Home Depot - Furnace Installation Resulted in Gas Leak, No Mechanical Permit
New Furnace - Complaint
EDEN PRAIRIE, MINNESOTA -- I am writing to document the dangerous and frustrating experience I had with Home Depot / A-ABC Appliance & Heating / Total Comfort following the installation of a new Furnace and air conditioning system in June of 2013.
While the Installation appeared satisfactory at the time of installation, it wasn’t until Oct 20th that I discovered a gas leak left by the installers which caused me to take a more in depth look at the service I received from Home Depot / A-ABC / Total Comfort.
On Oct 21 a service technician arrived from Home Depot / A-ABC / Total Comfort to repair the gas leak. The technician found and documented that the leak was caused by a damaged fitting that had been used by the installer. Gas leak testing by the installer could have easily uncovered the mistake. Apparently there was no gas leak testing.
While the problem has been corrected, gas had been escaping into my home for 20 weeks.
I requested that Home Depot / A-ABC / Total Comfort refund my installation costs and re-inspect my furnace and Air conditioning for any additional mistakes.
Home Depot / A-ABC / Total Comfort refused any adjustment to the installation cost but did agree to re-inspect the Furnace /AC. The re-inspection appointment was then cancelled because of a conflict with the technician’s schedule. I then scheduled an appointment with another HVAC company for re-inspection. Steve Hawes, My salesman, did reassure me that there would be no charge for replacing the damaged fitting and stopping the gas leak. That work, he reassured me, would be covered under my warranty.
While the gas leak was the most serious and dangerous error made by Home Depot / A-ABC / Total Comfort there were several other mistakes made that caused significant frustration and hours of follow-up time to correct. Those errors were as follows.
The $200 rebate from Rheem (the furnace manufacturer) was temporarily lost in the mail because Home Depot / A-ABC…/ Total Comfort had given Rheem the wrong address (wrong zip code). Follow up work by the mailman and post office did result in the rebate check being delivered.
A $300 rebate from Center Point Energy and a $450 rebate from Xcel energy also listed an incorrect house address on the application form but were eventually delivered to my home.
A fourth rebate ($100 also from Xcel Energy) had the incorrect address on the application and never did arrive at my home. According to Mr. Hawes this was the fault of Xcel Energy because they “lost” the rebate application. Once this rebate was resubmitted I did receive the $100 approximately 3 months after furnace installation.
While reviewing the rebate paper work I did notice that my address and zip code, while incorrectly written on every rebate application, was correctly written on the A-ABC / Total Comfort invoice and Home Depot invoice.
When going through the Furnace installation documentation in October,
I found a letter from Home Depot / A-ABC / Total Comfort explaining that the customer, not the contractor, was responsible for arranging final code inspection for the furnace/ AC installation.
While discussing the inspection process with the city, I discovered that the appropriate permits were never pulled for my job by Home Depot / A-ABC / Total Comfort. Apparently an electrical permit was pulled but a mechanical permit was not pulled. When I mentioned this to Mr. Hawes he looked into the issue and told me that it was the city’s error. In an unlikely coincidence, The City told the contractor that a mechanical permit was not required for installing a furnace and the contractor apparently agreed and (at least temporarily) saved the $186 permit fee.
In conclusion, I must say that had I been a less observant customer, I would be living with a gas leak approximately 18 inches away from the furnace flame, I would not have received $300 in rebates, I would not have had my furnace installation inspected by the city and the appropriate permits would never have been pulled.
My hope is that this information will lead to a review of the technical, financial and administrative competence of Home Depot /A-ABC Appliance & Heating / Total Comfort and that it will serve as a wake up call to as many current and future Home Depot / A-ABC Appliance &Heating / Total Comfort customer’s as I can inform.