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Discussion Starter #1
So I did an initial secure in Jan. The pipes were frozen, basement flooded. I had the city turn the water off, did the secure, bid the pumping and 2 repairs that I could see.

Bid approved. I pump out the water, repair the 2 leaks. Pressure test and find 2 more, which I bid.

Bid approved. Send a sub. He repairs, pressure tests and states it holds pressure. This sub has been good for a long time and not the kind of person to take a short cut. I think it's obvious, that he did in this case however.

House sells, they send out another contractor to de-wint. It doesnt hold pressure. They repair 4 leaks. It gets bounced back to me.

I do a pressure test, it fails. My office staff accidentally cuts/paste the comments from the wrong date stating the pressure test is good.

I get a wo to de-wint. I call and say what for, the pressure test failed. They say, that's not what your wo said. Ohhh.

Now they are pissed and want me to fix the entire house for free. I sent the same sub out and he has spent about $400 in materials and 3 days, 22 leaks repaired and counting. This guy can't afford to get stiffed. If I say FU, he is in trouble.

Today I wrote the client, begging forgiveness. I wouldn't be surprised if they hire another contractor and backcharge me their fee.

My sub made a mistake. My office made a mistake. Would you have done anything differently?

Would you fire the sub?
 

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If this has been a good, honest, reliable sub for you, no, I wouldn't fire him. He is probably learning a hard lesson right now making good on the repairs.

If it happens again, however, I would consider it because he's not only costing you but he's damaging your reputation and it could cost you future work.

No doubt it's hurting him financially doing the repairs but he IS the one responsible for saying the system held pressure if it didn't. But, then again, would the frozen water in the pipes create a temporary seal where the leaks were, in turn causing a good reading on the gauge? That may not be the case but, in this business, I've found that ANYTHING is possible.

If you're worried about his loss with a chargeback, split the cost with him and deduct it in small payments so he can keep going.

It's a tough call on your part and I don't envy your position. Good luck with that.

Linda
 
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Sorry to hear the misfortune. We all been there done that.

What I see as your "possible" biggest problem is that the house is sold and the disclaimer will have to say that the house was flooded/wet basement. Cause: frozen plumbing. Upon this being on the disclaimer its normal in the Midwest for the bank (closing agent and new buyers bank) wanting the Plumbing Certificate signed and the Affidavit of Completion by a licensed plumber...Code Permits and the whole 9 yards.

From your post it does not seems the job is being completed by a Licensed Plumber with permits??? If not then YOUR LIABILITY is just starting since the next thing the Service Company will pull is......due to your neglect and the water being turned on, you contributed to water damage and any suspected mold damage which in turn you will need to supply the "buyers Mortgage Company" with a copy of you Pollution Liability Police for any future water damage or mold damage claims.

If that had happened in our office we would have told the Service Company we can bid the damages to be completed by a Licensed Plumber so that THEY won't be held liable for the damages. There is a charge for the work. You had absolutely nothing to do with the house freezing and guess what? The Service Company will turn this into their insurance company for an Insurance Claim to be subrogated back to the prior owner's insurrance policy. Its a scam and you are playing right into the scam yourself.
 
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You gotta bite the bullet and pay for it if its your mistake. You will make less of them in the future when it hurts.
 

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I see pump out, repair, pressure test, repair but no thaw. Sounds to me like their was ice blockage in the pipes which did not let air to the leak?
 
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mtmtnman said:
I see pump out, repair, pressure test, repair but no thaw. Sounds to me like their was ice blockage in the pipes which did not let air to the leak?
I said that but my heart says no way. It was warm by the time the 2nd repair was done.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Quick update on this issue.

My sub repaired 20 leaks in 3 days (still no pressure), at a out of pocket cost of $200 to him and he said he was going to quit. I gave him $400.

I then told him to stop and would talk to the client about it.

I turned the work order in stating the job wasn't complete and we learned our lesson but shouldn't shoulder the burden for fixing everything since we made a mistake of a bad pressure test but the cause of the plumbing was not our fault.

The client came around and went back to their bank client, who agreed to have the rest bid out. We couldn't find anymore leaks without an intrusion inspection which we bid $300 and we also bid $2000 to repair upto 20 more leaks. I know the $2000 is low but I know the sub would be thrilled to work for $1000 and possibly have it fixed after 1 more leak.

So this almost has a happy ending.

Then we got another callback, same sub. He fixed a leak for a realtor who sold a property. It's leaking again. I looked up the photos and he didn't find any leaks the first time and his photos are of a cresent wrench against some male adapters to the backside of a shower valve. Like he was tightening the adapters that were plumbed in (impossible!). He took the $200 and acted like he fixed something.

Turns out, the shower leaks only when it's running which he didn't do try, nor did the homeowner disclose this. So now I'm going to let the sub go. This is dishonesty which can ruin me. He should have said he didn't find a leak, ask for direction instead of just submitting a bullshiit repair job.

My processors assume the subs are doing what is right and they don't know plumbing well enough to question this sort of thing.

Anyone disagree?
 

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foothillsco said:
Quick update on this issue.

My sub repaired 20 leaks in 3 days (still no pressure), at a out of pocket cost of $200 to him and he said he was going to quit. I gave him $400.

I then told him to stop and would talk to the client about it.

I turned the work order in stating the job wasn't complete and we learned our lesson but shouldn't shoulder the burden for fixing everything since we made a mistake of a bad pressure test but the cause of the plumbing was not our fault.

The client came around and went back to their bank client, who agreed to have the rest bid out. We couldn't find anymore leaks without an intrusion inspection which we bid $300 and we also bid $2000 to repair upto 20 more leaks. I know the $2000 is low but I know the sub would be thrilled to work for $1000 and possibly have it fixed after 1 more leak.

So this almost has a happy ending.

Then we got another callback, same sub. He fixed a leak for a realtor who sold a property. It's leaking again. I looked up the photos and he didn't find any leaks the first time and his photos are of a cresent wrench against some male adapters to the backside of a shower valve. Like he was tightening the adapters that were plumbed in (impossible!). He took the $200 and acted like he fixed something.

Turns out, the shower leaks only when it's running which he didn't do try, nor did the homeowner disclose this. So now I'm going to let the sub go. This is dishonesty which can ruin me. He should have said he didn't find a leak, ask for direction instead of just submitting a bullshiit repair job.

My processors assume the subs are doing what is right and they don't know plumbing well enough to question this sort of thing.

Anyone disagree?

I have had a half dozen of those "shower leaks only when on" houses lately. None of these where serviced by me originally but i ended up with them as Fannies. Secret is a BIG air compressor. I giggle when i see these "contractors" running around with a 1HP pancake compressor. Whatcha gonna do with that????? I use a 10 CFM gas powered compressor and so far i have not had any issues out of hundreds of winterizations. The reason it leaks when the shower is on #1, Not enough volume to blow it completely out. #2 after i do a wint and pressure test, i open the shower valves and let what little is in the lines drain back so water is not sitting in the standpipe ready to freeze and break. I also take the sprayer nozzle off the kitchen sink. I have seen DOZENS of those break. Indecently, both my subs have gas compressors and where trained by me as well.......
 
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