Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Smelly hot water - help!
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dj1
Re: Smelly hot water - help!

This is a Kenmore Sears model 33114, 40 gal 12 year WH.

I don't think it's older than 3 years. However by the rust on the cold side nipple, it may not be a brand new unit. All Sears water heaters come with new built in nipples, free of rust.

Sears would never sell a used heater in a new box. Or would they? This is really unthinkable.

That leads me to the frightening and unavoidable: Has the plumber switched water heaters on you? With no one there to watch, he was free to do as he pleased. Who knows.

I remember giving you a list of things to ask the plumber to do and follow. He hasn't done that. What he has done is a crappy, shameful job of poor installation.

dj1
Re: Smelly hot water - help!

MBeach,

What to do next?

Follow the advice of Houston, but act quickly.

Either Sears sent you an old or used WH, OR your plumber took you for a ride.

About the dent: either Sears delivery guy dropped the WH, Or the plumber mishandled it out of the box.

Please keep us informed.

MBeach
Re: Smelly hot water - help!
johnjh2o wrote:

The heater is a 2006. Make a call to Sears. Like I stated we at one time installed for them and this was a common practice for them. It's one of the many reasons we stopped working for them.

John

Thanks. That's a pretty poor business practice for Sears. If I'd never posted here I would have had no idea.The only thing I know for certain is that it wasn't our plumber who swapped it out. We were here when he came to install it, and with his truck it would have been incredibly difficult if not impossible to have switched it. Regardless of how poor the install was, I'd like to get the current heater! I paid for this outright, so I'll grab my receipt, order, and give Sears a call. In the mean time I'll be waiting to hear back from the plumber.

There was some delivery confusion - Sears showed up out of the blue while we were out of the house. At first they were going to reschedule, but then said they'd drop off a heater at another location and return to ours by the time we got back to our house. They didn't show for for quite some time, which is when I had to leave and my wife was present for the delivery.

Thanks everyone. All of this information and feedback is hugely helpful.

Gizmo
Re: Smelly hot water - help!

All I can say is double ***,***....What a hack job ! Are you sure your plumbers not a wannabe and not a shoe maker by trade. :rolleyes:

My guess is this water heater was installed in another home at one point and returned for whatever reason.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Smelly hot water - help!

or someone is selling new (your) HWHs out the back of their truck.

MBeach
Re: Smelly hot water - help!

I was able to make a stop payment on my CC, which is a good thing!

I also did the "on line chat" with one of the Sears reps and asked about the manufacture date of the heaters - what they should be. "Bill" stated they're typically 2-3 months, and uncommonly about a year.

Next step - calling the Hot Water Heater Department of Sears to see if they'll give me a replacement. Wish me luck.

**update**

I called Sears and spoke to their CSR in the Heating department. After some sleuthing, and removing the earthquake band, it was determined that the unit was manufactured May 5, 2011. I'm still stunned that it's actually that new. They're sending out a Sears heater technician since the unit is still under warranty to see if they can determine why there is the rust stain around the water spigot. He shows up on Wednesday.

I'm still waiting to hear back from my plumber. I'll keep updating as things progress. Thanks!

dj1
Re: Smelly hot water - help!

MBeach,

Now you are fighting back, and that's good.

The 2006 date on the label is not the manufacturing date. Water heater companies put the manufacturing date hidden in their own serial number (usually the week and the year - so 0917 would mean week 17th in 2009). By the photo of the thermostat I could see that the unit was less than 3 years old, as I mentioned before in a previous reply.

The rust and the questionable installation are the issues now. I hope you get a replacement unit, properly installed...

Then there's the "plumber". I would tell him to go work in the meat department, because he's a butcher, not a plumber.

MBeach
Re: Smelly hot water - help!
dj1 wrote:

MBeach,

Now you are fighting back, and that's good.

The 2006 date on the label is not the manufacturing date. Water heater companies put the manufacturing date hidden in their own serial number (usually the week and the year - so 0917 would mean week 17th in 2009). By the photo of the thermostat I could see that the unit was less than 3 years old, as I mentioned before in a previous reply.

The rust and the questionable installation are the issues now. I hope you get a replacement unit, properly installed...

Then there's the "plumber". I would tell him to go work in the meat department, because he's a butcher, not a plumber.

The date was hidden below the earthquake band, once I moved that aside it was right there in front of me. I should have done a bit more inspecting.

I'm curious to hear what the Sears technician has to say tomorrow when he sees the unit. I'll share his comments here.

James Roderick
Re: Smelly hot water - help!

Any updates? Hope this works out for ya..

James

MBeach
Re: Smelly hot water - help!

Yet another update!

The Sears technician came by Wednesday and inspected our water heater. He confirmed that it was new but was shocked at both the amount of dents and the size of the dents. He stated that the two "larger" ones were abnormal, but let me know that the interior of the heater was not damaged.

He couldn't come up with a hard reason why the vent valve/release was leaking around the ring. He felt the line of what I thought was rust water (he stated this discoloration was not rust but the water reacting to the sealant)and seemed only vaguely concerned. I pushed a bit, and he pulled back the plastic ring and jabbed one of his keys into what appears to be some sort of foam like insulation inside the heater. More water come from this probing (to me it looked significant), but he still seemed nonplussed.

After more looking around, he let me know that he wasn't "comfortable" with how the heater looked, and was going to call to have it replaced. He made a call to someone - whoever it was he had to give some numbers and state he was a Sears water heater spe******t - and began to answer questions about the appearance and state of the heater. I heard him recommend that it be replaced, and again answer questions after this recommendation. Off and on I could hear the woman on the line with him, but could only make out that she was asking specific questions. He was put on hold, and when she came back on I heard what I knew right then was the end of the "replacement" idea. She asked who installed the unit, to which he replied it was not a Sears installation.

Fast Forward 2 minutes and he was off the phone, stating that Sears would replace the unit, but they would not pay for the installation. He began to tell me that I should keep the unit and call Sears back in a month or so and inform them that it was leaking. I didn't quite understand why I should wait, and when I asked him to clarify this, he told me that although Sears would replace the heater free of charge, the installation was $800. This is more than the heater actually cost, so I declined.

He again suggested that I wait a month and call, and by then Sears would ignore the fact of who installed it because it would have been proven that the issue was not installation related because the problems had developed over time - not right when the install occurred.

Odd direction from the Sears spe******t.

With that out of the way for the time being, I contacted my plumber. Unfortunately our conversation was odd, I found out he'd recently had a family emergency which had taken over his responsiveness. I informed him again that I needed to get the heater up to code, and sooner than later. He agreed to call me Thursday morning so he could come by and look at the heater Thursday or Friday.

It is now Saturday, 1:00AM PST, and I've yet to hear back from him. Unfortunately, as much as I truly like him and have grown to respect and have faith in him over the years, I'm going to have to find another plumber to work with me on my home.

I'll keep you all posted of next steps. If anything, I hope that this is at least an interesting read.

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