If you are a plumber, please don't take offense to the title of my
post. It was just that I'm so freaking mad at the guy who has been
working on my toilet that I wish I could just choke the life out of
Long story short: I've been getting some increasingly bad leaks out of
the base of my toilet for the past two or so weeks. I get a plumber
out of the phone book - someone local, nice ad, I figure he looks like
a solid enough guy.
He shows up, tells me that I need to replace the entire toilet, pulls
it up by smashing it! Which causes water to blast all over the place,
which caused water to drip down on the floor and into my basement,
which got all over my entire collection of People magazines! Ruining
at least thirty issues from the early 80's - not easy to replace.
He tells me that it's the price of plumbing, an unfortunate casualty.
Frick that! He should pay for these issues, shouldn't he? But he
And to cap it off, two days later the new john starts leaking!!!! I
call him and he tells me he'll get to my house sometime 'before the
Goddamnit, this guy is ruining my life! What am I going to tell my
family when they come over for Christmas!? To just ignore the fricking
water all over the bathroom floor? To use the toilet at the Quizno's
down the street??!?!
Is there any line of recourse on this, legal or otherwise? Please help
This is what causes plumbers to get bad names..
Your first mistake, yes yours... was not asking around about him. Local
plumbing inspectors office can give you quality plumbers at resonable
prices,,that WILL respect the community.
Your second was paying him for the job, after poor workmanship.
I would get on the phone to the local health commish, and ask for the
Tell him the TRUTH about the whole job, and ask for a quality plumber.
Refuse to let the previous plumber to repair the job.
Tell the next plumber when he is there to repair the problem,,and ask for
detailed billing, about what actually was leaking
Get prices for replacement of damaged materials, that the 1st plumber
Call this plumber,,,and ask for reimbursement of issues.
If he refuses, dont get all pissy, remain calm and seek your local clerk of
courts.,, a small fee, and you can tell your story to the judge. no lawyers,
no hassels. just you, him and the judge.
I will tell you from experience, as well as other plumbers in this group,
this is not normal character practice, and normal quality workmanship.
Good luck and let us know what happens.
All you had to do was feel the bottom of the Tank !
Then just tighten the Two nuts. Hand Tight only.
One, call the Inspector, don't, you lose in small claims court.
Is he Insured, Lic., Clean looking both in dress and Van ?
Two, look in the Basement for rotted wood below the WC.
Replace if needed. Poke it with an Awl. Soft its bad.
Others here will disagree, I find that Wax gaskets seldom
go bad unless you had a Very Heavy person use the WC or
Small Claims may take 6 months to reach a Court date.
If the Inspector agrees, you have a case.
His Job is Public Health, he works for you not to
protect any Plumber.
The WC is NOT a Library......Its only for serious thought
and to throw up after Drinking too much in some Ginmill.
'' Shit Happens. ''
LOOK DUSTIN I told you i'm sorry about your stupid magazines.
If you can find a better way to remove a toilet from a house than a sledge
go for it. geeze!
You wanted me to be quick about it and your little cup you brush your teeth
and your face cloth was takin forever to bail out the bowl.
I just figured your stinky shag carpet in the bathroom would soak it up.
How was I to
know it was already waterlogged?
What are you going to tell your family? I don't know; how about; OOPS my
ass is fat
what can I say.
I'm not coming to the defense of anyone. And no, we don't all "stick
together". But we've all dealt with homeowners who are less than
reasonable. If the guy ripped you off, then do what you've gotta do.
But you should take a moment and try to see things from both sides.
When the plumber blew you off till after the holidays, I would agree,
that was a shitty thing to do and I don't agree with that. I've got a
full day tomorrow because I have customers who have families coming
over on Christmas day. Most of us do try to put our customers first.
As for my fees, I stand by what I charge. $127.50/hour isn't a whole
lot of money. And your attorney....how much is he charge per hour to
help you sue a plumber? Most people are willing to pay and attorney
that $127.50/hour (and usually more). And when you go to the doctor's
office, you're more than happy to shell out the cash so some doctor
will spent 5-minutes talking to you...after some 2-year-college nurses
aide has done all the real work. But god forbid a lowly plumber
charges the same rates. God forbid some shmuck who crawls under houses
and wades through raw sewage should make more money than YOU.
