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  • liability

    i need some input because i'm just a little confused about what my legal responsibility is to the general public and my employer.

    i've read other threads about guys shutting down and locking out appliances that were deemed unsafe.

    this is the situation i'm dealing with right now.

    i work for a company that has a "plumbing as and when" contract with our local gov't here.

    this past sunday while doing building checks i noticed that a HWT was not properly protected by the T&P valve. the relief valve is located more than 6" from the top of the tank on the HW recirc. line. this is located in a public school.

    i turned the breaker off and disconnected the wires leading to the tank so it could not simply be turned back on.

    i made an entry in the log book stating as such. making it very clear that the placement of the T&P valve was illegal.

    i was informed by my boss that the "carpenter" that's calling the shots wants me to notify him so he can notify the carpenter before i touch anything or shut down any appliances.

    this carpenter is in the position of a maintenance manager and is considered to be one of the higher uppers

    the gov't worker also said that the placement of the valve has been like that for 2 years and was installed by another contractor.

    i told him "that doesn't make it right".

    the gov't worker said, "it's not like it's going to explode tommorrow". i almost asked him for the lottery numbers for the next draw but i bit my tongue.

    it was agreed that when i inform my boss, who then informs the gov't worker that i am no longer liable as a plumber.

    this this right? am i not legally bound to remove any unsafe situation as a trained professional? would my boss' insurance clear me and my ticket of liability?

    i'm only trying to look out for myself first and foremost, but i'm also trying to look out for the company i work for. my boss has the proper insurance but i'm having a hard time accepting these orders.

    even if i'm not liable, if i walked away from this "ticking time bomb" and it exploded and hurt or killed somebody's kid (let alone my own kids that attend this school), my career would be finished here in this little town of 3000.

    Vince

    i invited this gov't worker to the forum but he flat out refused

  • #2
    Re: liability

    " i invited this gov't worker to the forum but he flat out refused "


    he is afraid he may learn something

    in my option your right it should be on the HWH ,what is in the spot where it should be

    although there is a relief valve on the system it will still work to a point but it is not right

    i just put in a geothermal hot water maker for floor heat .the geothermal loop has a relief valve on it . the floor loop has a water makeup on it and the boss bib not think it needed one the temp will only be 95* but i put one on and did not tell him until he he came and looked at it when t was all done .

    mark will be able to help you with the liability part
    Charlie

    My seek the peek fundraiser page
    http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


    http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

    new work pictures 12/09
    http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: liability

      in my option your right it should be on the HWH ,what is in the spot where it should be

      a galvanized plug.

      Vince

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: liability

        Originally posted by Vince the Plumber View Post
        is in the spot where it should be

        a galvanized plug.

        Vince
        ,
        Last edited by HVAC HAWK; 01-06-2009, 07:47 PM.
        Charlie

        My seek the peek fundraiser page
        http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


        http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

        new work pictures 12/09
        http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: liability

          Document, document Document, C Y A, Document!!! Anything you do needs to be cited, if it can't be supported by any code reference you will be tooting your own horn out the door. Best bet, as I say, document, leave the option of control up to the "Higher ups", they get paid the big bucks.
          Remember, OSHA will come in and do a courtesy look at stuff but that can create a huge can of worms too. It is after all your bosses position on this, all you can do is inform him of what is right and what needs to be done. Your liability will be on his shoulders as you are a ward of his efforts.
          Pat Martinez
          M5 Plumbing Services LLC

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: liability

            does OSHA get up there

            do you even have an OSHA
            Charlie

            My seek the peek fundraiser page
            http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


            http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

            new work pictures 12/09
            http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: liability

              Originally posted by HVAC HAWK View Post
              does OSHA get up there

              do you even have an OSHA
              the only thing they take seriously up here is electrical and annual boiler inspections. the boiler inspector has to be flown in and the electrical is inspected by the power company before the service is connected.

              Vince

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: liability

                Originally posted by M5Plumb View Post
                Document, document Document, C Y A, Document!!! Anything you do needs to be cited, if it can't be supported by any code reference you will be tooting your own horn out the door. Best bet, as I say, document, leave the option of control up to the "Higher ups", they get paid the big bucks.
                Remember, OSHA will come in and do a courtesy look at stuff but that can create a huge can of worms too. It is after all your bosses position on this, all you can do is inform him of what is right and what needs to be done. Your liability will be on his shoulders as you are a ward of his efforts.
                it has been agreed to by myself and my boss that we can't have too much documentation.

                the gov't worker (fargen icehole) lied about me once already and got caught.

                but his boss is in the same boat as him so they both cover eachother's a$$e$.

                Vince

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just tonight, a few hours ago, ink still wet on the check

                  I got called out to a job today, guy tells me he has 2 gas leaks, one behind the stove and one behind the dryer.

