Kitchen mixer tap warranty

I bought a new mixer tap for the kitchen to replace an old one from Reece. I arranged a plumber to replace my old tap with this new one - important point, I provided the new tap not the plumber.

This new tap is faulty. It was leaking from the top (above the sink) and below the sink. I called the plumber the next day and he changed the tap back. Because the plumber didn’t supply the tap I had to pay for his service for the second time. Plumber identified it as the tap issue. Believe it to be the ‘cartridge’ or something ‘inside’.

I called Reece to arrange for replacement tap but was told that I need it to be installed. They’ll not replace/repair a tap that is not installed. That is, they need the tap to be installed and they’ll call their plumber to come and fix the issue. Of course I was not told about this at any time in the purchasing process. I bought the tap from Reece on-line. Subsequently, I also went and read the fine prints on Reece product warranty site but nowhere was that condition mentioned - that I can find.

I called different plumber and put the leaking tap back yesterday. Just to make sure it wasn’t the plumber that was the issue. The tap still leaks from top and bottom of sink. I called Reece yesterday to get their plumber to come as soon as possible due to constant leaks. After 24 hours, I still heard nothing from Reece.

Question is where do I stand in this? Do I just continue to mob up under the sink? Do I call plumber (pay for 4th time!) to change back, if so what to do with faulty tap?

I would very much appreciate your advice. Thank you - apologies for long email.


1 Like

Hi @jon88, welcome to the community and what unfortunate circumstances made you join.

Under the ACCC, the retailer/manufacturer is responsible not only for resolving a faulty product, but any damage the product causes.

I would contact Reece again and state that it is likely that the leak will cause damage and under the Australian Consumer Law, they will be responsible for any damage which is caused. With a kitchen, this could be very expensive. This is likely to make them ‘jump’.

Depends on how big the leak is. If it is a small leak, say a drop ever so often, a towel under the sink can be changed when it get damp/wet. This might be every few hours to every few days.

Does the tap have a isolating valve? Many newer kitchens or new tap installations (those with braided hoses) have isolation valves installed. If you have an installed isolation valve (cost about $10 each and no possibly no additional labour cost when a new tap is installed, turn this off. This will stop the leak until it is fixed.

You may be up for this, especially if Reese resolved the faulty tap in a reasonable time. What is a reasonable time, this could be immediately to a day or two depending on the volume of the leak, inconvenience by the leak, not being able to control the leak etc

If you decide to do this, ensure you get approval from Reece and they will cover the cost.

In relation to the two plumbing visits, it may be very difficult to make Reece to pay for these as you should have contacted Reece as soon as the leak occurred, rather than trying to resolve yourself.

If the Reece sent a plumber and found that the leak was caused by installation, say something not tightened or sealed properly, you would have to pay for their visit and then recoup costs of that visit from the plumber that originally installed it.

If the leak is caused by a faulty tap, then Reece is responsible for the costs of the Reece plumber visit and resolving the faulty product.


Thank you for your valuable advise, phb.

I’ll call Reece again tomorrow. Thankfully it is not a flood of water but more of a constant drips. As you put it - an inconvenience. I just hope Reece’s idea of reasonable resolution time is align with mine, a few days… Thank you again phb.


Welcome to the community. If Reece don’t act promptly, send them an email with a letter of complaint citing the ACL. If you search the Choice site you will find a template to follow.

Let us know how you go.

For those interested in Reece’s warranty provisions.

Hopefully @jon88 has been able to progress resolution with Reece.

I’m not sure why

Most consumers would reasonably expect it sufficient for Reece to accept the opinion of the licensed plumber who responded to the leak, IE to confirm the tap ware was faulty - leaking.

While it would have been expedient to call Reece to respond to the leak, this assumes Reece was open for business at the time. Of importance is the home owner taking reasonable steps to prevent or minimise any damage caused by the leak.

Note the yellow highlights on failure assessment for warranty. Reece does include at their cost the labour to replace or repair the failed item.

Note the high light in red. The Australian Consumer Law can’t be excluded by the warranty conditions, despite how some might read that section of the warranty.


Thanks Meltam and Mark for your comments and advise.

Long story short, still in a bit of a limbo.

Heard nothing from Reece this morning. Called them around noon and also sent email as record. They said their agent (plumber) would contact me to arrange a time today.

Didn’t get any calls from anyone so at around 4.30. I called them again and again they apologise and promised that their agent would call me today! But at 6.11pm (now), I doubt anyone would be calling me to arrange a time to get the tap fixed.

