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Thread: Just discovered dent in new water heater &^%$#

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member vtxdude's Avatar
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    Unhappy Just discovered dent in new water heater &^%$#

    This whole experience has been a nightmare.....look at these pics...do I have a gripe with Sears? Should I demand that they replace it? If so this would be my third water heater from them this month. There is also a crease a bit higher up....at the bottom of the blue band it is bent down slightly too...wtf

    I am so depressed on how my life has been a living hell just because I wanted to replace a water heater...


    Cosmetic or more than that? Should I complain to Sears and see if I can get some $$ knocked off? Or demand a new tank which will put me out of work for another day and probably get me fired

    I have another installer coming tomorrow to install the 4 inch flue pipe and take out the 3 inch....I demanded to Sears that I did not want the original installer back ever again...should I point this out to the new plumber and think he will give an honest assessment?



    I am so down


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    Last edited by vtxdude; 11-30-2009 at 07:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    You paid for new you should get new
    You buy scratch & dent you get scratch & dent
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  3. #3
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
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    Hmm, it probably looks worse in the closeup pics than it really is. If this is a glass lined tank, then it might be worth it to get it replaced up front.

    If you are having this much trouble and stress over this install, then it might be best to just leave it as is. You probably got a good warranty with sears, and so this water heater should be protected for a while. To me, that just looks like a small dent, and so it shouldn't have done anything to the heater.

    If it were me, I might have taken that heater back to the supplier because the dent looks like it travels up the tank a bout a third of the way. But without seeing it in person, I can't say for sure. Unfortunately a lot of these companies that do water heater installs expect their installers to just slam in a heater in half an hour, which is not enough time to do a quality job. I inspect everything and leave the place cleaner than I found it!

    But, as always, it's best to deal with things head on!
    Last edited by Basement_Lurker; 11-30-2009 at 07:41 PM.
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy


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  4. #4
    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
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    The dent is PURELY cosmetic. I wouldn't worry about it what-so-ever. If I had to take back every tank I got that had a little dent in it I'd be taking back LOTS!

    The shell of the tank is sheet metal and they dent quite easily *shrugs*

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Good god man...


    when you break a fingernail,


    start a thread and discuss it, I'll participate.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    I can understand the frustration. When I buy something new I expect it to be delivered in new/resaleable condition. Scratched and dented is not acceptable to me. The question I have is was there any indication of this damage in the packaging? Or was it a problem with handling by whoever placed the tank there? If the delivery was done without the deliverer inspecting the tank then they have essentially accepted responsibility for it.

    On the other hand, other than appearances (cosmetic) I doubt this indicates a functional problem. The outer layer is just to contain/house the insulation. It is not part of the pressure vessel and I would not expect the damage shown to have damaged the pressure vessel or even a glass lining. It doesn't seem to indicate a drop or puncture that might have resulted in a jarring of the tank pressure vessel itself.

    Let's try turning chicken s*** into chicken salad:

    So assuming that the crease will not be painfully obvious when installed perhaps the best solution would be to get Sears to provide documentation to you that the exterior of the tank was damaged and therefore there could be some hidden damage and to therefore provide some sort of "replacement guarranty/extended warranty" at their expense (including all labor and materials) should any problems develop. No money would actually have to exchange hands, but Sears would be on the hook for any subsequent replacement of this tank within X years due to failure of the pressure vessel or contents (leak or diptube, etc.). Anything that excludes labor is a non-starter for you from a negotiating perspective. If Sears has faith in the integrity of the tank, they will be willing to take the risk of paying a housecall and installation. If not, they owe you a new tank.

  7. #7

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    I wouldn't worry about that dent. Mine has bigger dents than that due to its age. They can take a lot. To me, I wouldn't replace it or give the plumber the hard time. Those things are very difficult to handle. It is nothing.

  8. #8
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
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    I too understand this guy's frustration. Replacing a water heater can be a big deal for a lot of families. And like suba_dave said "You paid for new you should get new. You buy scratch & dent you get scratch & dent"

    It's about taking pride in your work, and not slopping glue all over everything and not caring because it's going to be hidden behind a wall. That tank is probably %99 fine, but if that dent does really travel up a third of the tank, who knows what the idiots who handled it did, maybe they slammed it around pretty roughly with the forklift. Installing things like that isn't worth the risk of a callback to me. I would get irritated, and the customer would lose all confidence in me. And in my opinion, if the supplier is constantly sending out dented tanks, it really only takes half a minute to pull the box off the tank and inspect it at the wholesaler. I guess most guys don't care about that it seems, but I do.

    And while leaving the tank in place and having sears document the damage is an excellent idea, getting them to accept responsibility without trying to weasel out of the replacement several years down the line is easier said than done! That's why I say if it's bothering you this much, then you should just stick to your guns.
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy


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  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Keep in mind, I'm accustomed to working in chemical plants with a smattering of glass lined tanks (and some rubber lined, some made of truly exotic materials like titanium, hastelloy, inconel, monel, etc.) The glass lined tanks were easy to identify: they had stenciled letters identifying them as such with warnings not to strike the walls of the tank. Keep in mind that these were usually several thousand gallons or much more and that operators/materials handling types might otherwise rap on the wall of an unlined vessel with a large valve wrench for various reasons. (Level transmitter is stuck or suspect...whack on the tank, that was the operative mode.)

  10. #10

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    It's hard to get one dent/ding free ask any plumber. At some point you got to know when to call it good, for your own sanity.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    A water heater weights several hundred pounds, and is transported across country and then hand trucked into your basement.

    Sometimes by one installer, sometimes by two.

    I've known plumbers that lost a week of work and more trying to catch a tank that started falling while moving it with a hand truck.

    These are unwieldy beasts.

    What you see, is a crease in the wrapper the heater comes in.
    The real tank is behind the steel coat, and then a thick layer of insulation, and then you finally get to the seed.
    The inner tank that holds the water is safely tucked inside.

    You can pound and dent the outer wrapper all you want, and it's not going to change anything.

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member vtxdude's Avatar
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    Even if tank is glassed lined?

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member vtxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar Plumbing View Post
    Good god man...


    when you break a fingernail,


    start a thread and discuss it, I'll participate.
    I wish you had done the install of my water heater, it probably would have been done correctly..let me post some pics and you tell me if this is how you would have left this.

    I am not being sarcastic but after almost 3 weeks of my cellar filling with water heater exhaust and and where the 20 year old one worked fine I am a little on edge especially with 2 young children in the house as well

  14. #14
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Even if tank is glassed lined?
    The last heater I installed had 2" of insulation between the outer cover and the tank.

    Judging by the the crease on your outer liner, there is no way your glass lined tank would have been harmed.

    If you have exhaust fumes, that's a separate issue.
    Is the new tank taller, changing the grade on the chimney?
    Last edited by Terry; 12-01-2009 at 10:57 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Don't worry about it. My new one had small dents as well.

    My plumber tried to wheel my new WH down a flight of basement steps on install day.

    I stepped in to help him lift it half way. The noise alerted me.

    Plumbing school teaches you how to solder pipes, but it doesn't teach common sense. Come to think of it, it doesn't seem to teach carpentry either!

    I also needed to fix a leak he left on the incoming pipe.

    That was a funny day.

    I should have DIY'ed it but I needed a Bradford White "mule".

    Next time I'll ask him to buy it and leave it at the (front) door.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 12-01-2009 at 12:02 PM.

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