It is quite common for homeowners to rent their hot water heaters here in Ontario. The rentals cost anywhere between $15 for an old tank to $20 or more for a new one. Years ago, we stopped renting our old water heater and I’ve been meaning to replace it for a while now. But, what with one thing or another, I never got around to it even though Michael James warned everyone on the mess that a leaking water heater makes in your basement.
Well, last weekend, I finally paid the price for keeping an old, rusted, water heater around a little too long. The bottom of the old water tank had rusted through and leaked water into the furnace room and to my basement office. After shutting down the valve, draining the heater and cleaning up the mess, I went shopping for a replacement. Home Depot carries water heaters and offers installation services (for some reason, Rona doesn’t) and for a fee, is willing to do a rush job. Here’s what installing a new tank will cost you:
GE 50 gallon gas water heater: $683.00 (60 gallon tank: $712.00)
Water heater measure: $40.00
Weekend, evening & holiday fee: $165.00
Haul away & dispose: $40.00
Total Install Charges: $545.00
Grand total (including GST): $1,289.40
We’ve stopped renting for more than 4 years now and the old rental was costing us $13.99 every month. Installing a new heater and then renting it costs about $20 per month in addition to certain one-time installation fees that are charged upfront. Netting out the savings of about $750 over four years from buying out the old water heater, the new tank cost us $540. If renting the same heater costs us $20 per month, the new tank will break even in just over two years. Plus we will be on hook for any maintenance or service calls.
It seems to me that owning a water heater is much cheaper over the long run than renting it as long as you are willing to absorb the expense of an unexpected maintenance call. Perhaps, that’s why homeowners in most provinces do not bother with renting and it is time Ontarians wise up to how much renting our water heaters is costing us.