Family frustrated by broken water heater

September 20, 2011 7:15:38 PM PDT
When a major appliance breaks down it can be a major hassle, even if it's covered under warranty. 7 On Your Side's looked into family's frustrating story.

This issue came up when a family couldn't get their water heater fixed, even though the warranty entitled them to free repairs. They were left high and dry -- or cold and wet -- when the repairs didn't work.

Rosie Badillo runs a family day care center at her home in San Jose, so when the water heater suddenly broke down, it added a little more chaos to her life.

"Miserable. I mean it was so miserable. I had to boil water the old fashioned way. I had to get a big pot, so I could wash dishes," said Rosie.

Rosie had to heat water on the stove to clean the dishes, the kitchen, the art table, and the sticky hands of all her day care charges. And showers in the morning? Her husband Mario says they were brutal.

"Oh my God, you ever had goose bumps? I think I had ganders running down? it was the most miserable," said Mario.

They first noticed a problem when the tap water ran cold and there was a strong gas smell coming from the water heater. Thankfully, the heater was still covered by an extended service contract from Home Depot. Mario contacted the warranty company, and two days later a repairman came out.

"He said it was the control, which it wasn't the control," said Mario.

The first repair didn't work so the repairman ordered a new burner to arrive at their home. However, the only part they received was a screwdriver set. A week later, the heater still wasn't fixed, water was still cold and they had no idea when the repairs would be made.

"He said he reordered the part. That part never came in. As of today, it has not come in," said Rosie.

"I just made up my mind to go get a water heater," said Mario.

Mario couldn't wait any longer. He went out and bought a new water heater for $540, then contacted 7 On Your Side.

We asked Home Depot about this. The company said it should not take so long to repair an appliance under its extended warranty. Home Depot promptly refunded Mario's $540 saying, "Although we were more than happy to reimburse Mr. Badillo for his new water heater, we're terribly frustrated that his broken unit wasn't fixed quickly and correctly in the first place."

"I got the check, I got it Saturday and I want to thank everybody, especially Channel 7 because they are on your side," said Mario.

We want to thank Home Depot for getting on top of things. They tell us if you have a problem obtaining repairs under your extended warranty, you should contact home depot directly.

For problems with Extended Warranties from The Home Depot, email Home Depot directly at

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