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Garrelts & Sons Inc./ American Water Experts

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Phone: (815) 385-3821Fax: (815) 385-3892View Additional Phone Numbers3420 N Richmond Rd, JohnsburgIL 60051-5446 Send email to Garrelts & Sons Inc./ American Water Experts

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since 07/01/2010

BBB has determined that Garrelts & Sons Inc./ American Water Experts meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised Garrelts & Sons Inc./ American Water Experts' rating include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 3 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

Customer Complaints SummaryRead complaint details

3 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 2 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Billing / Collection Issues1
Problems with Product / Service2
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints 3

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (3)BBB Closure Definitions
06/20/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Failure to substantiate charges

Complaint: Garrelts sent an electrician to my home on 3/17/14. The symptom was flickering lights in the basement that turned completely off at times.

After a short period of assessment, the electrician found that the wall switch was faulty. My wife was home during the visit and called me to explain his findings. Not knowing any of the electrical terms, she led me to believe that the electrician needed to fix something in the service panel. Not having the appetite to resolve a dangerous panel problem, I agreed to let him proceed. The charge was $335.

When I returned home that night I found that the fix was simply to replace the wall switch. And not only that, but the problem was not fixed! The lights did not come on when I tested. I suspected that the other of the 2 switches on this circuit was also faulty, so I replaced it the following weekend. This resolved the problem. The switch I replaced was identical to the switch the electrician replaced. I bought it for $4.50 at the same store the electrician used, and it took me 10 minutes to complete the job. And needless to say, I am not a professional electrician.

My complaint is, why was I charged $335 for a simple wall switch replacement? There is no possible way to justify this.

So I called Garrelts the following week and left a voice mail with my concern, name and phone number. I waited 2 weeks and heard nothing. So I called again and left another voice mail. I still heard nothing back. I called a third time 2-3 weeks later and spoke to a receptionist. I explained the situation and that I had already left 2 voice mails, and she assured me someone would get back to me. I waited 4 weeks and still heard nothing. Finally, on 6/2/14, I called one more time and spoke to the same receptionist. I explained everything again and expressed by displeasure with the situation. She again assured me someone would return my call, but nobody did.

Initial Business Response
To whom it may concern,
We believe our technician explained exactly what was wrong at the home, which as Mr. ********** explains himself in the first sentence of the second paragraph was that "after a short period of assessment the electrician found that the wall switch was faulty." This is exactly what was explained to his wife, we do not feel it is our company's fault that his wife led him to believe something else. Garrelts and Sons, Inc has a standard policy that is to get all work approved before any work is started. That is exactly what our technician did. In addition a discount of $30.00 was also given at the time.
When Mr. ********** called originally to discuss this matter, Mr. Garrelts was out of town and this was explained to him. After his third call, our office did return a call and left a message asking him to please call us back to discuss, we did not receive a call back.
We feel we followed our company procedure and are not at fault of the accusations this customer is making. With that being said, we are willing to settle this matter with a reasonable solution. We will reduce this total service call from $305.00 that we received to $175.00 and reimburse the client the difference.
******* R. Garrelts

Initial Consumer Rebuttal
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
Just to clarify, the $30 discount was a yellow pages coupon. And I did not receive any voice mails.

But I DO accept the offer of a $130 credit.

Complaint Resolution: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to BBB.

09/20/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Service Complaint Issue

Initial Business Response
Good afternoon,
In response to claim case #94464548, I am sorry that the client feels this way towards our service but I am also very surprised about this complaint.

I feel that our technician followed our procedure in full. We go to a client's home, give all pricing before doing any work and once it is approved we complete the work. As the client stated, our technician did indeed do this, the client accepted the work and after 2 hours of tracing wires our technician gave him a final diagnosis with an estimated cost to fix the problem. We also have a signed invoice of his acceptance when he made payment upon completion of the diagnosis.

