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Can we hold Manufaturers/suppliers responsible

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  • Can we hold Manufaturers/suppliers responsible

    I have a serious question. I have just completed a job where we had to install cast-iron pipe to replace a failed pvc drain. Now we used mechanical joints which were supplied with what I believe to be cad-plated nuts and bolts. They also looked a little on the "thin" side. Now I couldn't afford to stop the job and go hunting for replacements, and afterall they are not a stock item nor readily available too. However last time I used ci mech joints I recall the t-bolts and nuts were stainless steel and substantial in make. Now I ask who is responsible if there is a failure. This particular job would cost more than 40k to dig up and repair should there be a failure through a bolt failure. Just for the record we plugged the drain and static water tested with special dye in the drain. All good. We are seeing more and more short cuts being taken by manufacturers claiming that it comes to being price competitive but, especially in situations like this one price is secondary. So again I ask, who is going to pay if there is a failure?????????????

  • #2
    Re: Can we hold Manufaturers/suppliers responsible

    You better verify that those mechanical connectors were designed for direct burial. Better get it in writing. Above ground would probably never be an issue. But underground better be 100% stainless nuts and bolts. Even coating them with tar, might not be sufficient.

    Cya and get it in writing.

    Rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: Can we hold Manufaturers/suppliers responsible

      As far as I know the manufacture just pushes product and collects their 40+% markup. We assume alll the risk........By mechanical connectors do you mean no hub bands? I have used a SD 4000 or Sd 2000 for larger underground work. As far as i know all no hub bands are rated for direct burial.

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      • #4
        Re: Can we hold Manufaturers/suppliers responsible

        You must have some cut sheets or material specs for the materials requried don't you or they are called out on drawings or elsewhere in the contract docs.

        If you want to CYA then make a formal inquiry to the A/E or whoever spec'd out the material and ask the question, it is a valid one. They may not even be aware that what they are getting is not what they expected. Was a specific brand called out in the spec or on a drawing? If yes then you had better stick to it. And the fine print that reads "or approved equal" they can come back and out it on you unless you got that approval from them BEFORE installing it. That phrase "or approved equal" can be taken many ways. Many times it is interpreted to mean what is generally accepted in the industry as 'equal' but as we all know one stick of sch 40 pipe is not necessarily the same quality as another. So be careful and get approvals for substitutions up front. And be careful when ordering material to tell that supply house they need approval from you to make a substitution. If you ask for XYZ brand, model so and so then they should supply that or they will be on the hook.
        "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

        https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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        • #5
          Re: Can we hold Manufaturers/suppliers responsible

          Originally posted by Justintheplumber View Post
          As far as I know the manufacture just pushes product and collects their 40+% markup. We assume alll the risk........By mechanical connectors do you mean no hub bands? I have used a SD 4000 or Sd 2000 for larger underground work. As far as i know all no hub bands are rated for direct burial.
          Justin I was referring to what we call bolted gland joints in sewer pipes. Sorry I should have been a little clearer. However it is amazing how they have changed from Bronze/Brass t-bolts to stainless to ????I am not sure. I got on their web-site the other night and they refer to the bolts simply as t-bolts and nothing else. We have for as long as I have been in the industry using cast-iron both above and below ground without issue. I hope that this doesn't blow up in my face that's all.

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          • #6
            Re: Can we hold Manufaturers/suppliers responsible

            Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
            You must have some cut sheets or material specs for the materials requried don't you or they are called out on drawings or elsewhere in the contract docs.

            If you want to CYA then make a formal inquiry to the A/E or whoever spec'd out the material and ask the question, it is a valid one. They may not even be aware that what they are getting is not what they expected. Was a specific brand called out in the spec or on a drawing? If yes then you had better stick to it. And the fine print that reads "or approved equal" they can come back and out it on you unless you got that approval from them BEFORE installing it. That phrase "or approved equal" can be taken many ways. Many times it is interpreted to mean what is generally accepted in the industry as 'equal' but as we all know one stick of sch 40 pipe is not necessarily the same quality as another. So be careful and get approvals for substitutions up front. And be careful when ordering material to tell that supply house they need approval from you to make a substitution. If you ask for XYZ brand, model so and so then they should supply that or they will be on the hook.
            Bob I hear you loud and clear. I was taught by the old guys who did it right the first time. In this situation I didn't think to look at the fittings as there no reason to think otherwise. My suppliers have known me for many years and know I do my homework. I recently had a young kid at a supplier suggest that because he did not know what I asked for they didn't make the item anymore. I asked if that had just happened in the last 24hrs to which he was totally stuffed. He did not understand. Like many of you guys here I know what I want and even where to get that as well. The most valid tip you suggest is stray from the design at your own peril. In this situation the only one responsible for specifying was me referencing the standards we work to. Cast-iron in unstable ground.

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