Bradfor White being installed next week...if in market for WH avoid SEARS!!

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by vtxdude, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. vtxdude

    vtxdude New Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    NH
    Bradford White being installed next week...if in market for WH avoid SEARS!!

    A plumber that I trust will be coming over next week to install a Bradford White Short 40 gallon natural gas water heater and will be removing the Kenmore and putting it in my garage until Sears (hopefully) comes to pick it up. He will also be changing out the copper feed I have for the gas and be putting in new black iron piping. When I said I had a copper run for my gas he almost dropped the phone..he said good thing I requested to change it out because he would not do the installation with the copper line in place. The good thing about changing out the feed is I'll now be able to go higher on the initial vertical run above the draft hood before the first bend to the horizontal run if I want to. I was limited on the height because f clearance of that copper gas line.

    hope I am making the right call here...makes no sense why other water heater works fine, Kenmore goes in and all hell breaks loose :confused:

    I think I have a pretty strong case on why Sears should take back this heater....horrible installation, 1st plumber tells me to relax about cleaning floor before he puts heater in, tells me he installs these on dirt floors so obviously he has no clue about FVIR. He jacks up my copper piping.instead of adding length to it he cuts and bends piping over..nice huh? So "made" connections fit........when heater starts having combustion issues he blames it on bad heater , rips it out, see's soot all over flue baffle..says bad heater.....guarantees new heater will not have issue....um new heater install just as bad...and proceeds to put a nice crease and dent in the 2nd heater..instead of putting 1 new long piece in for hot or cold he adds a hole bunch of small pieces of copper solder sloppy,, drip and globs of it everywhere...oh and still bad combustion odor with ne heater..call Sears to complain and they send Sears service tech out..he says he can't help because new install...gotta call Sears and get installer back out..no way am I having 1st plumber back out I call Sears and they send out different plumber...he says need 4 inch venting that what issue is...says he need to get Sears to ok and he would be out Monday..take day off and he never shows as Sears drops request and needs it reentered....miss day of work for nothing...miss next day as they come and put in 4 inch pipe..he brings new guy with him who has done plumbing for 3 weeks..he proceeds to tie in 4 inch pipe to T by putting it OUTSIDE of T and wraps it with foil tape??? So all that heat travels up T and outside of Type B pipe..nice huh? could have started a fire big time with that move....

    Finally had enough with Sears...hire my companies HVAC guys who come in and reroute pipes...drafting works great except for awful adhesive smell from the second plumber from Sears taping up all the connections with fouls smelling foil tape...need to have HVaC come out and replace all the venting because of this..now even with good draft still seems like yellow flame sometimes and sooting,,if I look in view port looks like soot on bottom of tank and also in flue....

    So in a nutshell....horrible 1st plumber trashed my copper piping by just pulling and bending...crap soldering job, no pride in work...didn't jnow how to diagnose any issue othet than saying "bad WH let's try another" Sears service tech was useless, could not help at all and bitched he had a doctors appointment and had to leave, 2nd plumber redid venting but created a dangerous situation by putting piping OVER B vent connection instead of in it and the used the stinky foil tape that stunk the cellar and ducts up...finally after missing umpteen days of work I got sick or rolling the Sears dice HOPING I'd get someone competent I had to go out and hire an HVAC group to fix what Sears could not fix...now the venting works right but WH still burns like crap and I can't live with it in my house like this I have pictures of the shoddy work these guys did....you have seen a smattering of them in differnt post




    So if anything else, I hope this serves a wake up call to anyone thinking of using Sears as an installer..they just don't pay these guys enough to give a crap...guys just want in and out as fast as they can and damn you the homeowner if you discover any issues after they are gone...

