PDA

View Full Version : How's my plumber doing?



augusta
10-10-2010, 05:51 PM
I know code is different from county to county, state to state, etc. etc. but some things are universal. Was hoping some plumbers could take a look and let me know if anything looks strange. General contractor was hired to handle some work in this home. One of his plumber guys' job was to rip out and replace the old tubs and tile shower in two bathrooms, and replace the old tub plumbing fixtures.

When I came out to check on things today, the plumber was out there for about 5 hours but hardly any work was done. He said he ran into problems with water leaking at one of his couplings. I asked why he didn't just solder some copper line in there to which he replied, "we don't use copper anymore. It's all just flex tubing nowadays." I thought, well, ok, if he says so, but there's copper in *this* home so one would think he'd just solder in some copper to keep things consistent.

I'm just a little worried about the water leaking around one of his connections (which he claims he'll take care of tomorrow). Anything stand out in either of these pics? I have a feeling I should have a plumber check behind a plumber at all times. I guess you never know when someone is having a bad day or just doesn't want to make an extra trip to the supply store to do a "better job" while deciding to take a short cut.

Thanks for taking a look.

1155411555

jimbo
10-10-2010, 06:33 PM
I can't tell, but I assume from the sloppy cement that the whitish pipe is CPVC and not PVC. In any event, the plastic stub out to the spout....SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED by the manufacturer's installation instructions, will cause you problems. Don't let him leave that.

see page 3 of pdf: http://www.moen.com/shared/pdf/instruction_sheets/ins129d.pdf

augusta
10-10-2010, 07:09 PM
Hi, thanks for responding. I just took the spout off of my tub filler at my house (constructed 5 years ago) and it has a pvc line to spout. What gives?

Redwood
10-10-2010, 08:39 PM
Fire the plumber!

If the leak doesn't say that the hacked up mess should.

Also Jimbo is dead on about the line for the spout being copper or, IPS pipe...

Terry
10-10-2010, 09:28 PM
Handyman.

A plumber would never do that.

The entire thing should have been done in copper with sweat fittings.
The tub spout stubout has to be copper.

jimbo
10-11-2010, 06:42 AM
Hi, thanks for responding. I just took the spout off of my tub filler at my house (constructed 5 years ago) and it has a pvc line to spout. What gives?

In that other house, do you have a problem whereby water dribbles out of the shower head when you are filling the tub? That is the side effect of using the wrong pipe.

Wally Hays
10-11-2010, 08:59 AM
I agree with Terry. Nobody with a license would have done work that crappy and if he does have a license it should be revoked. Those pictures make the pig slop award of the week.

hj
10-11-2010, 10:54 AM
1. I would NEVER screw a plastic fitting into a tub valve.
2. The CPVC spout connection COULD break some day, and will probably cause the shower to drip when you are filling the tub.
3. I would also NOT use CPVC between copper and a brass valve, but only for personal reasons. I don't know what he was thinking, by using a couple of inches of CPVC and a ''rinky dink" fitting instead of a couple of inches of copper tubing, unless he does not know how to solder.
4. I do not know if those transitions are a cheap Sharkbite knockoff or what, but they do not look very substantial.
5. I would NOT call that installer a "plumber", more on the order of a handyman.

Ian Gills
10-11-2010, 11:15 AM
He's not even a DIY'er. Shocking.

augusta
10-11-2010, 01:18 PM
Went back to this house armed with page 3 from Jimbo, but first I called my Ashi certified inspector. Here's what the inspector said, "in both our counties (in Augusta) use of either pvc or cpvc is allowed per county code, however, the hot side should not be pvc, but cpvc instead. Use of pvc inside a shower area is really a preference call, and it depends on how much room you have to work with. If we don't have a lot of room to work, we go the pvc route even if there's existing copper in the wall. Regarding the spout, homes are built to code all day long every day with pvc just so long as they have proper support. Often times code will conflict with manufacturer specs for warranty, and it's most likely that the manufacturer warranty is most strict (resulting in the conflict)." -- It's kind of like the no ethanol in 2 cycle chain saws. Some manufacturers say absolutely none, but most folks do just fine with 10% or less if you don't let the gas sit for long..not to mention it's very hard to find 100% ethanol free gas in my area.

When I went in the home around lunch time today, BOTH bath tubs were leaking (both pictures above). I was hoping he hadn't sealed up the wall because by the time I'd notice any leak, he'd be paid and gone. He didn't pull that stunt and simply asked me to run and get him more supplies. I kindly asked him to pack up and leave for the day until I decide what to do with it. Meanwhile, the Ashi certified inspector is going to come in and give me a quote of what it would take to go ALL copper and finish the job, drywall and all.

Just not comfortable with BOTH showers leaking when the pvc was his PREFERRED material to work with. If I were a "pro" there's no way on planet earth there would be a leak for 2 days on 2 tubs. Yeah, there's a such thing as defective parts, but that sort of thing should be spotted and fixed immediately in my opinion...and it's hard to believe that both parts in both tubs were defective. Looks more like inexperience.

Geesh...now I have to ask if they haul off the demolition (I thought this was a given?) I was told last night by the general contractor that they had not planned on hauling off what is a truck load of demolition sitting in the garage.

On the flip side, I've dealt with many so called legitimate plumbing companies. I've been through a rash of incompetent individuals there as well. That setup is nothing more than a master plumber who has hired a bunch of handymen as you call them ("in training"). It's basically 6 of one, or a half dozen of the other.

Kind of frustrating, but it's good to know one can come here for unbiased opinions from what I can assume are more knowledgeable people. Yet even here often times it's hard to get a consensus. I WILL take the advice here, have it all ripped out and done in copper. I'll snap a shot of the Inspector's guy's work when he completes his version of "the right way" although he said, leaks aside, there's nothing against code with using cpvc throughout, including the spout.

thanks for the advice.

Redwood
10-11-2010, 01:32 PM
Fire the general contractor...
Fire the plumber/handyman...
Fire the home inspector...

Fire everyone that tells you this hacked up mess is okay...

PVC may be allowed on cold lines in Augusta but that doesn't mean it's a good idea...
All that says is Augusta has a lax code and allows an inferior material where most areas across the country do not allow it inside the foundation.

I'm no fan of CPVC either but if I ever used it with a threaded connection it would be with one of these.

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2/Redwood39/cpvc-metal-male-adapters.jpg

And I would use copper or IPS pipe to the spout as specified by the manufacturer of the valve.

Cookie
10-11-2010, 04:01 PM
Looks good to me.

OKAY, okay, ONLY kidding!

hj
10-11-2010, 05:47 PM
quote; "in both our counties (in Augusta) use of either pvc or cpvc is allowed per county code, however, the hot side should not be pvc, but cpvc instead. Use of pvc inside a shower area is really a preference call, and it depends on how much room you have to work with. If we don't have a lot of room to work, we go the pvc route even if there's existing copper in the wall. Regarding the spout, homes are built to code all day long every day with pvc just so long as they have proper support.

What a bunch of cr**. If you do not have a lot of room to work with, PVC or CPVC takes up a lot MORE space than copper, so why would you use either one? A plastic, whether PVC or CPVC, is NEVER a good idea, since it is FRAGILE, and could break the first time someone grabs the spout to keep from falling. I think they should also fire the city inspector who made that statement.

Wally Hays
10-11-2010, 05:54 PM
Isn't Georga an IPC state ?

nukeman
10-12-2010, 05:47 AM
Yes, GA is IPC based. Here are the amendments (state level):

http://www.dca.state.ga.us/development/constructioncodes/programs/documents/IPC2010Amendments_effective.pdf

I don't see anything allowing PVC for "distribution" piping. We have also seen other people from GA saying PVC is allowed for this. I haven't seen proof, though. Either there are city/county level amendments that allow it or the inspectors don't understand the difference between water "supply" piping and water "distribution" piping.

I agree that it should have been done in copper. Even DIY it would be a pretty simple job (couple fittings, a little bit of copper pipe, flux/solder/torch). You could fix it yourself or a real plumber could knock that out in no time (without leaks).

Ian Gills
10-13-2010, 05:12 PM
This is why you should learn to DIY. And this is a great site to provide tips on that.

It's the only way to do it right.

Buy some pipe and learn so solder. And fix the thing yourself. Right. The first time. Or perhaps the second. But on your time.

I never looked back after my first sloppy contractor job. Should have done it myself all along.

Terry
10-13-2010, 05:51 PM
When I was young and in my twenties, just starting out, I ran nothing but copper. Being an apprentice, all I was running was the water.
I went 8 months without a leak.
It was kind of freaky, and word got out and a lot of the other guys weren't happy with me.
But that's how it went down.

A bit later they let me start doing waste and vents, and after a while gave me a guy to run copper.

If your plumber can't run copper, he's not a plumber.
If your plumber needs you to run to the hardware store to pick up fittings, he's not a plumber.
If those pictures are real, and this isn't some kind of joke, he's not a plumber.

Basement_Lurker
10-13-2010, 06:40 PM
What a mess. Both the installer and the GC are at fault in my book.

augusta
10-14-2010, 12:40 PM
In that other house, do you have a problem whereby water dribbles out of the shower head when you are filling the tub? That is the side effect of using the wrong pipe.

Didn't see this post until just now. No problems with water dribbling out of the shower head when filling the tub in my personal residence. I do have a shower massage, though I'm not sure if that would make a difference. I guess the minimum standards are more lax in the South. Figures.


I think they should also fire the city inspector who made that statement.

I said he is an Ashi certified *home* inspector, not a city inspector. The Ashi certified home inspector was speaking in terms of minimum standards (our county code).


This is why you should learn to DIY. And this is a great site to provide tips on that.

It's the only way to do it right.

Buy some pipe and learn so solder. And fix the thing yourself. Right. The first time. Or perhaps the second. But on your time.

I never looked back after my first sloppy contractor job. Should have done it myself all along.

Yeah, I'm with you on that. I like to learn how to do things the right way, but doing it myself is another story. Unfortunately, with 3 businesses I own and run, I don't have the time to do everything myself as much as I'd like to. I'd like to know how to do things so I can prescreen self proclaimed professionals so as to weed out the inexperienced guys before they even step foot on a job site. This is harder to do with a full fledged plumbing company because you never know who they are going to send out. More often than not, it's some new guy in training, screwing everything up, because good workers are hard to find. Meanwhile, the master plumber is going to the new construction job sites where his bread and butter is. In the master plumber's down time, he goes out and fixes all of his workers' screw ups. You master plumbers know what I'm talking about.




If your plumber can't run copper, he's not a plumber.
If your plumber needs you to run to the hardware store to pick up fittings, he's not a plumber.
If those pictures are real, and this isn't some kind of joke, he's not a plumber.

Not taking up for him because he cost me quite a bit of money, but he chose cpvc because it's cheaper, easier to work with, and meets minimum standards. He asked for me to run to the store because the GC dropped them all off on the job site. LOL! I wish it were a joke! You have no idea. First, the house is "haunted." Family was scared to death of seeing a little girl in this house (who disappears around hallway corners). Got so bad they had their priest come over and sprinkle Holy water in every room and bless the house. They moved out and now the house is vacant while I remodel. I have to admit, I don't really believe silly stuff like that, but when I was first working on this house before this family moved in years ago, I had to leave because of unexplained and untraceable noises coming from all parts of that house. I was beginning to think I was crazy. I never told a soul other than my wife, and I most certainly didn't tell the family who moved in and later experienced all sorts of horrors. What was I to say? I hear noises? I see dead people?

It gets worse. GC was on a ladder the other day doing the gutters, fell off, cracked a rib, pinched his lung, and is in the ICU. I sure hope he doesn't tell me he thinks he was pushed when he was the only one anywhere near the ladder. If I hear another "haunted" or mysterious event come out of this house, I may have to sell it.

I couldn't make this stuff up, really. I had to fire the "plumber" the other day, GC is in the hospital from the ladder incident, and I don't think the other guys have vehicles, or they have only one vehicle and the wife has it. I saw yesterday that when the plumber moved some of the demolition to the garage, he didn't pick it up all the way off the ground and left several long deep scratches in the floor in the dining room. Who do you think is going to pay for that? More damage I'll have to eat.

Yesterday, I brought on 2 new guys. We spent about 30 to 45 minutes in disbelief of the terrible work that was done in both bathrooms. They picked it apart worse than you guys did (only because they could see more than what the pictures show). It's really unbelievable that is was done as shoddy as it was.

