Sears Informative - Things that I have learned
BERGAN COUNTY NJ -- You can read down through the trial of this, but to summarize.
The installer lied about what additional connections needed to be done. After the inspection by the town, the valve that was already there was satisfactory. From my experience do not trust Sears installers. Get recommendations from people you know who can give you a reference.
Below is the two month process of getting a water heater installed and local permits.
On 11/2/09 I purchased a replacement water heater at a NJ Sears store. I was charged and accepted install fee of 295.00. I know this was high but I wanted a one stop shop. I was also told that I would need a permit which was $40.00. The install was scheduled for 11/4 between 8 and 12. I received a call from the installer at 12:15 saying he would be late. He got to my house at 2:15.
He informed me that in this town they now need to have the water heater be separately grounded, not just to the pipes, and the gas valve would have to be changed. It would be an additional 125.00 for this. I told him no thanks I will take care of it. The install went without a single problem and he was gone by 3:15. One hour install.
On 11/12/09, I called my town to schedule an inspection. They told me that they didn't have any record of a permit. They told me that the installer that does things around this part of NJ rarely gets a permit for Sears customer installs. The installer is William Sherman Plumbing.
I called the store and worked my way through the prompts and a few people to someone who actually helped. I told this person that I purchased from Sears because I didn't want to have to deal with what I was having to deal with. SILLY ME. The Customer service representative called the store, then called the installation company. Guess what, they just got the paperwork TODAY and they were faxing over to my town all the required information for the permit. Sounds fishy to me.
Going forward I would suggest you find out when a permit will be created and how much time after an inspection will be done. I should have asked the installer for the permit when he arrived.
Also, if you are using Sears customer service, don't take any S-it from them about contacting the installer. YOU contracted with Sears not the installer.
Also, if you can, I have found that you should drain the water heater prior to the installer coming. It makes things move quickly. Just turn off the water to the water heater, connect a hose to the lower hose outlet, run the hose outside (Below grade), open all the water facets (hot) in the house, and open the pressure release valve on the side of the old water heater.
Best of luck. In many cases Sears is the only player in town.
**** Updated 12/29/09
I have updated this to better understand the company that is supposed to do the permit requests. As of 12/29/09 I have not been called for an inspection. I called the my town permit department today 12/29/09 to see when they will be doing the inspection. They informed me that they received the permit request back in mid November 2009 BUT is has not been paid for. It seems that the installer didn't lie to me, they just didn't tell me everything.
I called Sears again. Informed them of everything above and they got the install company on the phone again. The person there informed Sears and I that the person who disburses payment to the towns was on vacation this week and she would check on where the payment is. The Sears rep was a little upset also because they had paid the installer for the permit already. The installer company game me their name and number and to call back in 2 weeks. I guess we will all see then.
From this perspective I would not recommend Sears to perform all the functions that they promise unless you want to make many calls for followup. That was not what I wanted or expected.
Updated on 1/13/10 *****
Last week I finally got the permit in the mail and to call for an inspection. I set up the inspection for 1/13/10. The inspector came on time looked at the water heater and told me that I had the incorrect gas valve on it. I showed him the valve that I replaced and he said that would do just fine. He told me to change the valve, call for reinspection and everything will be OK.
So, the installer either doesn't know what he is talking about, what the valve needed to be replaced, or he is taught to lie to customers to get the additional revenue.