The reason they gave me was that their agent is a sub-contractor and the agent control their own schedules. They (Reece) told me that they have already contacted their agent and it is up to the agent to arrange a time to repair the tap when they (agent) are free. To your point Mark - that Reece will repair the tap via their agent. Reading between the lines Reece is implying that it is the agent’s responsibility to get the repair done!

My question is - if I tell Reece on Monday that if the tap is not fixed by, say, Tuesday (almost a week with a leaking tap), I’ll get my plumber to replace the faulty tap but they’ll have to pay for that plumber, is that within my ‘rights’? What if they disagree? And what about their condition that they’ll only repair taps that are installed?

Furthermore what if the agent does call me on Monday, say, but tells me that they are too busy to fix the tap till some days later? Again can I say, I’ll change the tap and have Reece pay for the plumber?

I’m just baffled at how silly this is! If they’ve let me just return the tap for a new one or repair the faulty one instead of installing the faulty one back on, they (nor I!) would have this pressure!! Actually I’m not sure if they are under pressure…

Again appreciate any comments/advise. Thank you.

1 Like

Under the Australian Consumer Law, Reece is responsible. Whether they contract out their repairs is irrelevant. You have bought the tap from Reece, not their subcontractor.

Yes, but make sure you get Reece’s agreement. Otherwise they will argue that they didn’t give you authorisation to spend their money.

I would also say that you will be seeking a full refund from Reece for the tap and will be shopping elsewhere. Also see the next response as well.

You can’t negotiate with their agent as they have no relationship with you or have responsibilities under the ACL, other than being the service agent/subcontractor for Reece. You need to raise this with Reece directly are they are responsible for their subcontractors.

If this does occur, request reimbursement for using your own plumber to remove the tap and full refund for the purchase of the tap. To agree with this (if they do decide to), they might require water pressure testing (so it meets design specifications) by a qualified plumber and written advice from a qualified plumber that water pressure is within spec and the tap is faulty. If it is agreed that you can engage your own plumber, make sure the plumber is willing to do this before engaging them. Otherwise you may have the tap removed and a plumber unwilling to provide information to allow reimbursement of costs from Reece.

When you deal with products which must be installed by tradies (plumbing, electricity, gas etc), there are risks to a business of removing the product. This could be potentially done by a home handyman. If they allow this to occur, it becomes a legal nightmare if something goes wrong.

Edit: the other reason why they possibly won’t accept a product return like a tap is because they won’t know if the fault is due to the installation (which is the responsibility of the installer), water pressure or the product (Reece’s responsibility). As they won’t accept a tap which has been installed (in effect used) under their change of mind policy, they need to be sure where the fault lies. If you just take the tap back, they won’t know where the fault lies as would consider it a ‘change of mind’. Sending out their own plumber allows them to confirm where the fault lies and who is responsible for the resolution of the fault.

The other thing they will check is the water pressure at the tap meets the design specifications of the tap. The water pressure rating will be maximum reticulated water pressure specified for domestic application in Australia (it is a maximum of 500kPa). If the pressure is high, this may have exceeded the design pressure of the tap causing it’s fault. This means the fault is cases by high water pressure and not the product…in such case the warranty would be voided. If pressure is high, unfortunately it falls back on you to ensure pressure is compliant.


Hi phb, thank you for your detail and insightful comments! I appreciate it!

I acknowledge and sympathise with Reece’s position. Regarding water pressure, it was tested by the original plumber on his second trip out. He showed me the pressure gauge and it was 500kPa from my memory. He also told me that this value may fluctuate depending on time of day… not sure if right.

I hope a just speedy resolution soon.

Thanks again for your reply pbh.

1 Like

I had a situation not quite the same, but at 10 years on got a 50% credit (not a refund) for a mixer that had problems almost like clockwork at 2 year intervals, well documented with the importer and store engaged each time.

Persistence matters and one should never assume something cannot be refunded or credited until all avenues have been exhausted.


If Reece took this position it suggests the word of the consumer and the licensed plumber is not reliable. Certainly not in the spirit of the consumer law.

What are the alternatives for the consumer?

  1. To turn the water off to the home to prevent further leakage, and move out because there is no water.
  2. To have the leaking tap removed by a licensed person, after taking photos of the leak.
  3. To let the leak continue and accumulate damage in the hope the supplier will accept the ongoing damage that the owner could have mitigated by either of the first actions.
  4. Something else.

As a home owner isn’t your first responsibility to protect your property from further damage?
Does removing the leaking new tap ware meet that need and allow continued occupation?
If that creates a problem for the supplier tough! There is some poor advice being offered about reinstalling the defective tap before Reece will consider warranty. Reece should know better, IMO!