The quote to rip out all of what the previous guy did (drywall, tub, inserts, plumbing) and start over is $2,000 in labor for both bathrooms (actually they said $1500 but I threw in an extra $500). I don't know how that compares to other places in the US, but here in this town, brand spanking new construction (coffered ceilings in dining room, granite counter tops, tiled floors in kitchen, baths, and laundry room, 8' ceilings, 2 story foyers, brick front, fiber cement siding back and sides, heavy molding throughout, landscape all 4 sides, sprinklers front and sides, 2 car garage, all appliances including refrig, 3000 - 4000 sq ft) homes are going for about $45 per sq foot - including the lot.

Will post new pictures soon for more commentary.

augusta
10-22-2010, 02:26 PM
Newest plumber is now hired. Last plumber from first set of pictures fired. This plumber can solder some pipes...but....check out the alignment...if you take a look at the photos before the inserts were installed, you can see there's nothing in the way horizontally to obstruct any alignment with the drain. Comments on this newest work?

First 2 pictures below are bathroom 'A', the last 2 are bathroom 'B'.

Bathroom 'A'
11618
Bathroom 'A'
11620

Bathroom 'B'
11619
Bathroom 'B'
11621

Terry
10-22-2010, 03:04 PM
I'm getting dizzy looking at it.
If that's what other plumbing shops are doing, I should be raising my prices.

And the tub was there before he started installing the valve?
Was he texting on his cell phone the entire time?
Was it just too much trouble to "think" about what he was doing?


http://www.terrylove.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=11621&d=1287782319

augusta
10-22-2010, 03:32 PM
Hey Terry, thanks for responding. So looking inside the wall (bathroom 'B'), there's no reason to not be able to go to the right about 5 inches, is there? Is there some minimum distance between those males and the 90's? Because on the right, he's got like 3 inches until he hits the stud, but then he could easily shorten the distance coming out of those males (horizontally) to make up for the other 2 or 3 inches needed to align with the drain.

They took both tubs completely out to level them, because the first guy used spare pieces of sheet rock to shim the tub level. Yes, sheet rock - like that was going to hold it for long. So I don't understand why there are alignment issues. I don't even get why in bathroom 'A', the trim pieces are TOUCHING. If I were a plumber, I'd simply ask the customer - WHERE DO YOU PREFER THE TUB SPOUT AND WHERE DO YOU PREFER THE WATER VALVE TO BE (vertical height)? Do plumbers assume some distance? And are there any plumbers on this planet who actually leave no distance between trim when there's no good reason to even do that?

As a general rule, I'd advise center of tub spout at 17" from bottom of tub and center of valve 28" from bottom of tub. I'd also consider the size of the trim long before I even attempted to position the valve in the wall.

Any way I can get some plumbers from up North to move to the South? Geesh.

Redwood
10-22-2010, 04:53 PM
Unbelievable!
I'm surprised the guy got the overflow plate centered on the tub drain...:rolleyes:
Oh wait the holes were already put there by the tub manufacturer...

Was this another plumber hired by the contractor?

augusta
10-23-2010, 03:04 AM
Questions:

1. So looking inside the wall (bathroom 'B'), there's no reason to not be able to go to the right about 5 inches, is there? Is there some minimum distance between those males and the 90's? Because on the right, he's got like 3 inches until he hits the stud, but then he could easily shorten the distance coming out of those males (horizontally) to make up for the other 2 or 3 inches needed to align with the drain.

2. I don't even get why in bathroom 'A', the trim pieces are TOUCHING. If I were a plumber, I'd simply ask the customer - WHERE DO YOU PREFER THE TUB SPOUT AND WHERE DO YOU PREFER THE WATER VALVE TO BE (vertical height)? Do plumbers assume some distance?

3. And are there any plumbers on this planet who actually leave no distance between trim when there's no good reason to even do that?

jimbo
10-23-2010, 06:43 AM
A Yugo also met minimum standards,

I hope the contractor who fell off the ladder has workers comp, or the hospital will come after YOUR insurance.

hj
10-23-2010, 09:29 AM
WHEN were the holes drilled in the surround. If they were already there when the second plumber installed the valve, he HAD to put the valve where they were. If HE drilled the holes, then he really needs to check his ruler because there is NO reason to install the valves "off center" unless he is trying to align with some preexisting condition. And he might be a "hack" plumber just like the first one. He must have gotten lucky in the upper photo and just barely got the spout not to hit the faucet's trim plate. I also do NOT see anything securing the valves, unless it was added after the pictures. I moved from the North to the Southwest, and the union tried its best to send me back.

augusta
10-23-2010, 05:31 PM
Is there some minimum distance between those horizontal males and the 90's in the bathroom 'B' picture? Is there some procedure to follow for cutting into the studs if more horizontal room is needed? Thanks.

Terry
10-23-2010, 06:28 PM
The pipes going into the valve could have been street 90 els, or pipe that is ten feet long or more. It's under pressure and will find a way through.
And yes, you can drill studs if needed. And like hj mentioned, I don't see any backing supporting the valve.

jnaas2
10-23-2010, 07:06 PM
I would be looking for empty beer cans stuffed in the wall or heat register, because this guy was either drunk, stoned or blind. After seeing these pictures Im going to raise my prices for the high quality of work that i do

Ian Gills
10-24-2010, 09:00 AM
I'm never hiring a contractor ever again.

DIY all the way baby.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOmBMyx9WHQ

shacko
10-24-2010, 12:50 PM
augusta:

>>>I'd simply ask the customer - WHERE DO YOU PREFER THE TUB SPOUT AND WHERE DO YOU PREFER THE WATER VALVE TO BE (vertical height)? Do plumbers assume some distance? And are there any plumbers on this planet who actually leave no distance between trim when there's no good reason to even do that? <<<

A plumber sholdn't be ASSUMING anything, without input from the owners you put the valve in according to the DIRECTIONS that come with them!!

A perfect example of the BREEDING POLICE not doing their job! :eek::eek:

augusta
10-24-2010, 05:54 PM
augusta:

>>>I'd simply ask the customer - WHERE DO YOU PREFER THE TUB SPOUT AND WHERE DO YOU PREFER THE WATER VALVE TO BE (vertical height)? Do plumbers assume some distance? And are there any plumbers on this planet who actually leave no distance between trim when there's no good reason to even do that? <<<

A plumber sholdn't be ASSUMING anything, without input from the owners you put the valve in according to the DIRECTIONS that come with them!!

A perfect example of the BREEDING POLICE not doing their job! :eek::eek:

You would think they wouldn't assume. I have yet to deal with one who actually asks questions. When I had my new home built (not the house in this thread), I had jets for 2 walls in the master shower. Do you think the plumbing company asked me one single question of spacing between jets? I mean, he knew there were a total of 4 jets; 2 on the valve wall and 2 on the opposite wall, but he never asked me at what vertical height I wanted them. On the valve wall one of the jets' trim was touching the valve trim, and looked like it was even bent a little in trying to force it to fit (because they didn't take into consideration the distance for the trim before they started sweating pipes). The bottom jet was positioned where it would hit me in the crotch every time I cut it on - and that thing hurt buddy. So I never used it. It looked really cool in the magazine though.

I left a note in the home (it's vacant) for the guys to see. It said I wanted them to redo the tub in the master bath, with the brand new inserts I had to go buy a second time (which I plan on deducting from the bill). Of course they'd have to rip out the wall they just finished in order to redo it, this time getting things lined up IN THE CENTER. I thought common sense would dictate this much. I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. If I give them all the details they think I'm bossy, controlling, and telling them how to do their job. If I don't give them the details, they screw everything up every single time. Then they'll make a bunch of lame excuses as to why things ended up the way they did. They read the note with the sketch of how it should look (like a normal shower), set the note down in the shower and left (this was Saturday morning). I haven't heard from them since.

With the time and money I've got in this, I could have flown one of you guys to Augusta to take care of it.

hj
10-25-2010, 06:15 PM
That video is a PERFECT DIY training film. I have NEVER found a handyman, farmer, or DIYer, who did not think he had more than enough knowledge, (and more than any contractor), to do his project. You seem to fit into that mold.

augusta
10-26-2010, 03:16 PM
Got a hold of the plumber today. He said that he doesn't know what happened to the alignment. Said it must have shifted in the wall (even though he cut the holes in the insert OFF CENTER...which has nothing to do with shifting in the wall. Even if the valve in the wall had not shifted, it would have to shift to align with the off center holes in the insert, resulting in an OFF CENTER head/valve/tub spout.) Then he said he wanted to get paid for the one bathroom that I said would barely pass (the one with the trim touching..I said I could live with it, but I'm not happy about it.) Then he said that if I paid him half of the agreed upon amount, he may be able to persuade his partner and the third guy (helper) to come back out to finish the other bath (I guess they feel this is some sort of favor).

I told him about the manufacturer specs, and if he had followed them, he wouldn't have trim touching. He replied that he measured the fixtures at his house, and then at a friend's house, and he came up with the same measurement as what he did in the bathroom with the trim touching. I kept repeating READ THE DIRECTIONS, even bringing a direction book into the bathroom while he was working prior to the screw up. Back when I did that he said, "we're not done. Can you wait until we're done to comment? Just chill." Ok. I chilled. By the way, this plumber works full time for the County.

When I first began with the second group of guys, I agreed to pay $2,000 labor total for both baths, now that the demolition was done and hauled off (I paid for the materials which were about $3,000) but I told him it was only fair that he picked up the cost of the 2nd insert since he cut the holes off center (it was about $240). If I pay them $1000 labor for the one bath less $240 for the screwed up insert, then they are looking at $760 for several days of work. What do you guys think? What's fair considering the finished pictures above?

Ian Gills
10-26-2010, 03:25 PM
That video is a PERFECT DIY training film. I have NEVER found a handyman, farmer, or DIYer, who did not think he had more than enough knowledge, (and more than any contractor), to do his project. You seem to fit into that mold.

Objection. I know my limits. I wouldn't attempt to replace a furnace or an air conditioner, for example. Or even think of doing an electrical service upgrade without hiring a local, licensed, trusted professional.

But I would solder a section of pipe myself and take the time to cut it exactly to length and level it with a spirit level, which you probably would not have time to do. I'd also fit my own faucet, or replace an angle stop, and, not having to rely on just what your supply house stocks, could source these from reputable companies that still produce in the US or Canada, for example.

The OP's example is a case in point.

Not having your time and cost constraints for simple work gives DIYers infinite advantages over hiring a pro. Period.

And if it's a hobby, then hiring a pro for these types of work is just unthinkable.

Pros should stick to pro work. Not household maintenance.

augusta
10-27-2010, 02:44 PM
Need some help deciding what's fair.

When I first began with the second group of guys, I agreed to pay $2,000 labor total for both baths, now that the demolition was done and hauled off (I paid for the materials which were about $3,000) but I told him it was only fair that he picked up the cost of the 2nd insert since he cut the holes off center (it was about $240). If I pay them $1000 labor for the one bath less $240 for the screwed up insert, then they are looking at $760 for several days of work (they actually put in a wall to the far left of each bath to make up for the shorter space that the inserts would not cover. I still hauled off all drywall/scraps/etc). What do you guys think? What's fair considering the finished pictures above?

ballvalve
10-28-2010, 12:32 AM
Anyone that works full time for a county has a heritage or culture of NON RESPONSIBILITY. Working for the county typically means you are accustomed to doing poor work without any oversight. Good luck with the county stooges!

Also, you ADDED 500$ to their bill as I recall you wrote.... Interesting idea in hindsight, no?

What the hell was that about? Money for more vodka?

And about what's fair? How about massaging them with a ball pein hammer?

Who gives a S#&*&% how long they took to perform their stupidity.

And charge them $750 for clean up and stress.

Terry
10-28-2010, 09:18 AM
It would be hard to comment on pricing for two reasons.

We have no idea of the scope of work being done.

The wages there may be different.

I will say that it's not uncommon for a complete bath remodel to hit $10,000
And you had two of them done?

