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Old 12-28-2013, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Texas
36 posts, read 85,458 times
Reputation: 29

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On Christmas day we were leaving to dinner with family when we noticed smoke & a burning smell in garage, I called fire dept. To ask what we should do, they sent 3 fire trucks and 2 police cars. They came to the conclusion it was smoke from neighbors a block away fireplace. That night hot water stopped working, the next day plumber came over and said it had caught fire and needs to be replaced. We have home warranty, paid the $75 deductible now this plumber wants an additional $500 re do this n that I explained it's Christmas and we don't have it right now, that we have home warranty for that he said if we want hot water we need to pay it. I went to home depot told the guy what happened and he said we don't need to pay all that and that this guy is trying to rip us off. I told home warranty people this and they don't care they say plumbers can charge us what they want. What's the point of having Home Warranty? Has anyone else had this problem with hot water heater?
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:42 PM
 
240 posts, read 247,170 times
Reputation: 496
Your question is a legal one, based on the contract you have with the home warranty service you have. Without seeing the contract there is no way anyone can give you any kind of advice.

In my experience, many people sign these policies and have no idea of what the limits of coverage are or what the hoops you have to jump trough are for getting a repair. Read the contract VERY carefully. Take notes and highlight key provisions. Then, if you think you have a case, call them back and quote the wording to them where you feel they have to cover it.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:48 PM
 
3,141 posts, read 5,159,284 times
Reputation: 1748
It's possible that your old installation wasn't up to current code, and the additional work required to bring it up to code wasn't covered by the Home Warranty. It may have just covered the basic installation and materials. As has been stated, it's impossible to know without knowing exactly what's covered by the warranty, without seeing it.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,330 posts, read 6,258,108 times
Reputation: 1590
I tend to think as ged.. that the reason they are charging you more is for the update of the current code. Without knowing how old your house is.. we wont be able to tell.. but code changes a lot and it could be that the money is required to make those modifications. I can almost assume that if you bought a house in 2013.. there would be changes to code by 2014 and anything changed would require more money then expected.

Most warranties normally only cover the cost of fixing what the problem is and not for change in code. This is why the plumber is asking for more..
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:48 PM
 
500 posts, read 796,784 times
Reputation: 397
I agree with ZR here. A close look of your policy should answer your question. From what I've heard, Home Warranties are just a marketing tool for a home seller.

I'm not saying that they never pay off, I do have one friend who had an expensive A/C malfunction, and eventually got his compressor replaced. But in total, most of the stories I've heard is that they aren't worth the $$ paid.

Have you considered getting a second opinion from a different plumber?
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:09 AM
 
240 posts, read 247,170 times
Reputation: 496
I'd forgotten about the "getting up do code" stuff, which is definitely a possibility as well. Again, you need to know what your policy covers. I was looking into putting in a new water heater and priced them at Lowes and Home Depot. A $500 water heater was going to cost $2000 to install because of new code requirements. So, I just fixed the old one and its been OK.

Stupid pet peeve of mine, but you don't have a "hot water heater." You have a "water heater."
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
1,980 posts, read 6,017,960 times
Reputation: 3307
Quote:
Originally Posted by latteluv View Post
On Christmas day we were leaving to dinner with family when we noticed smoke & a burning smell in garage, I called fire dept. To ask what we should do, they sent 3 fire trucks and 2 police cars. They came to the conclusion it was smoke from neighbors a block away fireplace. That night hot water stopped working, the next day plumber came over and said it had caught fire and needs to be replaced. We have home warranty, paid the $75 deductible now this plumber wants an additional $500 re do this n that I explained it's Christmas and we don't have it right now, that we have home warranty for that he said if we want hot water we need to pay it. I went to home depot told the guy what happened and he said we don't need to pay all that and that this guy is trying to rip us off. I told home warranty people this and they don't care they say plumbers can charge us what they want. What's the point of having Home Warranty? Has anyone else had this problem with hot water heater?
Hello latteluv,

As others have stated without any details of the situation, including your warranty agreement, it would not be possible to make any reasonable comments about your situation. It would be interesting to know though who your "Home Warranty" is with if you don't mind sharing that? Having said this though all is not lost but an immediate solution (highly needed in your case) is to first have the water heater repaired either by following your home warranty guidelines or forgoing the home warranty and having your own selected plumbing contractor repair it.

You do have a very viable avenue of redress if you feel your home warranty company is not performing as they have contracted to. This avenue will not necessarily get you any money but might prompt the home warranty company to address the situation properly. Home warranty companies are required to be licensed in the State of Texas. These type companies are called "Residential Service Company" (RSC) and the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) is responsible for their licensing. TREC has a full WEB page for them located here TREC - Residential Service Company Program . If you read the bottom of this page TREC does have a complaint process and has intimated that if you contact them they would contact the RSC (Home Warranty company) and might be able to have the issue resolved before a formal written complaint is made. On this page you will also find the RSC Act (State Law) regarding how RSC's are to operate.

Good luck on your issue!
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