New Hot Water tank Leak or Condensation? AO Smith GCV 50 300 ProMax

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Jim99, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Jim99

    Jim99 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Plumber replaced the water heater today, insisted on $185 labor charge.. No leaks on new tank.

    I have emailed AO Smith for a refund of the labor charge. I can't blame the plumber the AO Smith Tank was defective and leaked from the get go 18 days ago.
  2. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    The way I see it if the plumber supplied the water heater then you shouldn't have had to pay a labor charge. He should have billed A.O. Smith or the supply house. Unless he specified otherwise before the initital installation.

    I give a year from top to bottom warranty that the heater operates properly or I repair or replace it free. Thats just me tho.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    My personal experience is that if the plumber supplies the parts, and there's a problem, he takes care of it at no cost during the warranty period (often around a year). If you buy the part (in this case, the WH), and it fails, you pay the labor for any repairs not caused by an incorrect install. On the original install, is there any reference to any warranty on any of the paperwork (including the quote)?
  4. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    If he supplied the part, he eats the replacement cost! Otherwise it would be a financial gain to him to install defective equipment.

    Either way, you need to find a more ethical plumber.
  5. boy it is fun to watch you guys go at it.....

    the plumber is usually compensated for a bad water heater
    in the first year by Smith.. They will give him about 125 to do the warranty
    change out...

    this customer got screwed twice
    the first time by the plumber installing a crappy smith water heater
    and the second time by getting chaged again by the plumber.....
  6. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    Actually this same plumber has screwed the customer several times, an all too common refrain and why many of us are DIY'ers.
  7. Jim99

    Jim99 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I don't believe the Plumber screwed me, he is a good worker, reasonable rates and there was nothing wrong with his install.
    AO Smiths Quality control department is responsible for shipping a defective tank that leaked immediatly upon installation. I have contacted AO Smith, there is indeed a policy to refund re installations to $100 max within the first year due to leaky or defective tanks. In my case I have requested a full refund on re installation costs as the heater leaked from day 1.

    Will let you know how it turns out.
  8. if the plumber charged you for the original installation
    and the price of the water heater, then charged you again
    to change out the water heater only a month later.....
    you were overcharged....

    did he not also give you a labor warranty of at least one year
    with the water heater that he provided you with???

    he should have absorbed the labor and got his refund from Smith
    and should not have charged you again for what you paid for a month ago
    that is called ....... cost of doing business......
    sometimes you just got to eat one...which he refused to do
    and he made you eat it

    therefore you were overcharged......
  9. Jim99

    Jim99 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Mark, thank you for your comments.
    What do you charge to install an AO Smith GCV 50 300?
    What is your hourly rate?
    Thanks
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    The point was (is) that generally, when a plumber supplies the materials and there's a problem during the warranty period (of his labor, often one year), it is fixed with no further cost to the original purchaser, regardless of what it cost. Paying for it twice, at whatever rate, is overcharged. the fact that it started leaking the same day reinforces the point that he should have resolved it at no cost to you.
  11. Jim99

    Jim99 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I fully understand that many contractors price in the possibility of a warranty replacement into their total contract price.
    Still doesn't answer the question I asked, whats the typical contract price to supply and install a 50 Gal AO Smith heater?
  12. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    I doubt you are going to get any "typical price" because pricing for plumbing work varies so wildly by region and municipality and vendor to vendor. And price often does not correlate with quality or quantity of the work in my experience. You will run into the same problem with other trades...and dentistry (the last regular dentist I had was charging 1/3 the prevailing rate for fillings, and did better work...and despite the low price he retired early.) Range in pricing for some things will be 3x or so.

    Another aspect is that someone could quote a fairly low labor rate but use higher pricing for the tank/materials. You and I typically don't know what the plumber is paying for these things since they are getting discounts from suppliers. We can get an idea from doing price searches on the web--one way to check on Bradford White pricing for example, since they aren't sold direct to customers.

    As for your plumber, it's not as much the price to me that is bothersome, it is that he's strung you along about a leak he should have recognized and addressed early on, rather than leaving you hanging. Then to charge you for the defective tank? That's not ethical, and downright insulting to the customer. So AO Smith offers up to $100 for labor on a defective tank, and he charges you $185. I see a problem with that. And who is to say he won't submit a claim to them on the tank he purchased and that they won't refuse your claim because they've already paid him on the serial number?

