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Thread: I think the plumber screwed up.... What is my best fix option?

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member gremlin!'s Avatar
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    Thumbs down I think the plumber screwed up.... What is my best fix option?

    Hi Everyone, I wasn't sure if I should post this in the shower forum, but since it has to do with rough-ins I posted here.

    My issue- I had a plumber run water lines over to a bathroom where we were adding a shower and install a Kohler K-304-K Rite Temp valve. When he put it in, it looked like it was sticking way too far out from the studs, but when I pointed it out he told me I had misinterpreted the instructions, that he had been doing this for years and years- yadda yadda.

    Well, I put up the durock, and after reading the installation about a thousand times, looking at videos, etc- I have a big problem. Two, possibly. First, he did install it WAY too far out on the studs. The plastic ring is supposed to sit behind the durock, but it sits a good 1/4" outside of it... on one side. On the other side, it sits outside the durock about a 1/2"! So now, not only is it too far out, but it is twisted about a 1/4" to the left.

    Asking him to come and fix it is not an option- It turns out this guy has major temper issues and blew up at me when I apparently asked too many questions. I was asking questions because I knew things were not right! (I won't even get into the other things he ended up messing up that I had to fix).

    So, as I see it my options are these:

    1. Take down the durock, have a plumber come in and pay yet more $ so that he can move the pipes/valve to where they should be.

    2. Take down the durock, shim out the studs 3/4" and re-durock.

    3. Have a breakdown. Oh wait, I've already done that.

    I am attaching photos of the rough in before drywall, the install manual close up, and the valve as it looks with the durock around it (profile from the side, and then top view so you can see the angle. The dome is not on the valve in those photos). What kills me is the "very tough" plumbing inspector looked at all of his work and passed him. I guess they don't really look at the details when doing an inspection?? Who knows.

    At any rate, I appreciate any advice you all can give me.
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  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    No doubt that is a pretty sloppy installation indeed. The tile will take care of the 1/4" side without any problems but the valve needs to be even all the way around or the escution is going to look like crap. I think your best bet is going to be to re-set the valve.

    BTW, I've never heard of a plumber with anger issues LOL
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Junior Member gremlin!'s Avatar
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    Thanks, Tom... I was afraid of that. I know it's all relative, but any idea how long it should take/ballpark what it should cost me?

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Oh, I'd rip you off big time just to teach you a lesson LOL. Not really no, It all depends on the going rates around DC I suppose though it should only take about a half hour.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    FWIW, the inspection checks to verify that it is installed safely to code. That would cover things like height, proper hookup so hot is to hot, cold is to cold so it can work right, possible nail protection plates to protect the piping, and stuff like that. He probably won't verify the asthetics of it. I'd take those pictures and attach them to a BB complaint along with the discussion of his unprofessional attitude. If you haven't paid him the final, tell him to fix it, or he won't get paid.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    I just looked a little closer at it. There appears to be no hangers or supports at all other than the 2x4 below the valve either. Looks like the whole thing kind of swings in the wind. Savage work, just savage. What in hell is the matter with people these days. You get paid good money to do professional work and this is the best you can come up with? Where's the pride of workmanship? I suppose it could be worse. It could be hanging off PEX. I would plaster those pictures all over the web along with the guys name and address. For a crappy, half assed installation call Hackmaster Plumbing Inc. Quality means Jack to us.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Junior Member gremlin!'s Avatar
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    Thanks, Tom. You hit it on the head- no supports- just the one there and another up by the showerhead. Yet another thing I casually asked about, as the installation instructions even mentioned more support.

    I would like to tell everyone about this guy, but since there is something very wrong with him and he knows where I live- I am very hesitant. I can't begin to tell you about the breakdown this guy had- it was very disturbing.

  8. #8
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    There appears to be no hangers or supports at all other than the 2x4 below the valve either. Looks like the whole thing kind of swings in the wind.
    I once had a couple of "pros" (working under someone else's license) do the same thing to me, and I just did some careful tweaking and bending to get the valve into place where it needed to be. If you can still get to the backside there, I would cut the 2x4 back away from it, do a little manipulating and then add whatever would be needed to re-fasten the valve to the studs.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

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    DIY Junior Member gremlin!'s Avatar
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    Thanks, gents.

    Tom- Oh no, teach me a lesson!?!?! lol

    I really don't know what I could have done differently- the guy came highly recommended, had references, had an A rating on the BBB and when I met him, presented his license, and was great to work with until I questioned him. At that point he became instantly irate and proceeded to scream at us until he was crying. Yes, crying. We were dumbfounded. He ended up not taking the last couple of hundred dollars we owed him- only because I refused to have him back in my house. Total nightmare. Oh, and a few months after this all happened- I get a connection request from him on LinkedIn. !?!?!?!

    I found out later when I had one of his guys come back and fix another thing they did wrong (the guy had since quit the plumber's company, so I had to pay him to fix it) that the owner was a recent ex-con and a drug addict- along with some of the rest of the men working for him- thus, the temper issues. I also found out that his license was actually his UNCLE's license, not his. I was told that the positive reviews and references were all friends of the plumber. Since they finished what they did, I've checked yelp and there are tons of stories just like mine. If only they were there before!

    I did tons of research, got all my permits, tried to vet the guy out and I still ended up with an incompetent lunatic.

    Jad- What you are saying makes total sense. I wish I had stuck to my guns and made him fix it when I knew in my gut it was wrong.

    Ok.... So begins the search for another plumber. Do you gents have any tips, red flags, something I should/should not be looking for?
    Last edited by gremlin!; 11-09-2011 at 07:14 PM.

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