A. O. Smith Water HeatersConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
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We purchased this water heater from LOWE'S in Feb of 2018. It broke in June of 2018. We replaced both upper & lower elements and it still will not heat water. Had Lowe's to check it out and they say the company is responsible. A.O. Smith says they are not responsible for it because we should have taken it apart & tightened up the components. We are at our wit's end trying to get a credit for this $%00.00 water heater. Very upset with A.O. Smith company & added them to our Consumer Beware website. Poor workmanship & lousy customer service.
I am the manager of a 134 unit apartment complex, each unit has its own water heater in the unit. We have been buying AO Smith water heaters because the property has some units that are 20+ years old and still work so I thought they must be good units. The last three units I have bought all failed in a very short period of time. The most recent one was installed on 3/5/2018 and failed yesterday 8/9/2018. We pulled the electrodes out and they where completely corroded and shorted out. AO Smith said we would have to install water softeners or reverse osmosis filtration on all the units and they will not warranty the units because our water is to hard?
I looked through all the paperwork and I did not see anything saying "Do not use with hard water". The complex was built in 1968 and we have never had this problem. I would recommend do not use their units if you have hard water, which is all of my area (Southern California). I don't think a water heater that cost just under $500 should require water filtration or a water softener just to work. I am very disappointed and I think the workmanship has just been lost, no product quality any more. I am not sure if they just got cheaper on their materials or if there is some regulation that is making them use less quality materials.
Water heater purchased in 2013 with a 6 year warranty for my tenants in a 2-family duplex. Water heater failed after 5 years, and required over $700 in repairs. However, due to my being a "landlord" rather than the actual homeowner/user, they FAILED to uphold their warranty because it was a "commercial" installation, since I didn't live there. BOGUS!! NEVER trust a company that misleads customers in this fashion. I decided to pay more for a new heater than place any trust in A.O. Smith.
We purchased A. O. Smith (model SAS 10L) geyser unit from a dealer in Chennai on 26/09/2016 and installed the same. In our gated community we get water from nearby bore well/well. Initially the geyser worked ok for a year. Thereafter we started getting a foul smell from the water coming out from the geyser. Since I faced the problem only in the specific restroom, we felt some issue in the water supply (We recirculate STP water for flushing purposes) and hence we were looking in that angle. Also I never experienced this foul smell issue in the last 40 years with any geyser. Finally I contacted the company last month who promptly sent their technician very next day. He opened the geyser, cleaned the heating element (deposits), tank etc and fitted it back.
Due to summer the geyser was not used. Also this restroom is meant for guest etc. I was again getting foul smell again from the geyser last week when we used it. Hence I made another complaint to the customer care. One of the offices from the company told me that you have to use the geyser regularly or at least draw some cold water through the geyser. According to him this geyser has an "Anode rod" to take care of the tank corrosion. But we were neither told by the company nor their manual tells about it at the time of purchase/installation.
A O Smith technician told that he can replace the anode rod but on cost. I refused for payment as the unit is still under warranty of 2 years and also due to their poor communication of instructions. Technician went back without replacing the spare. We would like to caution other friends who intend to go for this brand in view of the wastage of water even if the unit is not used as well as periodical replacement of anode rod. Thank you.
My father purchased a hot water heater from Lowe’s in 2007 with a lifetime warranty for parts and tank. About 2 weeks ago our hot water heater stopped working. We naturally contacted AO Smith to see about getting it fixed. At first they put it off as an electrical issue. WE had to hire an electrician to prove to them it was their tank... after about a week. Then they come back with wanted proof of purchase. Well we do not have the proof of purchase from 2007. So I spoke to a representative to explain the situation. She then said a deed to the property would be enough. We provided the proof they asked for but the kicker is the house was in my grandfather's name until 2014 when he passed. Then my father inherited the property. They have now told me that the warranty was only valid to my deceased grandfather. Imagine that? How convenient for them!
So now my father who is in poor health has been bathing with cold water for 2 weeks. Only to find out we now have to fork up the money to buy parts or possibly replace the tank. For 2 weeks they’ve given me the runaround and refused to let me speak to anyone in charge. I’ve never met a more crooked and shady company. They could give a crap less about their customers. Oh, and even Lowe’s attempted to work with them in resolving this issue and they refused to speak to them. I hope this review warns future customers to not do business with this company.
