Bummer Plumber


Old 09-05-01, 12:27 PM
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This week I was invited to an elderly lady's home to address the items on her home inpectors list that she had recieved during the sale of the residence.
One item that she had had done was to yank the old steam radiators for baseboard hot H2O

During the inital walk thru, I noted that most of the 10" to center older receptacles were 1/2 covered by the new baseboard which is appox. 8" high. Assuming some sort of explanation i made light of this.

In confronting the plumber ( without the customer's presence) as to the 'fix' here I recieved nothing but sour grapes, absolutley no remorse or regrets for his actions. He would not remove his baseboard, or be involved in any other action to make ammends, claiming he was there 'on estimate'.

The kicker was , that being a two family ( rentals are inspected here) I informed him that there would be an inspection, and it may be an issue.

He immediatly packed up his truck, told the old lady he could not work with me, and left!

What should i do???
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Old 09-05-01, 03:07 PM
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Walk away.
Old 09-06-01, 02:04 AM
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Walking away saves you from some certain grief, but it seems unfair that this guy will continue to get away with this kind of behavior.

The lady will inevitably be left to pay for the removal of his work, the relocation of the recptacles, and the replacement of the baseboard heat.

If the apartment will indeed be inspected, shouldn't the inspector be notified that this condition exists, before this guy disappears into the woodwork?
Old 09-06-01, 10:52 AM
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This is a nice lady who does'nt deserve this sort of treatment. After the plumber stormed out I took her aside and informed her of the gravity of the situation. Taking a steel old work box and showing her how it is secured top and bottom to lath, and how the bottom is inaccessable now, hell...i'll be hard pressed to even get the cover plates off some.
I left the matter in her hands, as an informed customer. She is retired, her 6 kids are the executors of her estate and retirement home, hopefully one of them will question the plumbers actions here.
I have pulled a permit, the inspector can be called in if she wishes .
Old 09-07-01, 01:56 PM
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WireNuts, You as the electrician need to protect yourself from liability. If it were me, I would be sure that the electrical inspector was called and an appointment made to meet him on the job site during his inspection. He is the AHJ. He has the authority to order the installation to be corrected. He probably will give an option to raise the receptacles or re-install the heaters in a proper manner. This being your area, do you know if electrical and / or plumbing licensing is required to be a contract on this project? If so the plumber may have realised you were calling in an inspector and he may be in trouble for working without permits or licensing if required. I would meet with that inspector on the job and ask for an approval card from that inspector in writing asking that the low quality plumbing that is affecting the electrical work be mentioned on your receipt of inspection approval.

I would then explain to the home owner that this is all you can legally do on the problem at hand being the electrical contractor.

I would then explain to the home owner that she should report this plumber's activity to the better bussiness bureau and possibly seek legal action in a civil court for the proper repairs to be done by a second plumber and seek a judgement requiring the first plumber pay for this correcting repair. That is her choice, but in this matter it is really a civil matter between the home owner and the plumbing contractor.

The AHJ may issue an order to force the correction. This is within his power to order it done.

In my jurisdiction we have a County Court that allows civil cases to be heard between to civilians without attorneys at a low cost of $35 court cost. It is a quick hearing in a laymen form usually done without attorneys, just done on an informal type legal format that carries the same powers of any other courts.

You really should obtain proof through an inspection from an AHJ to protect this problem from coming back on you by blame from the plumber claiming you caused the problem.

Good Luck


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