    I think I have a legit case with Sears and better be able to recoup some if not all my dough...if they balk which they will I will initiate a chargeback so no $$ for them until case resolved..if at very least i shoulkd get back my 300 dollars for a "professional install" as it wasn't even close..it was a mess and still is..my cold water pipe is pretty loose now and shudders with washing machine going off and on now..never did that before


    To whoever read this Please don't make the mistake I did..get a competent independent plumber like you see on this board here and have them install a Bradford White or Rheem...stay as far away as you can from Box stores to have this work done..they just don't pay enough..both plumbers bitched about it and would not answer any questions I had.....


    Thanks so much for everything guys...hope the BW works out...I think it will as the amount of air it lets in looks so much better than the ones with just the small bottom flame arrestor plates

    Thanks for listening guys




    work done..they just don't care
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  2. Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  3. SemiHandyRon

    SemiHandyRon New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Fairfield, OH
    I had a suspicion that I might be walking into something similar, so I'm trying to dodge a bullet before it's fired. I went to the web site of a local appliance store (not Sears) that sent me an "instant" quote on a same-day BW install. I wonder, "Who are their installers--company employees? lowest bidders? And how good are they?" The quote itself seems quite good, until I look at all the extra charges that "might" be incurred. The quote lists eight areas of possible defects in plumbing, etc., that can add to the cost as the install proceeds. Being suspicious of walking into a "low ball," I decided to keep shopping.

    As a result, I'm having a Rheem put in tomorrow by the guy who plumbed the house when it was built six years ago. It's costing me more than the "instant" quote from the appliance store, but who knows--it may actually be costing me less if I have avoided unnecessary charges. And if I'm curious about the quality of the guy's work, I just go to my basement and look around!

    Of course, none of this eases your pain, vtxdude. My condolences!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2009
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    install

    The "one price fits all" low ball installation charges from the companies that hire it done ALL specify "normal installation", but in order to make a profit the companies HAVE to find any non-standard situations that they can charge for. Reputable companies anticipate these situations ahead of time, usually after seeing the actual installation site. But as far at the original posters situation, I hope the new heater cures the problems, because I have not seen anything in any of the previous postings that would lead me to think that changing the heater would cure them.
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I agree with hj...it seems to me there is a venting problem of some sort...it could be something as simple as a dead bird in the flue...flue not pitched right or some other problem...I hope the new company can find it....
  6. vtxdude

    vtxdude New Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    NH
    HJ- I'm interested in why you think changing the water heater out will not work...not trying to be smart here..not at all..just that for 10 years my old Vanguard worked like a charm....I imagine that it got plenty of Primary and secondary air due to it's open design.....along comes the Kenmore with its more restrictive FVIR design and all of a sudden I am having combustion issues and looking in sight glass it looks like soot (is it supposed to be all clean in the chamber, nothing black in there? It appears I am getting a good draft as a lighter is drawn up when placed at and under hood..it is not a whoosing draw but flame angles toward it..pipes are hot all the way up to where it goes through ceiling so it seems like hot flue gases are venting out

    The BW appears to have a much better air intake design..and from what troubleshooting I have done it looks like a lot of issue are from lack of primary air


    Worst case is I at least get a better water heater with less maintenance..maybe new plumber can diagnose better as well...still baffles me why old heater works fine with probably worse venting than new heater

    Again I'm not a plumber..just a very frustrated homeowner whose life has been turned upside down by a water heater
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  7. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Was it venting that way the day they removed the old one...
  8. vtxdude

    vtxdude New Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    NH
    That is a good question..I assume so as I did not have any combustion smells that i can think of....the whole reason for the change was I came home to the TP valve spewing water out..figured might as well change it out.....seems like a big mistake in retrospect


    If I was not getting good venting would it not be drawing at the hood?
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    It is hard to diagnose from here...lets see what happens...
  10. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    It was common practice in are area to use copper for gas lines. It was used in place of a flexible connector. It was done with flared joints. The main lines were iron pipe. What was happening was when the copper line was removed to replace the appliance then re connected small pieces would flack off the inside of the copper and plug the gas burners and thermostats. To prove this for ourselves we tried blowing through the disconnected copper line into a coffee cup and the amount of flakes would cover the bottom cup. This may be what has caused the problems with both heaters. After experiencing this when replacing heaters we replace the copper with approved flexible connectors.

