It is not possible to foretell any issues that may occur when purchasing a water tank. Your risk however can be minimised by doing your best to choose a reliable brand and knowing you have a warranty to depend upon provides some peace of mind. This article is intended to help you understand warranties and what to be aware of when choosing your water tank.
Why Are Warranties Offered
Warranties are great for consumers, because they provide some peace of mind. Sometimes though, warranties provide a false sense of security. It is evidently much better to buy a reliable product so you never have the hassle of claiming on your warranty.
Sales people will sometimes wave around an awesome warranty as a badge of how reliable their product is. This can show confidence in their product, but such isn’t always the case. In fact, longer warranties can and have been offered on cheaply constructed tanks by fly-by businesses.
You might be wondering why businesses would do this? The water tank boom at the turn of the second millennium shows why. Many cowboys entered into the water tank industry to profit from the boom. When the boom was over, they closed down. Cheap water tanks then failed, leaving owners unable to claim on their warranty. What many unsuspecting consumers failed to realise, was that when a business ceased to exist or changed ownership, their warranty became null and void.
So it is much better to buy a quality tank from a reliable and known manufacturing brand. Team Poly have been in the industry since the 1990’s and have literally distributed more than a million tanks. So you know we will be around to honour our warranty. More importantly our tanks are manufactured in Australia to exceed poly tank standards, and regularly refined over time to incorporate latest technological developments.
What Warranty Covers
When it comes to purchasing a product, tank warranty statements from companies contain finer details on what is or isn’t covered. It is a good idea to carefully read and pay attention, especially when installing or maintaining your water tank to ensure your warranty isn’t voided.
It is important to note that separate warranties often apply to pumps and tank accessories. Warranty on steel tanks also differ greatly to poly tanks. For example, some steel tanks require an inner poly lining which is often covered for a couple of years, not the higher steel tank warranty of 15 to 20 years.
Steel warranties are further complicated by maintenance factors and often a long list of conditions that can void the warranty. For example, consider the following conditions found in BlueScope’s sample warranty conditions for AQUAPLATE® steel tanks where the warranty will be voided if:
- tanks are placed within 500m of sale marine, heavy industrial of other unusually corrosive influences
- damage is caused by water from the overflow outlet falling onto the tank (the overflow is often a weak point especially if the hole has been cut out incorrectly)
- there is a failure to remove debris and/or allow free drainage of water and removal of condensation
- corrosion is caused due to not washing down the tank
- accidental damage is caused by a person or animal
- contact is had with soil, ash, fertilizer, moisture, lead, copper and other dissimilar metals, chemical agents, runoff from copper flashing or copper pipes, treated timber (for more information, refer to Corrosion Technical Bulletin CTB-12 “Dissimilar Metals” and CTB-13 “Contact with Timber”).
With a poly water tank, matters are much less complicated since the whole tank is made of polyethylene (no inner poly lining necessary), and poly has no corrosion concerns like steel. So, if a warranty is offered on your tank, there’s less for you to worry about with being caught out some “hidden” condition that you may have been unaware of.
Naturally, every manufacturer has their own warranties, so it always pays to inform yourself about the specifics, rather than just assuming what it would cover. Also, keep in mind it doesn’t matter what some sales representative tells you on the phone or in person. At the end of the day you are covered by the agreement written on paper.
Poly water tank warranties usually fall between 5 to 25 years depending upon your model chosen and who you purchase your tank from. Sometimes longer warranties may look good, but then the price of your tank will be accordingly more expensive to cover increased risk of failure.
Obviously, there is higher the chance for tanks to fail the longer they are exposed to weathering effects like wind, rain, hail and sun. Fatigue can also be caused by the changing pressure of the water inside a tank and numerous other issues.
People understand that insurance comes with a cost, whether it’s their health, house or car. Warranties are like insurance, and so add cost to products. Warranty cost is established based upon the quality of a product and length of time that needs covering. To enable businesses to provide a better price to consumers on products, engineers and economists often recommend a pro-rata warranty model.
Pro-rata warranty is fair for both seller and consumer. It means that the sellers obligations reduce in line with the time remaining under the warranty. For example, if a warranty claim is made 5 years into a 10 year pro-rata warranty, you will be paid out half the cost of repairing or replacing your tank.
This means the seller can provide you with a better deal on your tank (since less insurance is required), while you are guaranteed to receive the use that you pay for. Keep in mind that even under pro-rata warranties, major failures or goods of unacceptable quality are fully covered in Australia.
This is because all warranties have to comply with the Australian Consumer Law. In Team Poly’s warranty we clearly articulate your rights here which are as follows:
Our goods come with guarantees that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law. You are entitled to a replacement or refund for a major failure and for compensation for any other reasonable foreseeable loss or damage. You are also entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be of acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to a major failure.
In many instances, some fixed warranties you might pay additional money for would be covered anyhow under the Australian Consumer Law. For these reasons and others, Team Poly believe pro-rata warranties are better all-round, which is why we provide them on our poly tanks, testified by many throughout South Australia, Victoria and NSW as a very high quality product.