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Warranty / recall parts install

Timco Member Posts: 3,040
I have a couple "large, heavy, yellow" boilers out there and there was a new circuit board & ignition assy sent out for these units. Is it fair to ask for normal hourly wages to install these? Not my fault they got it wrong the first time and got these on the market too soon...

Just a guy running some pipes.


  • MIke_Jonas
    MIke_Jonas Member Posts: 209
    Wages from who?

    The wholesaler you bought the equipment from? Sure, why wouldn't you?

    The manufacturer? Goes through the wholesaler or a rep, right?

    Did you spec this boiler? Sell it to the homeowner? If not, customer should pay up.

    In manufacturers warranty? No extended warranty?

    If you did spec and sell:

    Put yourself in your customers' shoes...you sell him this boiler, he trusts you are doing right by him, then tell him later his boiler is shoddy and you gotta pay me to make it right?

    No way would I ever ask a customer to pay for a manufacturers defect, if I was the one that spec'd and sold the piece. I won't say more unitl I find out who sold the boiler.
  • Manufacturer should Pay
    1. I believe Timco is saying the manufacturer should pay.    I have consistently seen drops in quality of equipment and I expect that until they have to start paying to clean up their screw ups, they have little reason to change.  I had VP of a manufacturer tell me I should build the cost to fix these problems into my costs.....After spending 25 to 30 hours dealing with two problems on a single simple steam boiler (that only took about 40 hours to install).  One involved a defective component and the other an incorrect installation diagram.  He never would fess up to to their incorrect manual, but said I should have known to not install the boiler according to their instructions. The diagram was changed shortly thereafter.   I installed 5 boilers from one manufacturer a year or so ago, all around the same time.  4 of them had defective gas valves.  The stack damper recalls and short life outside of recalled units is getting ridiculous.  I went for 12 years not having to replace a single damper on a boiler I installed.  Now on about a third of the new units, I am replacing them within 3 years.  I recently replaced another defective MCBA board  on a brand new boiler.  That's now 2 in the last 6 or so of these boilers that I have installed.    I think all of us should begin insisting on payment to fix manufacturer's mistakes.
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert

    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Warranty repair liability

    I've strong feelings about this subject. If the contractor installs a product, and it is defective out of the box, or a part(s)  fails during the stated manufacturer's warranty, the manufacturer should pay for the replacement at the service rate of the installing contractor.  If the schematics are incorrect, and cause the system to be installed improperly, same rule applies.  Manufacturers are loathe to pay any claims in this industry.  Defective products greatly reduce customer confidence and inevitably reduce the contractor's profit margin.  Building "the cost of warranty repair" into the selling price is often an excuse for poor product design or lack of field testing.  I've seen very few companies step up to the plate when their products have problems. Most run for the hills.  Heating contractors seem complacent in not forcefully making the manufacturer or reps understand.  They take it in the shorts, grumble, and move on.  Some contractors are unable to provide a paper trail describing the problem and fix, and are denied warranty claims.  If your claim is legit, and the chain of command ignores your request for reimbursement, send a bill to the manufacturer, rep, or wholesaler, with a cover letter describing the fix.   If that doesn't get their attention, post it on the Wall.
  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,040
    in warranty

    Boilers are on second season, well withing warranty. I speced them and called them out based on all the hype, which may still be true, but when a customer says it is hard to calculate actual savings because it was not running a great amount of the time, it makes me look bad period. Then a new circuit board and ignition block are issued and no word on whom will cover my time to install this upgrade kit. I will invoice the local rep, and see if manufacturer pays. This certainly seems fair to me...

    Thanks,  Tim
    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    well depends

    Tim the head company you are dealing with had a recall on another line of boilers they sell. They sent me the parts and a check for each boiler for about 45 minutes of labor. Since I had speced and sold the boilers I figured getting the right parts and having the system running as I had sold it was worth dropping a few dollars for customer relations. If manufacturers get burned too bad on recalls it leads to them wanting to keep their mouths shut. If I spec the boiler I take on some of the blame when it goes wrong and all the praise when it goes right. If it is a boiler speced and pushed by others, be it the engineer, the builder, or the home owner I make it clear if things go south with the unit they supplied or speced the unit. But in the end when we make profit from an item we have an obligation to accept part of the warranty on moral if not legal grounds. One more reason why figuring costs is so important in these litigious times.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    More than One Way to Skin a Cat

    I generally handle the labor on warranties 2 ways.

    1. Instead of monies, I get product from the manufacure at no charge and pass that on to my customer to cover labor. ie, I have accumlated alot of faucets, toilets, parts etc and I give to my guys for their next job to make up the labor.

    2. I give extra discounts on my customers next couple of jobs to make up labor. If it's a boiler that that he had a problem with, I ask the manufacture for a personal use discount price for him on his next boiler. I sell him the one out of my stock at that discounted price and order in a new boiler at the discount cost.

    My feeling on this is that it is not the manufacturers responsibility to take care of my customer it is mine. It's my customer. I'm the mfg's customer so it's their responsibility to take care of me if they like that I sell their product. I have no problem not selling a certain mfg product because of the lack of support. Have done it in the past and will probably do it in the future.

    Doesn't your wholesaler have some responsibility here? Why is it always the mfg?
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Hey Tim?

    With other manufacturers and their products, I have run into this in the past.  Yes the parts are warranty, but like you said how can or if I can be compensated for the service time...  I agree that if It's a problem with the equip. and is a regional problem, that you should be paid for service.  The only problem is it's a negotiation and basically if it continues they could loose your business and or not even compensate you at all. 

       I had a problem w/ digital t-stats, (which I will not mention the name), But bottom line, no compensation was given and were talking alot of new installs with their product so BASICALLY dropped the product line AND any other products that were sold under the name in question.  Most will work with you but like I said it's a 50/50 shot.

    Mike T.
This discussion has been closed.