Grand Rapids, Michigan
With Company response Not resolved

I have a Kenmore water heater from Sears with a 12 year warranty. The warranty states, "Sears will 1) provide free water heater parts for those that are defective in materials or workmanship, and 2) supply a free water heater for one that develops a leak. For the second through twelfth year from purchase date, you must pay the labor cost for installation of water heater."

Note that it does not say that I must use Sears technicians to install a replacement water heater or parts that are defective.

My water heater is 6 years old. The drain valve is leaking. After cleaning up standing water from half the room in my basement and moving the wet items that were in the water, I discovered that there are instructions in the owners manual showing how to replace the drain valve washer. This is where the water is dripping from. Since my warranty covers free parts, I called the number in the warranty, which is Sears Warranty Service, to get a new drain valve washer. They said I could order and pay for the part myself, but if I want it to be free, a service technician must come to my house and order the part for me, and the minimum charge for the service technician is $75. I challenged this because my warranty covers free parts, and there is nothing in the warrant about having to pay a service technician to order the part.

I spent an hour and a half on the phone total, in two calls and many transfers to different departments. The service department will not order the part; they only schedule service technicians to visit my home, with a $75 minimum charge. The parts department will not order the part for free, they say only a service technician can enter a no-charge order. The warranty department says I only have a 5 year warranty, and they have no record of a 12 year pars warranty, but they said since I have it in writing they will have to honor it for 12 years. But they say I have to pay for a service call before they will order the part for me.

I am very frustrated. This is not a complicated repair and the part is not that expensive. Sears should be happy to provide this part to me. I don't understand why they are so opposed to providing the part.

This really seems like a scam. Sears says the parts warranty is covered by the manufacturer, Kenmore. They say that I cannot contact Kenmore directly to request free replacement parts, only Sears can request parts from Kenmore, but I have to pay a Sears technician to order the part, and they have a $75 minimum charge. Isn't this a scam, providing a warranty, but requiring me to pay a charge to before I can claim anything covered by the warranty?

I wonder if I should be asking for a free replacement water heater. According to the warranty, this should be covered because its leaking. There is no fine print saying the leak must be coming from the tank, or that Sears has the option to repair it instead of replace it. The warranty also states that, "you must pay the labor cost for water heater installation." It does not say that the installer must be chosen by Sears, so I assume I can choose my preferred plumber instead of scheduling it with Sears.

Product or Service Mentioned: Sears Installation.

Monetary Loss: $20.

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I have a Sears Kenmore Water Heater. It too has a 12 year warranty.

I got the printout of my Purchase of the Water heater from a small Sears store. They no longer carry water heaters. I call Sears and they said I had to pay $99 for a technician to diagnose. Based on the diagnosis they will supply the needed part.

The tank is leaking so the Warranty says they will send out a replacement. I originally installed but some of their people say they must do the install others say I can do it myself. I would like to take the tank out and bring it in for for any diagnosis to keep from paying the Technician visit. I guess I will just have to wait out and find what they will offer.

My issue with their requirement is that the earliest diagnosis is 2 weeks from now and since they will have to order a new Water Heater that will take another 2 weeks...if they require that I must have a technician install that will take another two weeks plus whatever they want to charge. Probably take a would you like to not have hot water for a month...not fun and not responsive.


I can relate I'm going thru that right now. Maybe we can team up get some help.

#1483761 it - just waiting to become part of class action.I was told that I have to wait about three weeks for technician and pay 155 to diagnose.If Water Heater is leaking - how he will ever be able to diagnose other than - yes / no water is coming out from the bottom of the water heater. No tech is needed. They can literally send anyone, or simply ask for a picture / video of the leak.Besides who will wait a month to replace their WH.


This may be protected under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (P.L. 93-637). it states that if a manufacturer demands you purchase a service from them to honor their warranty they must provide the service free of charge


We are having a situation (well over a month now) where Sears is not repairing or replaceing a warranty covered microwave/oven unit in our home. It's critical as it's Thanksgiving next week.

Their parts did not work originally work (after a wait) and then they were again supposed to fix it yesterday. Then came the emails and we are told parts are back ordered with no due date. We have outfitted 4 homes with all Sears appliances. We will not buy Sears again if the oven is not repaired or replaced by Thanksgiving.

This has been a nightmare for us. Very sad.


I too have the same situation now, in 2017 for a 2013 purchase: I too was contacted by the Sears Cares team after a post. Still waiting on a final response from Crystal Andrade who is handling my case. What troubles me most is I am reading a post here from 2012 and I am be treated by Sears like this is the first time this has been brought to their attention.


At this time your request is denied. Our warranty agreement indicates that Sears will provide repair or replacement for the water heater.