    John
  11. vtxdude

    vtxdude New Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    NH
    Could be the problem as I have heard that before too....well using black iron for the new install...hope that improves things


    Yes Cass at this point I guess all we can do it wait and see
  12. it will probably work


    wait and see, but I am willing to be that the
    problem will majically go away once that piece of junk
    is changed out..

    then you can spread the love about theSears heater.....


    http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=67199


  13. you probably made a wise decision

    http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=67199
  14. vtxdude

    vtxdude New Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    NH

    I sure hope to God that you are right Mark....I need some good news soon....hopefully 2010 will be kinder to me in the water heater department
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    heater

    It is BECAUSE the other one did not have the problems, or at least did not SEEM to have them, and that there is little room for errors when replacing one water heater with another, that I question your diagnosis. I am not sure if some of the problems might have been there previously, but you are more cognizent of them JUST because you have a new heater, or what else could have happened. But it is essentially like you taking your car in to the garage and you have them replace the alternator. Then suddenly the door windows do not work or the radio goes berserk, and you blame it on the "poor alternator" or the guy who installed it, when both are merely doing their jobs.
  16. vtxdude

    vtxdude New Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    NH
    When you say little room for errors....could you expand on that?


    Consensus here seems to be that AO Smith and American Water Heaters and their kind seem to have a lot more issues than their Rheem and Bradford White counterparts. Issues seem to do with the air intake system, whether it gets clogged up easily with lint or it just does not take in enough air to combust properly...could it be because the Vanguard was the older style with the open burner that it got all the air that it needed? I don't recall any soot or smoke/smell issues...my diagnosis if you will is that the issues I am seeing SEEM to point to a primary or a secondary air issue......in looking at the Bradford White design vs the Kenmore design it appears to me that the Bradford White air intake system and FVIR setup is superior to the Kenmore/Smith/State etc...would you agree with that?



    Looking at the pictures I have been posting can you honestly say I should cut the Sears plumbers any slack???? As a professional plumber you should be appalled at the work these guys did...I've said on many occasions that I wish the plumbers who frequent here lived close to NH because I don't think I would be having any of these issues if one of you did the install in the first place...... would not say it is anywhere near a case of a guy merely doing his job.....bending pipes down and over to make them fit? Chewing up the connections with channel locks? Not caring about the condition of the the floor knowing that the air intake is on the bottom of the heater? I mean there was sand and lint all over the place and when I wanted to clean it up all I got was "I install these on dirt floors, doesn't matter"....and then that goofy sloppy connection at the T??


    I'm sorry I'm just getting worked up but guys like that give you good plumbers a bad rap


    I really do value your comments HJ and not arguing......but would you say that Rheem or Bradford White makes a better more air intake efficient water heater than Kenmore?
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    heaters

    I have installed AO Smith, GE, Rheem, Ruud, American, and Bradford-White heaters and have NEVER had problems with any of them. Therefore, I have no basis to NOT recommend any of them based on my personal experience. But if there is an existing water heater, and a new one replaces it, without ANY modifications to the environment, I cannot see where any subsequent problems could be due to the installation. If the installation discloses environmental problems, then these would have to be analyzed and remedied, but if they are the cause of your symptoms, they will still be there with the new heater. The combustion air intakes just control the burner's proper operation, and the FVIR is an emergency feature that the average user will NEVER need, unless he likes to store gasoline cans next to his water heater.
  18. vtxdude

    vtxdude New Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    NH

    Yes I agree with you 100%! But I think the design of the Kenmore Air Intake does not work as well as it should compared to a Bradford White...I am going to be posting a video I took of my burner..take a look and tell me if you think it is ok

    Thanks!
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