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  • Water heaters in home centers

    Anyone have any idea what the laws says about what appliances can and cannot be sold to consumers?

    My concern is: why it is okay for every home center and hardware/department store to sell water heaters to homeowners, but yet its not okay to sell a furnace to them? IMO, a water heater is just as dangerous, maybe even more so if you factor property damage, as a gas furnace! Especially with the introduction of 200K BTU tankless heater that absolutely require specialized venting. You know someone, somewhere will atempt to install one of these with the 3" B-vnet that is already in place. Any one agree? If so what is the chance that legislation could be put in place to change this? My suggestion is that either
    A) remove them from inventory completely
    B) Require proper licensing when purchasing and/or
    C) only sell them as installed "by a professional."


  • #2
    Re: Water heaters in home centers

    It's a decision that will never trickle down to you and I having any say so whatsoever in these matters.

    Mfgs. of the product know how much money can be made on this level of DIY expertise and the risk is minimal.


    The statistics don't lie about heaters; it averages about 400 people die across the entire United States in accidents involving water heaters...probably more injured than killed.


    Take that and count the number of deaths on your state's highways and you'll see why they let homeowners/diy'rs and handymen put those in.


    It'd be nice to close that market down and let just us install them....but it will never happen. Too many different affiliations with the ability to put those same water heaters back in unlicensed hands.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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    • #3
      Re: Water heaters in home centers

      hello.

      just some thoughts.

      maybe the governments on both sides of the border are going to have to make water heaters idiot (child) proof?

      maybe a computer on the tank to shut it down if it detects a malfunction?

      we can't stop "progress". maybe we should try and work with it instead of against it so that the public is better informed? safetly is the primary issue.

      what if the manufactures ask on the registration card the customer gets with the tank if the tank was installed by a licenced plumber for warranty purposes? some DIY's might change their minds about installing it themselves?

      i might be barking up the wrong power pole, but if you look at the trend, you might see what i mean.

      ie;

      -faucets that can be installed without a basin wrench.
      -pex-you don't even have to know how to solder anymore.
      -mechanical joints for drainage-no more, or very little glueing.
      -the internet-information, information, information.

      i've always told younger tradesmen and apprentices that while there is money to be made in construction, maintanence and repairs is where the real money is. you gotta love the poo.

      1 last thought. please understand where i come from. i can walk from 1 end of town to the other in about 20 minutes. right now i'm using a 4 wheel atv to get aound town(they're street legal here). i was doing some figuring lastnight. for the month, it will cost me about $100 for gas. i would hate to see what the guys are paying for gas with those huge V8 engines. maybe the trades in general have to start thinking more locally. keep operating costs down=lower hourly charge. is it possible that the hourly rate we charge has made us un-affordable to the general public?

      Vince

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      • #4
        Re: Water heaters in home centers

        A lot of states have laws in effect regarding water heaters. Kentucky does, but there are so few inspectors that most of the big box stores do not require the paperwork be filled out any more. I believe Dunbar just went through this at Sears. Here in Northern KY, when the stores were cracking down, most people just drove to Ohio and bought water heaters. The money required to police this from a state level would be prohibitive, so I believe it will always be a gray area. The very few accidents from water heaters also would not cause enough alarm for a crack down in my opinion.

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        • #5
          Re: Water heaters in home centers

          Well, the homestores sell the Williams gas wall furnaces. And the reason central heating systems are not sold in HD has more to do strictly with the marketing plan of the manufacturer, not any law. If you google around, you will find that anyone can buy a forced air furnace on the internet. Doesn't make it legal for them to install it....but.......!

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          • #6
            Re: Water heaters in home centers

            If you are willing to pay, you can buy any part or all parts needed for HVAC on acdirect.com.

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