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We bought a new house from the builder with an A.O. Smith 80 gal heat pump hot water heater in 2017. Within the year it stopped working so naturally we called A.O. Smith who stated that the one year labor warranty starts with the certificate of occupancy. Not our purchase date. Needless to say as a consumer we couldn’t care when the builder was finished and the houses are placed on the market. The one year should start when we purchase the house. Leaving that aside they agreed to replace the heater but we would have to pay the $800 or so for the labor.
We finally got the code to tell us what was wrong with it after a month of trying. Their own tech told us “the codes aren’t really reliable." Who sells a piece of garbage like this when they know even the error codes don’t work much less the entire heater. The bottom line is this company makes a terrible product and continues to sell it to an unsuspecting public. It’s immoral at best and criminal at worst. Don’t buy anything from them. Don’t let your neighbor buy anything from them. Maybe they will finally get the message.
Purchased Hot water boiler from A. O. Smith 2015. Broke down 3 years later. Replacement, costing me $250. Was delivered in Feb. 2018. Had to pay $500. to install the replacement. June 2018 the replacement stopped working, polite would not stay lit. After going back and forth the A. O. Smith Tech. and repairing what the claim was incorrect venting, they still can't help. It has been two weeks and the four families living in my building have been with no hot water. I have no funds to get a new boiler and A. O. Smith would not give me a refund or honor the warranty!
The plumber installed the gas hot water heater in one of the rental properties my company manages. It worked for three weeks. Then stopped providing hot water. The plumber came back out to check on the tank and found the igniter was no longer working. My wife and I tried to return it to Lowe’s and they told us we needed a RMA number and to call the number on the hot water tank. We did that. Initially they said someone would have to come out and do a repair. Then they said it’s due to improper ventilation and no one would come out. It’s not under warranty. Do Not Ever purchase a hot water tank and have trouble with it from A O Smith brand. We literally have a giant paperweight that we cannot do anything with. This is literally the worst customer service I have ever seen for a company that charges under $600 for the hot water tank. I will get another one from Home Depot next time.
Bought an A. O. Smith Hot Water Heater from Lowe's in October 2017. Water stopped getting hot in May 2018. Called the customer service line and plumber replaced parts suggested, thermostat and heating elements. Worked for that day. Next day, again no hot water. Would not replace the hot water heater. Returned it to Lowe's and they tried to get help from AO Smith customer service with no luck. Left the hot water heater at Lowe's and went to Home Depot to purchase a Rheem Hot Water Heater. Will never buy another A O Smith Hot Water Heater.
This product was installed November 2017 and from inception, without warning, I'll go to take a shower only to find no hot water. At first we thought maybe it was a fluke because it's a new unit. However this has become a pattern occurring almost once every 4 weeks; and of course the installers couldn't come out right away to make a diagnosis. A technician did come out after our home warranty company contacted them, but by the time they were able to see us we of course turned the hot water back on so they couldn't make a good diagnosis since it was worked and the technician asked that we contact them directly the next time (why is there a next time?) it happens. Which it did, and once again the technician wasn't able to come out that same day - so we're back to waiting for it to happen again.
In the interim, I contacted my home warranty company and mentioned the hot water heater hasn't operated properly since day one and maybe it's defective - at which time the warranty company mentioned the hot water heater may still be under the manufacturer's warranty. Based on the reviews I don't want this product if my hot water continues to stop without any reason.
I bought a 40 gallon gas water heater in 2013. Today the valve failed. It was covered under warranty... but the labor was $600. What a rip off. Faulty product - DO NOT Buy the brand. It was highly recommended when I purchased it from Parker and Sons and now they tell me it is a bad product and don't install them anymore. What a scam... I only bought that brand because it was what they recommended when I installed a new one.
Hot water tank failed, called home warranty company. They contacted a local plumber company that installed a gas A. O. Smith hot water tank. 2 years later the unit failed, It's been 4 months later and still once every 3 weeks the unit goes out. Everything has been changed and still failing. Buyer Beware... this product is a joke.
The reps from this company are not trustworthy - Starting from the first call to inquire about the warranty, the rep told me that my water heater was out of warranty, which when I checked their website, it was not so check the website for warranty yourself. What I was then told that it would cost me $25 processing fee for a replacement water heater which was not the case, they charged me series of fees - $125 for upgrade fee, $75 for additional fee, $25 for service fee + taxes, the total came out to around $250 for a product that would cost $600 otherwise. This is a ripoff for an item under warranty.
