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  #1  
Old 01-18-2017, 03:48 PM
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Shoddy plumbing work...

I needed to have a water heater installed in my family's house on short notice. If I had a bit more time, I'd have done the work myself. Called a local plumber, guys who came out were as American as apple pie, so please no whining about immigrants and quality of work...

Turns out:
(1) They upgraded the vent pipe from 3" to 4". They said that 4" is no longer code, but the township inspector "likes to see it." Only problem was, when they sealed it to the chimney, they left huge gaps, which fortunately, I noticed.
(2) They used crimp/o-ring fittings on copper pipe, didn't sweat the pipes. Surely a metal-metal joint would last longer than a crimp with an o-ring that will deteriorate.
(3) They put the water heater directly on the cement floor, with no standoffs. They said they'd have to shorten the gas pipe to put the standoffs, but they did that anyway since the new heater had the gas nipple in a different location.
(4) Put an expansion tank, with no support. They grudgingly put in a copper strap that is barely even tight.

All this quality work for the princely sum of $1200.

EDIT: they didn't turn on the water to the house fully -- made taking a shower a bit difficult till we realized what was going on


Last edited by spdrun; 01-18-2017 at 07:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2017, 09:17 PM
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Typical 'Slam Bam Thank You Mam'.
Did they install dielectric unions ?
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2017, 09:25 PM
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Some heaters come with them already.
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2017, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubyagee View Post
Some heaters come with them already.
Looks like it did.
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2017, 12:14 AM
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Nothing you describe sounds necessarily shoddy to me. Its how they do it now. If you want it done as it would have been done in the eighties or seventies you can get it done but it will cost a lot more.
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2017, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
Looks like it did.
Good. Nothing you can do now except make sure you drain it properly once or twice a year to release any sediment..
As long as your folks have hot water, who cares how it gets delivered.
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2017, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
Nothing you describe sounds necessarily shoddy to me. Its how they do it now. If you want it done as it would have been done in the eighties or seventies you can get it done but it will cost a lot more.
Sweating the joints would have taken maybe a minute more per joint -- a metal-metal bond is more reliable than rubber-to-copper. Leaving gaps in the cement around the vent pipe is just bad work and a CO hazard. Same with not supporting the expansion tank -- it's bad work, a leak hazard since it stresses the pipe joints, and takes a few minutes to do right.

The install would have flunked inspection as it was, and rightly so. Unfortunately, you have to wait a few weeks for an inspection appointment in that town.

Oh, and the kicker? They didn't re-open the water valve to the house fully. When I took a shower after I finished cleaning after them, there was next to no water pressure, and the pipes were making a screaming sound.
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2017, 04:50 AM
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Does that price include the heater or was that for labor only?
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2017, 08:26 AM
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I'll have to agree on the cement gaps and the support for the tank...
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2017, 01:57 PM
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At 1200.00 it should include the heater. Yet you never know today. The younger generation seem to be happy with the non sweated copper pipe connections.

I was sitting here wondering if a good plumber would have used them in your situation. Or is it a case since ninety percent or more on domestic applications all plastic is now used.

Has it perhaps increased their comfort level with various forms of compression devices? My son in law seems to have a real comfort zone with them and used them a lot in repair situations on old copper systems. Come to think about it when he was between real jobs and was maintaining two large motels about thirty years old his questions for me where endless at the time.

Last edited by barry12345; 01-19-2017 at 02:07 PM.
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2017, 03:43 PM
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I just a week ago had to replace about 50' of beautiful copper drain lines which rotted away from the inside. They looked great until they came apart and dropped gallons of nasty poo water on the basement floor of my building. I shudder to guess what the bill will be for that work.

They put in new pvc.
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2017, 04:19 PM
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Are you referring to shark fittings? I like them and use them myself. I've wondered about the life span of the o-rings but I haven't had any fail yet and some are about 6 years old. I've had soldered joints fail in the past so they're not guaranteed. I also use Pex now instead of copper. Where I attach Pex to copper I use a shark fitting.
I put in a water heater a few weeks ago. $540 for a 50 gallon gas heater from Home Depot and a couple of hours work. Didn't use shark fittings or pex because the old heater had flexible copper connectors. Worst part was getting the old heater up the stairs from the basement, god, those things get heavy after being in use for 10 yrs.
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  #13  
Old 01-19-2017, 05:42 PM
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Most people just throw them aside and leave them for the next owners.
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #14  
Old 01-19-2017, 06:01 PM
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Mine is in the attic. I think it was put up there before the house was finished. I missed that day during the build 13 years ago. Going to be a rough one to swap.
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  #15  
Old 01-19-2017, 07:25 PM
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Go tankless.

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1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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