Are you in the market for a new shower head or faucet fixture? Maybe you already bought one or moved to a new home?
Then you're probably wondering if your fixtures come with a warranty.
Good news! Plumbing Fixture Manufacturers have set the bar really high when it comes to covering defects and delivering exceptional customer service. They look for ways to help you, instead of ways to void the warranty. But there are still some caveats.
What you'll find is that most of the top manufacturers have a very similar warranty from one to the next. So, once you've read one, you've probably read them all. But don't just take my word for it!
In this article, we're breaking down the 5 most important parts of the top plumbing manufacturers' warranties so you never have to unnecessarily pay for a repair part or new faucet fixture again!
1. Warranty Period
Companies like Moen and Delta Faucet have made the Lifetime Warranty a given when it comes to warranties on plumbing fixtures. So, you'll often find that the big players have a Lifetime Warranty. Even newer companies like HammerHead Showers offer a Lifetime Limited Warranty for their all-metal shower heads and accessories.
There are some exceptions, however.
For example, the Lifetime Warranties generally cover the end consumer of the product that uses the product in their own residence. For those that are using these in commercial settings, that includes not just hotels but rental properties, the warranty period usually drops to 5 Years. That's because there is usually much more wear-and-tear on products in these commercial settings.
2. Who Is Covered?
Now, I have heard plenty of people say," So, there's a Lifetime Warranty, ehh?...Whose life?"
That's not just a really corny joke but a rather good question. These warranties typically only cover the original owner. That means if you sell your home, the next homeowner is not covered under the warranty. That's because most warranties by faucet manufacturers are non-transferable.
However, that doesn't mean if you just bought a new home and the fixtures are leaking that you should just go to the store and buy a new shower head or faucet. It's ALWAYS worth giving a call to the manufacturer to see if they'd still be willing to cover the warranty. They don't always do it, but you may just get a nice person that day who is willing to oblige.
3. What Issues Are Covered?
In general, you're warranted that your product will be:
- Leak- and drip-free during normal use
- All parts and finishes of the product will be free from defects in material and manufacturing workmanship.
The coverage is pretty broad and covers all the issues that you'd likely encounter with a faucet warranty.
4. Exclusions & Voiding Warranty
While the coverage is broad, there are some exceptions to these warranties. Obviously, we've already covered the fact that the warranty only covers the original homeowner as long as they own their home. Here are the other biggies:
A. Negligence ~ As you can imagine, things like improper installation and the use of abrasive cleaning products will void your warranty. So, keep that ammonia under the kitchen cabinet because you won't have coverage if you strip the finish off of your shower head or faucet!
For the proper way to clean your shower head and faucet, a little white vinegar and a microfiber cloth go a long way.
And if you don't feel fully confident with your DIY skills, hire a plumber. Plumbing is one of the most under-appreciated professions and your support helps ensure that we have a new generation of skilled plumbers to build and repair this country's plumbing. Rant over!
B. Labor ~ With that said, you should know that labor is not covered under these warranties. That means if your product develops a leak after having just paid a professional plumber to install your new product, you're going to have to foot the bill for the plumber to come back out and install your replacement product/part.
C. Electronics & Custom Parts ~ Hold on, I'm not saying that these parts are necessarily excluded, but they have their own warranty coverage.
So, if you have an electronic faucet like the Moen MotionSense or Delta Touch2O, you'll want to consult those warranties to ensure you know what you are and aren't covered for. Generally speaking, the electronics are only covered for 5 years.
D. Using Non-OEM Parts ~ Let's say you have a product that is leaking like a sieve and you don't have time to call the manufacturer's customer service and get the repair part mailed to you. So, you run to your local hardware store and see that the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part is nearly $50 bucks. Yikes! But wait, right next to it is a generic part that is half the price. SOLD!...WRONG!
For one, these parts are simply inferior products that do not last as long. But, more importantly, using generic non-OEM parts will void your warranty.
Well, I guess who cares since you didn't use the warranty in the first place. And how will they ever know unless you tell them? They won't know. So don't mention it if you ever do call the company in the future.
Pro-Tip: This leads me to my pro tip. If you're in a pinch and need to fix the leaking shower before your in-laws arrive in a few hours, call the manufacturer and figure out exactly what part you need. Have them send that part to you in the mail. Then, go to the local hardware store and get that part so you have it right away. When you receive the one from the manufacturer, you'll have a back up part. It's very likely that if the part fails once, it will fail again. And nothing fails more often than those dang shower valve cartridges.
5. Repair Parts & Replacement Products
In the event that your faucet or showerhead develops an issue covered under the warranty, you may receive repair parts or a brand new replacement.
What you end up getting will depend on the nature of the issue and type of product?
Regarding shower heads, most manufacturers only sell their showerheads as kits. So if you have a hand held shower head and the plastic shower holder breaks, they'll likely send you an entirely new set.
Don't put yourself in this situation and buy a high-quality metal shower heads and accessories from the start, like all of the products by HammerHead Showers.
Regarding faucets, it is more cost effective for manufacturers to offer repair parts for each part of the faucet. The part that most often goes bad is the cartridge, which can lead to your faucet leaking. While it might surprise you to find this out, YES, cartridges are covered under manufacturer warranties.
How To Get Replacements Through Your Warranty
Now that you know what is and isn't covered, you may want to know how to contact the manufacturer.
There are 2 ways to get help:
1. Phone: Calling the manufacturer is the best way to get help with your defective product. It can be pretty technical explaining what's wrong with your product and being able to have someone diagnose the issue over the phone is the surest way to get to the bottom of the issue without having a plumber coming over to give an assessment. Moreover, you'll get help right away if the call center is opened. I wouldn't worry too much about hold times, as company's like Moen keep hold times to 10 minutes or less. You will definitely want to be next to the product so you can answer as many of their questions as possible.
2. Email: As you can imagine, trying to explain what's wrong via email can become a bit wordy. But, you don't have to wait on hold. If you do send an email, make sure you attach some images of the product and what exactly is going wrong. This will help to expedite the diagnosis of the product and get you the replacement right away. Still, you're looking at 24-48 hours to get a response with email which may not be feasible if water is spraying to the ceiling every time you turn your shower on.
What You'll Need When Filing A Warranty Claim
Now, if you bought your faucet 10 years ago and didn't file away the receipt, that doesn't mean that you're not covered. Yes, faucet manufacturer's state that they need proof of purchase, but a confident recollection of where and when you bought your product will often make up for a missing receipt.
Here's generally what you'll be asked to ensure you get the proper coverage through your shower head and faucet warranty:
- Are you the original owner?
- When did you buy the product?
- Where did you buy the product?
- What is the model name and/or model number? (Unless you have your packaging or receipt, this is often hard to find. There are numbers all over faucets and shower heads, some are just industry codes that have nothing to do with the specific model.)
- What is wrong with the product?
- Can you email images of the product to us? Not everyone has this capability, but it will certainly make sure that they get to the bottom of the issue ASAP. Just make sure you snag some photos before you leave the house if you are planning to multi-task and make a call in from work.