    Here's the thing, do you really want a plumber who doesn't stand behind his work and won't take the problem to the manufacturer for you? If he's having so much trouble with a particular manufacturer that he can't afford to handle warranty replacement for defects in initial installs, then he shouldn't be using that vendor.
  13. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    I would call A.O. Smith and tell them the name of the installer and the dealer for A.O. Smith in your area. I would ask for a refund for the replacement installation and materials. I would submit both receipts from the plumber to A.O. Smith for their inspection.

    If A.O. Smith would pay the installer then there is no good reason why they shouldn't pay you........or work it out for the installer to give you a refund and accept payment from them.
  14. Jim99

    Jim99 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Well shame on AO Smith. They would not cover the full re install of $184 for their defective heater that leaked from day 1.
    They are sending me a check for $100, the max they claim their COMPANY POLICY will pay.

    Pitifull, Strike AO Smith off your list of good water heaters.
    And...

    SHAME ON AO SMITHS QC DEPARTMENT, THE MANAGER OF AO SMITH QC SHOULD BE FIRED FOR SHIPPING LEAKY WATER HEATERS AND NOT COVERING THE RE INSTALL.
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    The plumber should have covered it and HE fight with the company...you shouldn't have seen an additional bill. Most plumbers have a labor/materials warranty, and take what they can from the supplier for warranty. Your guy was just unwilling to support you as most in the industry would. While we all want to get paid for our work, sometimes you have to eat it, or not get paid as much as you want (as in a warranty/manufactuer situation). I wouldn't use him for any subsequent work if he won't stand up, and certainly wouldn't give great references, if asked.
  16. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison New Member

    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    Midwest
    Jim99, your outrage on the customer service side is completely misplaced.

    While the leak is most likely of an unacceptably bad weld (and insufficiently or lacking leak testing at the factory) the warranty side of it AO Smith followed seems acceptable to me. The weld quality? Not so much since it makes one wonder how frequently partial voids in their weld will result in early leaks.

    But the plumber apparently chose this tank. Installed this tank and collected money for doing so. Blew smoke up your butt about the leak after several days of it leaking (something he should be good at figuring out...or be in another profession.) Then you told him he had to replace it because it leaked for weeks, and he charged you $184 dollars for it, knowing he could have gotten $100 compensation direct, but leaving that hassle for you...because that's the swell guy he is.

    He made a profit off of your pain. AO Smith did not. They've likely lost money off of this since they've built and shipped two water heaters for the sale of one, and paid $100 to you on top of that (and that cost to them is all well and good as it is incentive to improve manufacturing quality.)

    So AO Smith has a large financial disincentive to produce leaky water heaters, while you've encouraged your plumber to install leaky water heaters because it is a no lose proposition for him.

    Sorry you had the problem and that it cost you time and $84 extra; I'm glad it is working properly now.

  17. Mr Bison....its working properly for now....... that brand is junk and I would be willing to gamble
    that it will give them problems within a few years...
    if it is installed in the laundry room
    the lint will clog up that puppy real fast...

    the new honey well thermostat is another thing I am real leerey about
    and I cant wait to see how long they can hold it together batteling the lint.
    will it overheat from the lint , or will blow some new high limit circuit in the controll valve... ???
    its like watching a train wreck.....

    anyway ..... a good 50 gallon gas heater should cost about 900 bucks in our area
    Rheem is my choice.... My labor warranty is 3 years, that is correct.... three years
    we will change it out for free for 3 years...

    we dont get a lot of call backs on Rheems, but it does
    happen on a rare occasion If you really are in business you should just
    take it like a man and absorb the cost and not charge the customer......t
    his yay-hoo that did your heater wont be around long...

  18. Jim99

    Jim99 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Thank you for your post Mark.
    You do offer a good warranty. I wish we had that type of warranty offered in our area, hard to find.
    My total cost including the re install and minus the AO Smith refund is approx what you charge.
    The heater is not in my Laundry room, it's in the furnace room so no lint in that area.

    As far as the new honeywell thermostat controller goes, both Bradford White and Rheem are using them too now. Time will tell as to reliability but Honeywell is a well respected company so I do have confidence in the new technology.
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