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Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

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  • Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

    Yesterday, this album became my saving grace for a situation that presented itself.


    Last night I worked in Cincinnati Ohio to replace a faucet, drain a pair of water heaters I installed over the years. This picture here was the one that took the questioning of my customer to determining what went wrong in the basement.


    I noticed instantly as any licensed plumber would that the T&P drip legs were cut half way up the water heaters. No freaking way I would ever do that, for any reason.


    I asked the customer if he was aware of the situation, he looked at me like I was foolish thinking I was just trying to make a buck off my own mistake.


    I explained to him that I would never set a T&P drip leg halfway down the side of a water heater knowing the dangers involved.


    He didn't believe me, so I asked him if I could hop on his computer and find that work I did. I found them, and instantly this fellow believed me that I set those relief lines down to the floor within a couple inches.


    When I removed both of those relief lines for inspection, I notice a gray thread compound on the right MIP that threads into the T&P.

    I never dope that connection, ever.


    This customer went on to tell me that the only people in that basement other than me? HVAC guys. He said that over the past 4 years there's been 10 different guys in that basement, new furnaces and they come twice a year for $300 to maintain the units.


    Well apparently someone took to the copper pipe I installed, and there's absolutely no reason why anyone would cut those copper pipes unless they had VALUE.


    They cut those lines just enough to grab 3.5' of copper, and copper was $4 a pound last year in my area.


    I drained this pair of water heaters last year...those relief lines were untouched without any alterations.


    The customer is extremely upset over this revelation and what was disturbing is how unnoticed this went, and now is curious if anything else was removed from his home without him noticing.

    IF, I would not of had this statistical data, this picture proof of this water heater installation, I would of been in a perplex situation in front of my trusting customer, wondering why I would be trying to upgrade a code violation that he thought I did it myself. ???


    The pictures don't lie, The dates on those water heaters do not lie, the dates I uploaded those photos onto the internet, do not lie.


    This is a prime example of how service providers ruin it for all of us when they think that theft inside a customer's home doesn't matter, or "won't be found."

    If I did not have the pictures as proof that what I was mentioning did not transpire by my doings, last night would of been my last work experience with this customer, to no fault of my own.


    Whatever you do, do your best to use a camera and document your work.

    Anything you feel is intricate, involves many steps is a good idea to protect yourself. You never know; you might end up in a court of law with those pictures defending yourself and your reputation, and the pictures once they burn into the internet do not lie.
    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

  • #2
    Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

    Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
    Yesterday, this album became my saving grace for a situation that presented itself.
    Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post

    He didn't believe me, so I asked him if I could hop on his computer and find that work I did. I found them, and instantly this fellow believed me that I set those relief lines down to the floor within a couple inches.

    IF, I would not of had this statistical data, this picture proof of this water heater installation, I would of been in a perplex situation in front of my trusting customer, wondering why I would be trying to upgrade a code violation that he thought I did it myself. ???

    The pictures don't lie, The dates on those water heaters do not lie, the dates I uploaded those photos onto the internet, do not lie.

    If I did not have the pictures as proof that what I was mentioning did not transpire by my doings, last night would of been my last work experience with this customer, to no fault of my own.

    Whatever you do, do your best to use a camera and document your work.

    Anything you feel is intricate, involves many steps is a good idea to protect yourself. You never know; you might end up in a court of law with those pictures defending yourself and your reputation, and the pictures once they burn into the internet do not lie.


    Excellent way to CYA Dunbar! I take pictures of everything. Before, and during and after an install or repair. But your way of instantly bringing up the album as proof is the only way to do it! Good work! Great idea and an incredible client save! Good for you Dunbar!

    Mick

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    • #3
      Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

      i started taking pics of my work about a year ago.

      it also works well when the owner can't see what the problem is and what it will take to repair it. in particular, crawlspaces attics, etc.

      good thread Dunbar.

      Vince

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      • #4
        Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

        When I do an excavation I take pictures of the barriers and plywood in place at the end of the day to cover the area to help protect the public safety and my "***"ets.

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        • #5
          That's amazing

          I've taken pictures of some jobs (mostly dig jobs), but maybe this should become standard practice. Thanks for the insight.

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          • #6
            Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

            Nice work. You deserve it.

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            • #7
              Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

              The pics look great Dunbar but how in the world do you organize it?

              How would you know what heater was installed at what address?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

                Originally posted by Vince the Plumber View Post
                i started taking pics of my work about a year ago.

                it also works well when the owner can't see what the problem is and what it will take to repair it. in particular, crawlspaces attics, etc.

                good thread Dunbar.

                Vince

                Spot on Vince. Older customers love this as there is no guessing what it is, I can show them in video or still picture proof just walking up the steps and showing them.



                Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                The pics look great Dunbar but how in the world do you organize it?

                How would you know what heater was installed at what address?

                I've probably have thousands of pictures and videos in plumbing that will make it to the internet when I find time.

                As far as figuring it out the location, I basically look at the surroundings of the water heater and put myself back in front of the water heater, looking at the date and what type of weather of the year was to figure it out.

                Every once in a while I do run into that, looking at jobs I did stretching 8+ years ago.

                It's like the jobs keep paying me, literally and this picture really did.

                I check the stats/views on those pictures and it's impressive the number of those who look at those picture albums daily.


                Old content to me but new to a fresh set of eyes, always. I have to remind myself that when I get tired of seeing those pictures.


                It's a work in progress but the goal is 10,000 pictures and videos by 2013.
                Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                • #9
                  Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

                  Dunbar.............get you one of the small dry erase boards and then you can put down the customers name and address or a job number.

                  G3

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

                    Hacktown would not be near as much fun if I could not share it with pictures.


