In May of 2008 our hot water tank sprung a leak and needed replacing. We called Pro Gas, which was the furnace service company that had been used by the last owners of our home and was on file. We asked for a tankless hot water heater. They accepted a deposit of of 1200.00, half of the 2400.00 installation fee. The installation was to be done the next day. Nobody showed up and nobody called. When we contacted the company, they told us that the unit had not been delivered and that they hadn't called because they were busy and didn't have time to call people to tell them that nothing was happening. This continued for 2 more days. My wife took time off work in order to be home for the installation and basically wasted her time as the company did not show up. Plus we had no hot water for an entire week. Finally the unit was installed. We paid the balance of the charge and were told that these heaters took some time to get used to. The day after the installation I became aware of the odour of gas in the basement. I called Pro Gas and asked them to come out and fix the leak which had obviously occurred during the installation of the heater. They told me to verify with Terasen. When I did and was told that the gas pipe to the furnace had begun leaking, Eddie told me that it would cost 120 dollars for the service call. His reasoning was that he could not be responsible for our old pipes, despite the fact that his technicians had been looking at the pipes that very week. I called another company to do the pipe repair. They only charged 80 dollars for the call, although the repair cost a total of 200 dollars.
So now we gamely tried to get used to our new heater. After six months of unreliable and inconsistent hot water service, I called the distributor of the heaters and asked what I needed to do to get better hot water delivery. When I told them the model number of our unit they told me that this unit was not meant for use in a residence and was intended as a space heater and certainly needed a holding tank to be effective. When I contacted Eddie Lowe at Pro Gas he told me that he had called the distributor and asked for a tankless hot water heater and that was what they had sent him so the distributors were either lying to me or had lied to him. I contacted the distributor again and they insisted that this was not the right unit for our home and that they would never have told Mr. Lowe to use this particular model. After about two hours of very unpleasant arguing on the phone with Mr. Lowe, he agreed to send a technician out the next day to check the unit out. The technician was very nice and found that the unit did not have proper gas pressure and that the water pressure was too low to activate the full heater properly. After five hours at our home, the technician had done all that he could, which helped a bit but was not sufficient to provide proper hot water delivery. During this time, the technician received several phone calls from Mr. Lowe, apparently urging him to finish up and move on to the next job. At one point I heard the technician say "Eddie, you have to make sure that the thing works before you leave." There was pause while Eddie replied, then I heard the technician say, "Yeah, Eddie you do." My interpretation of this is that Eddie was telling the technician that he didn't need to make sure that the unit worked, you just need to look like you're doing something. This shows total lack of regard for the customer, for the trade and for any kind of ethics in Mr. Lowe's business. In the end, we had to order a new hot water tank, not a tankless heater after all. The cost of a new one was more than double that of a standard tank and we couldn't take the chance that a new one would be just as unsatisfactory. So we paid 2400 dollars for a new hot water heater, 200 dollars for a repair and 1000 dollars for new tank after the tankless wouldn't work properly. 3600 dollars in total. A very expensive lesson, but we have learned not to deal with Pro Gas. Hopefully this report will help others not deal with them as well.
New Westminster, British Columbia