Material is the smaller part of the job.
When I was building new homes, I had a painting bid that was 1/3 third what the other painters were charging.
There was no way I was going to let someone touch my woodwork if they felt they couldn't take the proper amount of time and effort for the quality job I was wanting. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

http://www.terrylove.com/images/lot18_1.jpg

Ian Gills
10-28-2010, 11:12 AM
In the North-East things are more expensive. The picture of the home Terry posted could be bought for about $65,000 in Bothell. Possibly more if they'd used square windows instead of round ones and replaced the missing chimney caps.

Where I live, however, it would be so expensive even with these faults that you couldn't buy it because there aren't enough dollars in circulation. China might be able to afford one though...just.

Bottom line. How much should you pay them? How long is a piece of string? Just get them out and right it off as a loss.

ballvalve
10-28-2010, 11:21 AM
The house is bank owned and the paint is peeling by now. Brave new world.

Furd
10-28-2010, 12:41 PM
Ian, if you think that home in Terry's post would sell for $65k in Bothell you are stupider than you look. $465k MINIMUM is more likely and $650k wouldn't surprise me.

Ian Gills
10-28-2010, 01:21 PM
That's pennies on the dollar compared to the North East!

And in this market? They're giving houses away.

Now a boat in Bothell. That'd be worth something.

Redwood
10-28-2010, 01:34 PM
Ian,
Would you consider appraising this house in Connecticut...
If you underappraise it like Terry's house I might be able to upgrade...:D

11670

I mean heck! It's an older home the lawn doesn't have grass growing...
This dump can't be worth much...

Ian Gills
10-28-2010, 02:29 PM
That's a beautiful house Redwood. But, again, you wouldn't need to pay much for it.

It's all about location, location, location you see.

I can think of at least 10 reasons you might not want to move to Connecticut:

10) You have to explain to most foreigners that you either live close to New York or Boston
9) Having to live next to New York
8) The three most famous people to come out of Connecticut were Redwood, a con man who ran a freak show and a man who was the primary cause of the Civil War
7) Because you have no point in being there other than during the fall
6) You can either be a pansy and support the Yankees or a masochist and support the Red Sox
5) (deleted because this one is boring)
4) You get to hear New Yorkers compliment you for the peace and quiet
3) (deleted because even I found this too rude)
2) People from other states are usually right
1) It's Connecticut

Redwood
10-28-2010, 02:37 PM
Well I guess since you didn't mention a price I can't afford it....:(

Ian Gills
10-28-2010, 03:48 PM
It is cheap Redwood, but even I'll admit that it's probably out of the range of a plumber.

Now a Sparky. That would be different. He could live in a house like that.

Or a drywaller. Even a handyman.

Redwood
10-28-2010, 03:54 PM
I just found this other picture of it...

11674

I guess it changes everything...
Like you said its location, location, location...
At $6.2M I don't see sparky or a drywall hanger getting in there either....

augusta
10-28-2010, 05:37 PM
Wow, some of you guys went from Master Plumber to Licensed Real Estate Broker in one quantum leap. Amazing.

Ian, you aren't sounding very reasonable with an estimated $65K for the home in the picture, assuming nothing is devastating in the home itself, or its location to adversely affect its market value (like next door to a busy air port). Exaggerations like that won't make you sound very credible. That being said, Washington State's foreclosure percentage has increased by 71% this year.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27329406/

Even still, I think the Gaussian distribution of depreciation of high end homes would be more like an approximate 33% at its peak. You can thank all of the inflated appraisals, subprime lending, and no money down mortgages for that.

I am licensed as Real Estate broker with my own firm, so I can speak with some credible level of authority, but knowing real estate is a local market, and not knowing any more about the Washington area other than what's on the news, I'd have no other idea what home values are like in Washington, nor would I pretend to without a proper market analysis on a specific subject home. I'd need to go inside as well.

Terry, the wages being different in Augusta is neither here nor there. I gave the agreed upon amount for completion of the job; $2,000.00 labor total both baths. I also said that new construction homes are going for roughly $50 per square foot including the lot. Labor, materials, and home values are way down in Augusta. Unemployment is way up. Everyone here wants to work. The problem is sifting through the bad ones - even the "reputable" plumbing companies while they send the new guy out.

Scope of work? Remove the inserts that were installed by the first crew, remove some drywall from above and beside the inserts (bathrooms are very small at about 6'X7'), remove the shoddy plumbing work in the first set of pictures, install new plumbing to manufacturer specs shown in second set of pictures, build out a wall roughly 2'wide by 8' tall in both baths to make up for the new inserts not going all the way out to the far wall where the wall tiles were removed by the first crew, install drywall, and mud, install new baseboards and quarter round in both bathrooms. No sanding, no painting, no floors, no haul off. Since room was very limited, they had to remove both toilets to have room to move. They also had to cut out both valves to the toilets and install new ones since the drywall was removed from behind the toilets.

I got one vote for not giving them a thing. I think that's a bit extreme. But I did just get finished explaining to them about the last group of clowns that were there. I also explained to the second crew that the first crew didn't have insurance, worker's comp, didn't pull a permit, no business license, - the GC does this type of work for the State (he's got health insurance but his workers don't). So what did the second crew do after I told them that? Didn't pull a permit (probably because they don't have a business license, and likely don't report income, etc. etc.) You would think they'd either do it right, don't do it at all, or take extreme caution. I'll take some heat for it not going down so well. I'm not new to any of this. I usually get way more than what I pay for, and I don't even take the lowest bid. This time I got burned a little, not bad though. I always, I mean ALWAYS come out ahead after I think things through (coming here for opinions helps). Just trying to not get burned again and be somewhat fair at the same time. That's why I'm here asking you guys at this point of the fiasco.

Thanks again.

P.S. Never been a fan of the phrase "you get what you pay for" although you did qualify it with "sometimes." The goal is to find a happy medium - not to find the most expensive bid out there as if the price directly correlates to the end product. I've been using an EXPERT HVAC guy for over a decade now. That guy is as good as gold. Will go out and put 1 to 2 pounds of freon, recharge units for $50 a visit. He does this on his own time on the side. Everyone else (via the company) charges about $160. I haven't had a single mishap with him or his work. And even if I did, with all the money I've saved over time with him - I'd just eat it. I haven't saved a thing with these new guys- as they started screwing up the moment I took my eyes off of them. I'll promise you this - the 3rd crew will be licensed, bonded, insured, pull a permit, and will come highly recommended by several builders. But I can almost promise you I'll have a different set of crazy crap happen with them. Plumbing companies know as well as I do that good workers are very hard to find and keep. I'll be back with the newest set of pictures soon enough. Wait and see. ;-)

Furd
10-28-2010, 06:12 PM
I just did a search on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service for homes priced between $60,000 and $70,000 in the Bothell area of Snohomish county (Bothell straddles the King-Snohomish county line) and I found ONE listing, a one bedroom, one bathroom 488 square foot condominium built in 1998. Generally speaking, homes in Snohomish county are priced lower than King county.

So, the bottom line is, Ian Gills doesn't have a clue to what real estate prices in my (and Terry's) area might be.

Ian, have you ever even been to Bothell? Ever been west of the Mississippi River?

Terry
10-28-2010, 06:23 PM
Furd,
Ian is pulling your leg, or my leg.
Just like he's pulling Redwood's leg too.

http://www.redfin.com/WA/Woodinville/16700-NE-166th-St-98072/home/447956

http://www.realtor.com/property-detail/16700-NE-166th-St_Woodinville_WA_98072_b6d07d04

http://www.zillow.com/homes/16700-NE-166th-St,-98072_rb/

The home was built in Woodinville.
I also built one like it in Bellevue.

Ian Gills
10-28-2010, 06:31 PM
A 37,000 square feet lot. It's not in Woodinvile. It is Woodinville.

I also think the name Bothell sounds funny. Cute. But definitely funny.

I'd like to live in "Bothell".

In "Snohomish" :)

I imagine it might look something like this:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/53/146623222_b889bc5821.jpg

And truth be told I've never been west of the Appalachian mountains. It's a long way away and I don't speak the language.

Furd
10-28-2010, 07:37 PM
I'm putting Mr. Gill back on my "ignore" list. Must be sad to have no purpose in life other than to constantly run down other people.

Doherty Plumbing
10-28-2010, 08:31 PM
Can no one take a joke these days?

asktom
10-28-2010, 10:48 PM
I can take a joke. This is a rather amusing thread.

Terry
10-29-2010, 12:45 AM
I'm sorry I said "Sometimes you get what you pay for."

Of course the guy that does work under the table in his spare time that doesn't report income to IRS is a bargain.
Gee. Why doesn't everyone work that way. What does he do in his time that isn't spare time?
Does he run a daycare?
Is he doing HVAC as a hobby?

$2000 per bathroom for plumbing, framing and drywall. Any electrical wiring with that?
Non-licensed, okay we now know that. We could tell by the pictures that they had never plumbed before.
Hows their drywall? Oh yeah, you can't do the drywall yet, the plumbing still isn't right.
So, if you're say like building a new home, you would go with the guy that was 1/3 the price of everyone else? Kind of a gamble don't you think, with wood windows, unfinished cabinets and six panel fir doors. If the 1/3 guy screws up all the unfinished wood, I would have been out a lot of money. A lot more money then the painting was going to be at the "real" price.

Do I buy lottery tickets? No. I don't.
I don't really like gambling. Some people do.
We redo lots of work that is done by handymen. Rarely do we redo work from homeowners, at least a homeowner will read instructions. Handymen don't.
You would be surprised how often I ask the homeowners to put their handymen on the phone so we can talk them through something very simple. And yet, they don't really want to know how to do it. How funny is that. I know a woman whose son-in-law was a handyman. He redid her kitchen sink and the downstairs bathroom. What a mess. Just horrible work. Though she thought that he was wonderful. Crooked walls. Tile that wasn't centered. Three p-traps under the kitchen sink, and after a while the dishwasher quit draining. No room under the sink with all that extra and useless plumbing. Fittings were even installed backwards. Vinyl flooring that was cut too short, not even touching the wall.
It was very hack.
But she thought it was wonderful. To me it looked like a mess and should have been torn out.
Last Christmas I gave him a toilet with seat. He lost the rubber cushions and seat bolts, so after he installed the seat, it slides back and forth. A homeowner would have kept the bag with the fittings and installed it correctly. For some reason, a homeowner is a little slower, and they will read the manual and determine what parts there are.
A handyman, just too much in a hurry.

ballvalve
10-29-2010, 03:18 AM
I've been using an EXPERT HVAC guy for over a decade now. That guy is as good as gold. Will go out and put 1 to 2 pounds of freon, recharge units for $50 a visit. He does this on his own time on the side. Everyone else (via the company) charges about $160. I haven't had a single

Your expert is an expert criminal, using the owners freon and tools. Typical dirt bag 'trusted' employee.

Do you buy your clothes from professional shoplifters too?

Terry
10-29-2010, 09:26 AM
Your expert is an expert criminal, using the owners freon and tools. Typical dirt bag 'trusted' employee.

Do you buy your clothes from professional shoplifters too?
ballvalve


I was thinking it, but left that part unsaid. Funny.

augusta
10-29-2010, 09:55 AM
Do you buy your clothes from professional shoplifters too?
ballvalve

I have a better question: Did you attempt to gain reading and comprehension skills from a third world country? Read along and I'll try to explain, although I can't force you to understand. There's a couple of you here who come out swinging in these threads. Chill out, and try to be civil.

I think some egos may be getting in the way of the truth here. Seems this site, or at least this thread, is turning into DIY vs career plumber death match.

Here's an accurate picture from someone who's neither: You have shoddy guys working for the high and mighty plumbing company who screw up work, or do extremely crappy work. You also have very few really talented plumbers working for the high and mighty plumbing company.

On the other side of the coin we have non plumbing companies (guys doing work on the side, handymen, etc.) where there are shoddy guys who screw up work, or do extremely crappy work (see the beginning of this thread). You also have very few talented non plumbing company guys out there yet they are willing to work for less than the plumbing companies because they don't have to pay rent or mortgage on a building, they don't have payroll, small advertising budget, (whether or not they're reporting their income - I can only speculate for those who bill me less than $600 per year). You guys do see and understand both sides of this coin, yes?

There's always the typical haters (see previous posts in this thread) who ASSUME that the guys who do work on the side are "dirt bags" or "criminals" without knowing the first thing about their arrangement (talking about my HVAC guy here). Also, a 30lb cylinder of R22 refrigerant is currently about $198 per cylinder, approximately $6.60 per pound. My HVAC guy has a 609 license, and had his own HVAC business before he teamed with a friend in another HVAC business. As long as his customers are his friends/family, his partner is fine with him "competing." You should probably ask before you assume, condemn, and begin with the name calling, or at least your mother should have told you that.

