Technological innovation, warranty, and technical support key plumbing manager’s preference for Noritz tankless water heaters

SANTA ANA, CA — Simon “Shandy” Howarth has worked in the plumbing and allied fields for over three decades. Currently, he is the Service Plumbing Operations Manager for Pipe Restoration, Inc. At Pipe Restoration, Inc., Shandy and the team specialize in residential and commercial pipe restoration with their patented pipe-restoration processes, ePIPE® & eDRAIN®.

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ePIPE® and eDRAIN® use epoxy lining and coating technologies to restore your plumbing system “in place” without the normal destruction that comes with conventional pipe replacement. Since its introduction over 23 years ago, ePIPE® & eDRAIN® has saved home and commercial building owners millions of dollars.

To complement their patented “in-place” pipe restoration process, epoxy-lining installers utilize tankless technology for its superior ability to modulate the temperature of the water moving through the epoxy-lined pipe.

“What we like about tankless is that the installer has more control over the combustion process to create a steadier temperature over time,” Shandy explains. “That consistency helps protect the epoxy coating.” 


Why switch to tankless?

A native of the United Kingdom, Shandy worked as a general contractor and master carpenter there while also serving as a combat engineer in the British Army Corps of Royal Engineers. Arriving in the United States in 2012, he resumed his career as a general contractor doing carpentry, masonry, and plumbing.

A year after emigrating, Shandy chose to become a water heater specialist in Menifee, California. At the time, a routine day for Shandy involved installing up to a half dozen conventional, storage tank-type water heaters. But in that same first year, Shandy was introduced to Noritz and its tankless water heating technology.

His early experiences with tankless, with multiple plumbing companies, largely stemmed from a need for alternative plumbing solutions that reduced destruction and labor costs on various renovation projects. A pivotal moment came in 2015 with Noritz’s introduction of the EZTR40, a condensing residential unit with then-unheard-of top-mounted hot- and cold-water connections plus more flexible and, therefore, faster and easier venting options.

Shandy recalls the ease of switching to a tankless water heater — thanks to the top-mounted connections, just like a conventional tank unit — was a huge selling point for consumers. The replacement process, he notes, “was not only simpler but also reduced the amount of plumbing needed” because of the top-mounted connections. Meanwhile, venting could be quickly accomplished — again without costly extra plumbing work — by threading the accompanying two-inch, flexible polypropylene tubing through the existing B-Vent formerly used by the tank unit it is replacing.

Shandy’s use of the Noritz offering grew steadily as customers requested the line by name. In 2019, Shandy crossed paths with Noritz sales representative Jim Wachter, who helped deepen Shandy’s water heater expertise by regularly providing critical technical information. As will be explained further along, technical support soon became one of the keys to Shandy’s ongoing loyalty to Noritz.


Superior technology and warranty

Shandy credits Noritz’s innovative technology as a driving factor behind his preference for the brand: “Engineers, in particular, prefer Noritz because the company leads by emphasizing the latest technology,” he remarks.

“The NRCR111 DV is the most technically advanced residential water heater on the market,” he continues. “The introduction of stainless steel heat exchangers was another game-changer,” followed by heat-resistant materials like austenite and ferrite that help Noritz water heaters withstand high temperatures over time, enhancing performance and durability. Citing the industry-leading 25-year warranty of the EZ Series, Shandy comments: “That just shows how much Noritz values its customers and believes in its products.”

Shandy is also excited about the smart-home integrations with Noritz’s product lines. A recent project left him especially impressed by how this technology can boost comfort and convenience for people with disabilities.

“We were installing push-button, hot-water activation technology for a homeowner and his disabled wife,” he recalls, adding that the technology connected to a tankless heater wirelessly. “That way, whenever the wife enters the bathroom, she immediately pushes the button. By the time she reaches for the faucet, the hot water is already there and waiting.”

As consumer demand for smart home technology grows, Shandy sees the opportunity for this convenience feature to improve end-user experience.


Superior after-sales support

Shandy also points to Noritz’s best-in-class after-sales service as a critical factor underpinning the loyalty of both contractors and their customers. By achieving authorized service provider status, Shandy and other service technicians and building owners have the resources to resolve problems quickly. Noritz also provided in-person training with Jim Wachter, and remote training was available on a regular basis, reducing skill fade for Shandy and his team.

While many manufacturers struggled mightily with supply-chain gridlock during the recent pandemic, Shandy found Noritz parts were easily and readily available, eliminating the weeks-long waits so common in 2020 through 2022. In addition, he appreciates Noritz’s extensive back catalog that makes sourcing older models and parts easier.


Superior technical support

Having successfully installed Noritz’s tankless water heaters for over a decade, Shandy never hesitates to promote their durability to his customers. The inevitability of human error is why technical support is critical, he insists:

“Ultimately, it always comes down to maintenance. Making sure homeowners add water treatments and descalers annually is essential to preventing damage to your system.”

Even for less experienced technicians, Noritz’s centralized technical support resources have made system diagnostics a frictionless affair. Through the Noritz ProCard app — a centralized database of active tankless installers and service technicians nationwide — a licensed professional contractor can communicate directly and effectively with prospective customers. In doing so, they can obtain the knowledge and data they need to meet a customer’s water heater maintenance needs.

“Technicians input all the variables on the installed water heater,” he explains. “Using that input, the app will indicate the correct dip switch settings while delivering a diagnosis. On-demand knowledge is huge for winning customer trust because we can clearly explain what is wrong.”


1,000 tankless installs and counting

Shandy estimates he has installed nearly 1,000 tankless water heaters over the years. In his current operations management role at Pipe Restoration Inc., he is not as focused on water heater installation as he was previously. Nonetheless, he still sees Noritz’s tankless water heaters as the perfect complement to the patented “in-place” pipe restoration process.

For Shandy, the most compelling reason for continuing to use Noritz is the product quality. That’s the gospel that is frequently used to “convert” ePIPE customers from other brands to Noritz, says Shandy:

“The order here is always, Noritz first.”

# # #

For more information on the full line of Noritz tankless water heating products, visit www.noritz.com. You can also telephone us at 866.766.7489 or e-mail us at [email protected].

For editorial assistance, contact John O’Reilly or Tanya Okoye at GreenHouse Digital + PR, 15255 South 94th Avenue, Suite 500 | Orland Park, IL 60462; tel.: 708.428.6385; e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected].


NORITZ AMERICA CORPORATION, a subsidiary of Noritz Japan, has corporate offices in Fountain Valley, Calif., and Atlanta, offering a full line of tankless water heaters and high-efficiency combination boilers to meet the hot water demands of residential and commercial applications. Noritz supports its products with a national network of skilled representatives and employees who are committed to providing the finest products and services to our communities by helping consumers live a more comfortable, efficient, and healthy lifestyle. For more information on Noritz America and the entire line of Noritz’s ENERGY STAR® tankless water heaters, please call (877) 986-6748 or visit our website at www.noritz.com.




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Shandy Howarth (right), the Operations Manager for Pipe Restoration, Inc. with Jim Wachter (left), a Noritz Sales Representative.

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