Diamond Certified Company Report

Better Water Heaters

Diamond Certified Company Report

Better Water Heaters

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 261 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Patrick S.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

1 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did a quality job and they were very competitive price-wise.

I thought they were honest about what I needed and they gave more options and they didn't throw a bunch of money at it.

Shiraz A.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

2 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Reliable and honest

They were very informative and very quick to respond. They responded right away when I called. They diagnosed the problem right away and they were upfront about what my options were. They didn't try to sell me the most expensive solution to the problem.

Lisa C.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

3 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did exactly what they said they were going to do. They charged what they said they were going to charge and got here and they cleaned up.

It was easy, nothing was complicated about it.

Read All 261 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Frans Cartwright, Owner

Better Water Heaters services and replaces water heaters for residential and commercial clients throughout the Bay Area. The company has expertise with both conventional and tankless heaters, and its service vehicles are equipped to complete installations in one visit. It also repairs plumbing leaks, replaces shut-off valves, offers residential copper repiping, installs and replaces recirculating pumps and pressure regulators, and more.

Owner Frans Cartwright is a licensed plumber with many years of experience designing and installing conventional and tankless water heating systems. He says he founded Better Water Heaters to provide fair pricing and quality service for Bay Area customers. “We’ve grown our business one satisfied customer at a time. Also, since we’re a small company, we’re able to keep our overhead low and offer reasonable prices.”

Better Water Heaters receives volume purchasing discounts on its water heaters and components, which allows it to offer similar discounts to its clients, says Mr. Cartwright. The company’s technicians undergo continual training to stay updated on the industry’s technological advancements, and all installations are performed in strict compliance with plumbing and building codes.

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COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Better Water Heaters

COMPANY CONTACT
Service AREA

The Bay Area

SERVICES PERFORMED

Conventional Water Heaters
Tankless Water Heaters
Recirculating Systems
Replacement & Repair
Residential & Commercial

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Better Water Heaters

Company Profile

Better Water Heaters services and replaces water heaters for residential and commercial clients throughout the Bay Area. The company has expertise with both conventional and tankless heaters, and its service vehicles are equipped to complete installations in one visit. It also repairs plumbing leaks, replaces shut-off valves, offers residential copper repiping, installs and replaces recirculating pumps and pressure regulators, and more.

Owner Frans Cartwright is a licensed plumber with many years of experience designing and installing conventional and tankless water heating systems. He says he founded Better Water Heaters to provide fair pricing and quality service for Bay Area customers. “We’ve grown our business one satisfied customer at a time. Also, since we’re a small company, we’re able to keep our overhead low and offer reasonable prices.”

Better Water Heaters receives volume purchasing discounts on its water heaters and components, which allows it to offer similar discounts to its clients, says Mr. Cartwright. The company’s technicians undergo continual training to stay updated on the industry’s technological advancements, and all installations are performed in strict compliance with plumbing and building codes.

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Company Philosophy

“We stand by our estimates and guarantee our work. Overall, we try to give every customer the same things we would want from a water heater company—quality work and excellent service at a fair price.”

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Comparative Summary

Plumbing and water heater repair companies are always looking for ways to discern themselves from their competition, and those that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award are already several steps ahead. In addition to its Diamond Certified status, Better Water Heaters differentiates itself by taking a uniquely transparent approach to dealing with customers—instead of solely focusing on running the company and overseeing operations, owner Frans Cartwright is personally involved with every job, from answering the initial phone call to approving the finishing touches. “I’m the one who the customers talk to directly,” he confirms. “I handle every job fairly and equitably, and I’ll do whatever it takes to satisfy them.”

