What I'm Seeing Now

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Unprofessional Plumbing Work

What I saw was unprofessional plumbing work.

The phone call said that a contractor (in the carpet industry) said he also did remodeling on the side and completely reworked two bathrooms.

The plumber that was sent was unfamiliar with the work he was asked to do, and did not appear to be licensed.  There were a few signs in that regard!

When one of the bathrooms was first used a stain was seen in the kitchen ceiling.

The contractor said it was because there was some water "left on the other side of the drywall" after the work was done and that it would not be a problem.

But things did not look right.

When things don't look right to a consumer the odds are fabulous that things are not right at all!

The homeowners were referred to me by a family member in another state who followed my blogs!   When I arrived I saw a huge repair in the kitchen ceiling, and not very well done.  That was Sign 1.

Going into the bathroom I could see Sign 2, in the photo above.  Can you see it?  The drain cap was not level.  That can only mean one thing - stress.

The homeowner opened up the kitchen ceiling, and what we could see one can only describe as stress.

The drain line was cocked at an odd angle. 

It was put together with a dozen small pieces!  Sign 3.

Each piece was put on one by one.  How could I tell?  Because each was primed individually and glued in place backwards toward the tub.

How could I tell that?

Because the primer had dripped downward from each piece of plastic tubing to the one below.  Sign 4.

The "plumber," who spoke little English, had things so out of alignment he apparently was unable to bend the pieces to make them go together.

To solve this problem he created many smaller pieces, fitting each in place and making the whole assembly easier to "curve" into place.

That caused stress, and the drain line was not plumb.

And THAT would be why the drain cap was not level.

I said to the homeowner that this stress might cause a leak as the assembly is heated during a shower.

A couple of days later I had a message on my phone.  It was the homeowner who said that my predictions were "spot on" and "hit the nail on the head."  A family member had taken a shower and during the shower the drain line leaked badly into the kitchen.  That leaking was almost certainly the cause of the stain in the ceiling previously.

My recommendation:  when things are visible it is easier to make a diagnosis.  But in this case I thought the future was predictable.  Now the homeowner is left with the need for a real, licensed plumber.  And to have to deal with the previous contractor, who was not licensed.  It will probably take more time to fix this "remodeling" than it was to do the initial job!   It pays to have a licensed professional do any work.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 12 commentsJay Markanich • January 18 2017 10:49AM

Comments

Yes, pay the price to have it done correctly the first time or you'll be paying again!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 1 year ago

Kat - doing work like this is unconscionable, in my opinion.  To have to pay twice is unacceptable, at best.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

Pretty sad exhibit of a final work product that a grade schooler could do much better. I wonder if the buyer continued with this purchase?

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty National) over 1 year ago

Not a purchase, S&N.  This was a remodeling job.  And gone bad.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

Good morning Jay. Had a similar incidence with a hot tub drain adjoining a pool. Had to dig it out and replace! Very expensive! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker (Wayne M Martin) over 1 year ago

People are always looking for deals, ways to get things done cheaply. I get it, we all try to save money when we can. Sometimes you can't. Sometimes you have to pay to get it done correctly, so it doesn't cost you more in the long run by having to re-do it!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 1 year ago

Wayne - plumbing stress is stress inside and out!  Bummer for the repair.

Fred - you and I know that.  Try to convince the people who are looking to save.  The future is now.  Redskins coach George Allen said that.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

Many people look at plumbing and other trades and think I can do just as good a job and save big $$$$.  What they don't realize is that these tradesmen have been honing their skills for years and are very good at what they do for a reason.  Then there is that issue of code compliance that Harry Homeowner is completely unaware of.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 1 year ago

Just had a house that needed about $2000 because of non-licensed plumbing work.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 1 year ago

Stephen - the contractor in this case is a carpet, floor guy.  He told the homeowner he does "remodeling."  The "plumber" he sent may have had some experience, but the job was a mess.  Look at all the extra wood he nailed up there!  Unknown why.

Joe - that sounds about right!  That might be about what this house will cost.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

Yicks !  Nothing worse than being disappointed...and in a costly sense for thngs that you believe will be improvements.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 1 year ago

Well, disappointment was the ruling word in this house, S&D.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

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