Regarding the 1/3 bid stuff: I don't take the lowest bid for the sake of lowest bid. I consider many things, and weigh them accordingly. What's funny to me is the hypocrisy of it all. It's usually the same folks who act like they would happily pay the highest bid (because of course highest bid = excellent end result, right?) for a project yet those same folks underpay the daylights out of their few great employees. I see that pattern of behavior time and time again with business owners. The name of the game is best results for the lowest price while operating with integrity and fairness.

ballvalve
10-29-2010, 10:21 AM
Those weekend bargains almost always involve some sort of mendacity or theft. And it is not going to be revealed to you or to his "boss" either, no matter the "agreement" ...just a simple fact of human nature.

My mother called the trusted guy[s] that robbed me when on vacation or out of the shop a pack of F**&^%&$ ASSS&^%^!! We had a similiar agreement also....Started their own business and did the same to each other!

She wrote the checks as the secretary for the insurance, lights, materials, fuel, tools. Noticed a nice savings when they finally got busted. Called them dirt bags too.

Bargains are good, but beware of parasites.

Redwood
10-29-2010, 12:21 PM
I've been using an EXPERT HVAC guy for over a decade now. That guy is as good as gold. Will go out and put 1 to 2 pounds of freon, recharge units for $50 a visit. He does this on his own time on the side. Everyone else (via the company) charges about $160. I haven't had a single mishap with him or his work. And even if I did, with all the money I've saved over time with him - I'd just eat it.

Thanks for contributing to the demise of the ozone layer! (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/index.html) My 33 year old daughter that just had a chunk of melanoma carved out of her arm (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/effects/index.html) thanks to you and your Expert HVAC guy. In case you don't realize it the HVAC guys aren't just supposed to put in 1-2 lbs. of freon for $50 a visit but rather they are supposed to repair the leak causing the loss of freon (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/leak.html) which costs more.

BTW My daughter is fair skinned and never had a heavy exposure to the sun. She has always been the leading advocate of sunscreen being applied in our family. She is a proper skin care poster child yet has had melanoma removed. Thanks!

Terry
10-29-2010, 01:26 PM
I don't think anyone is talking about "highest" bidder, most people recommend a middle or average bid.

If you are having problems with a high and mighty plumbing company, then that's just sad. You would expect good work from a company like that.
That may not always be the case though. And it's sometimes hard to know that unless you have some sort of experience with them. Sometimes even a good company can get a new hire that takes a while to weed out.

When I was building homes, my contractors were in the middle. Though I will say that the finish carpenter, the rough framers, the drywall, the painting and roofing were excellent.
But even at the start, the guys grading were amazing, and the foundation guys were perfect.

I will say that on the second home, I had some problems. The second home I had to redo the driveway and patio. Heck, the second home looked like a second attempt. For some reason, the first home was very good, and then the second wasn't. But then after that, I was up and rolling until the late 80's economy took me out of it. That's when I went back to plumbing.

augusta
10-29-2010, 01:29 PM
Thanks for contributing to the demise of the ozone layer! (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/index.html) My 33 year old daughter that just had a chunk of melanoma carved out of her arm (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/effects/index.html) thanks to you and your Expert HVAC guy. In case you don't realize it the HVAC guys aren't just supposed to put in 1-2 lbs. of freon for $50 a visit but rather they are supposed to repair the leak causing the loss of freon (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/leak.html) which costs more.

BTW My daughter is fair skinned and never had a heavy exposure to the sun. She has always been the leading advocate of sunscreen being applied in our family. She is a proper skin care poster child yet has had melanoma removed. Thanks!

First, sorry to hear about your daughter. Second, boy, some of you guys are straight up nuts. And pulling your daughter into this thread? I've got a few for you, Redwood:

Have you bought your wife/girlfriend a diamond before? Thanks for contributing to the death and brutality of hundreds if not thousands of men, women, and children in Africa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_diamond

Do you separate each and every last piece of garbage and recycle every last thing you have ever purchased? No? Now there's more polution in the world than need be - helping the demise of the Ozone layer. Thanks!

Do you run a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand? Thanks for contributing to depleting our water table. We only have so much and it will certainly run out. Thanks!

http://www.earth-policy.org/index.php?/indicators/C57/water_2002

Do you purchase all American products (car, clothes, groceries, etc.)? Thanks for contributing to the demise of the US economy and helping the Chinese beat us down. Thanks!

Is every last light bulb in your home, car, etc. the new fluorescent bulb? Do you pay taxes to the US government? Uh oh, guess who still uses incandescent light bulbs? The Department of Energy. So you support the Ozone killers with your tax dollars. Thanks!

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/joke-how-many-d-o-e-workers-does-it-take-to/

Do you or does an immediate family member drive a gas burning automobile? Thanks for not going green and contributing to our dependency on foreign oil! Thanks!

Are you using Natural Gas in your home? Methane (natural gas) is the second most important of the greenhouse gases resulting from human activities that are depleting the Ozone layer. Propane in that torch to sweat pipes? Oil in your car? Do you use coal in outdoor grilling? Thanks!

http://www.gcrio.org/ipcc/qa/04.html

http://www.eia.doe.gov/ask/environment_faqs.asp

Give me a break, pal. You're way off the deep end.

Terry
10-29-2010, 01:45 PM
Good points. I don't like buying diamonds. Sorry gals.
And I certainly wouldn't wear any myself. That's just too wierd.

I do drive a four wheel drive SUV up skiing. I contribute there.

Natural gas furnace and water heater, you bet!

And my car has air conditioning. So while I'm cooling the inside, I'm warming up the planet.
They say we're going to have a good snow year in the Northwest. Should be good for skiing.

Redwood
10-29-2010, 02:23 PM
Have you bought your wife/girlfriend a diamond before?

No we selected an alternative type of stone that was not dripping with blood.


Do you separate each and every last piece of garbage and recycle every last thing you have ever purchased?

We separate and recycle everything that is accepted in our location, we avoid purchasing items with excess packaging and we also compost.


Do you run a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand?

Yes because todays dishwashers use far less water than washing by hand and we do run full loads.


Do you purchase all American products (car, clothes, groceries, etc.)?

Yes we do as much as possible. It is difficult considering the present state of decay of our industry but yes as much as possible. In fact I install a lot of Toto toilets made in Morrow, Georgia instead of American Standard made in Mexico and Central America.


Is every last light bulb in your home, car, etc. the new fluorescent bulb? Do you pay taxes to the US government?

Every bulb in my home is compact fluorescent. For my cars they are not available. Yes, I have no choice not to pay taxes sorry...


Do you or does an immediate family member drive a gas burning automobile?

Yes not much choice I have to have a work van for what i do but when it is not being used for work we drive a fairly new Toyota Camry. Mass transit in our area is not very good and we are hoping to see improvements soon. Still carrying a sewer snaking machine on a bus in not viable.


Are you using Natural Gas in your home?

No, But we hope to be moving soon and I would like to see high efficiency low nox gas appliance in the new home.


Give me a break, pal. You're way off the deep end.

Not perfect but trying....

I'd like to think I am and I think everyone should be.
It is a big mistake for our leaders to allow jobs to be shipped to China where there are no environmental restrictions on their industry.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Xba64hD3sfg/S1z4FTzqsAI/AAAAAAAAAvQ/_etxk5F2GSk/s400/air_pollution_china.jpg

Terry
10-29-2010, 04:22 PM
Here is a picture of a plumber from Australia that has very confused looking pipe that is not even vented. I guess down under they don't need vents. That quit plumbing like that in the US somewhere in the 20's.

http://emergencyplumbergeelong.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/emergency-plumber-geelong-service.jpg (http://emergencyplumbergeelong.com.au/emergency-plumber-geelong/plumbers-geelong-aiding-the-plumbing-needs-of-home-investors/)

Terry
10-29-2010, 04:44 PM
Here is one home, it was build in 1986, but remodeled in 94 by John Day.
http://www.zillow.com/homes/5171-150th-pl-se,-98006_rb/

http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&cp=47.55419795611593~-122.13956976686478&lvl=19&sty=h&where1=5171%20150th%20Pl%20SE%2C%20Bellevue%2C%20W A%2098006-3541

And here is the home I build next door to it in 1986
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5161-150th-Pl-SE-Bellevue-WA-98006/48876618_zpid/

http://www.windermere.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Listing.ListingDetailUpdated&listingID=76336132&CFID=111067613&CFTOKEN=20023683

Ian Gills
10-29-2010, 05:06 PM
Oh dear. They wouldn't pass code today. Not where I live. There are strict rules that a room must be much more than three feet high (second pic with section of giant roof on left) and a garage door can only be used as a door to the garage and not to the hallway (first pic). Garbage bins cannot be six feet high (grey box in second pic next to room with 3 foot high ceiling). I also question the basketball net that is two stories tall.


That's why I like DIY. We take the time to measure things before we build them.

And I do buy diamonds. But only those certified by the Kimberley Process as nearly all cut diamonds are nowadays unless you go to the kinds of countries I go to and come back with rough stones (which does not happen very often unless your name is Naomi Campbell).

Terry
10-29-2010, 05:29 PM
There are strict rules that a room must be much more than three feet high (second pic with section of giant roof on left)


That's for the little leprechauns, you're familiar with them right?

Ian Gills
10-29-2010, 05:52 PM
Yes, I am.

But it just goes to show. They don't build homes in America any more like they used to back in Terry's day.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIBAND1KvwE

geniescience
10-29-2010, 09:20 PM
Ball peen hammer, that is what I've learned from this thread.

Ian Gills
10-30-2010, 06:56 AM
Yes, do't get one confused with a point-peen hammer or chisel-peen hammer or you'll be sorry. Though the process of peening has become rarer in metal fabrication, the ball-peen hammer remains useful for many tasks, such as striking punches and chisels.

hj
10-30-2010, 07:49 AM
quote; By the way, this plumber works full time for the County

In other words you hired a "bootleg" plumber working on the side. WHAT does he do for the county, since few municipal plumbers install bathtubs. IF it shifted in the wall it would be because it was NOT fastened, and he should have realized that as soon as he measured to make the holes. He is completely incompetent to do the work you hired him for. AND if your area has a contractor registration agency, you should contact them. If he is a licensed contractor, which is not likely, they can "convince" him to redo the job properly, and if he is not, they can take steps to insure that he does not do any other work like that. In many, if not all, jurisdictions, if you hire an "unlicensed contractor" to do a task, and don't feel like paying him, you do NOT have to, period. That is his gamble for being unlicensed. But, I recently had my house appraised and it was $200.00 per sq. foot

hj
10-30-2010, 08:02 AM
quote; It's an older home the lawn doesn't have grass growing...

It doesn't need grass, it has LOCATION. And the mantra of real estate is "location, location, location", NOT "grass, grass, grass", unless it has a "lettuce farm" in the basement, then maybe "grass" would be a factor.

another quote; I've been using an EXPERT HVAC guy for over a decade now. That guy is as good as gold. Will go out and put 1 to 2 pounds of freon, recharge units for $50 a visit.

You've got to be kidding me. $50.00? I charge twice that as soon as I start my truck, and I don't even "throw in" anything. As far as being the highest priced, I am not sure where I am in the spectrum, but I do tell my customers, "I am NOT the cheapest, but I am the best". If I get the job I make money, if I don't get it, I don't lose money, so it works out okay for me.

Third quote to eliminate making additional posts. the ball-peen hammer remains useful for many tasks, such as striking punches and chisels.

As long as you do not try to use the "ball peen" to do it, but then a machinist's hammer is just as good, and maybe even better if you need a heavier hammer.

As far as "justifying" your choices when you use "cheap" workers, rationalization is a powerful attitude, and works very well, don't you agree? Apparently, you go with the odds. Several "good" choices, balance out a couple of bad ones. You do feel that making ALL good choices, but paying more for them, is worth more than the alternate.

ballvalve
10-30-2010, 10:49 AM
Any ball pein hammer works for massaging crooked HVAC workers and blind irresponsibe plumbers.

