handyman do it is less of a concern.

The second question is whether the handyman is insured. Many are not, but some are. If they are insured I would absolutely choose a handyman over a plumber. I might use a handyman even if they aren't insured. I might use a plumber is the hot water heater was in a finished space like a closet off the kitchen where in a vacant house it might cause a lot of damage before anyone realized. 

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Courtney Murphy
  • SF East Bay
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Courtney Murphy
  • SF East Bay
Replied Oct 11 2022, 10:37
Quote from @Julie Marquez:

@Courtney Murphy Does your municipality require hot water installations to be permitted? If so, you could have the handyman do it and get it inspected. Would the handyman not be held accountable?


 Hi Julie,

I just checked and yes it has to be done by a licensed plumber, permitted and inspected so I am asking him about that. Thank you for your input, it was very helpful.

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Courtney Murphy
  • SF East Bay
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Courtney Murphy
  • SF East Bay
Replied Oct 11 2022, 10:39
Quote from @Kevin Sobilo:

@Courtney Murphy, a water heater is a fairly simple install. So, in terms of being confident a handyman could do the work I would feel ok about that.

However, if you want to be cautious I would consider a couple other details before making a decision. First, where are the water heaters located? If they are in a basement where an issue wouldn't cause appreciable damage then having a handyman do it is less of a concern.

The second question is whether the handyman is insured. Many are not, but some are. If they are insured I would absolutely choose a handyman over a plumber. I might use a handyman even if they aren't insured. I might use a plumber is the hot water heater was in a finished space like a closet off the kitchen where in a vacant house it might cause a lot of damage before anyone realized. 


 Hi Kevin,

Thank you for your input, this is helpful. The water heaters are in an unfinished basement close to a drain so we are good with location. 

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Paul Sandhu
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  • The worst town to live in, KS
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Paul Sandhu
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Replied Oct 11 2022, 10:43
Quote from @Courtney Murphy:
Quote from @Julie Marquez:

@Courtney Murphy Does your municipality require hot water installations to be permitted? If so, you could have the handyman do it and get it inspected. Would the handyman not be held accountable?


 Hi Julie,

I just checked and yes it has to be done by a licensed plumber, permitted and inspected so I am asking him about that. Thank you for your input, it was very helpful.

Too bad it has to be done by a licensed plumber. If it's electric, all you need is a wrench and a screwdriver.  If it's gas, all you need is a wrench. I've probably changed a dozen of them.

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John Underwood#4 All Forums Contributor
  • Investor
  • Greer, SC
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John Underwood#4 All Forums Contributor
  • Investor
  • Greer, SC
Replied Oct 11 2022, 12:35

I use my handyman for water heaters. Not that hard.

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Henry T.
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Replied Oct 11 2022, 13:49
Easiest thing to do on a house. You could do it yourself. a wrench to tighten the pipe, and a screw driver to access the two wires.
Inspection? you gotta be kidding.  My cat did my last one, he was done in 3 minutes, then fell asleep on top of it.