Frankly, your attorney has an easy CLEAN job compared to the work we
do in the field. From my end, I have earned a masters degree, I am
certified by the state to teach other plumbers, I am certified to
install medical gas piping (which I charge out at $600/hour), and I am
a state certified plumbing inspector. I've spent MORE time in school
than your attorney. But I guess somehow, he's worth more than me. I
guess you're just one of those who doesn't value education and
Sure, you can find somebody cheaper. But somebody cheaper won't bring
my level of experience to your job. Find some putz doing his work for
$50/hour and he'll take twice as long as somebody who's been in the
field for a long time. I find it puzzling that people are wiling to
pay less and get less...like a plumber that tells you to wait till
after the holidays.
And Dustin...find another hobby buddy. Time Magazines...? If they're
that damn valuable to you, maybe they shouldn't be sitting in a box in
your basement. Take up a hobby that you really love. Those magazines
have been sitting in that basement for how long.... you didn't love
those magazines. Get a hobby you love and you'll be much happier.
Maybe get a pottery wheel and throw some pots in your spare time. It's
very relaxing. If you're going to collect anything, I would recommend
you collect women's undergarments that have been signed by the adult
stars who wore them. You know...a real man's hobby.
Black Beard -
I am SOOOOOOOO sorry, oh Pirate of the Toilet Waters! Yes, you are
more valuable than a doctor. What was I thinking? The guy who fixes my
body or my toilet? Duh - that's easy! That's some ego on you, son!
Secondly, you probably wade through raw sewage because it feels like
home. You're no different than the plumber who ripped me off. You're
all alike and you all stick together. For shame.
And finally, HOW DARE you insult my hobby of collecting People
magazines? (I don't collect TIME! Can't you even READ, you wrench
monkey?) Just because I keep them in the basement doesn't mean I don't
love them as much as I do. I have a beautifully furnished basement.
You probably do as well, with the money you make ripping off people
As for your hobby, I assume it is bilking people out of their hard
earned money and walking around in raw sewage.
Happy holidays -
On Wed, 24 Dec 2003 05:59:55 GMT, Blackbeard
C'mon, Dustin. What did you expect? We're talking People Magazines. You
could have simply said "magazines". Soon as you admit you collect People
magazines you are strongly suspected of being a blithering idiot. Is it
fair to paint you with a moron brush because of your hobby? No. But you
have to remember that plumbing is a trade that requires quick judgment and
razor sharp intuition. We plumbers don't have time to ponderously weigh
all the variables before making a decision. For one thing, plumbing
emergencies demand quick action. For another thing, our customers are
paying good money by the hour and rightly expect problems to be quickly
For these reasons, plumbers have developed the ability to walk into a
situation, read the signs, and draw correct conclusions from those signs.
No, we're not right every time, but the numbers are pretty good. So when
you say you collect People magazines, every plumber on this list thinks,
"there's your sign". In other words, here is a numb chuck who probably
doesn't know which end of the screwdriver is the handle and will surely find
something to complain about no matter what I do.
Is it fair? No. Is it accurate? You tell me.
Now wait a second. Do you mean you charge private individuals this
much, and they pay? Here in Cincy, no one gets that much unless they're
Ha! I knew it!
I'm a plumber, and we're supposed to be on the same side, but COME ON
level of experience to your job.
So you're saying a customer is supposed to pay a guy $127.50/hr to fix a
leaking toilet? Do you live on Earth? You might get away with this
bragging other places, but this newsgroup is the Big Leagues. That crap
won't fly here. Just back away slowly. There's plenty of legitimate
reasons for making fun of non-plumbers. Let's not resort to fantasy.
I have spoken
ive been a licensed plumber for over 20 years it seems you have been taken
it looks like you have either a gasket problem or a flange problem both
minor i never had to break out a toilit unless it was cracked if i were you
i would call an indepent pluming company and get a secound opinion if the
problem is minor try to get it in writing form the secound plumber and try
to get your money back
I have resisted posting to this thread for some time, but here goes...
First of all, I'm not a plumber, but I have to wonder at a plumber that removes
a water-filled toilet and apparently fileld tank by shattering it with a
hammer, when the things just unbolt in sections....and wouldn't he have swabbed
or pumped the thing out first? I'm asking for a pro to comment at that part
only... I've put in and taken out toilets by myself, even in a tight space,
unbolting was never a problem...
