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  • How much am I at fault?

    Had a job gone wrong last night. Want some input from y'all as to how much responsibility you think is legitimately mine.

    Condo building, upper floor, two not quite plugged up back to back tubs, draining very slow. Snake (1/4" drum) via overflow on one tub to ~20', bring back nothing, no improvement... think I went up vent. Try again, repeatedly, and from other tub overflow, generally going from tub to tub, finally get a little improvement in drainage. Then I find out that's because it's coming out the ceiling downstairs in the unit below. Give up, move the guests below to another unit, cut the ceiling. Got a copper drain waste overflow to an 1 1/2 abs vertical and trap no-hubbed to 2" cast iron double san t. Slight green drips from comp nuts on drain waste oflow. No-hub has let go, and one glue joint on abs has let go. This is all maybe 25yr old. Failed glue joint appears to have clear glue...maybe pvc glue, maybe the multi-purpose, maybe something I don't know about. Other glue joints in same assy are the black abs glue, and I can't break them loose. Trap has been glued such that there is no way to get more than 1/4" engagement on each end of no-hub, and that only if you cheat it to the center of the gap it has to bridge. None of it really supported much...lots of room for pipe to wiggle. Dig the hair out, band-aid it all together until I can get some parts on Monday. Will replace it all then.

    You think I was ham-fisted with the snake and should fix this for free? And the drywall ceiling? I wasn't really cranking on it, but it did hold more or less together for 25-odd years. Think I can blame the installation? Or would you try to take a middle road?
    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

  • #2
    Re: How much am I at fault?

    Seems to me were using the proper equipment in the proper manner how can it be your fault?

    It would have leaked just the same on the next guy. None of that was your fault

    Back to back tubs wouldn't have an access panel so it shouldn't have had a slip nut on the waste and overflow anyways
    Last edited by plumberscrack; 07-06-2008, 06:03 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: How much am I at fault?

      first do you do a lot of work there .
      if so dont burn your welcome

      2nd do you have a disclaimer like the other people on here talk about

      3rd if you dont charge to much on this one and there all the same in the other units then chu ching $$$$$$ you may have more to do soon
      Charlie

      My seek the peek fundraiser page
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      • #4
        Re: How much am I at fault?

        Ace I feel it is like this, It would be like you taking in a 1977 Caprice Classic that has a hole in the muffler to a garage to get the muffler replaced and while they were taking it off the exhaust pipes that were rusted beyond belief fell apart. Do you hold the mechanic liable for the repair because of old worn out parts that fell apart when he touched them? I would fix the problem and bill the job accordingly.
        ________
        Henry company
        Last edited by TOPDAWG; 02-24-2011, 06:10 PM.
        Mike

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        • #5
          Re: How much am I at fault?

          Why should you take responsibility for scabbo hack plumbing done twenty or so years ago?

          can you think of any "gentiler method" that you could have used? I doubt it.

          Fix the problem, make out the bill and sleep well my friend.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: How much am I at fault?

            hard call you cant say what you cant see,in a gray area like this, if this is someone you want to continue to work for or even better have an established relationship with already i would find some middle ground and split it, or you can take the approach that you exposed a hidden problem that eventually would have failed and at least it did on your watch so it could have been a lot worse. we have all been there, let your conscience and common sense be the guide, you will do the right thing.

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            • #7
              Re: How much am I at fault?

              Originally posted by aero1 View Post
              hard call you cant say what you cant see,in a gray area like this, if this is someone you want to continue to work for or even better have an established relationship with already i would find some middle ground and split it, or you can take the approach that you exposed a hidden problem that eventually would have failed and at least it did on your watch so it could have been a lot worse. we have all been there, let your conscience and common sense be the guide, you will do the right thing.
              Why is this a gray area? Alex went to the job to clean out a drain that was not draining and when he tried to clean it out it fell apart!! Does that mean that every old home or building you go into you have to be prepared to eat half of the repair bill because the system failed because of age??? If that is the case we should all hire a psychic to go to every job and tell us if our cable is going to puncture through a weak pipe or fitting so we don't have to pay for a repair that would eventually have to be made anyways. There is no middle ground, Alex did nothing wrong and therefore should charge accordingly. If he were to give the guy a break by splitting the cost he is admitting fault and that would open him up to cover the whole cost.
              ________
              V12 ENGINE
              Last edited by TOPDAWG; 02-24-2011, 06:10 PM.
              Mike

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              • #8
                Re: How much am I at fault?

