Saturday, January 7, 2012

January - Plumbers

What's the difference between a bank-robber and a plumber?

I don't know either.

So Eve was telling me that the hose was dripping... fine, I fixed it. She said the faucet on the side of the house was dripping. Okay, no big deal... unscrew it and install a new one $4.95 and ten minutes.

So I get the water shutoff key, turn off the water, and put a pipe wrench on the pipe, I put an adjustable wrench on the faucet and start to turn it... about 1/8 turn and I hear SNAP. Damn it.

They used CPVC in the exterior wall.

Sure enough... turn on the water and it's a fountain out of the wall. Well damn. (Luckily most of the water went outside.) Okay... I'm thinking, cut a hole in the inside wall about 6x6 inches, cut the pipe, do it right, then cover it with an access panel. But decided to call a plumber for an estimate. He was going to be awhile... so I leave Eve at the house and go to Subway with my friend Wolf... figured when I get back the plumber should be there and we will see if he knows another way around it. If so, I'll have him do it...otherwise my friend Wolf and I would just do it.

I get back, he has ALREADY STARTED WORKING because Eve told him to "go ahead" and get started. So I get back and he hands me a clipboard... $375 for this, $120 for that, $50 for this... $500.00 to replace 4 INCHES of pipe in the wall.

Not only that... but he cuts a 16x6 hole in the wall... which really gets me upset, because I had measured EXACTLY where the faucet wa,s and put a thumbtack in the wall to mark it. I was going to cut a 2x2 inch exploratory hole... then check the situation. So yeah... the cover plates at Lowes are 6x9 or 14x14... and now I can't use either. So I have to fabricate something or patch the wall which never looks right. :-(

The pipe fitting was designed to screw to a 2x4 running horizontally in the wall... it provides all the support for the faucet. No... the folks who installed it put the 2x4 toward the outside of the house, drilled a hole through it, and stuck the pipe in from behind. So the two dinky screws are biting into 1/8 inch of wood... no support at all. (And the reason for the failure.)

I step in and attempt to suggest a new mounting method to make sure that it doesn't happen again... but Eve says I should let the guy "do it right". I tell him that I have a complete wood shop... that if he needs a bracket cut just give me the measurement and I'll do it. So he tells me a measurement and I make the cut. I ask him if he wants some screws to secure it, and if he wants me to pre-drill the holes so the piece doesn't split.

No... he has it under control... Eve tells me to go do my workout and that I shouldn't stress over it. Yeah... I'm paying $500 for $20 worth of parts for a $5 faucet replacement. So much for getting the new shelves for my office... or the new CNC equipment I was going to build... put them off until summer now I guess. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

So you can see the job he did... $500. Nice huh? Thankfully Eve got tired of watching him split the lumber with the deck screws he was using and handed him a drill and told him to drill pilot holes or it would be even worse than it is.

Bank Robbers / Plumbers... same damned thing.


  1. Of course, the REAL problem began with the words, "Go ahead."

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