Plumbers? I've had good ones and bad ones. The bad ones included two stoners
who sat in the truck doing a joint in my driveway before coming in to work. Not
a pipe joint, either;-) Their dad was the plumber in the family, the sons were
merely bad apprentices, but we couldn't know that in advance, it was the dad we
had hired. They broke some parts while trying clumsily to hang an old fashioned
compression band-flange-mounted type steel kitchen sink, (the reason we wanted
the old man to do it, he had years of experience in it) accidentally
damaged/chipped the custom-made laminate counter top, and didn't want to deduct
the cost of the replacements.
Another pair of home improvers said they would re-do my mom in laws bathroom
including plumbing and re-doing the walls and hanging tile. Lesson here is
don't hire a plumber to put up the ceramic tile;-) They had to tear down and
re-do that part of the job three times, and the final job is "just" passable,
though it looks worse the longer you sit in there and look.
You don't always have the luxury of checking out competing plumbers when you
have an urgent situation and need immediate relief, but maybe, before you take
on the next project, or while killing time at the hardware warehouse store, you
should look up a few refernces and have a list for your files the next time
trouble bubbles up.
Collecting People magazine? Hell just READING that magazine is creepy;-)
Yeah, it's a little unusual to remove a toilet with a sledge hammer.
But I suspect more realistically, the existing bolts were crapped up
and wouldn't come loose. Instead of fighting with toilet bolts, I
assume the plumber just cracked the area around where the bolts were
located. Pumping, yes - most of us will use pumps or a mini shop vac
or even sponges to get most of the water out of the toilet. But the
toilet has an internal trap. Which means if the particular plumber
tapped a little too hard when he was trying to get the toilet loose,
it could have fractured far enough to crack the trap seal. This is
just an assumption (that the plumber attempted to crack the porcelain
because he couldn't get the bolts loose). If instead, the plumber took
a sledge hammer and beat the hell out of the toilet and splintered
little pieces of sharp porcelain all over the place and didn't sweep
up his mess....yeah, I would have to agree that the plumber did not do
things the way they should have been done.
But homeowners are idiots when it comes to this stuff. If there is a
tiny drip...they will call and say they have water POURING all over
the inside of their cabinet. They will refer to a small drip as
"SPRAYING ALL OVER THE PLACE". So when PEOPLE refers to these major
issues with his plumber, I have to be a little suspicious. A couple of
little shards of toilet remnants does not constitute "scattered all
over my bathroom floor" and does not constitute "a HUGE mess" Most of
us try to clean our work areas. But i don't make a huge issue out of
cleaning the work area. I'm being paid to do plumbing, not to be a
janitor. And frankly, does the homeowners really want to pay me for an
extra 1/2-hour to carefully clean my work area? The damp people
magazines...frankly, this particular customer claims that the plumber
is responsible for those wet magazines. However, he called a plumber
because of a problem with his toilet. The plumber didn't cause that
problem. And it is likely that water from the "problem" is just as
responsible for those damaged magazines as he claims the plumber is
responsible. The homeowner claims that those magazines were "bone
dry", but I doubt he carefully checked the magazines before AND after
the plumber left. I know magazine collectors. Real collectors keep
their precious collection in binders. It's not that I'm unsympathetic
to the homeowner who feels ripped. He may entirely right about the
entire situation. I've just dealt with enough nimrods out here that I
tend to take everything with a little grain of salt and try to assess
a situation from every angle
I work for a small plumbing company and we are constantly getting calls
about "water is spraying everywhere."
On Tuesday, my boss responded to a service call where a customer frantically
said that her "kitchen faucet was spraying water everywhere and they had to
have a plumber immediately!"; turned out to be a leaking bonnet that need to
be retightend and as far as the "spraying everywhere" when the faucet was
used water seeped out the side of the faucet and ran into the sink.
We have had numerous calls like that where a drip is a waterfall that is
flooding the house. Yes, leaks need to be fixed; but they delay serious
water emergencies. I.E... someone hammering a nail through a 3/4" waterline
running upstairs or shooting a nail through a water line on the second
floor. Bad examples I know, but those are two calls that we got.
Amazing how many people don't know where their shut off valve for the house
is or there water meter in the yard.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.