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Report: #328940

Complaint Review: Fast Water Heater Company - San Diego, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside California

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: San Marcos California
  • Author Confirmed What's this?
  • Why?
  • Fast Water Heater Company 7930 Winans Cv San Diego, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, California U.S.A.
  • Phone: 800-844-6532
  • Web:
  • Category: Plumbing

Fast Water Heater Company Overquotes water heater installation fee; charges for parts you don't need San Diego, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside California

*UPDATE Employee: Customer not comparing apples to apples

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Additional Items to meet California Code

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We purchased a new 50 gal water heater at Lowes for $460 + $280 labor. They contracted out the installation service to Faster Water Heater Company. When the FWHC tech arrived, he gave us an initial estimate of ~$600 to install the water heater (in addition to the $280 we already paid at Lowes).

Outraged, we declined the install and went back to Lowes for a refund. Lowes refunded all but $50 which they kept as a "trip charge", which we were never made aware of before the purchase. Thanks for nothing Lowes!

Here's the breakdown of what Fast Water Heater Company wanted to charge us:
Install Earthquake straps - $39
Install Metal Drip Pan - $59
Install a drain line from the Pan to the exterior - $19
Install P&T Relief Drain to the exterior - $39
Install Gas Shut Off Valve - $89
Install Sediment Trap - $29
Bond Water and Gas pipes with 6 awg wire and clamps - $59
Sweat flex - $29
Increase connector to 4" - $179
Extend gas piping to install drip leg and 24" flex - $49

Total = $590
Plus the $740 we already paid Lowes for a grand total of $1330.

After FWHC left, we contacted a local plumber (found through the San Diego BBB) who is also licensed to install water heaters. He quoted us $750 at most for a new water heater including labor/parts, and no hidden fees or charges.

Here's what the local plumber charged us:
$650 for a new 50gal Rheem water heater, installation included. $50 for misc parts such as flexes and piping, plus tax. Total= $700 It was a one man job and it took 90 minutes, including the time it took to drain the old water heater.

So why exactly was FWHC charging us so much? In my opinion, because they are a bunch of crooks looking to scam unsuspecting homeowners. We already had earthquake straps on our old water heater which the local plumber re-used just fine. We didn't need a new drip pan, shut off valves or most of what FWHC said we needed. Bonding pipes with 6 awg wire and clamps are standard installation procedures, but FWHC wanted to charge $59 for that. We did pay for a new 24" flex which was one of the misc parts needed, but again it was only $29 compared to the $49 FWHC wanted to charge.

Also when the FHWC tech first arrived, he spent about 10 minutes looking around our garage (where our water heater is located) telling us he needed to do this and that and writing down all the "parts" he needed to complete the job. We now know that this was all just for show. In reality, it was a simple, straight-forward water heater installation which the local plumber did without any false pretenses. He took a minute to look at our old water heater and piping, told us exactly what he would be doing, and got to work.

My advice is to avoid Fast Water Heater Company if you can. Find a local licensed plumber or water heater installation service with a "Satisfactory" Better Business Bureau rating. They usually get water heaters directly from the manufacturer as well, so you won't need to go to Lowes or Home Depot.

San Marcos, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/25/2008 03:10 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Customer not comparing apples to apples

AUTHOR: Jh - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The customer details the work done by the other contractor and it's clear that the other contractor did not install the water heater to California Plumbing Code. Water heaters kill 10,000 people per year due to CO poisoning and cause $10-20 million per year in property damage due to poorly installed water heaters. In this case, the customer required a pan and drain to protect their property, they required the Pressure and temperature relief valve to be piped to the exterior and their pipes are supposed to be grounded.

It is always going to be cheaper to find someone who will install your water heater without pulling a permit which legally is required in the state of CA. And, who will install it without updating the installation for current plumbing code.

You may save $100-300. But, if your water heater leaks in your home and you don't have a pan and drain, it will cost you tens of thousands of dollars. If your water heater isn't vented properly then it's a serious safety hazard. If the pressure and temperature relief valve is not piped to the exterior and your kids are in the garage, they can get scalded. These are all real and significnat problems with installing a water heater (google damage or death or injury AND water heater and see for yourself...). Most people don't care about any of this until it actually happens to them.

So, if you want to find someone to "slam it in" and not check your home for required safety precautions (that are technically REQUIRED BY LAW according to the plubming code), then go for it! But, that's not what we do.

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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Additional Items to meet California Code

AUTHOR: Jeff - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, May 22, 2008

This is in response to the complaint about the additional work quoted by Fast Water Heater. All of the work we quoted to install the water heater was required by the 2007 California Plumbing Code or was offered as a recomendation to improve the installation. When replacing a water heater, we are required to bring the installation up to todays standards.

Before we start an installation, we do spend a considerable about of time to look over the job so the the water heater will be installed in a safe manner and last a long time. We complete a checklist of about 20 items including a water pressure test and exhaust vent capacity test. A water heater can be extremely dangerous if installed incorrectly as we are dealing with water, natural gas and carbon monoxide. One of the items we quoted for was to increase the vent as it was undersized and this extremely dangerous. It appears that the contractor you went with didnt even look at this. The majority of the plumbing companies out there do not pull permits for thier work and do not bring the installations up to code.

I noticed that the quote from the comparison plumber did not mention a permit. Fast Water Heater will not perform an illegal installation. We do installations for large retail vendors such as Lowe's who also demand that the permit is pulled and the installation is done correctly. There is simply too much liability to install the water heater without meeting these standards. In addition, any water heater that is not installed to code, the manufacturer will not honor the warranty.

There are many plumbers out there that can provide you with a cheap installation up front, but if you want the job done right and you want to protect your home, family and preserve your warranty, call a company that follows the rules, pulls permits and gets the work inspected.

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