Bought on the Internet

Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find an announcement from boiler and water heater manufacturer Navien that they will not warranty any equipment purchased on the Internet. Stickers on the packing make it clear to the purchaser. It’s likely we will see more announcements like this in an age where one can buy anything online, including HVAC equipment. There are serious safety and liability issues when this equipment is installed by people that are not qualified to do so.

In this country, the homeowner is king. They are allowed to do virtually any type of work on their home. “You can do it,” the big box renovation retailers advertise. They can buy an air conditioner on the Internet, install it and charge it with propane from a local retailer.

Some countries have limits on what a homeowner can do, but that doesn’t seem to apply in Canada. Technically, they should have their work signed off on by a licensed trade person, but how often does that happen? The do-it-yourself brigade can really hurt themselves and their families with a bad installation.

From the manufacturer or wholesaler’s point of view, they want to know the equipment is being installed properly. The manufacturer’s instructions make it clear that the equipment is only to be installed by qualified trades. It’s not only the safety/liability issues; they want it to work as designed. Bad installations damage a manufacturer’s reputation because the resulting problems are usually blamed on the equipment.

That being said, it’s tough to turn down a sale. Most wholesalers in the HVAC/R industry make it perfectly clear – often with a sign on their front doors – that they sell to the trade only. But equipment available for sale on the Internet often originates with a wholesaler somewhere in the chain.

A few years ago I reported how a contractor in Edmundston, N.B., a dealer for a well-established heat pump manufacturer, found himself competing against a wholesaler just across the border in Maine who was advertising and offering free delivery of equipment from the same manufacturer. Never mind that it was slightly different and not certified for use in Canada; it was cheaper. Just about everyone in the industry has heard about cases like this.

The Internet isn’t all bad; as fewer wholesalers maintain an aisle of obsolete parts, sometimes it’s the best way to track down that piece you need for a 30-year-old boiler, or whatever.

But I suspect the liability issues alone will have us seeing more stickers on packaging like that from Navien. The industry must protect itself.


Challenges mount for HVAC/R industry
The HVAC/R industry faces many challenges these days – increasing government regulation, constantly changing refrigerant and energy efficiency rules, end-of-life stewardship for equipment, the ongoing struggle to attract young people to the industry, not to mention the every day challenges at all levels simply to do business in this constantly changing world...Full Story
Ont. opens carbon tax purse to fight climate change
A new Ontario government program will use millions of dollars raised through carbon taxes to boost green technologies...Full Story
Introducing Mark Tomlin
Publisher Mark Vreugdenhil is pleased to introduce the newest member of our team. Mark Tomlin joins Plumbing and HVAC Magazine as National Sales Manager...Full Story
Navien takes stand against internet sales
California-based boiler and water heater manufacturer Navien has taken a strong stand against equipment that is sold direct to consumers on the Internet...Full Story
Rheem earns Energy Star Manufacturer of the Year award
The Energy Star program has awarded Rheem with its HVAC Manufacturer of the Year award for 2017...Full Story

Built-in DHW
The new wall-mounted Vitodens 100-W, B1KA gas-fired condensing combination boiler from Viessmann features on demand domestic hot water capability...more

Modular manifold kits
These new Ready-Link modular manifold kits from Navien are designed to save contractors time on multi-unit tankless water heater installations...more

Combination boiler
The new Noritz Residential Combination Boiler (NRCB) allows for simultaneous residential domestic hot water and space heating and performs at 95 percent AFUE...more

New PEX sizes for Viega rewards
Viega has added new larger ViegaPEX Barrier tubing sizes for radiant applications to its Viega Rewards program to better serve commercial contractors. Tubing in 5/8 and 3/4-inch sizes are now eligible...more

Low cost root cutting
The Metro power drain cleaner from General Pipe Cleaners is designed to provide root-cutting power at a bargain price...more

Canadian Design-Build Institute National Design-Build Conference
Oct. 12 - 13th, 2017

Delta Hotels Downtown Calgary. Please call (613) 236-9455 or visit Holiday Inn St. John’s, Portugal Cove Road, St. John’s, Nfld.

Canadian Hydronics Conference
Oct. 16 - 17th, 2017

Marriott Resort Edmonton River Cree, Edmonton. Visit or call 1-800-639-2474 for more information.

CIPHEX Roadshow
OCT. 17th, 2017

Edmonton, Marriott Resort Edmonton River Cree, Enoch, Alta. Visit or call Elizabeth McCullough at 1-800-639-2474 for more information.

Current Issue
Plumbing & HVAC!
  • HVAC/R industry faces challenges
  • Selling hydronics in a green world
  • Ammonia DX systems gain ground
  • Drain camera care and maintenance
March 2016
Copyright © 2017 Marked Business Media Inc all rights reserved | Designed and Developed by