Ian Gills
10-30-2010, 07:12 PM
Yes. It's always best to play it safe and ask a "pro" to do the work for you instead.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8-PlnJ3kkk

But I still prefer to DIY.

ballvalve
10-30-2010, 10:34 PM
I grew up on that and am raising a kid on them. Probably why we never hired a plumber.

This should be a sticky at the beginning of most of the forums!

Where the hell are the THREE STOOGES STAMPS? Instead we get wretched Bart Simpson.

Ian Gills
10-31-2010, 12:39 PM
Agreed. I can't see why you'd ever hire a plumber.

Invite one round to watch the game and have a few beers, maybe. But a cash transaction? No, never.

Electricians also need to be monitored closely for the quality of their work. At least the American variety.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdL3_83KZZA

augusta
11-04-2010, 03:48 PM
Made a little progress the past few days with the bathroom work. I have to decide between the lessor of evils: Option 1. Handymen/plumbers on the side. 2 Crews. Strike out. Just can't seem to catch a break with an experienced guy who's not in over his head, and they are just like the 3 stooges videos in this thread, Option 2. DIY (not an option since I can't possibly do all the work - this is property management) Option 3. Plumbing company. In my past experience, Master plumbers don't come out to do the work, they send the new guys out instead.

Since I'm left with only the plumbing company option - here I go. Called (will keep it anonymous) ABC Plumbing co on 11/02/2010 at 11:47am. Secretary picked up after 2 rings. So far so good. Asked me what my name was a couple of times and after explaining what I needed done twice, she said they'd call me. Had to stop her before she hung up to get the "next step" info. I asked, "when will someone call me back?" She replied, "sometime tomorrow." As a side note, business owners, PLEASE don't hire some ditzy hot chic for the sake of her hotness and have her answer the phones. I know she's eye candy for you but I can't see her. You do realize this chic is the first impression of your business, yes? Even worse are those who hire their wives to answer the phones. Now you've got this rude wench that you couldn't fire even if you wanted to. Stop that. Anyways, the plumbing guy called me back on 11/03/2010 at 12 noon. Pretty friendly guy. I asked him:

Insurance: check
In the phone book: check
Licensed: check
A+ BBB rating: check (not that it matters to me because anyone with an ounce of wisdom knows that the BBB is a total farce. I only included that detail for those who actually think it makes a difference.)
Referred by two other business owners I know: check
Master plumber: no. Said he has been plumbing since he was a teenager (he's in his 40's). I asked him if he's the one who's going to be doing the work. He said, "No, I have some guys under me who will be doing the work and I'll be supervising them." I responded, "Ok, so, these are new guys?" Plumber says, "well, they're really good and have being doing this sort of thing for a couple of years now." Here we go with the new guys again.

So, let's call him "Joe the plumber" from ABC Plumbing co, says that he will call me to come over and give me an estimate on 11/03/2010 in the evening or possibly the next day. Joe calls me on 11/04/2010 at 9:30am and asks if I can meet him at the home at 12 noon. I agreed and we met. I expressed my concerns with plumbing companies sending in their new guys and he reassures me that they will do a great job. Keep in mind crews 1 and 2 told me the same thing. I asked Joe if he was going to pull a permit and he said that they wouldn't need to since this isn't a major renovation. To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to visit the web site for the permits office and here's what it says:

************************************************** *
WHEN IS A PERMIT REQUIRED?

Building Permits are required for:
New Construction Additions Roofing Major Renovations Swimming
Pools Decks Sheds over 120 sq. ft. Signs Sprinkler
Installations Major Repairs Siding & Windows Demolition

Trade Permits are required for:
All new installations and certain repair work Electrical meter
resets and service changes

A Permit is not required for:
Sidewalks and driveways Painting, wallpapering, tiling, carpeting,
cabinets, counter tops, and similar finish work Fences under 6 feet
high Retaining walls under 4 feet

Please call to verify if your work requires a permit.
************************************************** *

Since I have no idea if my bathroom work qualifies for major renovation/repair, I decided to call the permits office and ask them. Here's the conversation (http://www.box.net/shared/3ju6bltuvl): It sounded like she paused long enough to flip a coin to give me an answer. I still haven't spoken to someone at the permits office who can give me a definite answer.

Last night I removed the wall in the master bath so the plumbing company could see exactly what they were working with. I was not there when crew #2 sealed up the wall but I found a couple of things.
1. The awesome sweat job Crew #2 did on the tub spout was leaking inside the wall, and
2. Since there was a vent pipe in the way, the decided to do absolutely nothing about it. The entire vertical side of the shower insert was attached to thin air and the drywall was right behind it, also attached to thin air. See pics. Joe said he doesn't know why on earth the valves were off center, why they didn't just cut out the 45 on the vent and raise it above the shower insert so as to get a 2X4 in there, and he said it appeared as though there was no flux on the elbow for the tub spout and didn't look like it was sweated...almost like they just forgot to do it. Joe said he could have all of the plumbing cut out and fixed in a few hours. He then said, "this stuff in the other bath looks bad. I'm not trying to upsell you or anything, but I could easily raise the trim several inches, cut a new hole higher up such that the trim still covers the original hole, center everything on the second bath since you have the entire wall taken out. May as well get it while we're in there." His total estimate to fix the plumbing in both baths was about 5 hours at $85 per hour. Joe said he has a drywall guy that can do the drywall work, but I may just tackle that one myself. I already have all my drywall tools there at the house. Joe says he can knock out this plumbing work and be completely done tomorrow.

Regarding Crew #2, I decided to send them a check for $500 (they wanted to negotiate $1000 for the hallway bath, and $0 for the master). I think $500 is fair enough considering they quit on me, didn't want to fix the mess ups, I had to buy another set of inserts (you can't buy one, you have to buy the whole set), and made nothing but excuses for the bad work.

Below are the pictures right after I removed the drywall last night.

Crew #2's work that I didn't get to see since they sealed up the wall when I wasn't there.

11708
11706
11707

Terry
11-04-2010, 05:43 PM
I like how your new guy sounds.

augusta
11-05-2010, 04:45 PM
I like how your new guy sounds.

Yeah, but Terry, the legit, A+ BBB rating, recommended, licensed, insured, in the phone book, worker's comp, Plumbing Company was supposed to start and finish today unattended. I went over to that home to check on the job this evening. The Plumbing Company was a "no call no show." Nothing had been done - no one even showed up. Strike one.

Terry, have you ever done a "no call no show?" The day I ever do that to a single customer will be the day I shut down business. The day my dad died I had a real estate closing. I attended that closing with my client as if nothing had happened.

Terry
11-05-2010, 04:55 PM
I get what you mean, not even a phone call?

When my dad died, it disrupted all of our lives. We stayed up quite late telling stories about my father Melvin and raiding the wine cabinet.
They were wonderful stories, about who he was, what he had done, and how much we loved him.

SteveW
11-05-2010, 05:26 PM
Am I seeing this right - the lower joint on the ell in the bottom photo is not soldered at all?

hj
11-05-2010, 06:26 PM
quote;
Insurance: check, so am I
In the phone book: check so am I
Licensed: check so am I
A+ BBB rating: check NOT I
Referred by two other business owners I know: check , who knows where you got my name.
Master plumber: no.
If your state does NOT have a master plumber classification, mine and many others do not, the question is irrelevent. IF it does have one, then you CANNOT operate a business unless you, or a "designated person" in your company, are one.
I answer my own phone, but when I had an answering service, they ONLY took your name and number so I could call you back. I have never done a no show, and would only do it if the customer gave the appearance that he was going to be more "high maintenance" than I wanted to deal with. I usually weed those customers out with a high bid price.

second quote; I can't see why you'd ever hire a plumber

Spoken like a true farmer. They have NEVER seen any job they could not do themselves.

augusta
11-05-2010, 07:40 PM
HJ: quote;
Insurance: check, so am I
In the phone book: check so am I
Licensed: check so am I
A+ BBB rating: check NOT I
Referred by two other business owners I know: check , who knows where you got my name.
Master plumber: no.
If your state does NOT have a master plumber classification, mine and many others do not, the question is irrelevent. IF it does have one, then you CANNOT operate a business unless you, or a "designated person" in your company, are one.
I answer my own phone, but when I had an answering service, they ONLY took your name and number so I could call you back. I have never done a no show, and would only do it if the customer gave the appearance that he was going to be more "high maintenance" than I wanted to deal with. I usually weed those customers out with a high bid price.

Yes, Georgia requires a licensed master plumber, and he may have workers under him. I've only ever had one master plumber come to my home, and that was to give me an estimate on what it would cost to do the plumbing on my new construction, 3 story, 6,000 sq ft home prior to ground breaking. He also personally roughed it in with a couple of helpers. Didn't see him anymore during construction after that point, and it was right at that point where many plumbing issues started popping up (his lessor experienced guys finishing the job).

Same concept here on this relatively inexpensive job. You can call a plumbing company with a master plumber "running" it, but you'll almost never get the master plumber to come out on a job that's not his bread and butter. In Augusta, master plumbers stick to the new construction bids and rough ins. I mentioned "master plumber: no" so that you'd know the head hancho isn't the one doing the work on this particular job - his lessor experienced guys are. Not only that, the guys who gain experience end up "supervising" (aka "journeymen") the even lessor experienced guys (aka apprentices). That's how small plumbing companies get bigger. Not better. Just bigger.

Same scenario in real estate. All active licensed real estate agents in the USA work for a real estate Broker. The Real Estate Broker is synonymous to the Master Plumber. Then Brokers hire agents to work for them. Often times, those agents are complete screw ups, and the Broker spends his time fixing and organizing his agents' messes. Some Brokers don't even do that much. As long as they're turning a profit and their E&O insurance isn't taking too much of a hit, they could care less about much anything else. I'm sure many Master Plumbers operate the same way: screw quality - how much money are we making?


HJ: I have never done a no show, and would only do it if...

That would be a down right cowardly thing to do (tell him you'll do it and then run and hide). A real man would straight up tell this potential customer that he's simply not a good fit, and would promptly recommend another person who may be interested in helping him (like a competitor you don't like). The "high bid" technique is a little less cowardly, but I personally wouldn't pull that one either. If you're hinting that I may have been perceived as "high maintenance" and deserved to be left hanging, I suppose we'll see on Monday if they call and apologize. This is a vacant house where the plumber has the code to get in. It's a clear scope job, and I won't even be there for the entire duration of the repair (nor will anyone else from my side). The job will be corporate paid. My expectation is that it does not leak (for some plumbers that is a high expectation), that it's done to code and manufacturer specs. I didn't even ask them to pull a permit (since I really have no idea if this repair qualifies) although I did ask them if pulling a permit was part of the plan (uh oh, does this make me high maintenance because I like to be informed to make sure I don't end up with 3 stooges crew #3?). Not my idea of high maintenance for the delicate flower plumber. I certainly won't be calling them back to follow up. I honestly think they, like most everyone else in this town, are in over their heads, and just can't efficiently and professionally manage their business. Master Plumbers don't necessarily make for good business men. Even with a good business man running the show, good workers are very hard to find, and even harder to keep.

hj
11-06-2010, 07:06 AM
IF the master plumber has a "crew", he will SELDOM be out in the field doing the work. In fact, when I was an apprentice, I seldom did anything except the "bread and butter" jobs, because I was busy checking the journeymen on THEIR jobs. Just because someone is NOT a master plumber does not mitigate their abilities, they may just NOT intend to EVER have their own companies and therefore do not need that license. I said I would NEVER want my own company after 25 years of having run one for someone else, and I kept my promise until the union in this area forced me to do so 35 years ago.

Cookie
11-06-2010, 08:21 AM
In my RE office we have a list of service people/companies we use for various things. The most important business we always need and rely on is that of the: plumbers. We need the plumbers. I interviewed a couple of the plumbers on the list and they didn't particularly strike me as the best, one was a master plumber, I eliminated his name from the list. As well as a couple others who hit the wrong chord when I spoke to work they had done elsewhere. I got 3 really great plumber businesses, 2 great electricians and a very very short list of home inspectors. Your office should have a list of the needed professionals.

By the way, I got to hire someone to answer our phones and he is great eye-candy. :) ( he can say all the right things, " you look very nice today cookie") he was hired.

augusta
11-07-2010, 05:49 AM
IF the master plumber has a "crew", he will SELDOM be out in the field doing the work. In fact, when I was an apprentice, I seldom did anything except the "bread and butter" jobs, because I was busy checking the journeymen on THEIR jobs. Just because someone is NOT a master plumber does not mitigate their abilities, they may just NOT intend to EVER have their own companies and therefore do not need that license. I said I would NEVER want my own company after 25 years of having run one for someone else, and I kept my promise until the union in this area forced me to do so 35 years ago.

