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  • #31
    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK:
    MARK, SWITCHING TO A PRESSURE STYLE VAC. BREAKER OR DOUBLE CHECK VALVE SHOULD WORK. QUESTION IS IT LEGAL FOR THIS APPLICATION. AN RP VALVE WILL BE THE SAME PROBLEM AS YOU ALREADY HAVE.
    I HAVE A BUILDING WITH BIDETS. THEY HAVE A SPILLAGE ISSUE WHEN THE CERAMIC ARTISTIC BRASS VALVES DEVELOP A DRIP. NOT ENOUGH VOLUME TO PROPERLY LIFT AND SEAL THE FLOAT.
    RICK.
    The spill resistant valves are already a pressure vacuum breaker which is part of the problem. It's not unusual for a SVB to spill some water when first turned on.

    I am thinking about getting permission to install Watts U007 double checks as all of the test ports are on the top and the valve has unions to easily disconnect the valve. The problem would be with testing and repairing a double check valve in a closet full of expensive clothes. Not to mention the assembly would be 18" wide.

    If I had done the job I would have installed the SVB where it spilled into the tub if it spilled at all. Now to reroute the piping I would have the cost of the plumbing then have to replace large plate glass mirrors and $20,000 in marble plus labor costs. I'm sure the owners would not buy off on the SVB hanging over the tub when they never saw it before. Regarless of cost, anytime your trying to repair 400 tubs it's going to cost a bunch.

    If I can figure out how to run a line back & forth to the outside I will end up with 80' between the mixing valves and the spout.

    Mark

    [ 08-01-2005, 02:34 AM: Message edited by: ToUtahNow ]
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

    Comment


    • #32
      MARK, SOUNDS LIKE A NO WIN SITUATION FOR ALL.
      HAVE YOU GIVEN ANY THOUGHT TO ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM AT THE SOURCE. BY INSTALLING A BACKFLOW DEVICE ON THE PRESSURE SIDE OF THE HOT AND COLD INLET TO THE TUB, WOULD THAT GIVE YOU MORE FLEXIBILITY WITH WHAT YOU CAN DO?
      DO YOU HAVE SHUT OFF VALVES TO ISOLATE EACH TUB IN AN ACCESS PANEL? BY DOING IT THIS WAY THE PRESSURE VAC. BREAKERS ARE ALWAYS UNDER PRESSURE, AND SHOULD SEAL PROPERLY AS THEY WERE DESIGNED. ONLY ISSUE IS THE HEIGHT OF THE VAC. BREAKER WITH PIPING OF THIS INSTALLATION. ALSO I HAVE SOME 3/4'' DOUBLE CHECKS THAT ARE ONLY A FEW INCHES LONG. IF YOU WOULD LIKE I CAN LOOK UP THE MODEL #.
      ARE YOU GOING TO FIX 1 OF THESE TUBS AS A SAMPLE, THEN SUB OUT ALL THE WORK? IF YOU PLAN ON TACKLING ALL OF THE WORK YOURSELF, 1 BIG WORD OF ADVICE, "PROPRESS".

      GOOD LUCK. MAYBE A FIELD TRIP BEFORE THE TRADE SHOW? "WILL WORK FOR FOOD".
      RICK.

      [ 08-01-2005, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: PLUMBER RICK ]

      Comment


      • #33
        Rick,

        By installing SVB on the supply side I would have two valves to worry about instead of one. I would also have to tear out marble which I really don't want to do.

        The fix I am hoping for is to change the valve in the closet. The reason I like the U007 is there are unions between the assembly and the SOVs. The problem of course is it can't be in the wall and I'm not sure the owners will want it exposed.

        I don't do any of the repairs. To do so would be a conflict of interest. I would rightfully be accussed of being critical of a system just to get the work.

        I am rarely involved in cases unless the damages are in the millions. I will do smaller cases on occassion as a favor to a Law Firm or Insurance Company.I have no desire to start another plumbing business.

        By the way these towers are just off of the Las Vegas Strip. Some of the owners are only in their units for a couple of weeks each year. That makes the SVB even more likely to stick. I also have a real problem with sewer gas in the units as the DWV system is a SoVent system.

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

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

        Comment


        • #34
          You guys allow SoVents?

          With out seeing the wall and closet behind the tub its hard to say exactly how I would remedy your situation. A double check with a very large access door within a firred out box that has a floor drain should eliminate most your problems. Of course you lose closet space to the new box but properly trimmed it would not be to bad. The oversized door allows for proper access and the floor drain for spillage during testing.

