Can you trust a pipe repair warranty?

How to know you can trust the warranty from a pipe repair company. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) a warranty is a voluntary promise offered by the person or business who sells a product or service to a consumer.

Once you buy the product or service, the promise becomes a right that can be enforced under Australian consumer law (ACL).

If a manufacturer or supplier provides such a warranty, there is a consumer guarantee under the ACL that the manufacturer or supplier will comply with that warranty. If the supplier or manufacturer fails to comply with the warranty you will have rights against them under the consumer guarantees.

Good warranties for standard pipe relining products should offer a 50-year term warranty, but consumers should be wary of basing their repair strategy on the length of the warranty alone.

You should also ask your preferred pipe repairer questions like:

  • How long are the pipe repair products warrantied for?
  • How long is the pipe repairer’s installation process warrantied for?
  • Who actually made the products that are going to be used?
  • If there’s a problem with the pipes after they’re repaired, how do you determine whether it’s the product or the installation that’s at fault?
  • What if the two of you (the company that made the product and the installer) can’t agree about who’s fault the problem with the pipe repair was?
  • Do I get to keep CCTV footage of the pipe repair (or reline) before and after?
  • How long has the pipe repair company been around?
  • How long have they been repairing pipes using this method?
  • Where and how are warranty claims handled?
  • What exclusions are there on the warranty (explained simply to you)?

Choosing the best pipe repair method

While warranties are there to protect you if things go wrong, there are also things you can check in the purchase phase to make sure you choose the best pipe repair strategy for you.

If the broken pipe is in open ground and easily accessible, it might be cheapest to have someone simply dig down and replace the broken section of pipe. Of course, whatever caused the problem in the first place (earth movement, tree roots etc) might damage the pipe again in six months’ time and you might be back in the same boat – but that’s the risk you take.

But if the problem’s beneath a road or driveway, your beautifully paved and landscaped pool surrounds or your bathroom floor you’d most likely be better off using one of the pipe relining methods that require no digging and cause significantly less disruption, such as CIPP relining.

Choosing the best pipe relining company

Checking things like how much effort has been invested into ensuring a company is using products of a very high quality in the first place, where and how those products are made, and how they’ve performed in the past are essential when deciding on a pipe repair solution that will work for you.

It’s very important to make sure:

  • you’re chosen repairer knows the products and equipment they’re using incredibly well
  • they’ve been trained by the manufacturer and are highly proficient in using those products
  • that the business has a good, long-term presence in a location that’s easily accessible to you.

The Nuflow example

For example, Nuflow Technologies is a well-reputed pipe relining company with headquarters on the Gold Coast. They offer a 50-year warranty on their standard Blueline product for residential sewer or stormwater pipes. For commercial or unique applications using Greenline (for potable water), or Redline products, they offer a conditional warranty up to 50-years based on project specifications and a 25-year warranty on the their Blueline HT/AR product, for high temperature, trade and chemical pipes.

Offering such an extensive warranty might leave some businesses feeling vulnerable, but Nuflow has built a reputation based on providing 100 per cent customer satisfaction and a warranty model based on five basic pillars of operations:

Their team – having the leadership, the scientific and engineering expertise, the qualified installers, and the education and communication professionals to get the job done properly.

Their products – which are formulated by their own in-house chemists using the highest quality raw materials, developed and checked by their engineers to exceed ASTM Standards, and independently re-tested to ensure they’re the best on the market.

Their business-model – of a fully integrated, end-to-end, Australian-owned business – where the design, testing, manufacture and installation of products are a coordinated team effort between in-house scientific and production staff. That, coupled with their model of having their own fully qualified installation franchise partners right across Australasia, means you’re dealing with the one, easily-accessible company. It also means they value their local reputation, they know local conditions and they custom-designs their work to suit those conditions – so no nasty surprises when it comes to deciding where blame lies if things go wrong.

Their education and training – they provide regular, ongoing training and education sessions on new or upcoming products and installation techniques for their franchised installation partners and Master Classes for wider-industry professionals to discuss the pipe repair problems occurring in the community and to educate everyone on the solutions available.

Their Code of Ethics – which says that they have passion for what they do, integrity in how they do it and excellence in what they achieve. It also states their commitment to clients and the communities they serve, compliance with industry standards and their alignment with quality assurance, safety and environmental protection.

So in essence, they offer a warranty founded on the belief that their chemists and engineers will deliver the best technological solutions for every pipe repair job, and their installers will use those products correctly, to maximise results and customer satisfaction.

Problems with broken drains, blocked sewers or leaking water pipes are never fun and deciding on the best solution for your job can be overwhelming. But knowing you’re in the hands of qualified professionals with experience in your chosen pipe repair method, and who have excellent referrals and the backing of a local team of scientific experts goes a long way toward making things easier.

Once those boxes are ticked, ask your repairer the hard questions (above), get the right answers, and give yourself real peace of mind knowing you’ve got a great warranty to rely on if things go wrong.

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References:

Australian Competition and Consumer Association, (2019), ‘Warranties’, https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/warranties#what-is-a-warranty- Date accessed: March 29 2019.


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