Water heater failed, warranty question

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by bmrowe, May 8, 2011.

  1. bmrowe

    bmrowe New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    California
    My AO Smith Conservationist 40 gal water heater failed today on year 9 of 10 in the warranty.

    My question is this: In the manual it says that the warranty only applies to the original owner -- which I think is complete crap. How do they verify this? We moved into the home a couple years ago and I am wondering if there are any ways around this 'original owner' statement. Can I play dumb and get it replaced under warranty like it should be?

    Is it going to be best to contact the people who installed the heater or AO Smith themselves?

    Thanks!
  2. DonL

    DonL Out of the Trades

    Messages:
    3,901
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Welcome bmrowe to Terry's Forum.

    That would depend on state Law.

    I would not try to play dumb.

    If You have the original receipt then you may be in luck.

    If not then the original owner that sent in the warranty papers may need to help you.

    I think it will be a State Law thing.

    Good Luck on your project.

    Have a Great day.

    DonL
  3. bmrowe

    bmrowe New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    California
    I do have the original receipt, but it obviously doesn't have my name on it -- hence the my worries about the 'original owner only' statement in AO Smith's warranty section
  4. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,660
    Location:
    .
    If the owner didn't register it, then, you could register it with your name and be the original owner. I do believe this is correct.

    If they required it to be registered within so many days though, I guess, that changes things.

    I don't know if you know home repair programs within certain companies, but, this is one. It might not apply to your company or if your water heater is failed now.

    http://www.dom.com/products/home-repair-programs/water-heater-repair/water-heater-repair.jsp
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,328
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Just a couple of things. Appliance warranties are pro rated so after 9 years on a 10 year warranty, so it will be worth very little. Secondly, AO Smith heaters are not rated very high. You can certainly pursue the warranty angle, but you might want to consider a Bradford White or GE/Rheem. These seem to be the most preferred among plumbers on this forum.
  6. bmrowe

    bmrowe New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for the input. I was considering just getting a different brand based on stuff I read. However, if I can get a free replacement that could last 7-8 years after its one year warranty expires, its a lot cheaper than paying $800 for a Bradford White that might fail right after its 6 year warranty expires. If the replacement fails after 1.5 years, then I would definitely switch brands -- although I'd be eating the cost of installation on the warranty replacement.
  7. bmrowe

    bmrowe New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    California
    I talked with AO Smith. The heater had not been registered, so it was still under warranty. I also found out that it was built before some legal change in 2003 where all heaters had to have concealed pilot lights. Therefore, I have to pay a $70 'upgrade' fee for my warranty replacement -- but I get a brand new 10 year warranty in the process. I still have to pay for install/removal, but that beats paying $1000 for the heater and then having to also pay for the install.
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Ahh that's too bad...
    That $70 "Upgrade" is what makes them suck so bad...

    It's called FVIR which is Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant and the design AO Smith uses is the same as the one used on the Whirlpool water heaters sticky'd at the top of this forum section...
  9. bmrowe

    bmrowe New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    California
    Wow, that is horrible. Is there any solution? I see people talking about an upgrade kit from Whirlpool that might cure the problem?
  10. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The new one you bought has the upgrade already...

    But as you can see the results are marginal...
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