For years now I’ve been tripping over loose drop-cloths and floor runners on my way out the door with an old, dirty water heater. Since there are few water heater replacements that fall under the “pro-active replacement” category [does that even exist?] it seems that most tanks I myself or my guys have carried out of a house or commercial space have been leaking some sort of dumpster juice quality solution or shedding their share of rusted jacket material only to leave a trail of evidence that we were recently there.
A few months ago our friends at Bradford White contacted me with a solution to this problem. I suppose they heard the outcry as I was frantically searching Google for the nearest available carpet cleaner due to a drop-cloth mishap. Well, they delivered.
The HEATER HAULER, as it is appropriately named, is a giant containment bag engineered to assist the installing contractor in a tidy job without the added hazard of loose floor runners/drop-cloths.
The features listed on their website are as follows:
- Facilitates removal of light duty commercial water heaters up to 80 gallons (303 liters) (maximum recommended weight – 250 lbs. 113 kg.)
- Heavy duty, vinyl laminated nylon construction with full velcro opening
- Double stitched heavy duty top & side handles
- Helps eliminate damage to floors and carpets during removal
- Liquids, oils and grease will not penetrate
I’ve put it to the Aune Plumbing test on over a dozen jobs now and the time it saves me is worth the price of admission. I’ve tried tarps, heavy-duty plastic bags and more to contain the mess of some of the tank style heaters we’ve replaced over the years. This bag does the work, only better, than any of those failed experiments.
If I had any suggestions to our friends at Bradford White it would be to offer a smaller model. This bag is huge and will haul an 80-gallon tank. That’s a lot of room and considerably more than is needed for the typical 40-50 gallon replacements of our market. The extra room makes for a sometimes-cumbersome handling through doorways or up stairways.
I do caution anyone looking to add this to the truck, the bag has two large canvas strap handles [like a duffle bag], after about five or six uses I personally tore one side of one strap from the bag while attempting to use the straps to move a 50 gallon gas heater thru a hallway. The bag is still useful but I would recommend not relying on the straps for handling while loaded.
Shortly after posting this review the nice folks at Bradford White sent over a replacement Heater Hauler; I assume in reaction to my comments about one of the handles detaching from the bag after only five or six uses.
After at least a dozen uses since I can report back that both handles/straps are intact and remain fully attached on the replacement bag. I would caution that during lifting or hand-truck transport of a bagged tank all workers be careful and practice safety first. I don’t believe the bag handles are intended to be used as the main connection point the to load at hand and are there more for slight maneuvering etc. Overall, I’d say this has been a valuable tool to keep on the truck and I have no reason not to recommend it to professional contractors looking for a useful tool to make the job quicker and cleaner.