Consumer Complaints and Reviews
We are a reputable plumbing company in Florida. My boss has been Master Plumber for 32 years. We have used A.O Smith, Bradford White, and Rheem water heaters. The only one we have had problems with is Smith. One of customer had one installed, went bad, and Smith replaced it. Now less than a year later, this one went bad. Sure they're going to replace the water heater, but will not labor... The gentlemen is a school teacher with not a lot of income. When I take my car in for service, when it's under warranty, do they charge me labor? Big NO on that. Bad, bad business Smith... As for the other two competitors we use, never had an issue. BAD BUSINESS SMITH. A warranty is a warranty.
A. O. Smith GCV 40 300 water heater, built/installed in 2011. In the middle of the night I awoke to the sound of water pouring from the gas/temperature unit at the bottom of the water heater. Waiting until morning to hear from my plumber. Read of similar experiences on this site, including one from nearby Crofton MD. Will update.
We purchased our home from a builder, who had installed an A.O. Smith water heater with a date of 4/2012 on it. On 10/2016, the tank stopped working entirely. Two different plumbers said it was electrical, something wrong with the temperature gauge and its ability to communicate with the ejector pump on the top of the water heater. When I search for the issue online, looks like I'm not the only one with a faulty temperature gauge.
But here's the kicker: A.O. Smith gives the runaround when you try to call them on their warranty. The company makes the plumbers jump through hoops to fix the unit. All the while YOU are paying for the plumber's time when A.O. Smith knows that these temperature gauges are faulty. So you can spend time and money trying to get the warranty and a new unit. You can spend just as much time and money to get new parts for the thing or you can SAVE YOURSELF TIME AND STRESS and just buy a Bradford White. They are much more reliable and they are more likely to honor the warranties on their products. I would love to join a class action lawsuit against A.O. Smith.
I purchased a A.O. Smith State water heater in April 2012 and installed it myself. Last Friday evening I heard the sound of water running in my office and opened up the water heater closet to find water running out of the bottom of the front gas/temperature unit. I had a plumber come on Monday morning and he said it was not the tank, but the gas/temperature valve unit had failed and that I needed to call on my warranty. I have now called five times. The first time they said that since it was installed inside the home and the door did not have a closer and weather stripping that they would have to flag it as an improper installation. They said I would need to fix these items and send them pictures as I did. As you can guess by now (and I should have been smarter than to fall for their antics) once I sent them pictures, they were not right and then there are other additional issue why they could not honor their warranty.
After reading these reviews I have just decided to get a different water heater because the cost to replace the part is 1/3 of the cost to replace the unit and then I have to pay the plumber to replace the part. I agree that a class action lawsuit is in order. I am contacting the Law firm of Caddell & Chapman who was one of the firms that handled the AT&T Class Action Suit among many others. I am sending my information to Amy ** and would suggest that each of you do the same. It usually only takes a few dozen people to get the ball rolling. A defective product/breach of warranty suit looks like the only thing that might get their attention.
I purchased a brand new home with an A.O. Smith water heater in it. 4 1/2 years and the heater had split and completely rusted from the inside. Water heater was replaced under warranty but I had to pay for labor. Fast forward 14 months, and I woke up this morning with my garage flooded. The tank was completely rotted and rusted from the inside again. My plumber said his company no longer installs this type of water heater because they are chronically defective. I could have replaced it AGAIN under warranty for free, but I am choosing to spend $800 to buy a new water heater from a different manufacturer rather than risk further damage with an A.O. Smith. Their products are GARBAGE!!! These people should be sued for continuing to produce defective and dangerous products. DO NOT purchase A.O. Smith.
How do I know I can trust these reviews about A. O. Smith?
- 611,030 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
I purchased my house in December of 1995. When I purchased it the A.O. Smith Hot Water heater was already 6 years old (Installation sheet said it was installed in 1989). I finally replaced it on Saturday August 20, 2016. The water heater was at 27 years old. Other than having to light the pilot on occasion I never had an issue. It was a 40 gallon Gas Heater. Personally I think their product is awesome!
Yesterday our hot water heater failed. The gas regulator / thermostat failed and the pressure release valve failed. The melting disfigured pipe can only happen through a thermal event. AO Smith is saying that it happened due to water pressure (that is impossible), even though our pressure measure 60PSI and none of our neighbors have had over-pressure issues. If you have had problems with AO Smith warranty rejection and success in resolution, I'd love to how you resolved. I have 4 plumbers from 2 different organizations and a code enforcement manager that say it was a faulty gas regulator as cause.
