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Who should pay for a home maintenance contractor error

  1. #1
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    Who should pay for a home maintenance contractor error

    Say a plumber breaks a pipe, then charges the homeowner to replace it.
    When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

  2. #2
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    If the pipe was broken due to the plumber's carelessness or lack of knowledge, then his company should pay for it. If it broke because it was extremely old and in fragile condition and couldn't take the burden of any physical repairs, then the homeowner should replace it. I think I would know before the plumber showed up if there was going to be a potential problem with something that was very old/neglected.

  3. #3
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    If the pipe that was broken directly related to the item/fixture being repaired/replaced then I would think it was the homeowners responsibility.

  4. #4
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    "You break it you fix it". I don't have a good plumber even after living here 17 years and have had numerous plumbers to fix running toilets. They always say it's the chain, fixed it, leave, but soon the same ol' same ol'. But...

    When my surgeon friend visited, and while I was out buying groceries, he ran to Lowe's Hardware, picked up a package that included the toilet handle, rod, and chain...and it was done when I returned. Now it works like a charm! I didn't have the nerve to tell him there are 3 more needing his surgical precision But I might try it myself...yeah right...no, really...yeah right.
    "If we all hold hands we can't fight"...sam the dot man

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lara View Post
    "You break it you fix it". I don't have a good plumber even after living here 17 years and have had numerous plumbers to fix running toilets. They always say it's the chain, fixed it, leave, but soon the same ol' same ol'. But...

    When my surgeon friend visited, and while I was out buying groceries, he ran to Lowe's Hardware, picked up a package that included the toilet handle, rod, and chain...and it was done when I returned. Now it works like a charm! I didn't have the nerve to tell him there are 3 more needing his surgical precision But I might try it myself...yeah right...no, really...yeah right.
    My fix from Lowe's cost $8.98 and was done in 15 minutes...

  6. #6
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    If a contractor breaks something in my house, he/she is going to replace it, at no charge to me, unless I'm warned ahead of time that the piece may be broken during a given repair job. I also do not pay contractors who do sub-standard work. This guy showed up to snake my sewer line and only took it from the lavatory to the mid-line clean-out. He then tried to get me to pay. I refused. I told him to take it to the street sewer line, the proper run, or leave, unpaid. He literally jumped up and down and told me I was asking for "a special service." I told him to do the job, correctly, or get off my property. He relented. I paid. Thereafter, I rented my own industrial auger and did the line with my gf, the next time the line clogged, about ten years later. Many contractors are sub-humans, plumbers having a strong presence on that list.

  7. #7
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    My main gripe is they say all the wonderful things they are going to do for the agreed on amount and as soon as they begin, they start cutting corners (particle board instead of lumber, whitewash in place of paint, etc.). I had one a few years ago to replace a rotted bottom step on the front porch stairs. He went and got lumber and paint, charged me for them, then claimed he piece of lumber he got didn't fit and he ended up turning over the old step and using that. Now the rot is coming through what is now the top side. Charged me $100 for labor an materials and didn't use some of the materials. I asked for the board he didn't use since I paid for it. I had to argue with him about it, but he finally relented. Probably was going to charge me for it, then take it back and get a refund, so he made double on it. He never worked for me again.
    When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by debodun View Post
    Say a plumber breaks a pipe, then charges the homeowner to replace it.
    Sometimes old pipes break when they are 'disturbed'. That happens. If in doubt attempt the plumbing job yourself.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnthomas View Post
    If in doubt attempt the plumbing job yourself.
    I've actually had plumbers that refused to work on my pipes. They usually say something along the lines of "I'm not touching that can of worms!" One actually showed me that if he started on one section, and tried to turn it to remove it, it would be a domino effect and all the pipes would start to crack and he'd end up having to replace all the pipes in that line. Of course, I'd rather they be up-front and honest as to heir abilities that start and get in over their head and leave me with a mess. It's especially the young guys that are used to working with copper and PVC, not rusting galvanized iron.
    When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by debodun View Post
    I've actually had plumbers that refused to work on my pipes. They usually say something along the lines of "I'm not touching that can of worms!" One actually showed me that if he started on one section, and tried to turn it to remove it, it would be a domino effect and all the pipes would start to crack and he'd end up having to replace all the pipes in that line. Of course, I'd rather they be up-front and honest as to heir abilities that start and get in over their head and leave me with a mess. It's especially the young guys that are used to working with copper and PVC, not rusting galvanized iron.
    It's good that the plumber's pointed out the "can of worms" nature of the plumbing in question, because that is the reality; sounds like the more experienced plumber that warned you of that situation.

    Most people in the building trades don't have a college degree, and don't really know how to communicate effectively on more complex issues. Some will simply give an estimate on a job

    that is probably twice as much $$ as it needs to be, but is so in order to cover unforeseen "cans of worms".






    By the way, a college degree isn't any guarantee that a professional can communicate effectively, my gastroenterologist just day-before-yesterday finally gave me an accurate description of my condition...nice to know after 5 years of inquiry.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lara View Post
    ...When my surgeon friend visited, and while I was out buying groceries, he ran to Lowe's Hardware, picked up a package that included the toilet handle, rod, and chain...and it was done when I returned. Now it works like a charm! I didn't have the nerve to tell him there are 3 more needing his surgical precision But I might try it myself...yeah right...no, really...yeah right.
    Most of those kits come with complete instructions and illustrations, Lara. It's pretty easy, and you don't even need tools...you can do it!

  12. #12
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    Not you...that's for sure!

  13. #13
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    The new replacements for toilets are not the old ball and chain affairs.

    They are easy to install and replace.

    You just have to make sure that you shut off the main water supply to the tank before you start.

    You need a few tools as well to unscrew the nuts holding the unit in.

    If you buy them at a plumbing supply outfit, they will tell you exactly how to do it yourself.

    You can go online and watch a video as well.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'nSacto View Post
    Most of those kits come with complete instructions and illustrations, Lara. It's pretty easy, and you don't even need tools...you can do it!
    I wouldn't say you don't need tools. You do need an adjustable wrench at the very least if you are going to replace what is there now.

    If it is leaking it's better to replace the whole thing instead of trying repairs. The rubber eventually gets old and weak.

  15. #15
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