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residential service
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When we are talking about tank type water heaters I like Rheem but today they really pissed me off!

I go to a new customers house and find a for sale sign out front. This of course suggests to me that they probably will not want to spend a dime more than is necessary to make the problem go away (no upsales).

They have a 19 year old water heater that has a bad gas valve. I call the supply houses (all of them that sell Rheem or Ruud) and of course none of those yoyos know anything and will "have to get back to me".

I'm trying to honor the ho's wishes and just solve the problem without replacing the tank but I'm getting nowhere because the tank is too old and the parts are not available. So I call Rheem. After about 30 minutes on the phone and 2 transfers to other "departments" I'm getting kinda desperate.

I think "why can't I just replace everything from the gas valve through the burner assembly only from a newer model?" So I ask this woman for the appropriate part numbers from a post '95 75 gal ng wh. She asks me for the serial number. I explain that I don't have a serial number from a post '95 model and why I don't and what I want to do.

Well apparantly Rheem is only interested in selling NEW water heaters because she claims that she can't give me the part numbers without a serial number. So I say "wait a minute, do I understand you correctly to say that if I give you a model number for one of your products that you can't tell me what specific part numbers apply to that product? Do you know how utterly ridiculous that sounds?"

Silence.

Now I'm not really sure that what I wanted to do was even possible but it just really ticked me off that Rheem would institute a company policy that was so utterly insulting to my intelligence. They would have retained much more of my respect if she had simply said something like "No sir, I'm afraid I can't do that because we really don't want you to repair your customers old water heater. We would much prefer it if you would sell them a new water heater."

In the end, I installed a new 75 gallon ng wh manufactured by Rheem. The customers were very happy with the install and loved me personally. The lady of the house left while I was there and when she returned she brought me dinner which I thought was exceedingly kind of her. I wound up making a lot more installing a new wh than I would have on the repair and it should be a happy ending, and it is, but I still aggravates me to think that Rheem believes that their customers are that stupid.
 

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By the age of 19, the heater is ready to be retired.

There's nothing worse than spending a lot of money on repairs to have the tank fail a short time later and that's how I recommend the repair to my customers. If it's younger, say seven or eight years, of course I'd repair.

But there's another aspect - how many people buy a house only to have an expensive water heater repair soon after they move in? Then, they start getting angry at both the real estate and the previous owner when they find out there was a repair instead of a replacement because the previous owner was cheap, and they start talking lawsuit.

I got into one of those about a year ago. I did some minor repairs around the house whle the owners were packing and a month later the tub drain started leaking through a recently-patched ceiling. Of course, I was irresponsible because I didn't fix it, the previous owner was a crook because he didn't insist that it be fixed before he patched the ceiling. But it hadn't been leaking before he patched the ceiling!
 

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residential service
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Read the post again.

The ho's water heater was 19 years old.

I thought I might try and replace everything from the gas valve through the burner assembly "only from a newer model".

There was no newer model in their house. Consequently, all I could give Rheem was a model number.

Yes, I do know how to locate the serial number from any water heater. The only thing I require to do that is the actual water heater.
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Read the post again.

The ho's water heater was 19 years old.

I thought I might try and replace everything from the gas valve through the burner assembly "only from a newer model".

There was no newer model in their house. Consequently, all I could give Rheem was a model number.

Yes, I do know how to locate the serial number from any water heater. The only thing I require to do that is the actual water heater.
Oh, I misunderstood. Thats too much work anyway, just replace the heater if its 19, thats WAAAAY too old to be replacing parts.
 

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residential service
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
By the age of 19, the heater is ready to be retired.

There's nothing worse than spending a lot of money on repairs to have the tank fail a short time later and that's how I recommend the repair to my customers. If it's younger, say seven or eight years, of course I'd repair.

But there's another aspect - how many people buy a house only to have an expensive water heater repair soon after they move in? Then, they start getting angry at both the real estate and the previous owner when they find out there was a repair instead of a replacement because the previous owner was cheap, and they start talking lawsuit.

I got into one of those about a year ago. I did some minor repairs around the house whle the owners were packing and a month later the tub drain started leaking through a recently-patched ceiling. Of course, I was irresponsible because I didn't fix it, the previous owner was a crook because he didn't insist that it be fixed before he patched the ceiling. But it hadn't been leaking before he patched the ceiling!
Of course it's foolish to do ANY repair to a 19 year old tank but I have to do what the ho wants (as long as it is legal and safe). I was trying to shorten the post so it wasn't an epic but I explained to them that what they needed was a new tank. I also explained that I was there to serve them and would do whatever they wanted me to do.

As for what happens after the sale of the house, that is not something I have any input or control over nor do I bear any responsibility.
 

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We go to our local gas specialties supplier for relpacement unitrol and white-rogers controls. They can look up what was sold and cross reference to a late model faster than you can dial an 800 number.
 

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i put a old state water heater gas vales and a 3 year old bradford yesterday worked perfect.....i got a call from a customer with rentals saying he needs a 90+ installed so i go get a 90+ and get there and its a standard vent.......

ended up the gas valve was bad it was 430 and had to bve to diner at 630 an hour away had a old heater in my van pulled the valve off put it on the bradford and worked perfect.....im going to save gas valves from now on


BTW water heater prices went up around here 12% paid almost 710 for a 40 gallon PV NG ..........
 
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