We purchased an A. O. Smith hot water heater from Ferguson's Plumbing and had it installed. It NEVER WORKED FROM DAY 1. After dozens of calls to A. O. Smith and replacing numerous parts and reinstalling the way it was vented, it still does not work over 4 weeks later. I have had no hot water in my house for over a month and they don't care. They refuse to give us a new one and Ferguson's refuses to take it back without an authorization number from A. O. Smith. I am so disappointed with their customer service department. They just don't care. I do not know what to do. I have 3 kids and no hot water and no more money to buy another one. I wish I had bought one from Home Depot because they would have never treated me this bad. I thought going to a specialized plumbing store and paying more money that it would be a better product. I am now finding out that is not true. So sad they can take advantage of people like this.
Drain Go installed a brand new hot water heater, a GVC 40 300 model build 09/14/2012 capacity 40.0. Less than two years. No hot water. Started questioning people. When the plumber arrived the tech at AOS started arguing with the plumber. The plumber did as requested from AOS. Apparently the tech knew about the gas valve being defective. The defective piece just cost me 130.00. Class action should be launched on these people.
Had an 80 gallon AO Smith water heater installed at my new construction house. 2.5 years after the problems started happening. First call to the plumber and 2 bad heating elements AND 2 bad thermostats all replaced. Unit was still having issues. I had to reset the unit DAILY to get hot water as it kept shutting itself off. Called Tech Support. They said I was going to have to get a volt meter and go see what the problem was myself (they would walk me through it, oh how nice). I'm no electrician. I refused to do that as it was a liability for me to get shocked. They REFUSED to send a technician because they didn't have anybody within 70 miles of my house.
A few weeks later, deep problems again! This time the unit started LEAKING from two different internal pipes. HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE. The darn thing was still under warranty as I had not hit the 3rd year of service yet! Getting a replacement next week, but hey, another 3 years of service ahead? Time will tell. STAY AWAY FROM THIS BRAND. IT IS JUNK!!!
We have had an A.O. Smith water heater in our home since 1994. Never have had a problem until the June 05, 2016 (22 years old) when it finally sprung a leak underneath and partially flooded the basement. I would recommend this product highly and if I could afford another one, I would be replacing my old one with its new replacement. Very long lived, high quality and always heating efficiently. We had the 40 gallon, 32,000 BTU and 4 people with lots of laundry and a dishwasher utilizing the hot water. A+.
2nd water heater now from A.O. Smith. Both leaked into the electrical contact compartment in just a few years - rotting the wires making the water heater useless. Something is very wrong with the build of their tank. Others have the ability to prevent corrosion/sediment decay but this product evidently is extremely weak. I would never recommend an A.O. Smith electric water heater to anyone.
We purchased a new GPVH 50 100 in 2007 after our hot water heater of 15 years finally failed. This system was supposed to be the Cadillac of hot water heaters... Not so. Now after a second replacement in 2012, 5 service calls costing over $500; AO Smith says we have NO warranty. Wow! Even with repeated failures of the O2 sensor and pressure switch, they claim it's either our fault or that of the installer. On this unit from 2012, the top is already beginning to rust. Going to try and limp by until this GPVH 50 100 fails again... For sure we will never buy another product from AO SMITH, and will warn our friends as well... I suggest you do the same.
I replaced a 40-gallon AO Smith gas HWH in 2012 after only 4 years of use. The replacement unit just went bad after less than 4 years of use but AO Smith will not satisfy the 6-year warranty claiming the warranty is only valid from the installation date of the first unit in 2018. First of all two units with only 4 years of use before leaking is unacceptable. Secondly, not supporting the product you sell is even worse. I will never buy another one because AO Smith makes junk!
This is by far the worst customer service ever... Our water heater is only 3 years old and we have had to jump through hoops to prove that it is in fact the water heater. After 2 plumbers, the city inspector, 600 gallons of water to flush system, a new android, they still refuse to warranty the heater. This is unbelievable... I have no recourse but to purchase another - not a A.O. Smith...
We bought a A.O. Smith gas water heater (5/12/2014) to replace our old A.O. Smith water gas heater (last for 8 yrs. with no issues). We were told that A.O. Smith was the best gas water heater in the market. Not anymore! New A.O. Smith Water is poor build and we constantly having issues with the unit (brand new unit with bad burner screen). We would used the unit for couple days and it would said the unit needs to be cleaned again. We constantly had to reset the unit by shutting it off and turned it back on to get hot water. Otherwise we would constantly have to paid someone to come out and check. ($99 just to come out. Plus labor for whatever they need to do.) DON'T BUY A.O. SMITH UNIT, UNLESS YOU WANT TO KEEP PAID FOR SOMEONE TO COME OUT!!! Plus no hot water!!! Bad warranty!!!