          You will have to open the ceiling beneath each apartment to install the floor drain but if you are beside a tub there should be another vent close by for venting the floor drain trap. This is going to involve a professional plumber a carpenter, a drywaller, possibly a tile man for the floor around the floor drain, and a painter to remedy. It is almost always cheaper for the building owner to repair ceilings than floors.

          I strongly suggest not even attempting a bandaid repair. All you will be doing is taking on the liability of a crummy job onto yourself. Rip it out, install a backflow prevention device that cannot discharge but allow a floor drain for the tester. You will loose a good 3'x2' from floor to ceiling but again you can build this box and install the backflow preventer anywhere on that wall after you open it up. The wall you build does not absolutely have to go to the ceiling, but the way I picture it, stopping halfway will look like $h!+.

          This sounds like one of the times where you have to look the building owner in the eye and say "sorry, but its the only way to do it right and I won't do it wrong".

          Or get some very nice polished chrome or PB pipe and run the vaccuum breaker exposed out over the tub near the ceiling like it should have been. Either option requires demolition and a big mess. I've witnessed too many people spend twice the time and money trying to avoid a mess than if they just made the mess, did the job right, and cleaned up afterwords.

          Check with some marble contractors, you might be absolutely amazed at what they can remove and reinstall.

          ToUtahNow,
          There is no problem testing a backflow preventer in a closet full of expensive clothes, the owner of the clothes removes them from the closet before work commences. When I did service work I refused to work until the owner or representitives of the owner moved anything I felt had a chance to be damaged or dirtied. What could not be moved was covered with 4mil plastic sheeting and a fireblanket.
          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

          Comment


          • #35
            plumber,

            There is no closet next to the tub. They ran the water from the supply valves 12' to a clothes closet and then back to the spout.

            I wish they had installed the SVB over the tub to start with but now they would have to remove marble and an 8'X10' plate glass mirror. Again that's assume the owner would buy having the valve exposed.

            As for telling the owner what to do, you don't tell owners of units that start at 3.5 million what they need to do.

            Remember I was hired by the Plaintiff so my job is not to tell the owner what they have to live with. My job is to make the Developer make it right regardless of what it takes.

            Mark

            [ 08-01-2005, 07:00 PM: Message edited by: ToUtahNow ]
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

            Comment


            • #36
              Without seeing the room its hard to say exactly how i would fix something, I had assumed the closet you mentioned was behind the tub.

              Have you contacted a professional marble contractor to see what he might be able to remove?

              As far as telling Rich people they need to move their clothes or have them ruined that never bothered me a bit. I've done work for extremely wealthy people, if something needs done, it needs done. They put their pants on one leg at a time and their $h!+ stinks as bad or worse whan mine. If demolition honestly needs done then it needs done. Just because someone is rich does not mean the physics of plumbing are different for them.

              If someone wants me to wave a magic wand and do the impossible then I pull out a nice clean screwdriver, wave it around near the offending area of the plumbing system, say abbracadabraa and look at the problem again. Then look at the owner with an honest smile and say,"I'm sorry but magic doesn't work, I have to open your wall and ceiling". An extremely wealthy trial lawyer laughed quite hard at this and gave me permission to do about 25,000 dollars worth of demolition to the ceiling at the main entrance to his greatroom during the holiday season. I repaired the plumbing and reccomended an excellent custom home contractor for repairs and he was a very happy camper.

              Don't let the fact that someone has more money than you let you get intimidated.
              Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

              Comment


              • #37
                plumber,

                You missed my point. What you are suggesting is like you car dealer telling you next time you need to check the oil in your $40,000 truck you need to pull the front seat because they built your truck wrong.

                I can fix the problem I just need to try and find the cheapest way to do it and still have my clients made whole. My clients bought a condo from the Developer with the belief everything was installed to Code. Now they have an illegal installation which is flooding their units. I'm not going to suggest a repair that is anything less than what my clents paid for regardless of their financial standing.

                On the other hand I don't want the plumber, general or developer to have to pay any more than they have to. If it was a single home and $30,000 would fix the problem I would be done. However, with 400 tubs that $30,000 becomes $12,000,000. Most litigastions add 40% so it is really $16,800,000.

                Either way once I found the problem the Developer has one-year to fix it so we will see what he comes up with. Of course he has already had over six months and I don't think he has even looked at it.

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

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

                Comment


                • #38
                  So you work for the original builder of the complex? The guy who did such a crummy job to begin with? He has already gone 6 months of his allowed 12 without looking at it?

