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Faulty Plumbing Part: Can I Claim A Refund?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 5 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Faulty Plumbing Part: Can I Claim A Refund?

Q.

I was sold a plumbing part (from a company) fitted by my own plumber. It began to leak within 6 months, causing damage to my property (£285).

When it was removed it became apparent that at manufacture a side had been ground down so that it was so thin it had split (it was sprayed after the grinding and the replacement part is a lot thicker in that area)on being attached.

The seller informed us that we had to go to the maufacturer and despite numerous calls, emails and a letter they have refused to pay for the damage.

They have now told us that it is our responsibility to have an expert prove the fault was down to manufacturer. Is that the case or is that their responsibility as it occured within 6 months?

(Mr Darren Collett, 19 September 2008)

A.

At first glance, this would definitely appear to fall under the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, as long as you bought the part from a company. They key here is actually that six month time period. Had the fault occurred after that, then the retailer would have been within his rights to insist that you prove that the fault was due to the item and not, for instance the way it was installed or some other reason.

But the Act states that items sold should be safe, as described and fit for the purpose for which they’re being sold – and from your description, this plumbing part was not. It also allows a 'reasonable' amount of time for you to check the item and return it to the retailer if necessary for a refund, replacement or repair. Note that the Act specifies the retailer, not the manufacturer. You can also claim compensation, although in practical terms that would really just amount to refunding your purchase price in most situations. No specific time frame is given, although as after six months you have to prove the item was at fault for the retailer to have responsibility, then six months might be deemed reasonable.

If you bought the item from a private seller, things become a little different. The only provision is that the goods aren’t misrepresented to you, and it could be argued that here the item was, as it was sprayed after grinding to hide the fault. In that case, you could claim compensation.

As the seller is refusing to accept responsibility, it looks as if your option is to take him to small claims court – which is an easy and cheap process. You will hopefully have records of the purchase, and of trying to return the item within the six month period, as well as evidence from your plumber regarding both the fitting and failure of the part, and the reason it failed, as well as the costs associated with repairs to your home from the damage. On the basis of what you’ve said, with those you should be able to obtain the full amount, including that £285, from the seller, although nothing is set in stone, of course.

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Ant - Your Question:
Hi, I had a shower installed by a plumber. He then said that the flow was too low and a shower pump would fix it. We bought one and he returned to install it. It worked for one night and didn't work in the morning. I couldn't contact them and emails were bouncing back so I contacted two separate plumbers and both said the installation was unsafe and unfit for use. The original plumbers charged us nearly £500 and we had to pay the separate ones about £300 to reinstall. Is there anyway I can claim the £500 back and pass on the second cost to them as well? What would be the process?Thanks

Our Response:
You would need to do this via the legal system; the small claims court would be the simplest.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 7-Sep-17 @ 11:35 AM
Hi, I had a shower installed by a plumber. He then said that the flow was too low and a shower pump would fix it. We bought one and he returned to install it. It worked for one night and didn't work in the morning. I couldn't contact them and emails were bouncing back so I contacted two separate plumbers and both said the installation was unsafe and unfit for use. The original plumbers charged us nearly £500 and we had to pay the separate ones about £300 to reinstall. Is there anyway I can claim the £500 back and pass on the second cost to them as well? What would be the process? Thanks
Ant - 5-Sep-17 @ 4:43 PM
Dazza - Your Question:
We had a new shower installed with consisted of a built into the wall Thermostat shower control. After a few Month of use we noticed a leak, got a plumber how who told us there was a manufacturing fault with the unit. To cut a long story short the company we purchased it from replaced the item. It then cost me £528 to get it reinstalled. I passed this cost back to the manufacture who came back to me with an offer for £200. Am I right in thinking they should be liable to cover the full additional cost I incurred. It was their product which was faulty, they agreed this and replaced it, so they should be paying fro all the cost I have incurred to get it back as I basically paid twice to get this item fitted now at no fault of my own ?