My approach. It’s up to Reece to prove the tap is not faulty, or was not installed correctly. They’d be welcome to turn up and reinstall the faulty tap, and if it leaked to remove it and make good. In the interim, I’d want my kitchen serviceable. Who would not?

I can see both sides to this discussion, but only one is considering the immediate needs of the home owner. It’s a very stressful situation.


The Australian Consumer Law is very clear on responsibilities. That being it is the responsibility of the retailer/manufacturer/importer to resolve any faults associated with their products.

As outlined above, if one wishes to take on some of the responsibilities, such as organising their own repairs etc, then this needs to be agreed with the retailer/manufacturer/importer as it deviates from the responsibilities outlined in the ACL and by the ACCC.

I can understand why a business like Reece wishes to use their own service agents (plumbers) when they are advised that one of their products potentially has a fault. Reece needs to ensure that:

  • the product was installed by a suitably qualified person (plumber)
  • the product is faulty (does it need a repair such as a replacement ceramic cartridge which would be a minor fault or say have a crack in the tap which would be a major fault)
  • the installation didn’t cause the fault
  • the leak is from the product
  • the leak wasn’t caused by things out of the design specification (such as reticulated water pressure being >500kPa)

Whilst any plumber can possibly carry out some of the above, there could be issues of trust if the plumber which installed the tap did the evaluation. Reece would need to trust the plumber if the installation caused the fault, the plumber will admit responsibility

I think it would be great if any consumer could organise a repair of a faulty product and then send the bill to the retailer/manufacturer/importer. While this would be great, it would be open to significant abuse and product prices would likely increase to cover the higher costs associated with post sale costs.

The only way to do this is for Reece to send out their own service agent to determine that the tap is faulty, and the leak isn’t for other reasons. Reece needs to do this in a reasonable time.

I suspect that @jon88 ha communicated the nature of the leak, and this may be used by Reece and its service agents to prioritise work. While everyone wishes for everything to happen yesterday, in the real world this is often not possible and one needs to be patient (within reason and for a reasonable time).

I would too. If the leak is only minor (which has been indicated above is a drip rather than a stream), then while inconvenient, it may still be possible to use the kitchen in the interim. If the drip turns into a stream and/or the drips cause damage, responsibility for this damage is outlined in the ACL/by the ACCC. @jon88 has through contact with Reece put them on notice that there could be damage caused, and if it is caused by their faulty product, they will be responsible for the damage it causes.


Removing the faulty product is not a repair! It is making the situation safe. Whether the ACL or a court would support this, who would take the chance? The ACL would seem to support the cost to the consumer of making safe would be covered, in particular as consequential loss.

Am I correct that ACL would support this? I don’t know. Neither of us are legally qualified and who knows what might be an arbitrated outcome. Personally I’d not advise anyone to ignore a leak. It is high risk. It is also a risk to assume that not taking action absolves responsibility for ongoing damage waiting for a plumber. I offer this as general advice to anyone in a similar situation.

It’s also important to consider the need to contact the supplier as soon as reasonably practical. Access to Reece’s remedy is only available based on their web site during normal business hours.

P.S. hopefully the difference between making a situation safe and attempting a repair is self evident. If Reece is legally ably to insist owners leave leaking taps in place for Reece’s convenience consumers need to look elsewhere for a more reputable supplier, or change the law. It’s worth a much more rigorous argument on behalf of consumers rights if the ACL supports Reece if that interpretation is legally sustainable. I very much doubt that it is. :wink: @BrendanMays

My previous local dealings with Reece, both retail and parts have always been positive. Problems such as those related by @jon88 will have differing circumstances. If a product is unsafe, presents a risk of injury or damage it should not be used and reasonable steps taken to make safe.


Yes, read information on the ACCC website. You don’t need to be a lawyer. If you need to be a lawyer, then anything posted by the ACCC or government agencies would be guidance only, and they would advise everyone would need to seek their own independent legal advice. This isn’t the case.

As the Reece warranty which you posted earlier is bluff (no responsibility for property damage) Reece potentially would point to this as a first course of action trying to bluff the consumer Being on the front foot stating you rights, removes any doubts.

Edit: the ACCC also provides the following example in relation to when a Business is responsible for loss or damage…

A consumer’s washing machine breaks down due to a fault. As a result, there is water damage to carpet in part of the house. The supplier will be responsible for the cost of replacing the carpet damaged by flooding from the faulty washing machine.

This example is close to the issue at hand (substitute tap for washing machine) and shows where responsibilities lie.


Being responsible and accepting responsibility are different. Most of us have made mention that companies who are happy to work to the ACL do, and those who are not do not and the consumer has to go to a tribunal, and many work in between,case by case.