I purchased an A.O. Smith water heater 2 1/2 years ago. It has a 6-year warranty. The water heater stopped heating and the upper panel leaked water in the panel causing a short. It began to smoke and it is fried. The entire utility room filled with smoke and when the door was open it came out and filled the house with smoke. I can't begin to imagine what would have happened if we were not home or the kids were home alone. We had to cut off power to it. I would never buy this product and do not even want a replacement of the same brand! With all the complaints I can't believe they are still in business.
I've had 2 of them. GDFE 50 gallon water heaters. First one bought and installed 1-2-2010. FAILED after 3 years almost to the day. Replaced under warranty, but it still cost me $500 for re-install costs. 2nd one was installed 1-4-2013. I was on vacation last week in California when my father in law called telling me there was a problem. His wife was walking the dog and noticed water spewing out of the exhaust vent on the outside of my house. Father in law was notified and turned off the water ASAP. The heater had failed for the second time, same issue, inner tank had ruptured. It was leaking onto the floor but the drain was keeping up so far. Luckily he was there. If he hadn't been, my basement would have flooded disastrously. This heater also supplied my in floor radiant heat tubes. Well, it had been snowing that week and was down in the 30's temp-wise.
My father lives in my house and had no water, or heat during the next 4 days while we dealt with replacement. The original heater cost me $4500. Add the $500 for the re-install. So far, $5000. I had a POLARIS water heater for 15 years when I built the house before the Vertex's. I am the original owner of the house. So, due to the crappy product, and from the average at best experiences the distributor and installer had had with AO SMITH, and not being at home (still on vacay in California), I told the installer to put another POLARIS back in, and I would deal with AO SMITH when I returned.
I contacted AO SMITH, they asked for serial #'s and pics. I supplied them and a few other facts. The emails continued for 3 days, getting nowhere. The end was, "Too bad, so sad. Your warranty is up by 2 extra months". No acceptance for shoddy product or care. Another $4500 down the toilet. Their only help was, "We recommend you have a good maintenance schedule for your new water heater". Well, DUH. How about YOU BUILD A BETTER PRODUCT! You stand behind it! 2 water heaters in 6 years and 2 months. Can you spell CRAP??? DON'T BUY ONE. EVER.
Bought this to replace an oil fired water heater, due to nearing $1000 for a fill up at $4/gallon on oil, ouch. Got right scared and replaced it with this model. Did not take long and running out of hot water after two back to back showers, long showers in the 15-20 minute range, wife and teenager. Happened with oil fired but very few times. At that point lowered pressure to less than 50 psi from 60 psi and elevated tank temperature to 130F from 120F, switched to hybrid mode, flow at about 2.0 gallons per minute from a well so ground water at 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Helped but not enough. Raised electrical bill 20-30 dollars per month, savings are there even at $2 per gallon for oil. Had to put a point of use electric water heater in line to make up the extra hot water in high demand so savings are less. Called factory and asked for 5500 watt heater element and they say that was a no go. Still evaluating point of use heater.
This is the second replacement water heater, and it is just junk. After 13months, something keeps making noise, possibly the blower. It turns on and runs for long periods. The technician and company just say that because there is no 'fault' message, they cannot figure it out. The unit is in California, in a hot watershed, outdoors. It was installed to code with permits with all specs complied with. The first unit thermocoupler failed within the first year. Then, the interior imploded. The 2nd unit, a replacement 13 months old, now has a noise that the company and the technician cannot understand. Previous unit lasted nearly over 15 years in the same place. The likely problem is the motherboard is failing, but the company won't honor their parts warranty. This is a $3000 plus piece of junk. The company is worthless.
I am a union plumber and thought highly of A.O. Smith Water Heaters until I started using them. The product is very poorly made. Yes they will send you parts as it breaks and it will, but costly to hire me to fix. So my first experience using the warranty was enough for me. They told me they were back ordered, they would make the part within 24 hours from time I ordered it (thursday a little afternoon pst.). That they would ship it friday. If I pay 30 dollars I can get it Monday, so I did. Told customer bad news. They were fine till monday. Great. Monday comes, no part. Only to be told part won't be ship 'till wed. Morale of story, product is garbage, kvl warranty is garbage, save a lot of money and headaches. Don't buy A.O. SMITH. THEY ARE GARBAGE.
A. O. Smith HWH installed. Made a hissing sound day 1. Plumber returned a few times, said it was defective. I called the A. O. Smith. Said they would replace but had to use their recommended plumber, I did. They don't pay for install, RIDICULOUS!!
