JD 1992 : Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
JD 1992 : Do you mean do you have a lawsuit if there was damage done?
Customer: May 22nd: visit from service guy to change gas meter inside my house (water heater was perfectly working)
Customer: May 22nd, I had hot water all day
Customer: May 23rd (today), I wake up and no hot water at all
Customer: I suspect the service guy did some damage to my water heater.
JD 1992 : If he damaged the water heater then you would have a case.
Customer: If this is the case, can I sue the gas company for the damages to my water heater? (if I have to replace it with a new unit)
JD 1992 : However, what is most likely is that you have air in your lines. That will knock out a pilot light.
JD 1992 : You can sue for the amount of labor to install a water heater and the value of the water heater that they broke.
JD 1992 : The law doesn't allow for replacement cost, it is the value of the item at the time it was damaged.
Customer: But if that is the case, how do I prove he damaged my water heater?
JD 1992 : You can do it by the temporal relationship alone, it wasn't broken the day before it was broken that day.
Customer: Is there a specialist or someone I can use to prove my water heater has been damaged? And what type lawyer would I need for this?
JD 1992 : You would want a lawyer who does civil trial law or civil litigation. Talk to them about an expert, it would probably be a plumber of some sort but you want them to help you pick one so that you know they are qualified and that they are a good witness.
Customer: I want to point out that all yesterday I did have hot water. The gas company asked me that today. I believe the water was already hot in the tank and cool down over the past 24 hours. If this means anything...
JD 1992 : That is the way it would work. As I said, it's probably just air in the lines and when it sputters the pilot light goes out. When he relights it ask him to watch it for a while to see if it goes out again.
Customer: Is this something I can do myself or is it best to always get someone professional to re-light the water heater?
JD 1992 : I've relit mine a lot of times but I don't know how safe it is.
JD 1992 : If they are no charging you then get them to light it, just to be safe.
JD 1992 : In addition, if they did damage something then you have a record of them coming out to light it.
Customer: Well, I hope it is just a re-lighting issue and no wires weren't damaged. I'll have them re-light it and if it goes out again, I'll have a professional heating service company come look at the water heater to see if they see damage. Is the best route to go?
JD 1992 : Yes, that would be the way to approach it.
Customer: Okay, thanks for your service.