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Heaters installed but have never worked - electrician now charging call out fee

I paid an electrician to install two night storage heaters in the summer months at a property I rent out. On completion of the job, I visited the property and asked the tenants to test the heaters that night as I was not able to (due to the nature of how work night storage heaters operate). In the meantime I paid the electrician in good faith that all was in working order. However, the tenants waited until the winter months to test them and one doesn't work. The electrician who installed them has been back out three times (according to him) to check them and has since concluded that one is faulty. He is now charging me a call out fee of £60 + VAT. Is this fair conduct?

3 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

It really depends on who supplied the heaters and what if any written warranty you were given by the electrician. But as a general rule of thumb the electrician/installer is responsible up to a point for the materials and equipment that they provide for the job.

It does seem odd that the electrician has needed three visits to diagnose that the heater itself is faulty, as it could have easily been tested on the day of installation if not the first re-visit (makes you wonder how competent an electrician he/she is?)

I'd suggest asking for a detailed description of what tests/checks were undertaken on each of the three visits and how much time was spent at the property. It only takes about 15mins to wire a temporary flexible cable to the heater so that can be plugged into any standard 13 amp socket. This will then provide an immediate supply so that the heater can be tested (it's not rocket science!) - see link below for more information

If the electrician supplied the heaters, then it does seem a bit unfair. If however you supplied the heaters, then he is obviously charging this additional fee to cover the costs of his time to check/test something that was not supplied by him, and therefore is really outside the scope of his work.

Just as an aside, can you be 100% sure that the tenants have not got any furniture, curtains or other objects close to the heater? Only the manufacturer's instructions require that nothing is placed closer than about 500mm from the heater as it can affect its operation and make the thermal cut-out inside operate.


Answered 23rd Nov 2013

I would say that it is not good conduct and would ask whether he offered you the opportunity to purchase an insurance backed warranty. I myself would feel obliged to repair this fault free of charge, he should have really done a thorough check to make sure they worked.


Answered 23rd Nov 2013

I can only answer for myself and if I install I will give a years warranty on all work and offer a free call out for problems with install. We can all miss something but I try to make sure my customers get the service they pay for, I'm not cheap but feel I offer quality service


Answered 23rd Nov 2013

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