                  Guy "forgets" to tell me that it's in a crawl space. I'm working for the dollar these days so here I am going in.

                  I peered at the 2 gas lines, both copper with 1/2" MIP's sweated on, then a 1/2" by 3/4" B.I. reducing coupling, then a short piece of black iron, then a valve, then a flared connection. Niiiiiiice, somewhere between both they was leaking, and the guy had an electric dryer and stove!!!

                  So he didn't need either one, they was just leaking. Utility company shut him down yesterday and he needed to get his water heater and furnace back up and running.



                  So I'm in the crawl space, see exactly where it's teed off the main and disconnect what was 29' feet of 1/2" copper pipe, not supported teed to catch both the dryer and gas stove. Unbelievable.


                  I take the brass flared connector out and install a 1/2" B.I. plug I came with, purposely kink over/break the 1/2" soft copper far away enough from the tee so no one gets an idea to put it back.


                  Out of the casement window I come, and good riddens. I'm hurting right now and won't know how bad until the morning. Drugs, gotta have drugs.


                  So off to the furnace and water heater, the WH is a Whirlpool POS, the guy did everything possibly wrong to it as far as code goes. I light the furnace, kicks on.


                  What I realized instantly was the dielectric nipple burned heavily on top the water heater before I fired it. I thought, well...we'll see how the first 15 minutes of operation does and take it from there.


                  Got the furnace running, water heater's running, the furnace is backflowing through the draft diverter hood of the water heater.

                  This continues for the entire 15 minutes.


                  I then explain to the customer that this is not good, and asked to go outside and point me to the roof. We get out there and it's showing good flow from the chimney, but the furnace is overpowering the water heater completely.


                  I then asked what the old heater looked like at the top of it, since the heater was just replaced in august.


                  Guy said the top was completely rotted, gone. Bingo!


                  When the furnace guys put the new furnace in, they didn't do a check on the possibility of effing up the flow of exhaust fumes from the water heater.

                  This had been going on for years, and this new water heater you absolutely could not touch the top of it because it was so damn hot.


                  I explained the situation fully, that gas valve along with the gas shutoff was turned off, the customer signed off on the receipt that there is a very dangerous situation present and that they need to do a conversion to electric to eliminate the problem. Switching the flue tee to a wye is not going to correct this problem; too short of a distance in the closet.


                  They guy left right after me to go get a 4" galvanized flue cap to seal off the bottom of that tee, they are going to put in an electric water heater 2 days from now and give up on the thinking that there's some way to keep that gas heater in there with that furnace roaring carbon monoxide out it at that force.


                  There was no way in hell I was leaving that water heater running like that, I don't care how many decades it's been like that;


                  That situation right there coincided with the question the owner asked,



                  "Is this possibly why my girlfriend and I wake up with headaches every morning?"



                  I left that house making a bold statement tonight, " I hope that my knowledge and expertise has brought you not only peace of mind, but safety. It's my job to protect you along with fix your plumbing and it's a good thing you called me."



                  Do you know what they showed me on how they found me?



                  Printed off the pages of my company information off the Better Business Bureau's site,


                  I was thoroughly checked out before I was called, something to be said about how the consumer does make a point of deciding "who to call" before they spend.


                  I just knocked out everyone else just by being on the BBB, and this has happened so many times before, just not any proof shown to me how they found me. The guy's mother printed it and sent it to him. He was in his 30's.


                  YOU'RE DOING THE RIGHT THING VINCE. GREAT JOB.
                  Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: liability

                    Vince,

                    Contact Watts and ask them to send you copies of their videos with water heaters blowing up. It is a very convincing video.

                    http://www.watts.com/pro/divisions/w...dorderform.asp



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

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: liability

                      good call DUNBAR
                      Charlie

                      My seek the peek fundraiser page
                      http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


                      http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

                      new work pictures 12/09
                      http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: liability

                        If something happened, then the lawyers would go right on down the line, naming everyone in the lawsuit. You are never immune.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: liability

                          Can't you just take teh plug out and put a t&P in and bring it up to code? It would have taken me the same or less time to do that than to mess around disconnecting the electric and all.
                          Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: liability

                            Let's see, the guy who would be liable is telling you that once you inform him then you will not be liable.

                            Methinks that as soon as something goes wrong he says you inspected it and never informed him.

                            I would keep my own detailed (dates, times, addresses, conversations & photo's) log book.
                            Last edited by SlimTim; 01-06-2009, 10:33 PM.
                            "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: liability

                              Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                              Can't you just take teh plug out and put a t&P in and bring it up to code? It would have taken me the same or less time to do that than to mess around disconnecting the electric and all.
                              i'm not allowed to turn a wrench to any of their equipment without a authorized work order.

                              i was able to diconnect it without any tools.

                              Vince

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