Is Your Water Heater Warranty Good Enough?
Mr Lim from Singapore, Woodlands called up one day wanting to buy a water heater with a longer warranty. His water heater from Brand X started leaking only after 2 years of usage. He was frustrated because he was told that the warranty period of his system was for 5 years by the shop assistant at Jalan Besar. However, when he called for a repair, he was quoted a substantial repair cost which amounted to a whopping $150. He purchased his heater for $220.
We encounter customers like Mr Lim from time to time. When shopping for a new water heater, an important part of the deal is to really understand what kind of warranty is packaged with your new heating system.
Types of Water Heater Warranties in Singapore
There are two types of warranties.
- Full warranties
- Partial warranties
There are typically 5 components that users should be aware of when it comes to water heater warranties.
The 5 components are:
- Heating element
Full Warranty covers everything for the entire duration of the warranty.
Partial warranties cover only 1 of these 5 areas for an extended period whereas full warranties cover all 5 of these areas.
To understand where Mr Lim is coming from, we need to understand his warranty and what he was told when he bought the heater. Most water heaters in Singapore are typically bundled with basic coverage which take care of repairs and defects up to 1 year. However, to make warranties more attractive, water heater companies extend partial warranties to make them more saleable. Sometimes, sales people skim through details in the interest of a quick sale. Sometimes, customers do not fully understand the warranty.
Understanding your warranty
Ask the sales person or read the fine print on your warranty card to find out if all 5 components of the water heater are covered in your warranty. The most important components are the tank and labour. If your tank breaks, it will mean you have to replace your whole water heater. Typically, tank warranties are longer because they represent the lifespan of the heater. Labour costs in Singapore are high and can go up to hundreds of dollars, you want to be covered in this area too.
The heating element, thermostat and wiring are less important because seldom do these components give you issues unless there has been an incorrect installation. It is important to do your research on warranties especially for products you expect to have in your home for a long while.
*Other companies provide a 10 year tank warranty but charge over $250+ for installation should your heater fail after the first year. The market rates for installation are $100+ so we do not consider this “10 year warranty” a real warranty because homeowners are effectively paying for a new heater.
Useful warranty tips
- Take note of warranty period of the 5 separate components
- Get an experienced installer and their phone number
- Call main company of the brand to see how much they charge for labour after the labour warranty period is over and if the rates are fair
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