Trading Standards do a "House of Horrors"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3417401.stm
Exactly why I like to DIY - I tend to not trust other people not to either do a bad job, or rip me off on costs, or a mixture of the two.
David
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Brilliant! It makes you wonder where are the bodies which set standards? If one doesn't exist they should create guidelines as least.

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And they wonder why DIYers are bothered about having to use "authorised" electricians to do their electrical work!
Al
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On Thu, 22 Jan 2004 11:59:32 -0000, "David Hearn"

I've seen the TV clip of the guy who p's in a jar and then empties it into the water tank in the loft. The news media of course say that he's emptying it into the house water tank.
Which he is - but it's clear to me that it's not the big header tank but a smaller one, probably the CH overflow.
This doesn't make it right of course.
PoP
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I was doing some plumbing work for a customer this week in the loft. A previous plumber had installed the overflow pipe from the CH tank to go into the water tank!
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At a house this week. The old cast iron stack was being replaced. The ground had been dug up to expose the clay pipe below. The old installation had some work done on it in the past. Below ground, the cast iron soil pipe had stopped about 3" short of the clay, the gap had been wrapped with a newspaper and cemented round. To right of that was a drain pipe. this was joined under ground with a length of aluminium ducting that made its way (flattened) into the manhole through a knocked out brick just below floor level then cemented over. For some reason the building inspector insisted that the drain pipe discharged into a trapped gully before entering the manhole. He even refused to allow a newspaper and cement repair on the soil pipe.
Incidentally, the original installation had been disturbed some time ago to bring in a new gas main. Surely the newspaper and ducting didn't go in then, surely not :-)
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My house was exactly like that too! With the added bonus of having the main water tank overflow slightly higher than the CH one which connected into it, yet the actual overflow pipe connected to the main tank was higher still... as a result if *either* tank was to overflow, there would be a contamination of water from the murky chemical stew in the CH expansion tank and the main water tank before it finally made it's way outside.
Just to top it off, the ball valves were fitted at a lower point than the overflows, so that if an overflow situation should ocurr, there was more than a good chance that you'd also get water syphoning back down the water main from either tank if the supply was subsequently shut off, perhaps whilst you were investigating where the water was pouring out from...
It was superb. I've remedied it now. I love the plumbing in my place.
Ian
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On 22 Jan 2004 14:39:00 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@iname.com (StealthUK) wrote:

I have recently developed an aversion to plumbers. For all of the jobs which do not go according to plan (these jobs are not necessarily plumbing) there is invariably a plumber implicated somewhere.
Little things like putting up a shelf, only to find that our helpful plumber has routed a pipe in the most infuriating place!
PoP
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On Thu, 22 Jan 2004 11:59:32 -0000, "David Hearn"

Fair enough, there are bad tradesmen out there, but there are also a lot of decent people trying to make a living. I wish the TV companies would do some shock horror exposes on bad *customers*. They could start with the bastards you go out of your way to get out of trouble, save them a packet by pointing out that the problem is much simpler than they thought, and they reward you with a rubber cheque.
They and the cowboys deserve each other, and in many cases what the tale of woe doesn't mention is that the cowboy was doing the job because either no decent contractor in the area will go near the customer because of previous experience, or the customer didn't like the fair price the decent contractors all quoted him to do the job properly.
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Niall

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Well said Niall, hardly anything is mentioned of rogue "customers". I had a customer hold money back from a job because his bricks weren't wasp proof, to this day I don't know what he was talking about,how do you deal with someone like that!!! Another complained that his 6.5M long work top in his kitchen was 1.5mm out of level in its length & also his kitchen floor which was nearly 8M long was 3mm out of level?? I kid you not, so next time you moan about rogue cowboys, think of rogue customers as well. The woman who complains on the BBC web site about 33 inches of copper is very definitely a potential "wasp proofer" me thinks.
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On Sat, 24 Jan 2004 20:23:53 +0000, take away nojunk wrote:

IME there is probably a pool of such customers. It will not matter how good you are or how well you manage the job, they are essentially looking for the unobtainable (invariably at a discounted rate). When you first start up they are likely to dominate the clientele, since these are the ones that have to give someone new a try. In fact they are the mirror image of the rougue traders who need a continual supply of new customers these people need a continual supply of new contractors.
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Like most people, I have no time for cowboys, but I noticed in the comments, that several people had called out an engineer for a free estimate, so that the engineer could tell them what the problem was, and they then could fix it themselves. This is a blatant rip off of the engineers time, but these people seemed to think that this was acceptable, whilst at the same time, moaning about cowboys ripping them off..
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