The rep on the phone told me that I need to go to a particular location where there are several units available, I went there, and the rep on the counter told me that they are out of it and cannot replace the water heater. I argued about getting a confirmation before heading to their location and they started blaming the rep on the phone who I might have talked to. After talking to the store manager, they confirmed that they have models that I was looking for and should be able to get it to me. This again is either a deliberate effort to not replace the water heater or just a major process and communication flaw within the company. The warranty for the product is from the date of manufacture and not the date of purchase. I have never seen anything like this before. This is again cheating.
We bought 2 A. O. Smith 50 gallon hot water heaters in March of 2015. One just failed, and the other is on its last legs. Warranty is for 6 years, however that just covers the tank...installation and misc charges are extra. So, for 1000 bucks each I get hot water for, it looks like 3 years...although some people have reported theirs lasted even less time. If I exercise my warranty, I’m out another 500 bucks each for labor, with the new heaters only warrantied for whatever was left on my original purchase.
Let’s say these last another 3 years. So in the space of 6 years I will have spent $3000 for 2 crappy hot water heaters. Oh...I also am out the $1000 deductible on my homeowners insurance for water damage repair. So...it’s now $4000. I was told that these heaters have been crap ever since they moved their manufacturing base to Mexico. After having hot water heaters that lasted over 13 years in my other homes, I find this company and their hw heaters to be absolute crap. DO NOT BUY!
If you look at Consumer Reports, EVERY SINGLE WATER HEATER regardless of company or brand is junk and easily breaks. So how you do buy a water heater? Do without a water heater? Boil water instead? Also consider many THOUSANDS of these are sold without problem, so occasionally there is a bad apple. Luck of the draw. I just got a AO Smith but I had one before that lasted for years. I just converted to gas so who knows. Yes I'm nervous... but Rheem also had its share of complaints so it's all luck of the draw. I won't be getting tankless -- the more parts and components, the more can break. I do agree you should get one with the longest warranty possible.
Plumbers told me "they are all the same" but more care is taken for longer - warranty tanks -- better insulated, for example. There is a 3 year on-sight labor for repairs warranty and I bought an extended warranty from Lowe's for another 5 years on-sight (home) labor. This makes a total of 8 years home service. Common sense dictates if you get a water heater with a, for example, 3 or 6 year warranty, there is only a ONE YEAR on-sight warranty. Tank parts are cheap--it's the labor that counts. So I bought this 12-year warranty one due to its long warranty and for sure if you have no problems within 3 years you are in the clear -- chances are it's going to last many years. But I'm too scared to get tankless. I also have very hard water. So take your chances and pray. But like I said you take the same chances of any company, any brand. I also seen a trend that Rheem has issues with the pilot light has a tendency of going out. So I'm getting this one.
My experience with this company is that they do not listen to their customers when explaining an issue. From the first contact to the highest level in leadership they state a prerecorded speech at you regardless if you are speaking facts. They are all programmed to say the same thing. They will not listen to you as an individual customer. Case in point is with their warranty. Example my electric water heater had a six year warranty and was replaced after four years because of a manufacturing defect. The one that is installed as a replacement has now failed for the same problem but is now out of warranty. The warranty is not reset. You just have the remainder of the first installed. There is no way do they understand why this is unfair practice to the customer.
From bottom up they just repeat their same speech. I wonder what the CEO would say about this? They will not let your concerns be known to that level. "OUT OF WARRANTY, JUST BUY A NEW ONE". Oh, by the way, one of their escalation people hung up on me when I ask to speak with his supervisor. Rude and disrespectful! I managed to reach six levels and that was as far as I could go. BAD BUSINESS PRACTICES.
Bought a new A O Smith 50 gallon electric water heater from Lowe’s. One day after installation no hot water. Contacted Lowe’s and they told me that once it’s installed it is YOURS. Called company they said, "Sorry for your inconvenience." After 2 more calls finally got a RA number for me to call repair technician. Supposedly will be at my house next week. Till then no hot water. Do not buy AO Smith water heater!!!
This AO Smith water heater came with the newly built house by Pulte. We moved-in Jan-2013 and water heater broke on Christmas eve 2016 (just broke and the entire garage was flooded). We called the number which was given and they charged me $400 labor to change to a new unit which was covered under warranty. I paid extra $125 to purchase 7 yrs additional warranty which was a huge mistake. Now the new unit is leaking from the bottom and I have to pay $450 labor to change it again. If you are ready to spend $450~$550 every year labor charge, then you can buy this. Please don't ever buy this product.
