I had called Graham Plumbing to repair a leaking ****** water heater at my house because their business van had ******'s logo on the truck. **** came out to replace heat exchanger. Within a day of him completing the repair the unit no longer fired. I called him back to check. He then suggested replacing the fan blower and the burner assembly. Couple of days later, unit failed again at various times. **** came out a third time and changed the igniter. Again, shortly after he left the unit failed again. Same fail code came up each time (Code 11) which meant ignition failure. After asking several times to please come back and try to fix to no avail, **** told me he was not certified to work on ****** water heaters (even though the company advertised that they serviced them) and told me to call **** Industries. After paying ****** Plumbing over $400 to repair a leaking heat exchanger, I had to pay **** another $250 to come out to see why unit did not fire; only to discover the only reason it did not work was that **** from ****** Plumbing did not ground the igniter after replacing the heat exchanger. It was a simple brass screw that he forgot to reconnect after the exchanger was replaced. If he had come out to review his workmanship like I politely asked several times instead of giving me the brush off, he would have seen his mistake. So, basically I paid out over $650 for a repair that should have only cost me $250 due to ****** Plumbing's (****'s) lack of experience and unwillingness to listen to my recommendation to review his installation job. Like I said on the phone, the unit ALWAYS fired in the 6 years I've owned the home; it just had a leaking heat exchanger that ****** warrantied the part for replacement.
Product_Or_Service: Repair to ****** tankless water heater
I would like to be refunded the full amount of the repair cost (approximately $450) billed by Graham Plumbing. This is to compensate for the $250 I had to pay **** Industries to troubleshoot ****'s poor workmanship as well as for time spent replacing parts that did not need replacing (blower, burner and ignition). I should only be billed for the diagnostic charge of $80 that I previously paid Graham Plumbing prior to the failed attempted repairs that were made to the unit.
In response to the complaint received, the following is my professional assessment of what happened.
We were called about a service call about a leaky ****** tankless hot water heater. We let the homeowner know that there was a cost of $80 to come and diagnose the issue and afterwards we would let them know what the issue is and what can be done to fix it along with the cost to do so. After examining the unit we came to the conclusion that the heat exchanger was leaking due to corrosion and hard water build up. We then called ****** customer service to get the part number for the heat exchanger and to see if it would be covered under warranty. I told customer service rep at ****** that this customer performed annual maintenance and cleaning as per recommendation, which was not performed by the customer, to ensure that the customer would be covered under warranty. The water had also damaged the fan blower and it was recommended by ****** to replace both parts. In addition to diagnosing the problem, I got in contact with many wholesales in order to find the parts to replace in a timely manner.
The only wholesaler that had the heat exchanger was in Lethbriqdge Alberta and because I was heading in that direction during my weekend I went out of my way to arrange a meeting and pick up with one of the the sales staff at this wholesaler, which I never charged for.
Upon returning to the customers house with the correct parts, I began the necessary work. In order to replace the heat exchanger, every component and part had to be removed from the unit, and because the customer had no manual, I performed the work according to the installation instructions provided with the replacement heat exchanger. After all components and parts we're put back together, we performed our test procedures and fired up the system for proper operation. After I was satisfied that the system was in working order, I then showed the home owner what we had done and that everything was working. The customer then signed off on our invoice and we were paid in full as per our quote.
A few days later we were called because the system was showing an error code and was not working properly. I returned to the house, free of charge, looked up the error code that was flashing on the display and because there was no manual, had to look up online. The manual told me that it was an ignition problem and that I should change out the flame rod sensor and the ignition modulation, which I did, once again, free of charge. When I left he house the ****** unit was fully operational and the customer was satisfied with the work.
A few days later, I was called again by the customer with the same error code on the unit. Because I was so busy at the time I told the customer that there was nothing more I could do about this issue. I never said to the customer that I "was not certified to work on ****** water heaters", but because there are so many different makes and model of tankless water heaters, it is next to impossible for an experienced plumber to be familiar and knowledgable in all of them. I feel that I went above and beyond in order to get this customer warranties parts which totalled over $600 (not including my time) which I have yet to be refunded on, and fixed the original problem which I was called for.
I understand the frustration of the home owner, but because these tankless units are so complex it could have very easily been another issue not caused by us.