In 1998 I had the plumbing replaced in my house. Everything was
replaced at a cost of nearly 10 grand. Last summer the house was
destroyed by a tornado. I was able to salvage some of the furnishings
and personal stuff, but the house had to be demolished. After the
storm we put everything we were able to save in a storage shed. We
are finally moving into a new house in a different city. I just moved
all our stored items to our new house and am going thru all the stuff.
I just found the receipt for the plumbing work and started thinking
that they said this plumbing was guaranteed for 20 years. Well, that
was only 9 years ago, and the plumbing completely failed. I believe I
should get a refund for the full amount of the labor and materials.
If this was your situation, would you just contact the company, or
would you file a court case without contacting them?
Most warranties of this type have disclaimers for things like home fires,
acts of God, etc.
Even if this one doesn't have disclaimers, the fact that you actually
removed the plumbing that the contractor put in place without contacting him
first would void the warranty. Usually warranties that cover both materials
and labor are "repair or replace" type warranties, meaning that if something
goes wrong the contractor has the option to repair the problem (in a case of
something like a leaky fitting that can be tightened or re-sweated, or
replace the part if it's something like a valve that actually breaks and
can't be repaired. In your case you didn't offer the contractor the chance
to look at the plumbing before the house was demolished, so I doubt that any
judge or court would side with you. Remember, the plumbing warranty ONLY
covers the plumbing. As strange as it sounds, if the contractor wasn't
protected by an "act of God" disclaimer he could have legally repaired the
wrecked plumbing as it was in the remains of the destroyed house. I'm not a
lawyer so I can't give you accurate legal advice on your particular
situation, but I own a manufacturing company and have studied liability and
warranty issues thoroughly over the past 20 years. You can't buy a new car
with a 5 year bumper to bumper warranty, wreck it and take it to a junkyard,
then ask the car company for a new car under the warranty. That being said,
in this wacky day and age you could probably find a lawyer to take the case!
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