Better Water Heaters has been servicing and replacing water heaters for residential and commercial clients throughout the Bay Area since 2003. Unlike plumbing firms that specialize in servicing one specific type of water heater, the company has expertise with both conventional and tankless systems, and its service vehicles are equipped to complete installations in one visit. It also repairs plumbing leaks, replaces shut-off valves, offers residential copper repiping, and installs and replaces recirculating pumps and pressure regulators. “Most plumbers consider water heater work to be inconvenient, because they aren’t properly set up for it,” says Mr. Cartwright. “Since we specialize in water heater repair and replacement, we’re able to offer expert work at a fair and reasonable price.”

One of the most distinctive features of Better Water Heaters is its highly trained, full-time technicians—none of whom are paid on commission, which, according to Mr. Cartwright, greatly benefits the company’s customers. “We’re not salespeople; we’re technicians and plumbers. We’re a small company, so I personally train each of our employees to guarantee consistently excellent service.” Mr. Cartwright adds that if a problem surfaces after a job is completed, Better Water Heaters addresses it as quickly as possible. “We try to do a quality job the first time, but if something isn’t right, we immediately come back and resolve it at no additional charge.”

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Industry Info

Preventive maintenance is the key to increasing the efficiency of your tankless water heater.

Tankless water heaters have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their cost-saving attributes and energy efficiency, but before you decide to purchase one, you should consider your needs and make sure a tankless system is the best choice for your particular living situation. “If you don’t use a large amount of hot water or if you’re not trying to relocate a water heater to free up space, you should consider sticking with a conventional system,” says Frans Cartwright, owner of Better Water Heaters in San Jose. “However, if you have a house full of people or a Jacuzzi tub that needs to be filled on a regular basis, a tankless water heater is a great investment.”

Mr. Cartwright adds that many people don’t realize that waiting for hot water doesn’t have to be a normal occurrence. “There are many energy-efficient ways to solve the problem of hot water delivery delay, like using certain types of temperature controllers and recirculation systems. By eliminating hot water delay, you can actually save 15 to 20 thousand gallons of water each year.”

Here are some general tips to consider for keeping your tankless water heater operating at its peak potential:

• To extend the life of your water heater, drain the tank annually to remove any sediment that may have built up inside it. Follow the manufacturer’s suggestions and use caution when draining—the water can be extremely hot.
• Setting the water heater’s thermostat to mid- or low-range will prevent interior scalding and save on energy costs while still providing plenty of hot water.
• Purchase a hot water insulation jacket for your water heater—it’ll keep the water heated longer, reduce standby heat loss (heat lost through the walls of the tank) by 25 to 40 percent and further save on heating costs.
• If you have a gas furnace/stove and an electric water heater, consider extending the gas line to the heater to save on energy costs. Electric water heaters cost approximately three times more to run than systems that use natural gas.
• Install water-saving showerheads in your bathrooms and aerated faucets in your sinks. This reduces the amount of hot water used, which in turn reduces energy costs and extends the water heater’s life span.
• Insulate your pipes to reduce heat loss as hot water flows to your faucet. More important, this will reduce standby heat loss when the tap is turned off and back on later. The water in the pipes will eventually cool either way, but if the pipes are insulated, the water will stay warmer for much longer.
• Have your water heater inspected by a certified technician at least once every couple of years. Regular upgrades and repairs will help keep the system in optimal working condition and prevent dangerous carbon monoxide problems.
• Have a certified technician replace the heater’s anode rod every five years or so. This small, metal device sacrifices itself for the good of the entire unit. The corrosive chemicals in the water are drawn to the anode rod instead of eating away at the inside of the tank.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you complete my installation in less than a day?
A: “Yes. Most water heater installations take about two hours. A tankless water heater may require an entire day to install.”
 
Q: Can my old water heater be repaired?
A: “If it’s leaking internally, it can’t be repaired. If it’s leaking from the top, it may be repairable.”
 
Q: How often should I drain my water heater?
A: “We recommend you drain your water heater either once a year (to flush out the sediment) or not at all. If you wait too long, draining it can actually create a leak or cause a bigger problem due to calcified sediment that can become agitated during the process.”
 
