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Plumbing Installation Issues. Your advise would be appreciated.

  • 15-03-2024 9:03pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3,411 ✭✭✭

    Hi, Firstly I am not naming the contractor at this time.

    I employed a contractor to do the following work.

    1. Install new oil boiler.
    2. Add 3 heating zones (This required minimal pipework and 3 new valves)
    3. Power flush the rads.
    4. Add a Magnaclean to the heating system.
    5. Remove old pipework.
    6. Install a new hot water tank.
    7. Disconnect the old F&E tank.

    The quote for the work is €7870. Deposit €3000 paid.

    They finished the work today. After they left, I went around and inspected the work. I identified the following issues.

    1. There are numerous leaks throughout the system. Leaks around the new HWT. Leaks to several rads. After they installed the new HWT this morning, They turned the water back on and filled the tank. They then immediately got in their vans and left. They did not test the system. No leak tests, No pressure tests. Thus all the leaks.
    2. They installed expansion vessels upside down. One of them is so near the ground that you cannot access the schrader valve.
    3. They installed the Magnaclean on floating pipework with no supports to the pipes whatsoever. The whole thing is very insecure. The Magnaclean they installed is the micro version. I was expecting the bigger model (Its a two story house with 16 rads) if only to facilitate adding inhibitor.
    4. The pipework is crooked in places. It is left floating with little or no supports to any walls. The pipe coming out of the HWT is off level, leaking at the tank, and they scratched the surface when tightening the outer T junction.
    5. They installed the heating controls way back tight into a corner in the utility. I intend to install high cabinets there and so will have to move those controls. The installation finish is very rough with gaping holes behind the unit.
    6. They removed a drain grid cover outside and left it that way. Gaping hole for rodents.
    7. I am left with no hot water.
    8. The immersion is not connected.
    9. One of the heating zones is not connected.

    This morning, I phoned the contractor and had a chat with him outlining all the issues. He told me he would get on to the installers and get them to sort the issues out. I've heard nothing back. It's now Friday evening of a bank holiday weekend. So I'll be left with the above mess for at least 3 days. I was also under the understanding that the owner was to call and walk me through the system. That hasn't happened either. No communication, no feedback, no plan or schedule. Nothing, just silence.

    In my opinion, for the price of the job, I really was expecting the work to be of a competent and satisfactory level. I expected reasonable finishes, well secured pipework, full testing and pressure testing, no leaks etc. I'm not one for conflict. I hate it. I just wanted a reasonable job done and feel that what I got is inferior. Remember €7870.

    I'd really appreciate people in the trade, plumbers, people with experience, trades persons etc to maybe watch the video, and give me their opinion of the work. Maybe I've got it all wrong. Maybe its me? I dunno. I need the opinion of others so that I can be better informed. I'd really appreciate opinion and reasonable advice.

    Many thanks.

    Post edited by dnme on



  • Registered Users Posts: 16,993 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12

    How did you pay? Cheque or card you can cancel or reverse the payment.

    Nothing wrong with the control in the corner. If you didn't say where you wanted it then how would they know. This is the only point where I might think the contractor wasn't at fault. I'm not having a pop at you OP

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 foxhunter2024

    The coil plumbing isn’t complete, wiring is hatchet along with the standard of plumbing.

    You need to give the plumber a chance to resolve all those issues but I wouldn’t hold hopes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,953 ✭✭✭10-10-20

    Never a better time to utter the phrase "Cowboy's Ted!". Are you sure it was vans they departed in, or on horse-back? 😧

    But as far as it stands, you hold the cards as the reminder of the work isn't paid for, right? And you have it very well documented - there's no defending that utter slap-dash of a job. I think your one mistake so far was not marking out where the controls should have gone - maybe take that one on the chin.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,411 ✭✭✭dnme

    Many thanks for the comments. I paid the deposit via bank transfer, the balance is outstanding. And look, I have no problem paying if the work is right. I would happily pay the remainder if the job was anyway decent. Its almost impossible to get a plumber and I was really relying on this install. I take your point about the location of the controls.

  • Registered Users Posts: 836 ✭✭✭stephenmarr

    Very poor level of workmanship.

    1 major issue which could be a disaster. The blow off vale the one with the red cap 3/4 ways up the cylinder isn't piped out to a drain or outside with a tundish.

    If that blows a leak on you rads would be the least of your worries.

    The heating coil return looks like its not connected. {Elbow on bottom. Its possible is to be connecting to the lever valve behind the lower expansion vessel}

    No hot water its possible there's other valves somewhere which are turned off.

    Hold back the rest of the money until job is sorted.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭hydrus21

    Can I ask how you came to contact this contractor in the first place?

    Was it through an advert, recomendation ? perhaps a signwritten van?

    This could be fair warning to others.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭tomhammer..

    Is there still no regulation of plumbing installs , no inspectors ?

    Must be 25 years or more since I first joined reci

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,993 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12

    RGI is tightly regulated but inspections are only for the gas installation for safety. The boiler can be crooked & not a straight pipe in site. None of this will interest the inspector unfortunately

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭tomhammer..

    It would have made a huge difference to the standard if plumbing was properly regulated

    That's what's happened in electrical generally

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,993 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12

    Good plumbers would welcome this. Other plumbers are happy to ignore building regulations on small jobs

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  • Registered Users Posts: 110 ✭✭hydrus21

    Unvented cylinders have to be installed and serviced yearly by a certified plumber in UK .

    I'm surprised theres no such regulation in Ireland.

