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New remodel problems

Posted by cattyles (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 27, 11 at 0:44

I thought I was finally nearing completion of a fairly extensive bathroom remodel. Contractor says its "finished" and wants his final payment. While I was making a list of reasons it "ain't finished", I was running the new shower.
The longer the shower ran (long list of unfinished stuff), the output of water from the shower became less and less until it was barely enough water to make a trickle.

I turned it off and waited a few minutes and then turned it back on; same result.

Toilet flushes and refills very well. I can't turn on the bathroom sink yet because he just worked on it due to a leak.

The kitchen faucet is sputtering when I turn it on. The remodel didn't involve the kitchen but the hot water heater was repositioned. I left the faucet running for about 15 minutes hoping that would give any air in the pipes time to clear out but the sputtering kitchen faucet remained the same.

This is a 600 sq ft house behind a home I bought in July. My dad is going to retire and live in it. He has become so discouraged with waiting to move that he "guesses he'll die before he gets to move". I kidded him about being so dramatic but I'm beginning to wonder, too.

I know I don't have enough info for a diagnosis. I am hoping for some knowledge and pointers before addressing the issue with the contractor.

I have a sinking feeling he's going to say it doesn't have anything to do with the remodel, since there seems to be a problem with the kitchen sink, too. But shouldn't a whole system problem have become obvious way earlier during a bathroom remodel?

I think my home inspector was good. I've not had anything come up in the main house that wasn't noted on his report. The plumbing in the main house seems to be fine. The little house is closer to the water main. There were no plumbing problems noted on the inspection of the little house.

I will never do another remodel. It has been a constant struggle of trying to keep an eye on what's being done and then calmly addressing issues that I know are not right.

I thought the guy was going to have a stroke when I asked him why there was greenboard instead of the cement kind when I surprised him right as he was about to tile the shower walls. It was very grudgingly redone. He also tried to tell me "nobody puts a p-trap for a washer hook-up anymore" and proceeded to close the wall because he didn't want to wait on the plumber. The wall was opened back up.

Permits were pulled but this is a small town and I really don't think there have been any inspections since the work was started.

I'm not afraid to be assertive about what I know is right. But I have no idea if how the new shower was installed is correct, even though I did see it before the green board went up and again when it was replaced.

I'm just SO sick of the whole thing. I just want to get my dad moved so he can enjoy Christmas knowing he never has to move again.

Sorry for the whine-fest. Best approach suggestions??? Should I have posted on the plumbing or remodel board instead? I haven't missed a day on this forum since starting the remodel. I feel like I know the regulars here even though I haven't posted. Sometimes the plumbers and remodelers on those forums are a little skeery.

I am open to any and all input!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: New remodel problems

You probably just have some debris in the lines. Take off the aerator at the kitchen sink and bathroom faucets and let them run. Same with the shower. Take off the shower head and let it come right out the shower arm. Inspect your aerators and shower head for any of the debris. Screw them back on and try them again to see if the flow problems are still there.

RE: New remodel problems

Will do. Thank you!

RE: New remodel problems

Where I live, if permits are issued for a remodel, then inspections need to be conducted at various stages along the process. Who was going to be responsible for calling in the inspections? You or the contractor? The inspections could have revealed issues along the way -- you may want to get an inspection now. What happens if you pull a permit and never get the job inspected?

RE: New remodel problems

Generally, toilet water comes from cold supply only (no need to use heated water). So, the fact that the toilet fills fine doesn't make me feel better about your situation at the shower and sink.

As the homeowner, you should have been getting the inspection reports. If you have not seen a single inspection, you need to call and make sure they were done (and finalized).

Also, I am dubious that moving that water heater didn't cause your problems. It is possible the supply line to the water heater isn't large enough (or to the house), and so when the hot water level gets so low, the pressure is dropped down. When the shower water pressure drops off, is the water cold, or the same temp?

alternative: anti-scald on shower?

One alternative, just in case you want to give your contractor the benefit of the doubt--
Does the new shower have an anti-scald feature; shutting down when the water gets too hot at the stream?

(I am still leaning toward not enough supply to (or from) the water heater)

RE: New remodel problems

I am waiting on a call back from the city inspector office regarding the status of my inspections (or lack thereof).

The contractor is working on the water situation right now. There was no hot water when I was there but the hwh was on. He said it did in fact need a larger supply line and that was what he planned to do today, as well as my punch list.

He says he called for inspections and just assumed that they had let me know everything was ok. I made it clear that I knew that was not how it worked and if anything had to be redone, that it was at his expense. He's seems to be sulking but resigned to get it right.

Thank you everyone! I hope to report back that all is well and ready for my dad to move in. Wish me luck.

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