                    That and nobody would believe me

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

                      This post is a real eye opener and great advice; especially since my business and clients are all new. While your customer is angry and disappointed at others he's trusted in his home, it's easy for him to see you not only know what you're talking about, but you have rock-solid proof that it's not just your memory. It always irritates me when a customer watches me every second like an old tv show, BUT, when you hear about what goes on with some service providers, I guess you can't blame them. While it may be hard to impossible for the company to pinpoint exactly who took the copper, I would hope the customer called up and promptly fired the HVAC company. Just the extra time with the camera not only covered you, it cemented your customer's confidence in stone.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

                        Very nice
                        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/

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                        • #13
                          Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

                          I agree, photos are an important part of our work. But in this instance I don't see how they could of assuaged this homeowners suspicions of you. If he was not convinced of your integrity just by your word I don't see how the pics could have swayed him. One could have just as easily taken the photos of the proper installation and then cut the copper off.
                          And if those HVAC guys were dishonest enough to cut 3.5 ft of copper by first disassembling the drain lines, why didn't they just take it all including the male adapters. Are we to believe they would have gone to the trouble of putting pipe dope on the adapters before reinstalling them? The homeowner would have been none the wiser.
                          The homeowner needs to have a pow wow with everyone that had been in that basement besides yourself and get some answers.
                          If it's getting that bad out there, perhaps we need to have the homeowners initial a final photo of the job.
                          "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                          • #14
                            Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

                            Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
                            I agree, photos are an important part of our work. But in this instance I don't see how they could of assuaged this homeowners suspicions of you. If he was not convinced of your integrity just by your word I don't see how the pics could have swayed him. One could have just as easily taken the photos of the proper installation and then cut the copper off.
                            And if those HVAC guys were dishonest enough to cut 3.5 ft of copper by first disassembling the drain lines, why didn't they just take it all including the male adapters. Are we to believe they would have gone to the trouble of putting pipe dope on the adapters before reinstalling them? The homeowner would have been none the wiser.
                            The homeowner needs to have a pow wow with everyone that had been in that basement besides yourself and get some answers.
                            If it's getting that bad out there, perhaps we need to have the homeowners initial a final photo of the job.


                            He's 70+ years old, and questions every single thing I do in his home.

                            Dope was put on the one MIP, the one where the relief line could not be cut with a mini-cutter like the other one could, which was not doped.

                            He knew instantly the only 2 contractors that have been in the basement, and to think I did the deed wouldn't equate.

                            The fact that 10 << yes ten, different employees in regards to the HVAC company over the past 2 years installing new furnaces, maintaining them with new face every time you turn around, left to wander an empty house is very telling.

                            Especially when I was in that basement earlier in the year and didn't pick up on that incident while down there.

                            It's not the first time he's questioned me (the property owner) and it doesn't matter that I'm right in this issue. New day new situation and it seems that age can create quite the critic, no matter how well you do your job.

                            It's okay by me though, that's part of being more than just a plumber in this profession. If you don't have people skills you'll be out of business real soon.

                            A lady that contacted me about a 75 gallon gas water heater that I didn't get, she was calling me about a busted thermal expansion tank, wanting to know if she could buy them at a supply house.

                            Long story short, she's having her father in law install this water heater and asked if it was against code to do so. I told her straight up that a licensed master plumber should be installing that water heater, but too often that it is done by a homeowner.

                            She asked if it would keep from the sale of the house, I told her depends if he does it according to code.

                            ^^^^^

                            I could of been a real **** about this call, knowing I'm being traded for a father in law for the opportunity to do the work.

                            But, I apparently instilled a level of comfort with that customer that kept the communication level going to have her pull more information out of me.

                            The way the economy is, everyone is trying to avoid charges of contractors and doing it themselves. I don't blame anyone, nor do I blame this woman for her buying decision.

                            She'll minimize costs, I won't be working on the cheap, the father in law will most likely spend a good amount of time installing this water heater.

                            And I bet a gas flex line gets used when the gas line doesn't line up.
                            Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pictures of your Work - Great Idea - Proof of Workmanship

                              We run into these situations in all fields. I got a call to check a crane problem. Arrived and couldn't see the crane they mentioned on the phone. I found the man that called me and was informed that "due to my lousy work", the crane was in the field behind the factory. 20 ton crane running full speed down a 400' runway did not even slow down when it hit the end of the building! The crane wouldn't stop and the emergency stop did not shut it down. The customer said that I was the only person to work on this crane. We walked outside to inspect the damage and as I was looking it over he told me the operator locked the E-stop off and it didn't work. After looking it over for a few minutes, I informed him as to why it didn't shut down. The control pendant was tied up on top of the crane while the operator used the radio controls. The E-stop was still turned on, on the pendant. The installer of the radio system did not install the OSHA required selector switch with the radio. You cannot have 2 methods of control at one time, a selector switch must be used to transfer power between the control methods. The customer then informed me that the OSHA accident investigation found the same conclusion and that is why he called me, they are filing a law suit against me and the company I work for for all the damages and lost production due to my lousy installation of the radio system. I informed the man that I didn't install the system, don't even sell that brand of system. I quoted to do the job, but was underbid by someone else. He argued that It was my company and that he remembers me personally doing the work. We went to his office and he pulled the files out about this crane. I worked for Bluegrass Handling at the time and the radio was installed by Bluegrass Crane and Hoist. He pulled out the original quotes for the job and I was out bid by $60, On the itemized materials list with the quote, I had a $75 selector switch included in the job. The other guy didn't. I did receive an apology from the customer, and I did the $150k restoration of the crane that the other company paid for. Cover your a$$ with documentations!
                              info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

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