                  Vaccuum breakers are installed in situations like that so the neighbors will not be drinking each others bath water. If you want to make them "whole" then open the wall and install the vaccuum brakers above the tub like they should have been and let the original installer or their insurance company pay for it. Or open the wall and install a backflow preventer that exceeds the codes and does not discharge water. Reframe the wall allowing for proper testing and maintenance of the device. Here in Illinois, allowing for the proper testing and maintenance of a device requires a trapped and vented floor drain.

                  Get the owners on your side, ask them if they want to drink or cook with their neighbors bathwater. Explain what needs to be done to insure they will not be ingesting their neighbors "tub games" aftermath and I am reasonably certain they will want you you rip out whatever needs to be to insure they get things made right.

                  I disagree with your analogy. You are there because they DID build the plumbing wrong. Not because a faucet leaks. Not only is there real potential for crossconnection contamination you have a mold and rot issue as well as future structural damage if nothing is done. If an engine needs rebuilt, adding thicker oil to the crankcase only quiets the clanking parts.

                  Unless your screwdriver holds more magic than mine I still suggest changing everything to the way its supposed to be or walking away. Tell the guy your sorry but the first thing a plumber learns is that water runs downhill and the water is running downhill into the neighbors apartments.

                  Its your responsibilty to get the plaintiff to fix it right? Then make him do what needs to be done. I think you need to be looking out for the owners and your own butt and not the plaintiffs.

                  One last question: How did you know how much my last truck cost?
                  Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    ToUtahNow,

                    Have you talked with a marble expert? Ask the homeowners if they will except another seam in their marble, with one cut these guys can do wonders. They may even be able to do something you or I have not thought of, its their specialty after all. And if they can do something then you have access to the plumbing right at the tub and then you can install the vaccuum breaker as it should be. If the owners howl at this then tell them what their other options are but that a vaccuum breaker or a backflow preventer must be installed somewhere.

                    Utah, this takes 100% of the heat off of you, you are working inside of a lawsuit I am presuming. Let the codes be your friend,

                    What is on the walls around the room where the offending tubs are located, particularly behind the tub where the faucet is located?

                    Unless your screwdriver has more magic than mine you are going to have to open something, if not the closet walls or the marble then it has to be another wall that gives you access to the piping, unless you are planning to circumvent the code, endanger all of the tenants or condo owners, and simply remove the vaccuum breakers. That would put 100% of all liability on you for the rest of the life of the building, and rightfully so.
                    Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK:
                      DOG, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU FINALLY GOT THE POINT I'VE BEEN TRYING TO STRESS.

                      THE "COMBINATION RESIDENTIAL INSPECTOR". IF YOU READ FROM THE START OF MY POST YOU'LL SEE THIS IS THE SIDE OF THE PLUMBING CONTRACTING BUSINESS THAT NEEDS THE MOST HELP. FROM YOUR POSTS, I GET THE FEEL THAT ALL YOU WORK ON IS COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL. I ALWAYS STATED THAT THE COMMERCIAL INSPECTOR IS TYPICALLY A FORMER PLUMBER OR PLUMBING CONTRACTOR. THEIR EXPERIENCE IS ALL PLUMBING. THEY INSPECT ONLY PLUMBING.

                      IT'S THE BMI INSPECTOR, AND RESIDENTIAL PLUMBER THAT THIS WHOLE TOPIC REALLY FOCUSED ON.
                      SURE I'VE SEEN IT ON THE COMMERCIAL END, BUT IN COMPARISON IT'S THE RESIDENTIAL END THAT NEEDS THE HELP.

                      NOW THAT WE ARE ON THE SAME PAGE, (I THINK, AND HOPE) YOU CAN SEE WHAT I FACE ON A DAILY BASIS.
                      I TOO DID NEW CONSTRUCTION FROM 1981-1997. WORKING ON PROJECTS FROM APTS. CONDOS, HOTELS, SCHOOLS, OFFICES BUILDINGS. JOBS THAT LASTED FROM WEEKS TO MANY YEARS. FROM JUST A COUPLE OF PLUMBERS TO OVER 30 ON THE JOB AT ONCE. GOING FROM AN APPRENTICE TO THE JOB FOREMAN.
                      NOW AS THE OWNER OF MY OWN COMPANY. I SPECIALIZE IN WORK THAT REQUIRES A GREAT DEAL OF KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY. SUCH AS CAMERA WORK AND LOCATING,SNAKING AND HYDRO-JETTING, PIPE FREEZING, TRENCHLESS PIPE REPLACEMENT, PROPRESS, T-DRILLING, COPPER VICTAULIC, CORE DRILLING AND SAW CUTTING, DIRECTIONAL BORING. AMONG OTHER THINGS. I OWN ALL OF THIS EQUIPMENT TOO. I WORK FOR SOME OF THE LARGEST PLUMBING CONTRACTORS IN SOUTHERN CALIF. AT SOME LOCATIONS THAT ALL OF US HAVE BEEN TO.