                This is one of the situations where a "concealed conditions" type of clause would help clarify.

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                • #9
                  Re: How much am I at fault?

                  If it hadn't been you it would have been the next guy. Let their homeowners take care of it. You would have had to cut the ceiling out anyway if you hadn't been able to clear it.
                  "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                  • #10
                    Re: How much am I at fault?

                    I agree with the car analogy. Not much anyone can do about a mess like that. Tell the owner whats up, feel them out and go from there. Heck, unless they are slobs, they will want it fixed correctly!

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                    • #11
                      Re: How much am I at fault?

                      I Agree with the above, You where there to fix their problem and it got worse you don't own the problem the owners do. Not your fault and time to bill out for the extra work also.
                      Seattle Drain Service

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                      • #12
                        Re: How much am I at fault?

                        alex, based on your description of the original condition. it sounds like this is not the first time it has been repaired.

                        especially with the clear glue and no hub repair that was 1/4'' in.

                        keep the parts to show the owner and take a couple of pictures.

                        there's more to it than meets the eye

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

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                        • #13
                          Re: How much am I at fault?

                          Not your fault guy. It may feel like it is your fault because you "touched" it but clearly it is not. Charge accordingly.
                          Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How much am I at fault?

                            Originally posted by TOPDAWG View Post
                            Why is this a gray area? Alex went to the job to clean out a drain that was not draining and when he tried to clean it out it fell apart!! Does that mean that every old home or building you go into you have to be prepared to eat half of the repair bill because the system failed because of age??? If that is the case we should all hire a psychic to go to every job and tell us if our cable is going to puncture through a weak pipe or fitting so we don't have to pay for a repair that would eventually have to be made anyways. There is no middle ground, Alex did nothing wrong and therefore should charge accordingly. If he were to give the guy a break by splitting the cost he is admitting fault and that would open him up to cover the whole cost.
                            disagree top dog a good part of what we do is to know a head of time potential problems that can occur that is called being a professional, you know as well as i do that if iam going to take on a second floor tub thru a face plate with a power or even hand held snake you bet your as# iam going to inform the homeowner of trap seals that could leak overflow gaskets that could be in bad shape or even nonexistent, what about cast iron or galvy ever poke a hole thru it, you have to inform who is in charge as to what may or may not happen that is called proper communication, as i learned the hard way from a lawyer that proved that once you touched it you own it and a judge agreed, i dont care what you say the bottom line is we are the pros even if you cant see it you have to know what might be waiting, there is no such thing is saying opps im sorry anymore, or gee i hit a wire with my sawzall cutting open your wall to repair a pipe didnt know it was there its a shame your house burned down, gray area is knowing what could happen and jumping in with out an upfront advisory conversation with your paying customer and covering yourself we do it all the time and guess what it works.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How much am I at fault?

                              Originally posted by aero1 View Post
                              disagree top dog a good part of what we do is to know a head of time potential problems that can occur that is called being a professional, you know as well as i do that if iam going to take on a second floor tub thru a face plate with a power or even hand held snake you bet your as# iam going to inform the homeowner of trap seals that could leak overflow gaskets that could be in bad shape or even nonexistent, what about cast iron or galvy ever poke a hole thru it, you have to inform who is in charge as to what may or may not happen that is called proper communication, as i learned the hard way from a lawyer that proved that once you touched it you own it and a judge agreed, i dont care what you say the bottom line is we are the pros even if you cant see it you have to know what might be waiting, there is no such thing is saying opps im sorry anymore, or gee i hit a wire with my sawzall cutting open your wall to repair a pipe didnt know it was there its a shame your house burned down, gray area is knowing what could happen and jumping in with out an upfront advisory conversation with your paying customer and covering yourself we do it all the time and guess what it works.
                              Do you have a statment that is written up on your invoices or a waiver that customers sign when you do work? Or is it a "verbal warning"?
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