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NAECA 2015 Bradford White Warranty Replacement Process

Jul 01, 2015

From James C. McGouldrick, Jr., Vice President of Sales, Bradford White

Bradford White’s current limited warranty policy is stated within the warranty document that is supplied with every water heater:

“If a defect occurs within the warranty period, we will provide a replacement water heater of our manufacture (or at our option repair) any unit which develops a leak in the steel tank within the tank warranty period. To obtain a replacement, you must forward the rating plate from the defective unit to us. If government regulations require the replacement water heater to have features not found in the defective water heater, you will be required to pay the difference in price represented by those government required features.”

With the NAECA transition date of April 16, 2015 being right around the corner, many contractors and wholesalers are asking: “How are you going to handle warranties relative to NAECA?” As you know, deciding how to administer our warranty policy when it applies to the replacement of existing product with NAECA 2015 compliant product is difficult because the new models will be different in size, performance and cost from the water heaters produced prior to April 16th, 2015. In some cases, a direct replacement will not be available. In other cases, the customer may not be able to install the recommended replacement heater because of dimensional constraints or other reasons.

Based on a thorough review of the options, we have chosen to take a simplified approach to the administration of pre-NAECA 2015 warranty replacements. We looked at successful past programs (such as FVIR) and the warranty upgrade process. Our goals were to streamline the process so that wholesalers and contractors will know what their options are, and what the costs will be before the contractor has to explain the warranty process to the homeowner.

Much like FVIR, we will provide the wholesaler with a credit for the amount paid for the replacement product, less a deduction to cover the cost of the new government required modifications. To simplify the process, the Warranty Upgrade Levels (as listed on page 4 of the Wholesale Price Schedule, effective date May 1, 2014 – attachment 1) will determine the amount of the deduction from the warranty credit issued. There will be an additional level, Level 3, to cover the unique situations where a comparable replacement is not available.

A few examples are shown below:
- If an MI40T6FBN (Level 1) fails under warranty, we will issue credit for the amount the wholesaler paid for the RG240T replacement, less a deduction of $50.
- If an M2XR75S6BN (Level 2) fails under warranty, we will issue credit for the amount the wholesaler paid for the RG275H replacement, less a deduction of $80.
- If an M280R6DS (Level 3) fails under warranty, we will issue credit for the amount the wholesaler paid for the RE2H80R, less a deduction of $750.

For your convenience, an addendum to the 02/02/2015 Bradford White Wholesale Price Schedule shows a complete list of the Bradford White suggested replacement models and their corresponding levels. If another model is chosen for replacement by the customer not indicated on this list, we will issue credit for the lesser amount. For example, if a customer replaces an MI40T6FBN with an RG230T, we will issue credit for an RG240T less $50, or for the amount paid for the RG230T, whichever is less.

In consideration of the warranty replacement cost, Bradford White will provide the end customer with a brand new limited six (6) year warranty instead of the remainder of the original limited warranty period. For example, if a six (6) year limited warranty product installed in 2014 fails in 2016 after two years of use, the replacement Bradford White water heater would carry a new (6) year limited warranty beginning in 2016. This warranty extension does not apply to:

- Products originally warranted other than six (6) years, and/or
- Products that carry the new Bradford White model structure (i.e. a NAECA 2015 compliant replacement of a NAECA 2015 compliant product)

Original products that were upgraded to a ten (10) year warranty at the time of purchase will continue to carry the remainder of the limited warranty upgrade. For example, if a ten (10) year limited warranty product installed in 2014 fails in 2016 after two (2) years of use, the 3replacement Bradford White water heater would carry the remainder of the original ten (10) year limited warranty, or eight (8) years in this example.

Lastly, we recognize that Bradford White contractors will encounter questions regarding NAECA from their customers as they install new NAECA 2015 compliant heaters in both warranty and non-warranty situations. We’ve attached a sample of the brochure that will be available to help contractors communicate with homeowners regarding NAECA. This brochure will be available for order through the standard Bradford White literature ordering process.

If you have any questions regarding the administration of warranty replacements, please contact your Bradford White representative or our Warranty Department at (800) 531-2111.

Attachments: Att 1_Upgrade Levels