                      SO DOG YOU KEEP REFERRING TO ME AS A SERVICE PLUMBER. WELL IF THAT'S WHAT YOU LIKE TO CALL IT, SO BE IT. I ALWAYS GIVE MY CLIENTS THE BEST SERVICE. ALL THIS WITHOUT ANY MONEY SPENT ON ADVERTISING. I GUESS A GOOD REPUTATION IS WORTH MORE THAN ANY YELLOW PAGE AD. I'M HERE FOR THE LONG RUN, NOT THE QUICK BUCK.

                      HOPE THIS FINALLY CLEARS UP YOUR IDEA OF ME.
                      P.S. I DO HAVE A VERY GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR, BUT I DO TAKE MY WORK AND TRADE VERY SERIOUS, AS YOU CAN SEE.

                      RICK
                      Plumber Rick,

                      I have not refered to you as a "service plumber" out of dissrespect, quit the opposite. I have on numerous occassions given you credit as a very knowledgable service plumber. I respect your knowledge of service and repair, and have given you credit for that. If you feel I am being sarcastic when I have mentioned that, I am sorry. It was not meant to be that way. A review of my posts will show that I may disagree with you, but I have never doubted your knowledge of what you do best.

                      My honest opinion is that you seem to be a little sensitive. I've stated before, I'm opinionated. Maybe it's a bad trait. But it's me. Don't take everything I say so personally. If I don't agree with you, fine. Argue with me ingnore me, it's your choice. But , don't ever think I don't respect your abilities.

                      the dog
                      the dog

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Plumber,

                        It’s a little hard to explain but these tubs are in very large bathrooms (400+ sq ft). The tubs are a corner installation with 66” on two walls and about 100” arching skirt in the front. The tubs are installed flat rimmed and there is no access to any of the plumbing. The walls above the tub are a heavy plate glass mirror all the way to the 10’ ceiling.

                        The bathrooms also have two vanities which are about 72” a pieces, a matching shower and a room with a bidet and water closet. Everything including the floors is of matching slabs of marble.

                        My repair will include open walls and ceilings. I would like to stay away from the marble but I don't believe I will be able to.

                        I have worked full time as an Expert Witness for about 17-years now. During my initial inspection I had to evaluate the problems so the homeowners could go to the Developer and ask him to fix them. I represent one of maybe a dozen trades working for the homeowners.

                        Once I make my findings the Developer is allow to attempt a repair of the problems. If the Developer does not make the repairs we will then do a full inspection where we will open the walls and make a complete evaluation.

                        I will make recommendations on how I would make the repairs. The Developer, General and Plumber’s insurance companies will also hire Plumbing Experts to inspect the project. After months if not years all of the experts will have their own recommendations as to the repairs.

                        Through the mediation process all sides should come to a dollar amount. At that time I will be off of the job and the HOA will hire a construction management company to find the contractors to do the work. The homeowners may or may not go with my recommendations.

                        My job is to tell them how I believe it should be installed but I will be off of the job for the actual repair. However, I need to make sure my recommendations will work and that the homeowners will collect enough money from the Defendants to pay for those repairs.

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

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

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Utah,

                          I've reviewed the drawings you provided a link to, and have learned from your posts that the project is in Nevada. I believe that Nevada functions under the UPC, but I am not framiliar with their state regulations. Therefore the following comments are based on the California version of the UPC. Adjust them for state and local regulations.

                          1) In my opinion, a double check valve does not bring this situation up to code. A DCV is not rated to protect against back siphonage of contaminated water, which in my opinion, the waste from a tub is.

                          2) An access panel is not adequate for backflow installation, unless it provides proper room for testing.

                          3) If the "Water Rainbow Fill Spout" can be illiminated, you would be allright. You could install an in-line vacuum breaker at the spray hose inlet, and iliminate the spill proof vacuum breaker altogather. I'm guessing that the owners would not be thrilled with that.

                          4) Is it possible to raise the "Rainbow Fill Spout", or is this integrated into the tub? It's not clear on the drawings.

                          5) Costly, but less costly than removing marble floors, might be to either move the vacuum breakers out of the walls, and install them over floor sinks in the closets, or to relocate them over head to counter tops near sinks.