Yes, you agree and help make my point. The master plumber is seldom out in the field doing the work. Ok, now we've got one less experienced guy out there when dealing with the high and mighty plumbing company. Now we're left with Journeymen and apprentices. Even worse, you admit, at least with your experience with licensed Plumbing Companies, is that the apprentice was "checking the journeymen on THEIR jobs." How on earth do you expect Ian ;-) to have faith in plumbing companies when you help support his disapproval of the plumbing companies when you admit that as an apprentice (the lowest of the chain) you were busy checking the journeymen jobs above you?

Couldn't one make the same argument that just because a handyman/DIY isn't a master plumber, this does not mitigate the abilities of the handyman/DIY? Or does that argument only apply where it's convenient?

"because I was busy checking the journeymen on THEIR jobs." Spoken like a true farmer. They have NEVER seen any job they could not do themselves. Sound familiar?

geniescience
11-07-2010, 05:55 AM
lots of talk. "This could go on forever" or until you feel you've made all your points. The less said the better. It helps put you into the category known as "desirable customers".

augusta
11-07-2010, 06:13 AM
lots of talk. "This could go on forever" or until you feel you've made all your points. The less said the better. It helps put you into the category known as "desirable customers".

On a certain level I agree with you, especially if we apply it to you. Let's see, I signed up years ago on this site with a whopping 39 posts. You are at 2,010 posts and climbing, giving input into threads that really don't add to the discussion. Was your post even necessary? So I say to you: Read more, post less, ignore the threads you are not interested in, and you'll be in the category known as "more desirable posters." Good day.

Terry
11-07-2010, 10:18 AM
I think Augusta may have just had a string of bad luck with contractors. That can happen to anyone.
The general rule of thumb is to take a middle price, eliminating the top dollar guy, and the low ballers.
Somewhere in the middle you normally find guys that are making a living doing what they love.

How many times have I heard;

"After talking to several plumbers, I like "your" knowledge" of my problem, and the other guys prices. I would love you to do the work, at his prices."

I laugh and say no. One of the reasons I sound knowledgeable, is that I already know what needs to be done, and what can happen. Often the low ball price guy isn't providing a job that meets code, or with parts that will last. Many times on jobs I have lost, the homeowner later said that the winning contractor hit them over and over again with "change orders" that brought the price up to my original quote. Well duh. If you add up all the things required for a complete job, that's what it comes to.

I would say that it's rare that I hear about a plumbing business, one that has been around a while, that can't get a simple job done like the one picture above.
Any first year apprentice could have done a fine job. The reason so many posts are making fun of the pictures, is that it looks like a complete novice was doing the work.
They look like a bad first try at plumbing.
I can't imagine any plumbing company in the Seattle area that would do work like that. I realize that it's Georgia, but come on. I know there must be plenty of qualified workers there. They did rebuild after the civil war didn't they? And they make TOTO toilets there, so someone must know what they are doing.

A lot of shops in Seattle are charging double what I charge. They offer senior discounts and coupons, but even with those discounts, they are far, far more money then what I'm charging.
The guys doing it for less, do they have have a business license and insurance?

Furd
11-07-2010, 10:50 AM
IF the master plumber has a "crew", he will SELDOM be out in the field doing the work. In fact, when I was an apprentice, I seldom did anything except the "bread and butter" jobs, because I was busy checking the journeymen on THEIR jobs. Just because someone is NOT a master plumber does not mitigate their abilities, they may just NOT intend to EVER have their own companies and therefore do not need that license. I said I would NEVER want my own company after 25 years of having run one for someone else, and I kept my promise until the union in this area forced me to do so 35 years ago.
How old are you, HJ? Twenty-five years running someone else's company and thirty five years running your own company adds up to sixty years. Ignoring the time spent initially learning the craft before running that other person's company you must be eighty years old or close to it. Or did you start your apprenticeship when you were five years old?

Terry
11-07-2010, 11:39 AM
hj is very old, and knows how to do the old school plumbing that many of the new guys only see if they do service work.
That's why his avatar that I made for him is as old as the Grand Canyon.
He's that old.

http://www.terrylove.com/forums/image.php?u=7&dateline=1200344576

ballvalve
11-07-2010, 11:48 AM
The point is you cannot expect the "Master" of the business - and he should be 50 to 80 years old to deserve that title- to be soldering pipe on a job. Or pulling wire, or pounding nails.

But give that guy the three stooges, a whip, and a folding chair to sit by the tub, and you'll get a fine bit of work done.

And about money - When they say "I really want your work but the other guy is 800 bucks cheaper" AND you like the customer, I would toss him some discount [ not 800 bucks] so he can justify the extra cost to his wife and put a little feather in his hat. Usually end up with a quick and happy project.

Furd
11-07-2010, 01:30 PM
hj is very old, and knows how to do the old school plumbing that many of the new guys only see if they do service work.


I know he is old, he has knowledge of things I've only seen in books and I'm no kid. I'm quite certain that HJ has forgotten more about plumbing (and probably a whole lot of other topics) than I will ever know. I just wonder why an "elder statesman" of the craft is still humping water heaters and cast iron soil pipe when he should be enjoying his retirement, or at the least taking a completely supervisory approach to work.

Terry
11-08-2010, 11:01 AM
Last week on Halloween, I talked to an real estate agent that was asking if I do side jobs. She always hired her workers on the side. I laughed and said I owned the company and didn't do side jobs. So she then asks if anyone that worked for me did side jobs. What? is this for real? No, we don't do side jobs. So she said she only wanted guys that worked on weekends on the side. What? Weekends are for the family and a break from working 9-5 Monday thru Friday. I didn't bother giving her my card.

Cookie
11-08-2010, 11:18 AM
Not here, I work all days, all hours, all week, always trying to make ends meet. I appreciate jobs on the side, even if on the weekend. I am sure, someone would had appreciated the extra money especially, if they got little kids and trying to get by. I always try to help someone out.

Terry
11-08-2010, 11:36 AM
Cookie,
When a someone goes to a home "on the side" and starts working with plumbing, then they also have no insurance.
For example, my son Jamie borrowed one of my work vans to do a painting job in Tacoma, fell off the roof and fractured his orbital eye socket, arm and ribs. He had a pretty severe concussion too.

This was years ago.
Lesson learned.

Cookie
11-08-2010, 11:52 AM
That is different than my job because I am hired by them while on the job with their company, but when not doing work for them on their dime, then the dime is mine. Understand?

So sorry to hear about Jamie. Hope all went well for him.

Cookie
11-08-2010, 12:06 PM
Didn't his health insurance cover his injuries ?

I was working for a major newspaper and on the side I took a small assignment which in the crowd of people and their throes of anger over those siding with legal abortions, I got pushed and shoved but the biggest injury was I got punched in the nose. :) I can smile now...

But, my health insurance paid even though it was freelance work.

jadnashua
11-08-2010, 12:42 PM
When working on a job, and not 'on the side', if you are injured, you DON'T use your insurance, your company's workmans' comp pays for it AND often pays your salary while you are out of work, you do NOT rely on your individual (even if company provided) health insurance. There is a BIG difference between one of these side jobs and one contracted through a viable company. Plus, the liability is also pushed onto the individual verses the company, and, if also done without a valid license or permit, often illegal. So, say a journeyman, without the master plumber's acceptance of liability for the job, essentially, you are getting an unlicensed job done without potential oversight from either an inspector, or the license holder. Yes, it can often work out, but it can be really ugly if it doesn't.

augusta
11-08-2010, 01:47 PM
GC from Crew #1 fell from a ladder in the back yard of this home, and cracked his rib. He used his personal insurance to cover himself.

Strikes, 2 and 3 on Crew #3 (ABC Plumbing Company) who were supposed to start and finish on Friday last week, since they are still a no call no show. I don't believe you guys have any idea just how ridiculous it is dealing with plumbing companies in Augusta. Today, I contacted Crew #4 (another well known plumbing company), via their "contact us" section of their well put together web site.

Licensed: check (have a picture of their master plumber license on their website)
In the phone book: check
Insured: check
Bonded: check
4th generation plumbing co (Son, Father, grand father, and great grand father have had this plumbing business)

Email sent to them at 10:23am morning:
**************************************
Dear DEF Plumbing:

I have a tub/shower plumbing issue that I need a professional to take
care of. I had some work done, but he didn't align the
fixtures properly (along with a leak at an elbow). I have 2 bathrooms
on an adjacent wall. Both the vertical and horizontal alignments are
off. I need to have those things corrected. It will involve cutting
the existing copper pipes, sweating a new arrangement, moving the
valve mounts, moving a vent pipe, adding a 2X4 for support for a
shower insert, and attaching the valve wall tub insert . I removed
the entire wall so that everything is easily accessible. I will
handle drywall work. I think we're looking at about 3 to 5 hours of
work. Could I get someone to come out, get an idea of what needs to
be done, and give me a quote? I can meet late in the day today, or
around lunch time tomorrow, or late tomorrow.

Attached are some pictures of what's there.

With kind regards,

P.S. I've been looking for a new plumbing company to handle all work
on my property management business (this home is one of those homes).
Looking forward to a new business relationship.


**************************************

I hope this doesn't come down to me having to DIY this one with instructions from you guys on this thread. I've got about 2 weeks worth of work from the list of things I'm doing myself (laying tile in the kitchen, painting the home, 2 granite lavatory counter tops to install, and other misc things here and there.) If the plumbing isn't taken care of in 2 weeks...I'll have no choice but to do it myself.

Terry
11-08-2010, 02:22 PM
I'm pulling for you. There must be someone in Georgia that can finish this job.
Haven't we anyone from there that can give us a referral on this?

And Cookie, The accident with Jamie was some years back.
He doesn't paint anymore.
And thank goodness Jamie and I have insurance.
That has been a big help in the last year or so.
No doctor visits for a long time, and now I'm doing my best to break the insurance company.

SteveW
11-08-2010, 05:10 PM
No one responded to my prior question so will try one more time:

Take a look at bottom picture on post #78 on this thread and tell me if you see any evidence of solder on the lower joint of the ell. What gives?

Terry
11-08-2010, 05:33 PM
You can't be positive by the picture, but yes, there may not be solder on that side of the fitting.
Normally a plumber would heat both sides of the fitting when he can, so that the solder pulls in all the way around. Many leaks are because of uneven heating of the fitting and pipe.

augusta
11-08-2010, 06:20 PM
No one responded to my prior question so will try one more time:

Take a look at bottom picture on post #78 on this thread and tell me if you see any evidence of solder on the lower joint of the ell. What gives?

From post #78:


1. The awesome sweat job Crew #2 did on the tub spout was leaking inside the wall,...

Joe said he doesn't know why on earth the valves were off center, why they didn't just cut out the 45 on the vent and raise it above the shower insert so as to get a 2X4 in there, and he said it appeared as though there was no flux on the elbow for the tub spout and didn't look like it was sweated...almost like they just forgot to do it.

Terry, on my web site, when you fill out the "contact us" information it goes straight to my cell phone. I respond to my customers within minutes (sometimes less than 60 seconds), unless they are soldiers from Iraq (which happens quite often) then I get to them first thing in the morning (EST time). I didn't get a response to my email to DEF Plumbing co, and I'm willing to bet I won't get a response tomorrow either. I mean, why do plumbers have a "contact us" on their web site, when they completely ignore their customer requests? I went the email route to attach the pictures so that maybe it would save them a trip, or maybe they'd send someone out who would have the experience to handle that sort of thing if even just to give an estimate. Now I doubt they're even checking their email, when they were very adamant about contacting them in that way on their web site.

Categorically, construction workers are incredibly bad in Augusta, with very few exceptions. I promise you, if any one of you professional plumber guys move from the North to Augusta, you'd easily live in a mansion, and have more plumbing business than you'd know what to do with....with just my referrals alone.

What I'm trying to demonstrate here is not just that it's really bad in Augusta, but it's really a crap shoot whether you call a handyman, or a plumber (apprentice). You're going to go through hell either way. Maybe it's just the South. I do appreciate the guidance though.

