In May 2014 I had a totally new bathroom refit - bought from and totally
fitted by B&Q.
A ladder radiator has started going rusty under the rungs - quite bad in
places. I don't know why - there has been no sign of radiator leaking: the
central heating system has not visibly been losing water or pressure.
I have contacted B&Q and they have told me I need to contact the manufacturer
of the radiator to see what they propose. On the B&Q web site it says the
radiator is guaranteed for 5 years.
On the t&c of my contract with B&Q - it says "These conditions do not affect
your statutory rights."
Suggestions on how to proceed please,
Give up. three 'non stick' roasting pans later from Waitrose (all had
the nonstick coating coming away after a few uses) thats what I did.
I bought one from Tesco instead. It seems better.
Life is too short.
"When one man dies it's a tragedy. When thousands die it's statistics."
I assume the warranty of 5 years was issued by the radiator
manufacturer not the supplier? If so you have legal rights against
both the seller and the manufacturers guarantee. The Sale and Supply
of Goods to Consumer Regulations 2002 applies to guarantees and makes
them enforceable contracts
It is usually worth trying the guarantee route first. The
manufacturer may often produce a better and quicker solution than
going via the supplier. Trying the manufacturer first does not affect
any action you might want to take against the seller later.
Your purchase was in 2014 so is covered by the Sale of Goods Act (not
the later Consumer Rights Act 2015). The item is 4 years old. It is
your responsibility to prove that the failure was a result of a defect
present in the item at the time of sale. To do this you may need to
have the rail examined by an expert and a report produced identifying
the cause of the failure. You have to pay for this although the cost
can be recovered if the case ends up in court and you win.
One advantage of going to the manufacturer initially is that they are
likely to be more aware of failure modes than the seller and usually
have no problem replacing items which have failed prematurely. Sending
them an explanation of the problem with some photos of the damage
may well produce a replacement. Equally if they identify the problem
as poor maintenance you have the choice of going ahead with an expert
report of your own (which may well say the same but cost you money)
or accepting their assessment.
The most likely cause of corrosion under the rungs will be a
combination of condensation on the radiator in the bathroom and
inadequate cleaning. If the radiator has no electrical auxiliary
heater and the central heating is off the radiator will often be
colder than the air in the bathroom, especially if the bathroom
ventilation is poor. Water vapour condenses on the radiator surface
and gathers on the bottom of the rungs where it is slow to evaporate.
Mould grows on the damp surface. If the radiator is painted or powder
coated this is more likely than if it is chromium plated. The mould
attacks the surface finish until it reaches the steel underneath and
causes rust. Most towel radiator instructions recommend regular
wiping with a dry cloth to minimise mould growth.
Its a towel rail. It should be designed to take wet towels, that's what
Your contract is with B&Q, ok try the manufacturer route but don't be
fobbed off by B&Q that took your money and offered 5 years warranty.
Of course it is, that doesn't mean to say it is supposed to do it
without any routine cleaning for 4 years. Most towel rails come with
a very brief set of maintenance instructions suggesting they are wiped
dry at intervals.
B&Q may not have offered any warranty, most often it is the
manufacturer or distributor who does. Any warranty, no matter who
offers it, forms a binding contract in a consumer sale.
No such thing.
They are towel warmers, not driers.
Towels should be dried where there is sufficient ventilation
(something the OP hasn't mentioned) or in a tumble dryer,
not chucked on a very inefficient 'radiator'.
Did the OP make the mistake of replacing the original rad
with a towel 'radiator' ?. If so the bathroom isn't getting
hot enough to allow moisture to be driven off and removed
B&Q "designed" the new bathroom and all accessories in it: so I am not aware
that *I* made any mistake (apart from buying from B&Q in the first place)
As far as I am concerned - the "design", checks that all items were suitable
and provision of all items and the installation was the responsibility of B&Q.
There were no special instructions on how to look after the radiator.
I have looked at the manufacturers website and I cannot see any telephone,
address or email address. All contact seems to be carried out by filling in
forms. They say that they are a wholesale manufacturer.
(As an aside: do web-sites have to have contact details? People should not
have to complete a form)
I am not going to deal with them directly: as far as I am concerned it is a B&Q
I have decided that the next step is a letter before action to B&Q HQ.
Thanks for various comments.
I have written to B&Q with a letter entitled Letter before Action.
In that letter I have documented what has happened - and given them a certain
time to tell me how they wish to resolve the matter. If I have had not had a
satisfactory explanation of their plan before a certain date (ie a plan - not
the completed replacement) , I have said that I will commence a court action
What is legally wrong with that please?
From Citizens Advice
"Going to court is the last resort. The court will expect you to find
another way of reaching an agreement before taking your claim to
court. Otherwise, the court might decide that you will not get your
costs back or that you should pay the other partys costs, even if you
win the case."
Try and get a refund, and buy a SS one from the likes of TLC. Mine is many
years old and still perfect.
Chrome on steel isn't ideal for a damp area like a bathroom. Hence most
cars now using SS rather than chrome.
*Happiness is seeing your mother-in-law on a milk carton
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
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