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How to compare Hot Water System quotes

When it comes to getting a new hot water system installed, if you don’t have a trusted regular plumber, how do you know what to look for and who to choose?

As with everything in life, you get what you pay for to some extent, so it’s not just the price. But you don’t want to get ripped off by paying too much either.

The most important thing here is that you end up with a hassle-free, compliant, efficient system you can rely on day-in-day-out for many years to come.

Many companies have a strategy to give you a low price when you call them, only to surprise you with higher costs once they arrive on-site (they do this by leaving out crucial elements and pretending they only just discovered you needed them).

Others will offer a low price but the work will be done by an apprentice or unlicensed tradesman, they won’t provide compliance documentation and it won’t be compliant (or even working properly).

 

To help you make the best decision for you, we suggest you follow these steps when you compare hot water system quotes:

  1. Make sure everyone who’s provided a quote has been to your property prior to giving you the price. Ask companies to perform an on-site inspection. This allows them to assess your specific needs, potential complications, and the precise installation requirements. There’s no way to wiggle out of it later and add things that they claim they couldn’t have known about previously. Professional companies want to do this as it ensures they can quote accurately.
  2. Seek Multiple Quotes: Unless you have a trusted plumber you’ve worked with before, don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Request quotes from at least two or three different companies to compare their pricing, services, and warranties. This will give you peace of mind you’re getting the best value and that your hot water system will work seamlessly for the next 10-15 years.
  3. Check for Licensing and Certification: Ask to see the physical license card of the person that is performing the actual work. Cowboy operators often send apprentices or unlicensed people to perform the work and then use another person’s license to sign off on the job which is illegal so beware of who is carrying out the job on the day. Before hiring any company or tradesperson, verify their licensing and certifications. Legitimate professionals should have the necessary qualifications to perform the work safely and efficiently. Licensing ensures that they adhere to industry standards and regulations.
  4. Gas and Electrical work: Plumbing companies have been caught sending out Plumbers that will happily perform illegal Gas and or Electrical work in order to cut costs therefore be cheaper than other competitors. It is illegal for a Plumber to perform Gas work (no matter how small) and Electrical work unless they carry the appropriate license to do so – ask to see the licenses when they are on site and immediately stop them from undertaking the work if they cannot show the license card / cards relative to the work they intend to perform. The services of a certified gas-fitter or electrician should be included in all hot water system installation quotes.
  5. Ask About Additional Costs: Ask each company if there are any additional costs that may be involved. The quote itself should show the total cost of the job with the GST component stated, inclusions and exclusions, permits, and any potential additional charges. Be wary of vague or overly simplified quotes that could lead to surprise expenses later.
  6. Check Reviews: Research the reputation of the companies you’re considering. Read online reviews before deciding. Cowboy operators either have no reviews or sometimes fake positive reviews, make sure the reviews you’re reading seem legitimate. Also, ask to see pictures of similar jobs done recently. Positive feedback and word-of-mouth recommendations can give you valuable insights into their reliability and quality of work.
  7. Verify Insurance Coverage: Ensure that the company has the correct insurances in place. This protects you from potential liability in case of accidents or damages during and after the installation.
  8. Ask About Compliance: In QLD the QBCC governs all plumbing works carried out and as such require specific forms are completed for various types of work. The Gas board equally requires compliance certificates and compliance plates are issued for gas work. If the company you select doesn’t offer these things that’s a good sign they’re cutting corners and will do substandard work – but – this could also lead to your home insurance being voided should there be a fire in your home. Shonky hot water system installations have been known to cause fires and insurance companies will not pay out if there has been illegal work carried out recently. Make sure you receive a copy of all relevant certificates.
  9. Compare Warranties: Assess the warranties offered by each company. A longer and more comprehensive warranty can provide you with peace of mind, as it indicates the company’s confidence in their work and the quality of materials used. Not all tanks, pipes and fittings are of the same quality.
  10. Track Record of Company: Companies come and go. In fact approximately 60% of small businesses go bust within the first three years here in Australia!! If you want the best chance of getting the job done right then it is best to choose one that has proven themselves over time and has been in business for at least 10 years. Yes it sounds like a long time but you want this company to be around in the next ten years to make good on any warranties for your hot water system, so this part is important.
    1. Track record of success – reputation built with years of reliability.
    2. Experience and expertise – knowledgeable staff that won’t cut the corners you don’t even know about the way many upstart companies do.
    3. Established long term customer base – being reliable creates trust that is proven over many years with a history of meeting customers expectations every time.
    4. Legal and regulatory compliance – more established businesses typically have a better understanding of compliance and regulatory issues meaning you have peace of mind knowing that legal issues will never be an issue. The QBCC is bombarded every year with hot water system installation complaints due to cowboy operators cutting corners and ripping off unsuspecting customers.

By following these steps, you’ll make the best possible decision for your home or investment property.

Even though it seems like a simple thing, there’s quite a lot that can be done wrong on a hot water system installation. Unfortunately we’ve seen and heard way too many horror stories from our customers.

If you’re Brisbane-based, we’d love to help you get your hot water system fixed. Give us a call today.

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