I purchased an AO Smith 40 gallon electric water heater June of 2017 and had it installed. It is located in a closet in a hallway next to the master bedroom. After a little while I started to notice that I could hear the heater running with the door to the closet closed. It was even louder when I opened the door. I contacted their customer support folks and explained the problem and that I never heard the previous heater running. They did some checking and said that they didn't know why it was making noise but that they would give me a voucher to go and get two new heating elements to install.
They then proceeded to tell me how easy it was to turn off the water, drain the water heater, disconnect the 240 volt wiring to the heater, disconnect the heating elements and remove them and then install the new ones. After that I had to reconnect the 240 volt wiring. Now I'm no hot water heater repair person or an electrician. I do know that 240 volts is something the average person has no business messing around with. It will kill you if you don't know what you're doing. This heater has a 9 year warranty. So why are these people telling me to fix this? I am not happy with this company or their product. And definitely not happy with their solution to the problem.
I had an A.O. Smith hot water heater installed in 2012. I have had almost constant trouble. Needed replaced vent motor and gas control in 1/15. Replaced the pressure switch in 6/17. Had to unclog the vacuum port on 10/17 and again today 1/18 the vacuum port needed to be unclogged, again. I talked to customer service and they said there was nothing they can do about the labor charges because no longer under warranty. Seriously. Pretty poor customer service response for a 5 year old machine. I will never get another A.O. Smith product.
Installed a ATI-110 non-condensing unit in a customer's home a year and half ago. All of A.O. Smith's tankless heater have "supposive" freeze protection. This is stated right in their book. Something failed in the unit. I know this because I smelled electrical burning when I went to the home. The heat exchanger froze and split. Called the company, they didn't care. All they said is, "It froze, it's not our problem". Asked if we paid to put a new heat exchanger in and found other problems would they cover the parts under warranty. They said "no". Now me and my customer have to split the cost for a new unit and my free time to install it. My company will never install another A.O.Smith products in any of our projects ever again.
Only 2 years old and gas line already went bad. My plumbing and heating guy says he has to replace these all the time. Not like the older heaters that would last up to 20 years+ with minimal (if any) maintenance. Honeywell supposedly makes these gas lines.
I bought this AO Smith 40 gal hot water heater from Lowe's in October because at the time my other unit was 15 years old. Upon installing it, the heater worked fine until we had some wind from a storm come through. I woke up to find I had no hot water and after doing a little consultation with a rep from Lowe's he said it's very common and told me how to reset the pilot light, which is what went out from the wind. Once it was reset it worked fine again for a couple days and then went out again. Then it started going out several times a day even when there was no wind.
No big deal, I call Lowe's and tell them I would like to return the unit but I obviously can't return the unit until I get another one installed. I opted for a tankless system & had them install the new system. Lowe's said once I am ready to return the unit, to call the number on the side of the tank. Once I called the number on the tank, a representative from AO Smith told me they would not give me a return number because they didn't send out a service technician to fix the unit. I was not made aware this was even their procedure by anyone, including Lowe's. I asked to speak to a manager and was placed on hold and upon returning to the phone, it was the same person I had originally spoke to. He again refused to issue a return number. I still have yet to hear from a manager. I will not ever buy another unit from this company! Absolutely awful customer service and product!
I currently have a 3 year old AO Smith 80 gallon water heater in my home that is still under warranty until 2020. On 12-06-17 this AO Smith water heater would not heat my water. I called AO Smith about getting this water heater serviced. They told me to call my local service company so, then I did. I call our local service company and they had to install 5 parts. This AO Smith water heater needed two thermostats, two heating elements, and one rod, which may I add that in only 3 years of use was severely corroded. I paid the total bill of $513.00 and submitted it to AO Smith as instructed. As of this date (1-08-18) AO SMITH WILL NOT REIMBURSE ME ($513) TO HAVE THEIR WATER HEATER WHICH IS UNDER WARRANTY REPAIRED.
AO Smith keeps making excuses why they do not have to pay for my water heater that is registered and under warranty. In my opinion, AO Smith is committing some kind of consumer fraud by offering a 5 year warranty and then not standing by their sub-standard products that they sell. That said, I have had 5 water heaters in five homes in my life and, not one of the other brand water heaters ever broke within a 15-20 year period. If AO Smith thinks they build a good product, they should stand by what they. What good is a warranty if AO Smith just ignores responsibility as the manufacturer???
