Monday, May 12, 2008

A Cold Shower Tonight...

...seems to be in store for me. Our hot water heater went on the fritz, and with the price of oil what it is I have decided to replace it with a gas fired system; and I'll still have oil heat for our home heating system but only because I cannot afford to change both the hot water heater and the boiler. As it stands now, the lowest estimate I got for installation of a HWH with 50 gallon tank will be $1,275.00 (the highest estimate was $1750). That is better than the replacement cost for an oil fired one at $1,680.00, and I figure the cost of gas will be less than that of oil - but who knows what will be what in 6 months or a year. It is sort of a crap shoot, but some favorable things about gas are that: it burns cleaner, the unit itself will require almost zero maintenance (and the constant pain in the ass oil burners needed maintenance every couple to few months), one less oil appliance to leak oil from its filter (yes sometimes we have had leaks), gas is currently more efficient and less expensive than home heating oil, and I am told they last longer than oil fired heaters. I would have liked to have ordered a tankless unit, but the cost to purchase and install one of them was about $1,000 to $1,300 more depending on who gave the estimate. What with having to have a tree taken down in my backyard, and the best estimate for that being $1,500.00, and also my needing to buy a new lawn mower at about $220.00 because ours is shot, and you can see money will be tight around here - so the extra cost for a tankless unit was not even a consideration. If only that darned rebate check would show up, I sure could use it - but of course I won't get as much REBATED to me as someone who made less money than me last year, and who paid less taxes than me - but I digress.

So I await my last estimate, promised to get here by 0830 tomorrow, then I make my pick of poisons plumbers for the HWH. Hopefully they will get the job started and finished tomorrow as most said they could do, including the man with the low estimate so far. Funny, all the estimates are for the installation of the same exact HWH by brand and model. Go figure. As for tonight, no more lallygagging around, I am off to Sears to pick up a Craftsman Lawn Mower - one of their least expensive models. After that I would love to stop off an pick up a bottle of Vodka, but me thinks my pockets will be too empty for such an extravagance as that - though lord knows I could use a good belt after my day with the plumbers today. Of course they could surprise me at Sears and give me something like another $25 bucks off the price and things would then look better for that clear elixir for which I have a hankering.

All the best,
Glenn B


Pen of Jen said...

I am no fix it person, but we just replaced the water heater from a gas water heater, to an electric water heater, as the delivery costs for propane too high so far from city.

The electric water heater costs us $215, and Bill just explained to the boys what to do. Now I am not sure what you have with the boiler etc., but every where we have lived the options were electric or gas. The last home we only put in a 40 gallon water heater, but this house we put in a 50 gallon water heater.

We bought the unit from Lowes. I am shocked at how expensive these things are...and the tree!!!##!!

Anyway...It can't be as bad as The Money Pit(Tom Hanks)!!(HOPEFULLY)

Wouldn't know anything about a lawn we used a weed wacker for our teeny tiny patch of grass...

Thanks for the MD wishes. From your post looks like you and yours had a great day too.

Glenn Bartley said...


We probably could have picked up a gas water heater for about $350 or so, maybe even less expensive, but since 5 plumbers recommended the one we got, I figued it could be a good one. I think the heater itself was about $450 -$500. The rest was labor and parts, the parts being mostly new gas pipe. We have natural gas delivered through pipes by the gas company. They had to put in about 7 or 8 feet of new pipe. Now maybe, if I had a pipe threader/cutter I could have done that, but I was not about to mess around with the gas line. I like my house to much for it to go boom. They seemingly did a good job, and kept things clean, even when removing the old oil fired hot water heater. Only put one scrape, in a painted wall by my stair case, that I saw - but I did not even complain to them, I'll take care of it. The whole job wound up on estimate plus $98 toi extend froma 6 year warranty to 10 year; and plus the village permit fee (everything requires a permit back here - thats local goobermint for you). I have not been hit for that yet.

The good news is that I took a hot shower today ! That was nice because I did a bit of my chores and got pretty filthy doing them. The other good news is that a tre service guy came by to look at my oak tree. So far I have gotten estimates at: just over $3,000, two at $2,000, and one at $1,500. The guy who came today - Joe from JPs Inexpensice tree Removal gave me an estimate for $675. What a difference. I called the guy with the $1,500 estimate and cancelled. We did not realy have an appojtment yet, but he had said he would try to be here this week maybe on Thursday. That last estimate was a blessing. With everything as close as it is here from one property to the next, we need a tree service to take it down; and it is a big tree. I am going to miss the shade.

All the best,