I recently had a totally manageable problem whereby the repair was contracted out. The contractor was booked solid to Xmas, and then took holiday for all of January. The retailer was unwilling to get another contractor for my area. When he resumed work in Feb I needed to push pretty hard to get scheduled, and understanding the contractual relationships knew the contractor schedule had to be done through the retailer and perhaps raising the spectre of the contractor causing the retailer to have a lesser reputation from online reviews could have been coincidental but it suddenly got fixed quick smart.

1 Like

They have no choice but to accept responsibility. Whether they chose to make good any damage, this is another matter and currently a hypothetical. Hopefully Reece will resolve the leak quickly, determine its source, what has caused the leak and if it is was a faulty tap, provide speedy resolution under the ACL/product warranty.

We have had one dealing with Reece for a faulty kitchen faucet (one of their own store brands) a few years ago (cartridge leaked after about 12 months use causing a leak around the top of the tap). It took a few days for their service agent to arrive and agreed that it was a faulty cartridge which was fixed under warranty. The above information was our experience of what Reece will do. They will ask for information on who installed the tap, water pressure test, determine the source of the leak and then determine if they are responsible (or the installer or the home owner if the water pressure exceed 500kPa).

At this stage is is no reason to suggest that Reece won’t honour their warranty/responsibilities and consumer guarantee under the ACL. Should this not occur, then @jon88 can post again for more advice on what avenues to take.


So you’re supposed to have the thing installed, see that it leaks and then not use it, or use it and watch water damage happen until the plumber arrives at some indeterminate time? What utter nonsense.

@jon88 this particular Reece outlet is behaving badly by leaving you in the lurch without a functional kitchen for an unacceptable period of time. Independent plumber or not it’s still their ‘arrangement’ and if it doesn’t work it’s their problem, they should be making it good instead of blaming a third party/making excuses. It’s not like they told you up front that their repair ‘service’ actually isn’t a ‘service’ at all as you may not have bought from them.

If after this amount of time you went to another store and got another tap installed IMHO you’d have strong grounds to simply take the faulty one back and get a refund, stating the reasons why. If the leak isn’t too bad get the new plumber to remove and install the new tap so you save the cost of another callout. Make sure of course to document every call etc along the way and if the store refuses try emailing. If they still refuse got to Fair Trading.

You could try contacting Reece Head Office, AFAIK the stores are franchised but in cases like this sometimes a head office will get involved.


One of the warranty conditions is that:

‘The item has been installed by a plumber or trade person licensed to install the product’.

And yet Reece considers these people incompetent: didn’t install properly;
liars and cheats: trying to blame the product for their own incompetence and extract compensation under false pretence.
This is quite an accusation, if I were a plumber I’d sue them :wink:


This is mandated by law, no different to a power point needing to be installed by a licenced electrician.

Unfortunately, there are many reports of tradies doing poor or dodgy jobs.

The other thing which is unfortunate is being trusting has generally gone out the window, as there are also many examples of the dishonest when it comes to the trades. While most are possibly honest, it is the minority which aren’t causing the same paint brush to be applied to all. I can’t blame a company like Reece being cautious, as it is likely they have experienced the worst out there, and wouldn’t know who is reliable and honest.

There are also examples in the community where a tradesperson hasn’t meet the standard expected of them, causing problems and heartaches to consumers.

The regulators also seem to be unwilling to take action against those which fail to meet the necessary standards, which makes the situation harder for consumers (and businesses) to know which are the good ones.

The plumber which did the tap install, might be a very good one, but how would Reece know.


May I humbly disagree. They SHOULD accept responsibility, but there are many instances where they will not. The ‘average’ consumer can then go to their state’s Fair Trading, which we know are no more than a mail exchange, and they can complain to the ACCC who will not act on that individual’s behalf.

Unfortunately as discussed many times here in the community, if a business stonewalls, the only way to force a business to fulfill their obligations under ACL is by taking them to court. This is generally beyond what the ‘average’ consumer will be willing to undertake.


FWIW: as you’d be aware, a registered plumber has taken the trade test and is registered with the PIRB. This can be checked at the VBA website.
And trust goes both ways, why should the customer trust someone with vested interest coming to check?
Then, maybe an ‘Independent’ inspector should make the call?
Also, after selling a customer a faulty item which causes more than one problem: water wasting, mopping up, chasing the company more than once, and waiting a too long amount of time before they can get an inspector to your place to satisfy themselves that they sold you a faulty product, how and when is the customer to be compensated? Never, seems to be the answer!

1 Like