    I very much doubt that whatever warranty OP has on the cylinder is valid if the installation is left like that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭tomhammer..

    There doesn't appear to be certification necessary for this work

    It's long been apparent as an issue when ya compare plumbing standards to electrical on site

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,330 ✭✭✭✭mickdw

    I thought you were going to tell us you had paid them in full. You are in great shape if you hold the money.

    Just tell the boss the money is waiting for them when the job is put right.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,411 ✭✭✭dnme

    I got their details from my local boiler servicer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭tomhammer..

    Problem is you're likely asking bad plumbers to fix bad work

    There's probably more than the visible not right

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,411 ✭✭✭dnme

    Yes Tom, the existing work is awful and it grinds with me every time I look at it. I thought that by getting in a contractor to modernise my system, and pay them substantial money, it would mark the start of putting my plumbing right. What I got was just more of the same, actually worse IMO.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 6,254 Mod ✭✭✭✭Wearb

    After spending so much, it would be well worth spending a couple of hundred on an independent person to write a report on it. Then insist on the installer finishing it properly or allowing you a discount that'd pay for new plumber.

    I'd be nervous of using someone with such a poor work ethic again. He'll just come back and fix obvious leaks and go away hoping for the best. That job needs new eyes on it.

    Everything is easily fixed, but really sloppy and looks so unprofessional. Horrible workmanship. Not an ounce of pride in their work.

    Please follow site and charter rules. "Resistance is futile"

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,953 ✭✭✭10-10-20

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 foxhunter2024

    Can you video the external boiler as at the end there that overflow pipe is incorrect as it should be 32mm when external to the boiler.

    Has a bypass been fitted etc? Two pz2 screws take off that end panel to have a peep inside.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,411 ✭✭✭dnme

    Just FYI

    I have been emailing the contractor outlining my issues. That line of communication has gotten tense to say the least. I have now referred the contractor to this thread. So the contractor is now viewing this thread.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,411 ✭✭✭dnme

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭tomhammer..

    Yad want a independent inspection of the work and a quote for all the remedial needed and preferably someone independent to do the work

    Simply getting the contractor back and paying him the balance will probably leave you still in the **** with no comeback

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,411 ✭✭✭dnme

    You know what folks, It's very difficult to get a plumber in my area. Would it be an idea to fix this job myself? I'm a pretty competent DIY'er. I don't have any faith in the contractor putting this job right.

    I just wish I could find a plumber to do the job properly. I'd happily pay for a decent service. In my Dads time, he had a great plumber. Well known in the area. Worked until he was in his late 80s. The quality and neatness of his work was legendary. There's a crises in the trades now. Good people so hard to get.

  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 6,254 Mod ✭✭✭✭Wearb

    Don't touch it yourself. If it ends up in court, non qualified hands on it will drastically weaken your hand.

    There are still mostly good plumbers out there. I see good work most of the time. I suppose the better ones are more difficult to get because their name gets around.

    Spread you attempts to get one to outside your area. Even if you can't get one to do the work, you might get one to do a snag list for you. Perhaps ask for recommendations in some of the dedicated plumbing shops.

    Please follow site and charter rules. "Resistance is futile"

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,993 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12

    If you touch it yourself you rule out a court ruling in your favour.

    You have to allow the contractor the option to rectify the issues first. It isn't unusual to have drips after the job is complete. Obviously these leaks should have been identified at the time of testing. I know there is a lot more here than a few leaks but the principle is the same. If contractor doesn't want to or is unable to rectify the issues then you can engage another company to fix the many mistakes. You can bring original contractors to court and have them pay for new company to fix their mistakes.

    Once you go down the road of DIY repair you have no comeback with original contractor. As has been suggested before you should have a report drawn up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 379 ✭✭Doolittle51

    That really is terrible workmanship. Is that the finished job or are they due back next week to finish it off? You're in a great position if you've only paid the deposit. Don't even dream about paying them another penny until you're 100% satisfied.

    It was hard to see the old F&E tank that you said they disconnected. On older systems, sometimes there is a non return valve piped directly from the main cold water storage tank, could this be the case? That could be why he said it was supplying the shower? If not, they should have removed it and made good etc. You can be sure if it was worth anything in scrap they'd have whipped it out in the blink of an eye.

    Also, when converting an old system to pressurised, it's to be expected that there might be some leaks on the old pipework, however they should have told you this in advance and, of course, not just ignored you when you told them about the leak.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,974 ✭✭✭Rows Grower

    It was obviously a rush job by a crew that had nothing to gain by ensuring it's done properly, probably owed money from the same guy that gave them the job and on the verge of quitting working for him by the looks of it.

    You've got to take responsibility for the situation yourself though, you know how things work and you know good tradespeople are hard to find.

    You should have tried harder to ensure you were paying for a competent person to do the work, fail to prepare.....

    On the plus side if it's any consolation your video was like a DIY Prime Time investagation.

    "Very soon we are going to Mars. You wouldn't have been going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you. You wouldn't even be thinking about it."

    Donald Trump, March 13th 2018.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,956 ✭✭✭jimf

    just to add to your woes make sure your boiler has frost protection

    it should have permanent live wire

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,411 ✭✭✭dnme

    To update the thread . . .

    The contractor in question has the SEAI logo on their website. In their 'About US' section, they state that they will take care of grant paperwork. I have been chasing this with them since the job started. They have now informed me that they are not actually registered with SEAI. I think I need to refer this to SEAI. At best it's misleading.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,993 ✭✭✭✭Sleeper12

    False advertising would be more like it.