water heaters,home centers and the code

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    • #279651

      I am a licensed plumber in Raleigh North Carolina and have a small plumbing company.
      I have noticed for the past few years that home centers are selling and now installing
      Water heaters. They do not to my knowledge use licensed plumbers (or have a licensed plumber on staff) to install their water heaters. This is probably why they can charge less than most plumbing companies.
      I get in the mail about every quarter a news letter from the state board of examiners for Plumbing and heating, they inform me that they have received many letters from contractors as to the why home centers can install water heaters with out a license. The Board says that installing a water heater is a minor repair and even though water heaters can be very dangerous, if the piping and the power source have not changed no license is required. I feel there is no way they will ever know if the piping has changed or if they use electric or switch to gas. How many times have all of us found problems when replacing water heaters. My question, Is this how it is in your state or country?

    • #301375

      Hunter I know that in my state the homecenters use contractors for all thier installs.Sears has been doing this longer than any homecenter.If this isn’t the case in North Carolina then I would be concerned about this also.

    • #301376

      I live in saskatchewan canada, and
      the hardware stores like home depot
      for example sell water heaters but
      to my knowledge none of these places install and if they do they would refer a plumbing company.
      Alot of home owners that are mechanically inclined, usually a tradsman of some sort install there own.

    • #301377


      Check to see what the dollar limits are for the minor work exemption to your state’s licensing law.

      However perhaps your jurisdiction has a permit requirement that the installers are violating.

      My suggestion is to take some photographs of some illegal & unsafe Homey water heater installs, then get chummy with your local PHCC Association and work with them to notifiy the news media who seem to be interested in running negative stories on Homey lately.

      The next step is to NEVER buy from any manufactuer that stabs the profession in the back by selling direct to Homey, thus being in direct competition against you for residential clients.

      Dave Bischof

      Plumbers Networking Forum

      » This message has been edited by FaucetCraft on 11 September 2001

    • #301378

      although a water heater replacement may be a minor repair, a plumbing permit is still required by most code enforcement departments ! this is where the licensed plumber can fight back at the home centers ! report any water heater that you may see at the curb being thrown out out or if you see a truck with no name on it
      take down the license number and report that.
      also find out what brand water heater the home center sells ( like ggeneral electric ) and start selling a brand name like maytag !

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