Who pays for a plumber's 'warranty'?

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Devil's Advocate, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    If you have a part - eg a CH pump - replaced by a plumber and the replacement fails within its warranty period, the customer would call out the same plumber and presumably expect a FOC repair. Yes?

    The plumber would then claim off the supplier - but what about the labour charge? Would the plumber take this on the chin, or would he expect some cover from the supplier?

    (The faulty pump I replaced for someone recently turned out to have been fitted less than one year ago, and I understand Grundfos have been warranting these pumps for 5 years for some while. I plan to claim directly of Grundfos, and the pump cost should cover much of what he's had to fork out for repairs, but what should I try and get - cost of pump only, or the original full amount he paid for it to be fitted last year (he has that invoice)? Ie £129 vs £160.)
  2. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    Do you still have the failed pump? If so, you should be able to return it to a Grundfos dealer and get a replacement for later use. They work on date codes and if less than warranty plus 6 months (or something similar) it should be replaced without too many problems. As for labour ... who knows!

    In my own house, I had problems with some fittings which failed in warranty. The manufacturer took them back to check them through and agreed they were faulty. Rather than paying me for the replacements - about £6 plus and hour or two of labour they asked for a list of what I needed for my next project and about £250 (discount/trade price) of components arrived soon after! That company seems to work in that way - provide materials FOC rather than a payment which for most tradespeople would be an accepable alternative as you will be selling on those parts to your next customers.
    Devil's Advocate likes this.
  3. leesparkykent

    leesparkykent Well-Known Member

    The plumber would normally put a markup on the material to cover such an eventuality.
    Devil's Advocate likes this.
  4. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Active Member

    As a customer I would fully expect any tradesman to price in this way... so the tradesman is financially covered when having to fit/refit a replacement for a faulty item in warranty.
    However, in practice I imagine this is a relatively rare thing, so this element of the markup should be small; aggregated between all jobs.

    I suspect a wholesaler is not"obliged" to refund the tradesman for cost of fitting in these circumstances... The tradesman is given a financial break by getting "trade" prices.

    As DIY, that's how I see the theory of it anyway.


  5. heatyman

    heatyman Active Member

    Theory is great. The internet gives every man and his dog trade prices. I still stick to my guns and keep my trade price. If a customer wants to buy his own part, I will quote for fitting only, pointing out the warranty implications he may face.
    Devil's Advocate likes this.
  6. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone.

    Yes, I have the pump and the date code shows it's a year old (and these pumps were upgraded to a 5-year warranty by Grundfos after they had issues with them failing - in exactly the way this one did.)

    I have emailed Grundfos twice - with no reply. That's pretty darned poor.

    Cdaboms, yes that's the way I see it too - a tradesperson gets his parts at trade prices and 'sells' it on to the customer at roughly 'retail' price, and that acts as both his extra mark-up but also his buffer should a warranty claim come in and he has to spend more of his own time sorting it.

    Cool - I'll claim for just the pump alone, then. And give them one more opportunity before MoneyClaiming - I've never used that service, so kind of looking forward to see how it works...
  7. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Active Member

    That seems a good deal on the face of it.
  8. Crowsfoot

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

    These days warranties have so many get out clauses that they are not worth the paper they are printed on.
    In small print it will say somewhere that they "have the right to change the terms of the warranty at any time".

    If something fails on installation (like a brand new boiler leaks at the seam) the boiler companies should provide you with a new boiler along with some extra cost to compensate for the extra time you've taken to replace the faulty product.

    Also in the UK the seller must sell goods "fit for the purpose" so they have a liability towards the customer as well. However, in say the USA, the seller has no such liability and will not be interested in you returning faulty goods to them, you have to take this up yourself with the manufactures.

    This is not what we Brits are accustomed to, but after "Brexit" we may have to get used to it!