                          6) To tell you the truth, this looks like much more of an engineering screw-up than anything. If this needs to be fully up to UPC standards, I would say the tubs need to be changed, or point no. 5 above.

                          the dog
                          the dog

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by plumbdog10:
                            Utah,

                            I've reviewed the drawings you provided a link to, and have learned from your posts that the project is in Nevada. I believe that Nevada functions under the UPC, but I am not framiliar with their state regulations. Therefore the following comments are based on the California version of the UPC. Adjust them for state and local regulations.

                            Nevada uses the same codes as California plus has what is called the Southern Nevada Building Code Admendments. For the most part their admendments relax the code but none of them relate to this issue.

                            1) In my opinion, a double check valve does not bring this situation up to code. A DCV is not rated to protect against back siphonage of contaminated water, which in my opinion, the waste from a tub is.

                            I believe you are correct but I need to see what Nevada's take is on it.

                            2) An access panel is not adequate for backflow installation, unless it provides proper room for testing.

                            Agreed

                            3) If the "Water Rainbow Fill Spout" can be illiminated, you would be allright. You could install an in-line vacuum breaker at the spray hose inlet, and iliminate the spill proof vacuum breaker altogather. I'm guessing that the owners would not be thrilled with that.

                            Yeah that would be a little tough. That was one of my original thoughts but it would ruin the look of the $8,000 tubs.

                            4) Is it possible to raise the "Rainbow Fill Spout", or is this integrated into the tub? It's not clear on the drawings.

                            It is part of the tub and sits under a cover with a vanity mirror.

                            5) Costly, but less costly than removing marble floors, might be to either move the vacuum breakers out of the walls, and install them over floor sinks in the closets, or to relocate them over head to counter tops near sinks.

                            I have even considered having stainless steel enclosures built for under the SVBs then run an indirect waste line to a branched tail piece of a lav. I'm just not sure right now how far it would be and what walls I will have to open. The floor sinks have me a little concerned because of the problem I already have with sewer gas.

                            6) To tell you the truth, this looks like much more of an engineering screw-up than anything. If this needs to be fully up to UPC standards, I would say the tubs need to be changed, or point no. 5 above.

                            That is actually where I started and now I'm trying to find a cheaper alternative to negotiate with the defense.

                            the dog
                            Thanks guys I've enjoyed everyones input on this. These are the type of things I see every day.

                            [ 08-02-2005, 01:19 AM: Message edited by: ToUtahNow ]
                            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              If these vaccuum breakers are dumping inside of walls and flooding everything, how can these folks wait that long for remediation. Surly in situations like the one you describe there is some course of action that can be taken to at least eliminate the leaks until a permenant repair is made.

                              Perhaps a simple dual check installed at the location of the vaccuum breaker to allow limited protection until the proper repairs can be made. I would put in very bold print on my reccomendations that the bandaid was temporary and not a permenant solution, particularly in a multi story building. This nightmare you describe leads me to believe there is also a problem with the certification of engineers and designers out west.

                              Thanks for your last description of what you have, it was opaque before, now at least its as clear as mud.

                              Is this the same building you said was full of sewer gas and had SoVents? Any job, anywhere in The Land of Lincoln would have big Red stickers all over the place if SoVents were used, except trailer parks. Your sewer smell is exactly why.

                              Are there any stacks at all penetrating the roof to allow venting to the atmosphere? You'll love this suggestion; why you are tearing up bathrooms and closets, go ahead and tie all the vents together and get them outside the roof. One huge mess all at once and all problems solved. The contractors involved already have a huge insurance claim and their future insurance will be outragous after this screw up so another million bucks will not make much difference.

                              If contractors and insurance companies are made to fully rectify such problems it won't be long before the public and the contractors themselves start calling for stricter enforcement of codes and stricter licensing of everyone.
                              Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Plumber,

                                Part of the problem is the homeowners can't fix anything right now without the Defense complaining evidense was destroyed.

                                Thes units have between 3 and 6 bathrooms so for now they have to live without the use of these tubs. These tubs are located in what is called the Her's Master Bathroom. I believe some of these condos are as larges as 6,5oo sq. ft.

                                There is also a His Master Bathrom with a smaller tub and then at least one additonal tub in another bathroom. Some unit's have two Her's and two His's master bathroom and then a couple of others around the unit.

                                Yes this is a SoVent system and the main stack vents through the roof. This is one of the concerns about adding a floor sink in the repair. Depending on how close they sized the the DWV system, just adding some floor sinks may reguire new dedicated stacks.

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

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

                                Comment

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