Spokane, Washington
Not resolved

We purchased a new hot water heater from Lowe's, a subcontractor came to install it and drained our old hot water heater down our basement drain, clogging it. We had a huge flood of sewage in our basement and a third party confirmed it was because of the silt and sand from the old hot water heater.

Initially Lowe's said they would pay for everything but then they turned us over to their insurance, which turned us over to the subcontractor's insurance, which refused to pay. Now we are on the hook for almost $4000 and have to go to our own insurance, which will raise our rates.

Lowe's guarantees their work and has contracts with all their subcontractors, but when one of them messes up, they suddenly say it isn't their problem. They're despicable.

Monetary Loss: $4000.

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This post was merely a way to let others out there know how Lowe's screwed us over, not to get everyone and their brother to weigh in. Please refrain from offering suggestions and "helpful hints" when I did not go into extreme detail on the situation.

I have proof via another plumber that it was the subcontractor's fault for the flood and don't go blaming it on other clogs in my line because it is a new line. And yes, there was a lot of calcium or whatnot in the old water heater, it was nearly 20 years old.

So please take this as it was intended, a warning to people who are considering Lowe's services and an example of big business screwing over the little guy. Not everyone needs to hear your snarky comments and unsubstantiated opinions.


I put this up so other people would be warned, not to get everyone else's opinion on it. I know it was the subcontractor's fault because I had a plumber verify it.

There are no other clogs in the line because it is a brand new line. And yes there was calcium and whatnot in the old water heater, it was nearly 20 years old!

So please spare me the agony of reading your "helpful hints" on what else I need to do on my house and just take the post for what it is, a complaint against Lowe's and a warning to people who might be considering buying from them. Big business needs to stop screwing consumers or we will never pull out of this recession.


Silt and sand from INSIDE a hot water tank? If that really happened, you need to get a new well or water source.

Silt and sand in your drain probably came from a ruptured drain pipe. Blame yourself, not somebody else on this one.


You have to file a civil suit to get the money. That's the only way.

All companies with contractors are like this. That's WHY they have contractors in the first place.


I guess you could sue Lowe's in small claims court. Just make sure you have a written deposition from a qualified third party professional engaged in the plumbing business.

As an aside, I have never trusted getting anything like a water heater from a place like Sears or Lowes, etc.

for the reason you are dissatisfied---they use independent contractors and some are good and some are bad. Which one you get is problematical.

Also, I am not so sure draining the old water heater in the (assumed)city sewer drain in your basement was the cause of the blockage. It probably was mostly blocked for a long time and the large amount of water in a short time period was too much for it.

I drained an old water heater in my basement sump hole and pumped it out via the sump pump with no problem. If the silt was a problem, the sump pump would have gotten clogged.

But, all this begs the question: just where did you expect the guy to drain the old water heater? Via pails and toss outside??