As the client stated in his letter, he did indeed talk to me, Stephen Garrelts, the business owner on the following Monday to go over the estimated work. At no time in that conversation did he mention that he was frustrated to the point of requesting his money back. If at any point he would have mentioned this, I would have taken care of the situation right away.

I feel that the service charge is warranted, our tech spent a lot of time diagnosing the problem and followed proper procedures in completing this service.

Stephen R. Garrelts
Owner of Garrelts & Sons, Inc.

Final Consumer Response

Final Business Response
Good afternoon,
In response to claim case #94464548, for a second rebuttal. I am confused as to exactly what this client would like us to do........
Again, with being in business for over 50 years, we stand behind of ways in operation and would not be in business for this long if we took advantage of people or were unethical.
We followed all procedures accordingly, received all signatures for approval to complete a full INSPECTION. The amount that was agreed upon was for inspection only and that is exactly what our technician did. After the INSPECTION was completed, we then gave him our professional opinion of what needed to be done.
As the client stated in his letter, he did indeed talk to me, Stephen Garrelts, the business owner on the following Monday to go over the estimated work. I want to emphasize again that in this conversation the client DID NOT mention that he was frustrated to the point of requesting his money back. If at any point he would have mentioned this, I would have taken care of the situation right away. He did mention he was not happy that we told him to replace the whole line. In our professional opinion and from a liability stand point in an older home, we do not feel that it would be a simple fix. And, we have no knowledge of him having his non licensed brother work on this situation. This could be fictitious information for all I know....
I feel that the service charge is warranted, our tech spent a lot of time diagnosing the problem, this is what the original service call was for and we did exactly what he paid for.
Stephen R. Garrelts
Owner of Garrelts & Sons, Inc.

Complaint Resolution: BBB determined the company made a reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer.

06/19/2012Problems with Product / Service

Industry Comparison| Chart

Plumbers, Contractors-Water & Sewer, Water Treatment Equipment,Service & Supplies, Heating & Air Conditioning

Additional Information

BBB file opened: 11/09/2000Business started: 06/01/1960

This company is in an industry that may require licensing, bonding or registration in order to lawfully do business. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Illinois Department of Public Health
122 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL60603-6191
(312) 814-2608

BBB records show a license number of 055-009096 for this company, issued by Illinois Department of Public Health. Their web address is The expiration date of this license is 09/30/2015.

Type: unknown

Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Steve Garrelts (President)Customer Contact: Ms Nikki Mendiola (Office Manager)
Business Category

Plumbers, Contractors-Water & Sewer, Water Treatment Equipment,Service & Supplies, Heating & Air Conditioning

Alternate Business Names
Garrelts & Sons, Garrelts and Son, Plumbing Heating and Water Treatment, Inc.
Industry Tips
Home Remodeling Contractors
Air Conditioning Service and Maintenance
Dont Get Burned by Furnace Fraud
Heating Your Home
Safety Considerations When Using Kerosene Heaters

Map & Directions

Map & Directions

Address for Garrelts & Sons Inc./ American Water Experts

3420 N Richmond Rd

Johnsburg, IL 60051-5446

To | From


3 Locations

  • 3420 N Richmond Rd 

    Johnsburg, IL 60051-5446

  • 2308 N Ringwood Rd 

    Mchenry, IL 60050-1333(815) 385-3821

  • P.O. Box 295 

    McHenry, IL 60051-9004

Industry Comparison ChartX

The information in the table below represents an industry comparison of businesses which are of the same relative size. This is based on BBB's database of businesses located in Chicago and Northern Illinois. Businesses may engage in more than one type of business. The percent of time the business engages in a type of business is not accounted for. There is no known industry standard for the number of complaints a business can expect. The volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by BBB.

*Garrelts & Sons Inc./ American Water Experts is in this range.


Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.


Additional Phone Numbers

  • (800) 564-6159

BBB Complaint Process

Your complaint will be forwarded to the company within two business days. The company will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the company's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.


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