We have had our A.O. Smith 50 gal Electric HW Heater since March of 2013. Today is Jan 5, 2018. After many years of extremely high electric bills, we finally figured out the cause was this faulty HW heater. It surged and spiked our power every 3-5 minutes we deduced after doing extensive breaker testing this week. It was not the wiring. It was the HW heater itself. We have installed a new Rheem 50 gal electric HW heater and our electric usage has returned to normal. This cost us several thousands of dollars over the years before we figured it out. I just want others to know of this problem in case they may have the same issues. Our utility company is working with us to refund NBU "Non Benefit of Use" money and we will be looking into what we can recover from A.O. Smith. Hope this will help someone else.
Hello. I have a A. O. Smith 50 Gal Gas Water Heater. I personally installed it in 1990. The only thing that I had to do is replace the thermocouple once. It has never leaked or had any other problems. This is probably unheard of but true. 27 years and still no problems. I am going to replace it soon only because of its age. True story. I don't know if the new A.O. Smith Water Heaters are as good as the one I have, but I will buy another of the same.
My parents have been visited by a sales company who made initial contact through a phone call during the day. Next a visit and pressure to sign up for a Little Magic Box hot water system. Basically a new boiler and box with a panel outside which will make their hot water – and cost the same as a new car!!I have called and cancelled any orders – at which they tried to offer me a further discount!! This is just high pressure sales at its worst. https://www.magicboxinternational.com/
I bought AO Smith 25l geyser a week back and nobody has come to install it yet. Every day I call up customer care and they guarantee that somebody will come today... but till now nobody has come. I have also mailed my problem but still no response. This is the worst service I have experienced from any company. I could not even imagine that any company can be so pathetic with their service. I feel like returning my product and saving myself from any further torture by this company...
I bought an A. O. 40 gal water heater and have had nothing but problems. During installation the elements went out but were not covered under warranty. They said the tank weren’t filled enough before applying power. Even though the plug didn't arrive until an hour after tank was filled. They have this written in their manual that you can’t see until you leave the store and Lowe’s said once it’s out the door it’s your problem. I’ve installed 5 Rheem 40 gal. elec. water heaters with never a problem and they provide the water lines. Went with this for size, what a mistake. Next time I’ll save time and money and knock out the wall. But every person I see buying this company’s product will hear my story! Obviously Lowe’s has no confidence in this products reliability and I'm sure it because they know the attempted return rate and poor customer support must be making a large profit margin!
I have ordered a water geyser from A.O. Smith website, to which I paid beforehand. It's been a month I haven't received any information related to my product. No tracking details, no response to my calls or messages. How I'm supposed to get my money back from these cheaters. Please let me know if there's a way out.
A. O. Smith expert review by ConsumerAffairs
Sold exclusively by plumbing wholesalers and plumbing contractors, A. O. Smith offers a broad range of residential and commercial water heaters, boilers and storage tanks. They have delivered hot water solutions to consumers for over 70 years.
Types: A. O. Smith offers a wide range of residential and commercial water heaters. People looking for a residential water heater can choose from multiple options including gas, electric, tankless, hybrid or solar. The gas units range in capacity from 30-98 gallons while electric units range in capacity from 19.9-80 gallons.
Remote monitoring: iCOMM Elite is A. O. Smith’s remote monitoring technology for commercial water heaters. It allows them to interact with, monitor and manage commercial water heaters. This minimizes down time for repairs which lessens the time a business is without hot water.
Vertex water heater: The Vertex water heater was designed by A. O. Smith to have a lower manufacturing cost and save consumers a significant amount of money in energy costs. It comes in a 50-gallon power-direct vent model and a 75-gallon power-direct vent model. It has improved thermal efficiency and is easily installed.
Product selector tool: For consumers unsure of which water heater to buy, A. O. Smith provides an interactive tool to help consumers pick the right unit. By answering a few simple questions, a list of units with prices is generated.
Product support: Consumers can find a product support tool online in case they need product manuals, spec sheets or catalogs. If the product name or model number is unknown, there is a pre-made list of types that will guide consumers to the right model.
Best for: Consumers looking for a wide range of residential and commercial water heater options.
A. O. Smith Water Heaters Company Information
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