With any warranty the determination of whether to repair or replace is made by the seller. No other repair company could make the determination to repair or replace that implies we would be the ones to make the determination.

No one in store or over the phone would be able to honor the warranty without having a Sears technician inspect the unit. I hope you understand when we say that we cannot disregard the warranty policy, even in this situation.


I have the same problems and got zero help from sears. I will never buy a major appliance from them again


Cant just call up Ford and get an alternator sent under warranty can you? Sears isn't going to send you a part without verification, fact is they own the warranty on all water heaters so every part that is installed free of charge is an expense to the company..


Ford warranty clearly states a Ford dealership must install parts to get the parts under it's warranty. Sears does not.

It just says Sears will supply replacement parts.

If Sears specified that you had to pay a service technician to get the parts under warranty, I wouldn't have an issue. I also probably would not buy that appliance.


Surely you are smart enough to know that SEARS is smart enough to "bake" in the cost of expensing parts covered under warranty, when they sold the water heater. In other words, technically, unbenounced to the buyer, the expense for replacing parts was included upfront, in the price of the water heater. Time to go back to Business 101 and Accounting 101.

@The Cost of Doing Business

If You buy a water heater from a big box store, Home Depot for example, you simply bring it back to the store and they exchange it. No question.

Don’t need a tech to come over to verify.

I’m sure there is a possibility of abuse but overall the company should trust their customer. Not make it difficult to get a replacement.


my kenmore water heater started leaking when it was only four years old. Sears said in order to use the warranty I would have to have a sears technician look at it first but it would be 3 - 4 days before a technician would be available.

Ridiculous! I bought a new one at menards and installed it myself.

I then contacted sears to send someone out to look at the old one and was told there would be a $75 charge if the water heater wasn't still installed. I told them to stick it.eeaezus


It is 2018 and still the same situation. 5 years into 12 year parts warranty but no help.Spent an hour with Sears / Kenmore customer care.

For $80 part, which should be covered under warranty.Apparently we have to spend another $79 for tech to diagnose the problem.

before we can get $80.LOL.I would rather buy $80 part from Amazon. Rather than wasting another hour with Kenmore "customer care".


Your initial review could have been written by me just in the past 2 weeks. Why buy a Sears product if they won't honor the warranty?

@anonymous in MO

Check your warranty. The newer warranties say, "For the second through twelfth year from the purchase date, you must pay the labor cost for installation of parts or water heater."

It doesn't say whether you are required to use Sears for the installation, so I assume that leaves it open for you to hire your own plumber (or do it yourself if you know how.)

My warranty was older and didn't have the line above.


I received an email today from the Sears Social Media Team saying they received my email and will forward it to the Sears Cares team so they can contact me as soon as a case manager becomes available. Stay tuned...


so how'd everthing end up ? I have same problem,

please update

thank you

Sears Response

Dear Jfb32,

My name is Brian and I’m part of the Sears Cares Escalations team. I saw this comment and I wanted to reach out to you to see if we could be of assistance. We would like to apologize for the trouble you have encountered with your water heater. In the picture that you supplied, it does states under the “1 Year Exclusive Kenmore Labor Warranty”, that for the “first year” from the date of purchase, Sears will, “free of charge”, supply and install new water heater parts for defective ones, or a new water heater for one that develops a leak. So if we are outside of the one year exclusive Kenmore warranty there would be a charge for a technician to come out to diagnose the unit, and deem parts defective. At that point the parts for the repair would be ordered free of charge to you. Nevertheless, we understand how disappointing a setback like this is for you, and we would like to see if we can help make this right by you.

At your convenience, please contact our office via email at so you don’t have to continue to be frustrated by this. In the email, please provide a contact phone number and the phone number the water heater was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. Also, in your email, please provide the screen name (Jfb32) you used to post on this site, for reference to your issue, and we do look forward to talking to you soon.

Thank you,

Brian S.

Social Media Moderator

Sears Social Media Support

@Sears Response

I sent the email today as requested above, giving all the information requested, including home and mobile phone numbers, at 2:00pm EST. I have not received a call from Sears yet.

There is nothing in the warranty saying that I am required to have a Sears technician diagnose the defective parts before Sears is obligated to provide the free replacement parts covered by the warranty. I am more than willing to bring the defective part to the Sears store where I purchased the water heater, or even ship the defective parts back to Sears I'd they cover the shipping charges.

Or I could have a Mechanical Engineer or a Heating/Cooling contractor look at it and give Sears their opinion (I have those resources available to me). Or I might just take a video of the water heater leaking, showing exactly where it's leaking from, and post it on YouTube so that Sears can see it, and the puddle of water growing on my floor from the leak.