Q: Can you take shortcuts to save me money?
A: “We don’t take shortcuts. Water heaters have to be installed according to specific plumbing codes, and although we charge for code work, we’re absolutely fair about it. We don’t ever charge for anything a customer doesn’t need. We’ll discuss everything with you upfront, before the job begins.”
 
Q: Do you give free estimates?
A: “Yes.”
 
Q: Do you offer any special discounts for Diamond Certified customers?
A: “Yes, we’ll take $30 off a water heater installation if you contact us via Diamond Certified.”
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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Better Water Heaters

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Frans Cartwright

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Frans Cartwright is a 13-year veteran of the plumbing industry and owner of Better Water Heaters, a Diamond Certified company since 2006. He can be reached at (650) 557-3559 or by email.

Frans Cartwright: Recapturing Fulfillment

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN JOSE — After finding himself at a professional impasse, Frans Cartwright was considering his options when inspiration came from an unlikely source. “After several years as an engineer in the tech field, I started to feel unsatisfied with my work and was figuring out what I wanted to do,” he remembers. “One day, we had a plumber come out to replace our water heater, and I was struck with the notion that I could do water heater installation as a small business venture. After doing a little research, I decided to go to work for a local plumbing company, which enabled me to gain experience while I studied to get my plumbing license. Within a couple of years, I was ready to launch my own water heater installation company.”

Since founding Better Water Heaters in 2003, Frans says he’s recaptured the sense of fulfillment that had been missing from his prior occupation. “I really enjoy the problem-solving aspect of the trade because it allows me to exercise my engineering skills. However, I also appreciate the opportunity to interact with and take care of my customers, which is something that had never been a part of my former career. Altogether, it’s been a very satisfying experience.”

Originally from Southern California, Frans moved to San Jose in 1996, where he currently lives with his wife, Melinda, and their five children. “San Jose is a great place to raise a family, with a lot to do locally and many nearby national parks for spending time in nature,” he says. “In addition to attending different local events and festivals, we enjoy going camping at places like Yosemite and Big Sur, as well as skiing at Lake Tahoe.”

In keeping with his values as a devoted family man, Frans has made it a point to create a family-centered culture at Better Water Heaters. “I’m all about family, and that’s the type of environment we foster here,” he affirms. “A lot of my employees have kids, so I try to be accommodating with scheduling so they can take time off for family things. Obviously, making a living is important, but I think being there for your family is an equal priority.”

When asked what his future retirement might look like, Frans says it will hopefully involve plenty of exotic locales and fine foods. “My wife and I are foodies, and we also love to travel, so that will probably be the focal point of our post-retirement ventures. It’s been quite a few years since we’ve been to Europe, so we’d probably kick things off with a trip to France or Germany.”

Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: “The Usual Suspects.”

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Sen Dai Sushi in Milpitas.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: Early bird.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Marbles. I still have a bunch of them from when I was a kid.

Q: What’s your favorite newspaper comic strip?
A: “Pickles.”

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Expert articles
  • Considerations for Choosing a Water Heater

    SAN JOSE — When choosing a water heater for your home, you have two options: a conventional water heater or a tankless model. Before making your choice, it’s important to learn more about the costs and maintenance involved with each.

    Conventional water heaters
    A conventional (tank) water heater is the type found in most homes. Today’s tank water heaters can produce 75 gallons of hot water per hour and have an annual operating cost of about $277. With conventional models, maintenance is crucial for maximizing operating lifespan. Once a year, have your water heater’s tank flushed to clear out sediment buildup.

    Tankless water heaters
    Under the right circumstances, a tankless water heater can provide substantial energy savings, with an average annual operating cost of only $177. In addition, at 300 gallons of hot water per hour, a tankless water heater can supply more than three times that of a conventional one. While the cost of installation can vary depending on the compatibility between a tankless model’s connections and a home’s existing plumbing system, many newer models are designed to be compatible with conventional connections.

