Q:

How does a hot water heater recall work?

A:

Quick Answer

If a hot water heater is recalled, the manufacturer should notify the owner that the product is defective. The owner should stop using the hot water heater immediately and contact the manufacturer using the information on the recall notice for more details.

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Full Answer

A product recall of an appliance should include the manufacturer and models or serial numbers that are involved. Descriptions of the product with possible dates of purchase may also be included. Recalls should also specify what part is damaged and the potential hazards from continued use.

Manufacturers of hot water heaters may respond to recalls in a number of ways. Depending on the severity of the damage, the manufacturer may decide to have the hot water heater inspected and repaired by a local repairman or merely replace the damaged part. Any repairs are free of charge to the consumer. They may also choose to exchange the water heater for a newer model or reimburse the owner for the value of the heater.

Manufacturers generally notify consumers of recalls by mail. It's important for consumers to mail in registration cards on products they buy in order to receive these notices. Some consumers only learn about recalls from news stories and many miss out on recalls altogether. Almost a third of those aware of a recall take no action, according to Consumer Reports.

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