shutoff valve extender

beanmommaNovember 2, 2010

We hired a plumber to fix a leak in a pipe under our kitchen sink. We ended up agreeing to a whole new drain system. In the process he blocked a shutoff valve.

He refuses to rectify the situation.

Is there such a thing as an extender stem we can add to the shutoff valve?

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The plumber should fix this, if he refuses have it fixed and take him to small claims court for the cost.

It can be fixed, not with an extender the copper lines can be modified to move the valve to a location where it can be used. It is not a major job to accomplish.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 8:21AM
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Yes, it's dumb to leave the valve in that useless location, but was he paid to move it? Was it discussed? Seems like an additional task that should have been pointed out while the drain work was done.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 10:31AM
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He never discussed the blocked valve. I admit he showed me everything connected, but not glued in place and I ok'd the work. He was called in for a leak in a pipe bend just before it entered the base of the cabinet. We have a double sink and he suggested a whole new piping layout with two P bends and an air valve, instead of the way the two drains met sort of head to head on a T.... so I admit I focused on the new layout and didn't catch the valve. My husband caught it immediately when he came home from work.

So yes, an admitted error on our part, but we wanted to try to work with him to correct it. He refuses to work with us.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 11:48AM
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Does your homeowners insurance cover water damage from leaky pipes? If so, they may be useful in getting this plumber to clean up his act. You might tell them that at first you thought it was so minor it would be less than your deductible, but in light of these new issues you wish you had started a claim. They may be sympathetic to your plight. I am sure they will not side with the plumber. His careless work has created a situation where a small leak could cause major damage in the future. He forced the valve to the side in order to run the new drain pipes. The force alone could cause a future leak, and those multi-turn valves are notorious.

If your insurance Co. can't help, call the State contractor license board. If you hired an unlicensed handyman for the work, you got what you paid for. I would say it's worth the price paid for your educational experience. In the future, check out the person before hiring them!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 2:04PM
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Thanks everyone.

Aidan, it appears that Pennsylvania, where I am located, does not require a contractor or plumbing license -which I just now found out, although I did try to hire a licensed plumber. His ad does state that he is a licensed master plumber, but when I search online I can't find any sites to verify his license number.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 3:30PM
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Any idea why he refuses to work with you? Is this guy thin-skinned or something?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 5:56PM
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Super thin-skinned. My husband never attacked him verbally or spoke rudely, he just asked him why he did this and asked for it to be fixed.

The job was done while my husband was at work. When my husband came home at lunch, 10 minutes after the plumber left, he looked under the sink and the first thing he said is "the shutoff valve is blocked!"

He called the plumber shortly after and questioned the blocked valve and asked that it be remedied.

the plumber replied that we would have to pay for it and my husband said "but you blocked it!" Plumber says he doesn't like husband's attitude and hangs up on him. He then left a long voice mail telling us that we don't appreciate quality plumbing, that we have bad attitudes and that we are to never call him in the future.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 6:08PM
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Anyway, that's just all drama and not the purpose I asked my question.

Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 6:18PM
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After seeing that amazing photo in your first post, I would not ask this guy back to fix anything. With his lack of ability to do a workmanlike job, and his attitude, he would only cause more trouble.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2010 at 9:28PM
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I'm sorry, I just have to laugh at that fine bit of craftsmanship.

Is that flexible copper on both sides? If so, you might be able to safely move it back enough to operate the valve.

I've never seen a "valve extender" but I imagine you could rig one up with a longer screw and a couple of nuts.

In any instance, I wouldn't let this "plumber" back in your house.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 9:36AM
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