Agent's plumbing contractor has fitted water cylinder that's too small

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    Agent's plumbing contractor has fitted water cylinder that's too small

    11 months ago, my letting agent said that my water cylinder needed replacing. I asked them to get quotes, one of which I accepted. I declined one because it was an estimate not a quote and was from a plumber whose company had been recently dissolved. The other plumber provided a choice of 3 cylinders, all 90 litres, for a 1 bedroom flat occupied by 2 people. The cost was approx £1000 parts and labour, which I subsequently paid to my letting agent, who paid the pumber.

    My new tenants have complained about a lack of hot water. The new person at the letting agents instructed a plumber who reported back that the cylinder was too small and has charged £60 for the visit. Ironically, this is the same plumbing company who fitted it less than a year ago. I spoke to the cylinder manufacturer who confirmed that it is too small.

    Who is liable here - the letting agent or the plumber?

    #2
    You, for letting them fit a 90 litre cylinder?

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      #3
      Who did you pay to do the work and what did you tell the agent to qet a quote for?
      What size was the previous cylinder?

      I think proving any liability is going to be difficult because you were quoted for something and agreed to it.
      You have some protection in consumer law, but it's going to be difficult to do anything in real life.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        I paid the agent (retrospectively), who paid the contractor. I asked for (and expected) a "replacement". I don't know the exact size of the previous cylinder, only that it was bigger as this was never a problem previously.

        I'm going to involve the local Trading Standards office as a next step.

        [as to whether I am to blame for letting them fit a 90 litre cylinder, I'm not a plumber and clearly made the mistake of assuming that the plumber would quote for a suitable item e.g. assuming that if I wanted replacement wheels on a Rolls Royce, he wouldn't offer those for a Mini. However, I did reject an estimate from another plumber as I know there is a difference between a quote and an estimate; and I did reject this estimate as my due diligence spotted that he had dissolved his company which would make it even harder to deal with any after sales issues.]

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          #5
          I am afraid that you probably will get nowhere with this issue. My reasoning is that you engaged an agent who then sub-contracted the requirement. You agreed to a 90 litre tank being fitted having been advised via the agent that a 90 litre was a like for like? (90 litres is enough for a long shower or a medium sized bath). So you have 2 people who get up and go out to work at the same time. I would suggest that a 200 litre tank would be more suitable. This is all supposing that there are no electric showers of course. Does the hot water provide for the heating too?
          The lesson is do not leave anything to agents, they simply are not up to it. Google is always your friend in these circumstances.
          My most recent example of an agent organising 'repairs' is not good. An old property with literally sweating walls. Damp specialist said for £2000 he could re-plaster internally, agent agreed. I suggested chipping off the external modern waterproof wall render and plastic paint to allow the property to breathe outwards not inwards and fitting an extractor. Needless to say the agent authorised the spend on re-plastering. In a few years the floor joists will be rotten. So be it, it is not my property but it still infuriates me that agents are not more buildings aware.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by impreza280 View Post
            I paid the agent (retrospectively), who paid the contractor. I asked for (and expected) a "replacement". I don't know the exact size of the previous cylinder, only that it was bigger as this was never a problem previously.

            I'm going to involve the local Trading Standards office as a next step.
            Your supplier is the agent (who they got to do the work isn't your issue).
            So you may be better off following their complaints procedure, but the agent is responsible to you not the plumber.

            You have one basic problem.
            You don't know how big the cylinder was before, so you have no way of knowing whether the new one is smaller. You can infer that, but you don't know for sure.

            One other problem.
            If the shower has a low flow shower head, 90 litres is probably OK. If it's a power shower it would be lucky to last one shower.

            In the meantime, get a proper cylinder fitted.
            The tenant isn't the cause of all of this.


            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment

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