Our Response:
The Consumer Rights Act only stipulates a duty to refund or replace. Any compensation claims should be directed at the supplier...if you're not happy with their offer, you will need to take it to the small claims court.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 16-Mar-17 @ 12:57 PM
We had a new shower installed with consisted of a built into the wall Thermostat shower control.After a few Month of use we noticed a leak, got a plumber how who told us there was a manufacturing fault with the unit.To cut a long story short the company we purchased it from replaced the item.It then cost me £528 to get it reinstalled. I passed this cost back to the manufacture who came back to me with an offer for £200. Am I right in thinking they should be liable to cover the full additional cost I incurred.It was their product which was faulty,they agreed this and replaced it, so they should be paying fro all the cost I have incurred to get it back as I basically paid twice to get this item fitted now at no fault of my own ?
Dazza - 14-Mar-17 @ 4:27 PM
We had a plumber to look at our old bath shower unit. He advised it was unrepairable and a new one was required. This was fitted a month ago. The valve that switches from bath to shower has stiffened until it cannot work. We contacted the plumber who said we had to contact the manufacturer to send out an engineer to check it. I believe that as the plumber brought and fitted the shower, he should come, inspect, repair or replace as necessary. Am I right.
briomechanics - 11-Feb-17 @ 12:03 PM
My council House was flooded by neglect of the blambers of the company that's changing the whole system of pipes from toilets and kitchens of the building. This caused many disorders, damage and stress for the entire family. Will I have any right to indenisacao why? If yes,how can I do to do this?? Where a can have some help?
mARIA - 16-Sep-16 @ 6:41 PM
I purchased a jacket and a button has fallen off, the jacket comes with a spare. Can I refund the item or do I have to repair it myself. Thanks
david - 25-Feb-16 @ 5:32 PM
Please help We bought a brand new home from bloor homes. we had leaks from both showers within a week which was fixed by the builder. after 2 weeks of buying the property my wife returned home with my ill child to a flooded house with 2 inches of water in the kitchen spreading into the living room. We were made homeless for 5 days as they were repairing it. We incurred over £2500 of damage to our personal things including irreplaceable wedding presents and my daughters favorite toys. This was the house we have struggled and worked so hard for for over 2 years and the stress and nightmare of the whole process has been unbearable. The builder is now only prepared to pay out £2500 with no compensation or additional costs which includes unpaid leave from work to sort the problem the excess water bill not to mention our electric bill as we had 3 industrial dehumidifiers on for 4 days solid to dry the house out. We had to stay with family with a ill child with chicken pox in a state of chaos. The builder has put pressure on us to settle without using insurances and solicitors and we desperately need to know if we have a case for compensation or to settle with the builder and accept the loss of money or if its worth to get a legal advisor involved.
AHJH2911 - 22-Jun-12 @ 9:54 AM
I bought a new build from Persimmon homes 6 years ago,at the time we complained the heating system was not correct as some radiators were on when only the hot water was switched on .Persimmon came ou an had the floorboards up and told us the system was repaired.6 years on we are still having the same problems.we have had homeserve out to look at the problems,they have reported the system is installed incorrectly. i have informed persimmon who initially said this is not down to them to repair as we have been in the house for six years.They now agreed to look at the problem,with the new plumbers agreeing the system is installed incorrectly.Where do i go from here, can i claim compensation for my heating bills for the last 6 year ?.Also i have found the benchmark installation commissioning service record log book , which was not filled out by the plumbers on installation.
NORTHY - 11-Mar-12 @ 11:27 PM
I have bought a shower tray and had it fitted only to find that it is faulty as it pools water.The shop say's it only has to provide a replacement and I must pursue the manufacturer.This has all been notified within the six months.The manufacturer will provide a new tray but will not pay to cover cost of refit, can he do this? It's very costly to replace, as its all built in and will have to undertake building work to re-fit.
doug - 2-Sep-11 @ 5:13 PM
I bought a new build from George Wimpey 5 years ago, and shortly after moving in complained of a "solvent" type smell which I traced to the expansion tank for the central heating. The company used by Wimpey came out and explained that the thick layer of sludge lying on top of the tank was "normal". Now I have no hot water in my property and a plumber and heating engineer has diagnosed the problem to a broken pump caused by a build up of corrosion. The fault has been due to the company not installing an inhibiter, which by all accounts is an industry wide standard procedure. This has left me with a £300-£500 bill to replace the pump, flush the system to clear out the corrosion before it effects the radiators and install the inhibiter. Surely, either George Wimpey or the company used by them to install the heating system are liable for the damage caused due to poor workmanship?
gus - 10-Aug-11 @ 1:41 PM
@Mended - If it's a council property and they installed the heating system, they should undertake any of the repairs relating to the damage caused. You should get in touch with the Council.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 5-Aug-11 @ 11:37 AM
I had a new heating system installed by the council in may, two days after the installation i had a flood due to a pipe not being soldered properly and radiator at top of stairs was loose, the plumbing company came out and fixed the problems no questions asked, i got no appology and did not claim for any damaged property. The second flood happened on my birthday in july, a filler hose and connector failed and water escaped at such high pressure that it took the paint off the ceiling and flooded the whole of downstairs in a matter of minutes. The emergency plumber who came to my rescue said in all the years he has been a plumber he had never seen anything like it as the braded filler hose had bubbled and burst through the brading like an over inflated inner tube. I am heavily pregnant a have suffered significant damage to my home, i have no contents insurance as i am on a low income, can i claim through their insurance and what steps should i take?
Mended - 3-Aug-11 @ 1:06 AM
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