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  9. heatyman

    heatyman Active Member

    If you fitted the pump less than a year ago, then your warranty claim should go back to the merchant you purchased it from. There is an established effective chain with Grundfos through their suppliers. If the unit is in date, then the merchant will have a chart to check this and will supply a replacement upon return.
    Devil's Advocate likes this.
  10. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    The situation was, the house owner found his boiler dead one morn and called out his plumber. The plumber declared the PCB 'dead' and recommended the customer get a fixed-price repair from Ideal since the issue could have been caused by other parts of the boiler - and the plumber basically didn't want to get in to a situation of a second blown PCB for which he'd be liable.

    The guy - who I know - told me about this and I offered to have a looksee - turned out his programmer was bust which we replaced as we knew it would have to be in any case, but not surprisingly the boiler was still dead afterwards (it should have a display light even if not getting a switching signal). There was mains power power going to the boiler, but I discovered - even after fitting the programmer - that the 'signal' live didn't show 240V when the programmer was turned on - the voltage seemed to fluctuate.

    So I had a gander in the airing cupboard whilst I was there - and found the 3-port humming/buzzing loudly and being very vague in operation, and also the Grundfos UPS2 pump to be 'pulsing'.

    I replaced the motor head and - after confirming on-line that a pulsing UPS2 was kaput and a fairly common occurrence - replaced that too. And I found a brand new - latest V10 PCB - for £60.

    That might all sound costly for the guy, but the fixed-price fix from Ideal (around £280) would not have covered all the other parts (prog, 3-port, pump) anyway, and I managed to get these new replacement at very good prices, so the whole thing cost much less than that fixed-price cost. And it now all works.

    It was only after I'd removed the UPS2 that I realised how new it was, and the guy then confirmed it had been replaced less than one year ago (and the date shows it's late 2016).

    If I get the money back for this pump, then it'll go a long way to cover the cove's repair :).

    That's also why we have no intention in pestering the original plumber at this late stage - it's not really his issue any more.

    I'm pretty incensed that Grundfos have not replied to two emails - that's a big grrrr for me. And it'll also act against them when I claim.
  11. Crowsfoot

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

    Quite complex the Devs.
    Grundfos will still say that it's poor quality of water in the system that's caused the failure or something similar that's not their fault (these days it's never a manufacturing fault with anything)!
  12. Risteard

    Risteard Well-Known Member

    Not sure why you're incensed. Your claim is with the supplier and not the manufacturer.
  13. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    The supplier was the plumber - who was not used this time and it would be unfair to expect him to sort this out now.

    I am incensed at Grundfos as for them to not even reply suggests very poor customer relations.
  14. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    I'd be surprised if they try that; the pump internals - looking through the ports - are very clean, and the issue is an electrical fault - one that is known to be common to this model of pump.

    Anyhoo, we'll see.
  15. Crowsfoot

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

    They'll never admit it though Dev - electrical fault - they'll say did it have an in-line surge protection device fitted?
    Or something similar.
    Poor C/S though not to acknowledge your e-mail.......
  16. Crowsfoot

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

    There was a time when a guarantee was exactly that; but not anymore!
  17. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

    Actually, Grundfos will acknowledge the fault - they did so twice with me. First time the pump was replaced like-for-like and the second time it was upgraded.

    The problem apparently happens on "some installations" rather than being a manufacturing fault.
    Devil's Advocate likes this.
  18. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    From what I've gleaned on t'net, these new electronic pumps are very susceptible to voltage spikes or interference - something inside them goes 'zap'.

    I understand they've tackled this issue and now issue 5 year warranties to reassure the trade.

    No idea if all that is true, but it's what I've gleaned.

    Anyhoo, I'm going to give them one more opportunity and then MoneyClaim.gov them.
  19. Risteard

    Risteard Well-Known Member

    You have no legal right to claim from them as I have already pointed out.
  20. Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate Well-Known Member

    Quite possibly, Rist, but a strong moral case.

    And that's often more effective.

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