Cookie
11-08-2010, 06:50 PM
Well, one, my health insurance DID NOT stipulate on THEIR hours only being to able to use it. It was Blue Shield, and I paid into also Jad. If you get hurt working, and CANNOT WORK, YOU SHOULD NOT USE WORKMANS COMP, if you get hurt NOT working on their dime, then, of course, you don't screw them and use it. Right is right. Workman comp is so different than health insurance. It is your health insurance.

But, in this world reality sets in, at least in mine and in most. Not trying to be argumentative here, but just trying to make a point, it takes alot more than one paycheck to make ends meet, even if you are lucky enough to have a spouse who has one, a job, and you both are frugal. Most people need to make a few extra bucks at least while starting out in life.

Correct me if I am wrong.

Using your health insurance is not screwing anyone. If you are paying something into it, then, my word, use it. Don't be a fool.

If you want to know the cost of expenses, medical care, boy o boy, mine are huge. But, I don't expect anyone, to pay for them, other than me. But, I expect to be able to use my insurance if I get hurt during the hours I am not working their 40 hours. Insurance is NOT just for their 40 hours you are working for them.

That is silly.

I dont mean to be rude.

Basement_Lurker
11-08-2010, 07:34 PM
Wow, this thread has it all! A ghost story, healthcare/insurance debate, and a comedy picture show (handyman plumbers attempting to install a simple tub/shower unit).

Awesome!

Cookie
11-08-2010, 08:15 PM
And a man in a suit with a dog's head! ;)
Much much better than those other boring, very boring plumbers sites.

Terry
11-08-2010, 09:51 PM
And web site designer problems.
When I read Augusta's comment about plumbers not responding to the email contact page, I checked the new website that I use for my phone book ads.
The brand new web site email doesn't work. I'm kicking myself now for not testing the thing. And yes, I spent quite a bit of money, and now I have a brand new web site that doesn't forward email from customers. At least I have the web site that I did, and that web site still works.

Here is the new non-working web site www.terryloveplumbing.com (http://www.terryloveplumbing.com)

So they can phone me, but not email me on that site. How stupid is that.
Thanks Augusta for your comment. Dooh!
It made me check.

Redwood
11-09-2010, 05:30 AM
The brand new web site email doesn't work. I'm kicking myself now for not testing the thing. And yes, I spent quite a bit of money, and now I have a brand new web site that doesn't forward email from customers.

Terry it looks like the captcha flash needs to be enabled on the contact form.

augusta
11-09-2010, 06:09 AM
And web site designer problems.
When I read Augusta's comment about plumbers not responding to the email contact page, I checked the new website that I use for my phone book ads.
The brand new web site email doesn't work. I'm kicking myself now for not testing the thing. And yes, I spent quite a bit of money, and now I have a brand new web site that doesn't forward email from customers. At least I have the web site that I did, and that web site still works.

Here is the new non-working web site www.terryloveplumbing.com (http://www.terryloveplumbing.com)

So they can phone me, but not email me on that site. How stupid is that.
Thanks Augusta for your comment. Dooh!
It made me check.

Not quite the same thing as with Crew #4's web site. With your form it just won't send. With DEF Plumbing co's web site, they just aren't checking and/or responding to their email. At least with you I know it didn't go through, at which time I'd pick up the phone.

I wanted to send an email to the plumbing co for the "high maintenance" hypothesizers, so that you'd see exactly what they saw. So much for that. I'll be calling DEF Plumbing Co this morning to arrange an appointment to give me a quote.

With the time I've put into calling and dealing with different workers, I very well could have done this plumbing job myself.

As for your captcha, you may have captcha enabled. Likely, the problem is either
a. GD and FreeType libraries are not installed on your server
b. wp-contents/uploads/wpcf7_captcha folder does not exist or is not writeable

I've been working with Wordpress and other CMS sites for years (and as a developer). Your web developer should have at least tested it before, or at the moment they went live with it. Rookie mistake.

P.S. If I had known, I would have gladly traded you a new web site (second to none) in exchange for you to fix the plumbing in both baths. Free airfare round trip, food, lodging, and web development.

augusta
11-10-2010, 06:32 AM
I Called Crew #4, (DEF Plumbing co) at 9:31am on Tuesday since I didn't get an answer to my email from Monday morning. Gal answering the phone said that she didn't get the email, and maybe it went to her spam folder. Gal said she'd take my name and number and that the master plumber could get to me on Thursday. "Thursday?" I asked. Thursday to do the work or Thursday to give an estimate? She said, "Thursday to give an estimate, but maybe he can squeeze you in on Wednesday." I asked if someone would be calling me back yesterday to let me know when the appointment will be, and she said that someone will call me (yesterday) to set it up. She also said the Master Plumber is the one who does all the quotes, which was different from the last plumbing co who sent a journeyman out to do the quote.

Can you guess what happened next? No call back yesterday. No appointment.

I wonder if you Master Plumbers even know about all of the lost business and drama your workers put potential customers through?

nukeman
11-10-2010, 07:21 AM
I sure hope that you figure something out before you get to XYZ plumbing..geesh.

The sad thing is this should be a very simple job. Hopefully, you'll start having better luck.

augusta
11-10-2010, 02:00 PM
I sure hope that you figure something out before you get to XYZ plumbing..geesh.


:-) I had planned on rotating back to ABC(2), DEF(2), ... kind of like how meteorologists do with the hurricane names.

Due to chic drama, my communication was delayed in contacting DEF Plumber. I abandoned the email route. After I called, I finally got an appointment setup (2 phone calls after that). Plumber met me at the house. Plumber was a really nice guy. I told him about my plumber that I had been using for several years (I made sure to not mention his name), but after his Journeyman quit (I don't think he had anyone else with that kind of experience) that his remaining guys were killing me on number of hours on the job. I mean, it doesn't take 4 hours to swap out a thermocouple (with no issues)..just a simple swap out. The plumber knew who I was talking about, which was strange. We have like what, a hundred plumbers in Augusta?" I told him I really like the guy, he's fun to be around, but his workers just aren't cutting it. He agreed.

So the plumber said he'd take out that 3" vent right at the 45, reduce it to a 2". Then I said, you know we've got another full bath using that vent...is it to code going from 3" to 2" back to 3" up towards the ceiling? He said he'd check his book later this evening and give me a call back. I then asked how much per hour he was, and he said $95. Then I asked him how long it would take to cut out, redo, straighten, both showers, add the 2X4 to attach the tub insert, move the vent pipe. He said about 3 hours. I told him he'd be my hero if he can knock it out. He said he'd do it Thursday or Friday this week. Will call me back tonight to let me know which day he was going to do it.

This master plumber said he IS the one who will be doing this work. If he can knock this out, I wanted to post his work back here, get some comments, and finally be done with this (I started this bathroom work on October 8th).

augusta
11-11-2010, 07:06 AM
Anyway, Master Plumber called at 7:13am this morning. Said he'll be at the house at 10:00am this morning and knock it out. Will post those photos back to see what you guys think. He's going to fix the trim that's touching in the other bath, and redo the whole arrangement in the master bath. Hopefully this will be it.

jadnashua
11-11-2010, 09:43 AM
I'm not saying your insurance WON'T pay if you get hurt on the job, but workman's comp SHOULD pay for it, with no co-pays, etc., i.e., no out of pocket costs to you AT ALL. It should also not count against your lifetime limit, if your policy has one.

augusta
11-12-2010, 12:37 AM
Bitter chics aside, plumber didn't deliver. Looks like he did about an hours worth of work and left. Is this really that hard? I wasn't there so as to stay out of their way. The elbow at the tub spout is still not soldered. I know they aren't done, but I just don't get why this has to drag out. Does everything look good so far (reduced the vent pipe from 3" to 2" back to 3", moved valve, tub spout, and shower head to center)? I swear I felt some water on one of the joints they soldered when I was feeling around the joints last night.

11793

11794

11795

Cookie
11-12-2010, 06:54 AM
Augusta, not sure if realize that the office workers follow orders and directives from their employers who make the rules, and the office workers just do and say what they are told to, this can be anything, ie... we didn't get the email, and so on. The office workers take alot of the brunt of irate and unreasonable customers, and the employers get the big money and the glory. If this is a RE job, if I was you, I would hand it over to those more experienced and watch how it would be handled. If not, if you are new, you might not get a second chance at another. I have been there and honestly, just trying to help.

Basement_Lurker
11-12-2010, 08:51 AM
This install is beyond ridiculous. You are paying good money to have this done properly, and the guys can't even do a simple valve installation. The "pros" are using a cheapo DIY threaded valve body instead of providing one with solder connections...what a joke, and a little bit of extra work could have easily seen that valve body installed into proper wood backing.

ballvalve
11-12-2010, 09:06 AM
The threads dont matter but the galvanized strap on copper makes them awfully ignorant.

augusta
11-12-2010, 04:52 PM
Went to check on this job hoping it was finished by the Plumbing Company this evening. Can you guess what happened? If you guessed they didn't finish, you guessed right. So, Thursday was supposed to be the completion day...then Friday, now Saturday is another day it won't be worked on, Sunday is another day it won't be worked on, now Monday - who knows? Maybe they'll finish then, maybe they won't. 3 hours? Scattered across 5 days? Master Plumber? How much would you want to bet that the Plumber will call me after the job is done and tell me he's going to charge me more hours than what he quoted me on Thursday? Meanwhile, there's a $33 per day rental loss while waiting on them to take their sweet time. The shower head (not shown in the photos) is still not centered (by at least an inch and a half), although the tub spout and the valve are. I plan to take a drill to it this weekend and center it myself. I'd hate to delay this project yet another day on centering the shower head, nor would I want to be seen as "high maintenance." In the second bath was a note from the plumber: "We will back no Monday" So tell me again, which is the picnic? Master Plumber or Handyman? I seem to forget.

11798

11799

11800

augusta
11-12-2010, 05:28 PM
I couldn't resist adding the photo of the note the Master Plumber left for a bit of comedic relief. I wasn't sure, but it looks like blood on the corner of that note. None of you really know what it's like dealing with subs in Augusta.

To be continued...

11801

Basement_Lurker
11-12-2010, 10:54 PM
The threads dont matter but the galvanized strap on copper makes them awfully ignorant.

Actually, they do matter. A threaded joint is a future leak point that didn't need to be there, and is not the sign of a professional plumber in my opinion. My point was that he is paying good money, and is taking the time to give work to ticked professionals like he supposed to be doing, and all he is getting back for his trouble is handyman grade nonsense. The workmanship in that picture done by the "master plumber" is someting I would expect to see from an experienced apprentice and not a trade professional.

Terry
11-12-2010, 11:25 PM
The threaded valve was already on the job. There's nothing wrong with threaded connections, it's just that it's easier to solder instead.
That's a Moen-Posi-Temp valve, they come with either threaded or CC solder connections, but not both. Some brands like Kohler give you both options on the same valve.

SteveW
11-13-2010, 07:33 AM
What about the vent pipe going back and forth between 3" and 2"? Is that a code violation? I know that drain pipes are not allowed to go from a larger to a smaller diameter as you go downstream - what about vents?

Terry
11-13-2010, 08:11 AM
Vents do tend to go larger as they go up as more fixtures are added.
In cold areas, they sometimes require a larger size through the roof so that they don't frost over.

If a vent is oversized, it's okay to reduce down to the code allowed size.

Waste is different. As it grades downhill, you can only increase the size. Otherwise you wind up with a dam.

augusta
11-13-2010, 08:47 AM
What about the vent pipe going back and forth between 3" and 2"? Is that a code violation? I know that drain pipes are not allowed to go from a larger to a smaller diameter as you go downstream - what about vents?

Here's what the master plumber said Thursday morning concerning the vent you see in the picture:

"um...I looked everything up on my code book and uh, we can reduce that line to 2 inch. 2 inch can carry 21 drainage fixture units..and uh..really all we are going to be doing is choking it down just a tiny bit for that backing...but uh.. what we got there with 2 bathroom groups, you've got 12 fixture units..and it can handle 21...we are well well well within the boundaries. And that will give us easier access to uh you know putting that backing in there..."

Terry
11-13-2010, 08:54 AM
24 fixtures units on 2" in the UPC code book.

I've almost never run a 3" vent.
With most home, I can run two 2" vents and one 1.5" vent, totaled together this gets you your 3" for the entire home.
The kitchen gets a 1.5" and normally there is a vent or two or three more that picks up the last one.

