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  • Ethical/legal plumbing question

    Ok here's the scenario: you're doing a renovation and unlike many people doing it on the sly, you go to Town Hall and pull a construction/electrical permit for your KITCHEN, not planning on doing any plumbing work. You demolish your kitchen down to the 2 x 4s. Then you look at an adjacent half bath and tear that down to the studs too. At this point, you realize you should move your kitchen sink. So again, legally and above board, you call a licensed plumber. He comes, tells you how he'll move the sink after getting a permit. Then he looks at the bathroom -- which was renovated by the previous owner more than 20 years ago. It's all out of code. He says he can move the sink for x$, but the bathroom update will cost much, much more.

    So here's the big question: do you just re-drywall the bathroom and say: "Fuhgedaboutit. Let's just work on the kitchen as originally planned and as covered by the original building permit." (Essentially the toilet is not vented correctly, but you've never noticed any odor, flush problems, etc. You just demolished it to reinsulate the space, put in a new ceiling fan, etc.) If you're the plumber, can you live with this?

    I'm just asking. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

    If the bathroom was like that when you bought the house, then why not leave it? Always a good thing to avoid hassle. If you concentrate on the kitchen you can worry about the bathroom latere.

    Or get yourself another plumber.....heh, heh...
    I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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    • #3
      Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

      I'm afraid my local customers around here would definitely say that they could live with it. If it works good, but the code requirements aren't met, it could be that it met earlier code requirements. If it was really screwed up - not vented at all or liable to be problematic, then sure, you'd want to fix it.

      But there are millions of installations done on earlier codes that work fine.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

        here if we touch something it has to be brought up to modern code. if they dont wanna spend the $ to bring it up to code i wont even move the lav 1" i dont want the inspector to think im tryin to pull one over on him. it takes to long to get on an inspectors good side.
        Mike
        Clark County Plumbing And Drain
        www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

          Keep in mind now that you are aware of the problem you will need to do a full disclosure when/if you sell your home. If you don't you may be paying for the new owner's bathroom remodel.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

            In The West They say "SHOOT SHOVEL AND SHUT UP! " Say Hi to danney pugalise ,retired cop
            in Watertown. The additional work is YOUR Call!.
            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

              Went through this identical situation not far from you in Somerville...homeowner asked what might happen if she decided to remodel the walls & floors in her bath.
              I explained that if she had galvanized pipe exposed, the inspector might require she have it replaced while in the open.
              She decided to not do it, the inspector did exactly what I thought he would.
              She was doing a flip, he wasn't about to let her close the walls back up with guaranteed clogs & leaks for years to come.
              It was her choice to open the walls.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

                maybe i'm missing something, but is galvanized pipe not allowed in your code? Here in UPC land it is allowed. why change a material that is code approved?
                Brent

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

                  Originally posted by BAPlumber View Post
                  maybe i'm missing something, but is galvanized pipe not allowed in your code? Here in UPC land it is allowed. why change a material that is code approved?
                  Yes, your missing something, look at my location on the upper right side of this post, I work in his state.
                  Galvy is one of the worst materials you could use for drainage (or water)...it's ok for vents (why anyone would use it over CI evades me).
                  When many inspectors see old galvy in a wall or floor thats already been opened, they want it out.
                  We don't even use it on gas here.
                  Our code has a stipulation for "existing" plumbing where inspectors aren't required to force homeowners to repair existing piping, but there's also a clause for any plumbing thats deemed a health, safety or sanitary hazard.
                  An inspector seeing a job where defective pipes are exposed will see it as a "now or never" scenario...allowing pipes to be sealed into a wall that will probably create a sanitary nightmare for years to come isn't in the best interest of the homowner.
                  In the O/P's area (Boston), I'd say 50-75% of backed ups/clogs are a result of old galvy drains rusting closed or snagging debris from rust flakes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

                    Originally posted by johneel View Post
                    If you're the plumber, can you live with this?



                    This isn't a ethical question for the plumber at all.


                    The plumber's opinion in this matter isn't even legal.


                    I don't care if people upgrade their plumbing or not, what I put my hands on will be code......


                    nothing else matters.



                    Most times homeowners don't have a clue to the mechanicals in their home and trying to explain the function and necessity is trying to make a ape not play with his mash potatoes at KFC.

                    You're a writer, rewrite your question as it's pointing to the wrong party.
                    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

                      er...not s'posed to play with my potatoes?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

                        u have an ape that plumbs? and eats at kfc and throws taters? wow thats cool. its our duty as plumbers to notify the customer that something is not to code and it is then in there hands if they will proceed with the work or get it fixed right
                        if u cant bedazzle em with briliance, baffle em with bulls&*t

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

                          Originally posted by row View Post
                          u have an ape that plumbs? and eats at kfc and throws taters? wow thats cool. its our duty as plumbers to notify the customer that something is not to code and it is then in there hands if they will proceed with the work or get it fixed right


                          Yes, I've been spotted numerous times at the KFC buffet.


                          Of course it's our duty to show them their faulted plumbing but just because they decide whether or not to fix it does not pose either a legal or ethical judgement placed on the plumber.

                          It never will either.

                          People for the most part treat their plumbing like their concrete sidewalk; use it till it poses a problem. You might find a small percentile that does do preventive maintenance to their plumbing but they're the exception, not the rule.

                          It's only legal/ethical to put your hands on plumbing and do it incorrectly.


                          It's not the doctor's fault when he does a stomach surgery and finds out the patient's liver is full of cancer...
                          Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

                            Thanks all. First, I think the heading "ethical/legal" is sort of accurate -- at least according to what my plumber and I have since discussed. If I open a wall, expose something out-of-code, and then reseal it back up to avoid it upgrading the problem, the plumber who saw could feel "ethically" prohibited from doing the other work. But of course it's my call ultimately as the homeowner. Plus it's just a heading to a thread on a freakin' Forum, so chill out.

                            So this is what I've decided to do: I'm re-drywalling the bathroom and putting it back as it was. In essence: "What bathroom problem?" I'm going ahead with my permitted and soon-to-be-inspected kitchen renovation. Now two questions remain: 1) what are the long-term effects of ignoring this "problem?" (To which I reply, "What problem?". The toilet and adjacent fixtures have been functioning properly for 20 years). And 2) what will the inspector say? (Beats me.)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ethical/legal plumbing question

                              1. What problem?
                              2. Beats me too.

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