Satisfactory overall... with a bit of help.
"The newly installed 50 Gal. Energy Star (Bradford-White) Gas Water Heater seems to be working great. Very pleased with the unit. I called Quality 1st Plumbing and was greeted by a very friendly and knowledgeable representative, who provided me with a quote right over the phone! No need to have a tech come out for a "service call" which most other companies were charging for, (anywhere from $29.99 to $79.99!) She gave me pricing on a 40 gal. unit and pricing for the 50 gal. Energy Star unit. Both quotes included the cost of the units, install, plus local taxes, and were supposedly "out-the-door" prices. Not a penny more or less, she said.
The tech showed up 30 minutes later than we had agreed, but it was no big deal since I work from home. He seemed confident and experienced and was friendly. Almost immediately, he encountered an issue with our current unit, which did not seem to have a working drain valve. This seemed to fluster him a bit, but to his credit, he did find a quick solution for. After our old unit was successfully drained, he asked me if I would be willing to help him remove the unit, and explained that even when empty, those units can be very heavy. I thought that this was an odd request, but I said I would help him remove the old unit and also assist in lifting the newer and larger 50 gal. replacement. As he began to maneuver the old unit out of place, I had to ask him if he intended to put down some sort of tarp to protect our carpet, to which he responded that it was unnecessary. He seemed to see the concern in my face, because he DID go out and retrieve a couple of water-proof tarps and layed them down.
Once we moved the old unit, red and rusty water began to leak out of the unit and onto the tarps. He seemed a bit embarrassed and commented that perhaps the tarps WERE a good idea after-all. The new water heater was a bit larger than the old unit, and there was concern that perhaps it would not fit in the existing drip pan that was affixed to the platform in out service closet. We both agreed that we would give it a shot anyway. Upon lifting the new unit up onto the platform, his lack of foresight in moving/adjusting certain copper pipes out of the way resulted in the new unit getting scratched and dented a bit as we maneuvered it into place. He assured me that the damage was merely cosmetic and that the units performance would not be affected.
Once the unit was in place, I assisted him in leveling the unit by providing tools from my garage. After that, he worked diligently in setting up the unit and connecting all the necessary pipes etc. I did notice that after his skillful use of a torch to solder the copper pipe fittings together, that he left a rather large burn mark on the side of the new water heater unit. The burn mark does NOT seem to affect the performance of the unit, but it is prominent and visible at a glance. I consider this a minor issue, however.
Once the install was complete, it was time to take care of some paperwork. I noticed that I was being charged $20 for some PVC and copper fittings and for a 29.00 "trip charge". I informed him of my conversation with the company's phone representative, and that I was told that there would be no trip charge and no hidden costs. He called and checked with his superior who declined to waive the added charges, stating that we were already getting a good deal on the unit. I did not feel like haggling with the guy at this point so I just conceded and signed on the dotted line. Despite some of the challenges with this service install, I consider Quality 1st Plumbing a good company and I like to support small business. I would recommend them to other people for sure, especially since their pricing is so competitive when compared to other quotes that I received. I would however, implore new customers to be diligent and observant while the install is being performed to avoid any unnecessary property damage."