    Even though a tankless water heater may cost more to install than a conventional model, they offer significant benefits if you have a need for unlimited hot water or a desire to save on energy costs.

    Read moreRead less
Expert video tip
  • Video: How to Choose a Water Heater

    Complete Video Transcription:

    SAN JOSE — Host, Sarah Rutan: When choosing a water heater, you’ll need to decide whether to install a conventional or tankless water model. Today we’re in San Jose with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Frans Cartwright of Better Water Heaters to discuss some importance considerations.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Frans Cartwright: You have two options when choosing a water heater for your home; conventional water heater or tankless water heater. Let’s talk about both.

    The conventional water heater will be installed in about two hours, will produce 75 gallons per hour of hot water, and will do so for about $277 a year in gas costs. It’s important to flush this water heater once a year as it will last longer if you do so.

    Over here we have one of the newest tankless models out right now. This unit will be installed in about three hours. It has plumbing connections on the top just like your current water heater. It has a half-inch gas connection at the bottom so we don’t need to run a new gas line for this unit. And surprisingly enough, this has a two-inch plastic flexible vent right here. This will be inserted in your current metal vent up to the roof stack and will make this unit installed quite easily. This will produce about 300 gallons per hour and will do so for about $177 a year.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local top-rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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Better Water Heaters WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • Better Water Heaters SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Better Water Heaters
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 261 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Better Water Heaters : Average 9.0 out of 10 based on 261 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Patrick S.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

1 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did a quality job and they were very competitive price-wise.

I thought they were honest about what I needed and they gave more options and they didn't throw a bunch of money at it.

Shiraz A.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

2 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Reliable and honest

They were very informative and very quick to respond. They responded right away when I called. They diagnosed the problem right away and they were upfront about what my options were. They didn't try to sell me the most expensive solution to the problem.

Lisa C.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

3 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did exactly what they said they were going to do. They charged what they said they were going to charge and got here and they cleaned up.

It was easy, nothing was complicated about it.

Jerry M.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

4 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Well, I would recommend them.

The fast service

Aiden M.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

5 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I've actually given them more than one referral.

I think they're very fast.

Sue V.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

6 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

To call them

Prompt service

John P.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

7 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Good service and a good price

They were very responsive to my requests and working with my schedule. They completed the job that was requested.

Nathan R.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

8 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Greatest service in the world, I wouldn't call anybody else but them.

Their promptness and their knowledge

Lowell C.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

9 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I am happy with them.

They got here on time and they installed it and it works.

Katherine K.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

10 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The service is good, but the price is kind of high.

They did the job well.

Michael S.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

11 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do exactly what they promise they'll do.

They were on time, professional, respectful, and they did a good job.

Sharon M.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

12 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're reliable, they know what they're doing, and they make me feel very comfortable using them.

I liked their responsiveness and their knowledge.

Jennifer C.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

13 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Convenient, fast, and efficient

The service, they were fast and efficient.

John K.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

14 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It was pretty quick and pretty efficient.

It was a fast experience and the price was what I expected.

Edgar R.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

15 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They told me all about the water heater and made sure I knew about it and what it did. They made sure I knew what the green light indicated and that I knew what number to call if there was an issue.

The quality of the water heater, they gave me a top-of-the-line water heater.

Evers D.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

16 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Fast, efficient, and they know their stuff.

Fast, efficient, and they know their stuff.

Lan H.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

17 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very fast to get to the appointment. They have professional knowledge, reasonable prices, and the installation was done well.

I liked the speed in which the job was done.

Carrie M.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

18 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They responded to me.

They work.

Jason S.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

19 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They came out the next day and they were really good.

They got the job done quickly, and that was important.

David K.

VERIFIED Better Water Heaters CUSTOMER

20 of 261

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have good service and they were on time. They were affordable.

They were on time.

Read All 261 Survey Responses at Ratings View