Plumbing mess-HELP

archinaDecember 6, 2012

Hello and thank you in advance for any advice...

We hired a master plumber for our total gut renovation in July 2012. We agreed to install an Alpine 150 High efficiency boiler. It is December and we still do not have it up an running. In fact it was installed October 15 but it suffered a blower break down on October 20.
In getting the replacement part the plumber delayed getting part stating scheduling issues busy with other jobs etc.
Ultimately he ordered the wrong part and did not want to handle the situation. We also have been told there needs to be an additional pump that plumber failed to include. Plumber now is holding us hostage for heat and permit sign offs...
He wants more money -we don't have paid for heat nor confidence in the boiler install...
What can I do? We have $3,000 left on job to pay but he wants half before even walking in the house to complete heating...

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I am also a Master Plumber. I worked extremely hard to earn those credentials and I take a lot of pride in maintaining them and I cannot begin to tell you how irate I become when I hear the horror stories about the flim flam con artists who make reputable plumbers look bad.

First of all, you already paid for the installation, and that $3k holdback money is to be paid upon satisfactory completion of the job, a milestone which you have not yet reached.

If there was a failure of a fan in the first 5 days, that is a warranty matter between the installer and the manufacturer.

Never mind his reply that he is busy on other jobs. Once he started your job he was fully obligated to satisfactorily complete it in a timely manner, and if he needed to delay anyone, he should have delayed beginning another project until he finished the one at hand.

He is now telling you that he ordered the wrong part and you require an additional pump before the system will work. You should not be penalized for the ineptness of the plumber!

If I were you, I would begin by discussing this issue with your attorney and I am sure he/she could advise you better than I, but off the top of my head,,,,,

It is now December and the lack of heat makes your house untenable therefore you have no alternative but to seek a temporary domicile for you and your family in a local motel, and given that you will not have a kitchen you will be forced to take all your meals at local restaraunts. Now, understanding that the untennable condition is a direct result of his non-performance you will have no alternative but to take the expense out of his final settlement check, and if that is not sufficient you shall have to sue him directly for the balance.

Tell him you will also seek monetary compensation for any property damage that results from the untenable condition, by example, if a water line should happen to freeze and rupture causing further property damage.

In the mean time, you will have no alternative but to contact the local code enforcement authority and explain to them the delay in getting your permit signed off. (Believe me, most code enforcement officers get just a bit more irate than I do over matters like this, in fact, if it goes too long or if the plumber has a history of such conduct it could seriously reflect on whether he/she keep their license)

And then I would tell the plumber if that is not sufficient to get his attention, you shall use all the time between now and when the matter is resolved to contact Craigs List, the BBB and any and all social network sites that you participate on to inform the public how he conducts business.

And also, make absolutely certain that you explain to the Plumber in no uncertain terms that you will not dole out one red cent of additional funding until he completes the work he has already been paid for. Your contract says that money is to be paid upon completion and sign off on the permits, and you fully intend to hold him to that, less any costs you incure as a result of his failure to perform as contracted.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 12:23AM
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I'd send a certified letter stating he needs to contact you within 48 hrs of receiving the letter, and restore the unit to full operating condition within 5 working days. Otherwise you will contract with another qualified installer to rectifiy the situation, and deduct the amount of the repair from his final payment.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Thank you both for your advice!
We have told him many times that we need heat since it was paid already.
When I told him we would charge him for expenses incurred to get heat up he threatened to pull permit off job. We need his sign off and he is holding
My children us hostage to his demands.
We do not have any more money to pay a new plumber...
I will contact code enforcement. I will also have boiler inspected by manufacturer.
All advice is appreciated!!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 1:00PM
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In NC, failure to complete a contract on a timely basis is considered by the various licensing boards to be an extremely serious matter. They will grab a contractor "where it hurts". But you have to file a complaint with them.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 4:43PM
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For better solution you need better plumber. Experienced and professional plumber can provide a good solution for your plumbing mess. Find out more specific details for better support.

Here is a link that might be useful: A1 Plumbing of Baltimore

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:33PM
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I think A1 Plumbing of Baltimore hires folks that either:
A) Can't read, or
B) Are thieves.

You don't get to attempt to steal advertising space on this site. By doing so, I have to assume you are incapable of reading the site TOU or that you don't care. Either way, were I in the Baltimore area, I would not hire a plumber who is either uneducated or dishonest.

You asked.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 10:21AM
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