In 2009 purchase an OA Smith Water heater - in 2012 water heater leaked and since it was under warranty had the heater replaced with a cost for warranty fee. Had problems with this replacement and had to pay for factory serviceman to come out and replace a part (pilot kept going out). All is well until Feb 2016 when the water heater (replaced in 2012). Again went back to distributor only to find out that the one installed in 2012 was out of warranty. Had to purchase another new water heater - therefore spending over $900. For 2 water heaters in 8 years. Not counting money spent for installation, service and water damage to my finished basement. NEVER AGAIN will I purchase "the top of the line" AO Smith water heater and neither should you. Had gotten no response or help from corporate or consumer affairs.
Had an AO Smith water heater installed 22 months ago. 13 month into the ownership it died. Thermal coupling was replaced under warranty. Not the labor. The labor was another $175. 4 months later it died again. Same part. Same additional $175. Another 5 months and once again, it is dead. They were kind enough to look in their manual and "know exactly what's needed" and send out the part. Which was missing the gas line compression fitting. Which is not available at any local plumbing supply, gas and fireplace supply, or Home Depot. Another $175 plumber visit however was charged. Thankfully this guy pulled out the faulty part. How did the part keep failing? The tank is leaking of course. See the picture with the mold all over it. At this point I am not holding my breath for any warranty coverage as I wouldn't want this POS replaced with the same thing.
My 2013 50 gallon W/H Model #GCV 50300 blew the bottom out last night. A. O. gave me the local dist # & they said it was going to cost a $100 Warranty fee to exchange the W/H AND my plumber has to bring the W/H to them before they will release the new one. This makes labor double & that is not covered under warranty. I asked A. O. to cash me out the remaining worth of the 2-year-old W/H and they refused. A. O. Smith Water Heaters are BAD, BAD, BAD!!! I manage 100 properties & will never buy their products again!!!
Model XCV50100 - My husband and I live in an apartment. Our dryer and furnace are right next to this water heater. We have owned it for less than five years. The pilot light has gone out four different times resulting in no hot water. It takes our plumber three times to get it to stay on. I called and wrote customer service for this. Lo and behold discontinued model. They blamed it on everything else but their horrible lemon of a product. Horrible experience.
I am a Plumber since 1976. I have dealt with AO Smith since I began the trade. Since around the year 2000 they have went downhill on their products, AO Smith also makes Lochinvar, Whirlpool, and American water heaters. They will not admit to their problems. Believe me! The customer help people have no knowledge of the product. Just a guide book they read from, so don't expect help from them.
Hot Water Tank Model #GVC40 100 - Within the last 6 years of having this model installed brand new, I have had to call out the service man 5 times to help with the restarting of the pilot light. Every time it goes out, it will not restart with the normal directions printed on the tank. The service man has replaced a thermocouple, re-terminated the wire on the starter switch, another time took the entire bottom apart and did something else, etc, etc. After trying to look up directions on the internet of troubleshooting myself, I saw that many other consumers were having the same trouble. This product should have been RECALLED for DEFECTS! After spending over $1000 in past repairs, not including the original purchase price and installation, I am now looking into totally replacing the unit and spreading the word of this terrible product. Consumer ALERT: DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!!
We have a 5 year old, 50-gallon A.O. Smith water heater. It has a broken thermocouple. This is a $10 item and relatively available. And easy to replace, DIY. But because of the design, the A.O. Smith thermocouple can only be replaced by ordering a complete new burner assembly at about $100 and not available except by special order. So it takes several days to arrive. So we are without hot water for several days unless we are willing to buy a whole new water heater for $500. We have opted for the new water heater and we can guarantee that this will never be one made by A.O. Smith.
Hi, I would like to escalate this to the highest management of A. O. Smith. I was not aware that you guys have such unprofessional post sales services and your technicians are highly unskilled and immature as your products are. I have purchased the geyser 1 month back and its creating lot of sound. When I lodged the complaint, the technician which was sent was highly unprofessional . He misbehaved and acted like a Bully and Gunda and said that you have to live with this noisy sound. He was not ready to listen and told to complain to anyone we want. Post sales service is highly unprofessional and of very low standards. When I asked his full name he said, "My name is Ravi and you can complain to anyone about me. You want? I don't care." Technician Name is 'RAVI'. It was not expected from Brand like A. O. Smith. Deeply regretting to choose product of your brand. My Geyser Model is HSE-VAS-015. Date of purchase is 9 Nov 2015.
A. O. Smith Water Heaters Company Profile
- Company Name:
- A. O. Smith