Here is a two bathroom set run with a single 2" vent.

http://terrylove.com/images/dwv_b2.jpg

ballvalve
11-13-2010, 10:47 AM
Dont close the wall with the galvanized strap on the copper pipe. At least get the stooges to put their cigarette wrapper between the two. [ "not the aluminum part"] .

spout looks too low to pass code.

Leave a note and tell them to come back "no monday" and no ever

They think copper clad strap is for show?

The best plastic strapping is now free and laying around every open plywood pile

Terry
11-13-2010, 12:03 PM
As long as the tub spout has the 1" air gap between the ledge or "flood level" of the tub and the outlet, it meets code.

augusta
11-13-2010, 06:15 PM
While I was typing my last post, my old Master Plumber called my cell phone out of the blue. I thought somehow he found out about this forum. (He's the one who did my new construction home years ago, with the trim touching on the shower jets). Told him about this site - hey bro! I'm not out to embarrass anyone, just here to get second opinions. Was surprised that he cared enough to ask about everything that had gone wrong in the past. I told him. Said he'd look up all my tickets and figure out just exactly what happened on all those calls. Told me he let go quite a few people. Assured me he'd do better so I'll put him back on the list and give him a try. Then he met me over at this house today. Quized him on some things. Forgot to ask him if he saw a problem with the galvanized strap on copper. If I ask 10 different plumbers about this same job, I'll get 10 different answers. Said he knows DEF Plumbing personally (the current plumber working in these bathrooms) and that he couldn't believe that they didn't knock it out on Thursday. Also told him about ABC plumbing doing a "no call no show." He said he knows that Master Plumber too, and was surprised to hear about that event as well. I assured him that most, if not all plumbers in Augusta, are all the same. They hire too many shoddy workers. Then they over commit. Then they send those guys out to my service calls.

Well, I knocked out the ceramic tile flooring in the kitchen today. Looks great. I'd hire me. Now it's time for me to put in the granite counter tops in the bathrooms, install the sinks, faucets, and hook everything up. After that I'll be painting the home, but I can't paint until I do the drywall, and I can't do the drywall until the bathroom showers are done. These plumbers are killing my time table.


By the way, I don't know how many Floor N' Decor outlet stores there are in the United States, but if you guys have one nearby, you really should check it out. I got the ceramic tile flooring for this kitchen for .49 per sq ft. I got the granite for $2.50 sq ft tiles, and $7.77 sq ft for whole granite counter tops. I've got to spend $30 in gas driving my truck to Atlanta, but that trip saved me $700 on this remodel. The entire floor cost to do this kitchen was $75 (DIY).

11819

11817

11818

ballvalve
11-14-2010, 11:19 AM
Granite around here like that is @ 4 to 5$ a foot. Pretty close to formica cost.

And for the guy that doesn't like copper threads into a valve, nothing solders easier than copper threads into a brass valve. If you are so inclined.

augusta
11-15-2010, 09:58 AM
DEF Plumbing called and left a message on my voicemail this morning:


"The guy I've got working on your job...he's not coming in today...so...finish up tomorrow..unless you gotta gotta gotta have it today..I can probably send my son over there...but I'd rather finish up tomorrow but my guy's off..he's got things figured out and how we're going to work things..so call me back if there's a problem...otherwise we'll be over there Tuesday morning. Thanks."

Called the office. Got the office girl. Kindly asked her to bill me for the work they did and don't come back. That's just not how I do business. Explained that they were supposed to complete this Thursday last week. I can see something coming up and having to finish the next day (although I never got a reason why)...but now 6 days (maybe) for a 3 hour job? Just bill me. And don't come back out. "No Monday" and "no ever", like Ballvalve said.

Called my old plumber (who fired a lot of his guys...the same guys messing up on my service calls). Asked him if he could complete this for sure Tuesday morning. Said it's not a problem. Will be there at 8:30am and finish it tomorrow morning.

Now, which is the picnic again? Handyman or Master Plumber?

Terry
11-15-2010, 01:40 PM
Here is a three handle valve being replaced by a pressure balanced single handle
You can see that this Kohler valve has threads, but it was soldered in placing as the second option.

augusta
11-17-2010, 06:44 PM
Quick summary, because this has gone on seemingly forever:

Crew #1 Handyman. Failed. Complete disaster.
Crew #2 State Employee Plumber. Failed. Hugely crooked alignment + leaks.
Crew #3 Well known Master Plumber and supposedly one of the best in town. Failed. No call no show.
Crew #4 Well known Plumber and 4th generation Master plumber. Failed. 6 days for 3 hours of work with no end in sight. They moved the vent pipe for the master bath, installed the valve wall insert, and left. Haven't gotten a bill from them yet.
Crew #5 Well known Master Plumber (my old plumber). Had to align shower head in master bath (wall is open), realign valve, spout, and shower head in hallway bath with access from the master bath. Crew #4 quoted 3 hours to complete the whole thing and maybe completed an hour to an hour and a half worth of work. So, crew #5 finishes what Crew #4 didn't with an invoice of 2 men and 3 hours of work. It doesn't add up for me, but ok. With the remainder of work I just listed for Crew #5, do you see 2 men and 3 hours worth of work? Any issues with what you see in the pictures as my final job completion?

Invoice:
FINISHED PLUMBING ON TUB VALVES, STRAIGHTENED SHOWER HEADS IN MASTER BATH; REPAIRED LEAK ON TUB DRAIN IN HALL BATH -- 3 HOURS LABOR, 2 MEN, MISC COPPER & PVC WASTE FITTINGS === $240.00


11853

11852

11851

Pictures continued on next post...

augusta
11-17-2010, 06:47 PM
...(Please see previous post on previous page...I could not attach all of the pictures in the same post).

Quick summary, because this has gone on seemingly forever:

Crew #1 Handyman. Failed. Complete disaster.
Crew #2 State Employee Plumber. Failed. Hugely crooked alignment + leaks.
Crew #3 Well known Master Plumber and supposedly one of the best in town. Failed. No call no show.
Crew #4 Well known Plumber and 4th generation Master plumber. Failed. 6 days for 3 hours of work with no end in sight. They moved the vent pipe for the master bath, installed the valve wall insert, and left. Haven't gotten a bill from them yet.
Crew #5 Well known Master Plumber (my old plumber). Had to align shower head in master bath (wall is open), realign valve, spout, and shower head in hallway bath with access from the master bath. Crew #4 quoted 3 hours to complete the whole thing and maybe completed an hour to an hour and a half worth of work. So, crew #5 finishes what Crew #4 didn't with an invoice of 2 men and 3 hours of work. It doesn't add up for me, but ok. With the remainder of work I just listed for Crew #5, do you see 2 men and 3 hours worth of work? Any issues with what you see in the pictures as my final job completion?

Invoice:
FINISHED PLUMBING ON TUB VALVES, STRAIGHTENED SHOWER HEADS IN MASTER BATH; REPAIRED LEAK ON TUB DRAIN IN HALL BATH -- 3 HOURS LABOR, 2 MEN, MISC COPPER & PVC WASTE FITTINGS === $240.00

11854

This is the hallway bath where the trim used to touch.
11855

Wasn't thrilled about them cutting such a large hole in the front.
11856

...(Please see previous post on previous page...I could not attach all of the pictures in the same post).

Cookie
11-17-2010, 07:16 PM
You will have to celebrate when it is all done! Get a bottle of wine and hit it off the tub. :)

dlarrivee
11-17-2010, 09:48 PM
So this is your house?

Or you're the "general contractor" for someone else's home reno?

nukeman
11-18-2010, 05:36 AM
^ It is one of his rental properties.

I'm not a plumber, but this is what I see:

- Sharkbite fittings. They work okay, but most pros would sweat those joints. I've used them before for a temp fix, but I don't know if I would trust them long term behind a wall. Your call, though.

- What is with the wood block above the valve? It doesn't look like it is doing anything.

- It may be the pics, but the spout/valve looks to be shifted compare to the center of the tub. No big deal if it doesn't bother you.

Terry
11-18-2010, 08:08 AM
The wood block above the valve holds it in place relative to the surround.

augusta
11-18-2010, 08:23 AM
The wood block above the valve holds it in place relative to the surround.

Terry, what's your opinion on the sharkbites in this setup? Why not sweat the whole thing? Shortcut? And does this look like 2 men, 3 hours of work?


It may be the pics, but the spout/valve looks to be shifted compare to the center of the tub. No big deal if it doesn't bother you.

That's because that wood block they picked up off the ground, likely some scrap I had there, was not square. If you look at the picture where there's a close up, you can see that piece of wood looks like a door stop...so the tub spout doesn't come straight out. It's at an angle when you are looking at it from the front. Either that or it's simply just bent. Work of a Master Plumber?

Terry
11-18-2010, 09:29 AM
I would have soldered, but that's just me.
The Sharkbite is a legal fitting though.
Please don't ask me to bid this job from Seattle. From here I don't much care what the charges were, it would be second guessing on my part.
It does look much better then the first attempt, and they did block the heck out of it.
I don't think that valve is going anywhere soon.
I will try to wrap my head around the search tips too. At some point, I need to update the php, and the forum software and get it running solidly.

augusta
11-18-2010, 02:20 PM
Before we started this "finish up" with Crew #5, I explained to him that I did not want PVC, CPVC, and I wanted it all sweated with copper. I then gave him the URL to this site so he could see what I've been through (I think plumbers in Augusta are oblivious to their quality of work...each thinks he's top notch). He did come here and read through. Today, when I asked him why they chose to use Sharkbite, he said it was because they were working in a tight spot. Uhhhhh....I removed THE ENTIRE WALL so they'd have all the room they needed to work with. I don't get it. Asked him to replace the sharkbite with all sweated fittings, and to straighten the tub spout and we should be good.

This is a tight spot? (They put that 2X4 in themselves)
11860

nukeman
11-18-2010, 03:06 PM
They were probably trying to avoid melting your surround with their torch. Personally, I use a heat shield blanket for tight spaces to avoid burning wood, melting plastic, etc. They work great.

http://images.lowes.com/product/converted/038753/038753314006lg.jpg

The Sharkbites are fine and things do look a lot better than when this started. I would have sweated those joints, but no big deal.

ballvalve
11-19-2010, 09:54 AM
Are all you master plumbers really allowing galvanized metal to contact copper pipe?

http://www.finishing.com/491/53.shtml

here is one of thousands of links.

I am pretty sure you guys will say you have seen miles of such hangers without issues, but add condensation and unpredictable electrical potential, sure seems like a barrier first or plastic strap is the right way to go.

augusta
11-19-2010, 10:15 AM
Are all you master plumbers really allowing galvanized metal to contact copper pipe?

http://www.finishing.com/491/53.shtml

here is one of thousands of links.

At least Crew #5 took your advice and used their "wrapper". :-) And if you think that's crazy, I think I may start a thread here titled, "Crazy things that passed inspection." Since standards are so low in Augusta, you'd be shocked at what's out there.

11862

Today, the Master Plumber Crew #5 was very enthused to get it right..even offering to cut out the sharkbite's and replace with soldered copper fittings (although, as you say, sharkbites aren't technically wrong..but I did ask for all sweated fittings). Should be done today. Will check on it tonight.

And regarding the reflective heat blanket, I've got one of those. I ASSUME the Master Plumber has one, too, and should have simply used it between the copper pipe and the tub insert (there's at least an inch of space between if not more). I paid quite a bit of money for it about 7 years ago. Used it on my HVAC guy's advice when I attempted to solder some copper just outside of a wall after cutting it away from a hot water heater. It was my first attempt, and was the worst attempt at a solder job I've ever seen. Ended up calling my HVAC guy out to fix it. Will need to practice that one on some spare copper pipe. I've learned enough on this plumbing job to be able to do tub/shower replacements myself once I learn to solder. Lord knows I don't want to deal with Master Plumbers in Augusta on a regular basis. It's enough drama to drive you to drinking.

augusta
11-20-2010, 10:06 PM
Well, Crew #5 fixed all the issues that you guys pointed out, and I've learned quite a bit from you all. Rest in Peace "How's my plumber doing?" thread. I really do appreciate all the help. ...Until the next time I'm forced to call an Augusta Master Plumber. Time to seal these walls up.

Regards.

11868