Should you Rent or Buy Your Water Heater?

Water Heaters, Rent or Buy

Most People in Ontario Rent Their Water Heater

In Alberta virtually everyone owns their hot water heater. The strength of the Ontario hot water heater rental market goes back many years. In London, you used to rent your hot water heater from Union Gas. You had just one bill which included all the gas you used for heating and hot water. The bill also included your hot water tank rental. It was a simple ‘out of thought out of mind’ business plan that grew to include the majority of homeowners.

About 15 years ago, Union Gas sold its’ hot water tank rental business to Reliance. Homeowners got a separate bill from Reliance for the rental of their hot water heater.

How Long Are You Staying in Your Home?

If you plan on staying in your current home for 5 years or more, it probably makes more sense to buy a hot water heater. If you finance a hot water heater, your payments will be similar to your rental cost, but your heater will be paid for in 5 to 7 years. The normal life of a water heater is in the 15 year range, so it does not make financial sense to be making payments on a 15 year old water heater.


If you rent your water heater, you need to contact the company you rent it from for service. When you own your water heater, you can contact the company that installed it. You can also deal with the plumbing contractor of your choice. If you are dealing with a full service plumbing and heating company, it’s always nice to have all your equipment checked on the same service call.

Water Heater Stories in The News

Water heater rentals have been more topical recently. In November 2014 CBC news reported on a rental company that was fined by the government for questionable business practice. Read this story by clicking here.

CBC Marketplace has investigated sales tricks from door to door sales people, representing rental companies for both furnaces and water heaters. Click here to read this story.

In June of 2014, The Toronto Star ran a story on buying or renting water heaters. This followed stories of the government clamping down on door-to-door companies and rental companies that made it too difficult to withdraw from rental contracts. You can read this article by clicking here.

Choosing a Water Heater

If you decide to purchase a water heater, you’ll discover that you have several choices. Traditional water heater tanks vary in size and how they are vented. You may even want to consider a tankless water heater. You can learn more about the different types of units on our water heater page.

Salmon Plumbing & Heating has the experience and expertise to help you select the water heater that’s best for your family. We’re locally owned and operated and we employ only licensed tradesmen to install your purchase.