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residential service
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1,948 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Got a call yesterday from a guy who had this tankless wh that was not working properly. He states that his remodeling contractor installed it and had said that he had done "3 or 4 before so it was no problem". So I get there and the first thing I see is an outdoor unit mounted on the wall right next to the meter. They caught the line coming out of the meter on a 2# GAS SYSTEM AND HARD PIPED DIRECTLY TO THE UNIT WITH OUT ANY REGULATOR! So I've just walked up and this is what I see immediately. I am not familiar with Rheem tankless so I have enough sense to call tech support. They don't know as much as I do! The unit is obviously overpressurized with ng but I can't find a manometer port to test and confirm this. So I'm asking the guy on the phone "where is the port?" and I swear he has no idea what I'm talking about! I get shuffled off to "senior tech support" who informs me that while the unit will continue to register error code 11 as long as the gas pressure is to high, there is no manometer port to check what the pressure actually is at the unit :eek:!!! Ok so I'm a little bit blind here not knowing for certain what the pressure is but it's a real safe bet that on an unregulated 2# system that it is waaaaay too high so I tell the guy that he needs: 1. To relocate the unit further down the wall to comply with the distance from meter requirements 2. Installation of a 2# regulator with isolation valve in line with the unit 3. Relocate wh gas isolation valve upstream from a union rather than connected directly to the wh 4. Upgrade electrical to include a means of disconnect rather than simply hardwired to the unit 5. Installation of an isolator valve kit to enable maintenance to be performed on the unit. I explain that 1 - 4 are not negotiable and that I will not touch it unless these 4 items are done at a minimum (in other words I won't just make his error codes go away unless he brings the entire unit up to code) and that #5 is strongly recommended if he wants to be able to perform maintenace on the unit which is probably required by his warranty (although I'm not sure what his warranty states). My quote for everything comes to $1129 plus the electrical which I don't do. Well guess what, ... he doesn't have it. Ok so I got my $59 service call plus $149 for the diagnostic for $208 which was fine for what I did.

What really ticks me off is that this unit was installed by someone who IS NOT EVEN A PLUMBER OR ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE TO A PLUMBER! It was not his first install and certainly will not be his last unless, ... you should all be able to see where this is going by now.

How do I fry this guy but good. It's one thing for carpenters to fiddle around with p-traps and tile men to pull and reset toilets and install shower liners but now they think they've got tankless water heater technology licked!!!

I know his name and that's all. At first I was trying to think of a way to keep the ho out of it but the more I think about it, it seems he had to be complicit even if he didn't fully understand it. The ho has already confessed that there was no permit which I already knew on the telephone when he said his remodeling contractor did it. I asked him if he meant his remodeling contractor's sub but he said no it was the contractor himself.

Because of the address I believed this house was in a certain jurisdiction. I went and talked to this city and they informed me that it was not them but was in the county. So I didn't have time today but I will contact them tomorrow and confirm whether or not any permits of any type have been pulled for this address in the last year (all this work supposedly took place in Nov 08). They will say "no" and then I will attempt to find out any contractor licensed with this persons name. There won't be any way to keep the ho uninvolved but you know what, that is just too bad.

I'm steamin' :furious:. The ho has a $3500 machine that he paid roughly $2000 dollars for but oh yeah guess what it doesn't work. It seems he probably took the low ball bid and got what he deserved. Any sympathy I feel for him is rapidly evaporating. The ho is going to have plenty of trouble over this, maybe I'll just call the gas company and clue them in. I don't know how it is elsewhere but they don't play around here. When in doubt, they'll just disconnect and lock your meter and sort it all out later. I've actually had people call me before to come find out why they don't have any hot water, I get there and discover that their meter has been locked (this is usually for non-payment). I bet if I did that Joe remodeling contractor gets a phone call pretty quit.

Ok so I'm mad right now so this isn't the time to talk to anyone but I need some ideas on how to, after I settle down, lure this fish in so he doesn't get away.

The floor is open.
 

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Professional Bullshioter
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6,092 Posts
I would go out of my way to nail the hack and make sure things are corrected. Even if I didn't get the job. Some legit guy will. Maybe you will get the next one:thumbsup:
 

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Always Something
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1,369 Posts
Welcome to my world bud...

If your gas co cares, I would report it to them and get them to take the lead on it. They lock it up and won't reconnect till the gass is up to code, which may require a relocation with a properly sized reg on the tankless. I used to get really pissed on these things but not anymore. It's not my house. I can only offer up what it will take to correct the issues and the price. They buy it...they buy it, if not....oh well. It's kinda like when a job gets red tagged and the inspector pulls the meter because framing is bad or the ...whatever is unsafe. It's rare that I see that but I have seen a few...Another reason I have all cordless!! let us know what happens.
 

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Certified Lunatic
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20,658 Posts
Welcome to my world bud...

If your gas co cares, I would report it to them and get them to take the lead on it. They lock it up and won't reconnect till the gass is up to code, which may require a relocation with a properly sized reg on the tankless. I used to get really pissed on these things but not anymore. It's not my house. I can only offer up what it will take to correct the issues and the price. They buy it...they buy it, if not....oh well. It's kinda like when a job gets red tagged and the inspector pulls the meter because framing is bad or the ...whatever is unsafe. It's rare that I see that but I have seen a few...Another reason I have all cordless!! let us know what happens.
I would consider dropping a dime...
To the plumbing inspector as well.
 

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residential service
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1,948 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I reported it to the appropriate inspection office, directly to the lead inspector. I was told, in so many words, "this is not a communist state and unless we catch them in the act there is nothing we can do" This of course is total bs. Not only can he do something, it is his responsibility to do something. To my knowledge nothing was ever done.
 

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Hecho In America
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4,161 Posts
I reported it to the appropriate inspection office, directly to the lead inspector. I was told, in so many words, "this is not a communist state and unless we catch them in the act there is nothing we can do" This of course is total bs. Not only can he do something, it is his responsibility to do something. To my knowledge nothing was ever done.
Sounds like a politician to me. Report him to his supervisor and if that doesn't work go to the State.
 

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Drained Professional
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842 Posts
Sounds like a politician to me. Report him to his supervisor and if that doesn't work go to the State.
That or spin it the other way and use it to your advantage. You may not get this job but you'll surely be in line for the next ones, whereas "Nacho" (poor Nacho) won't be.

What I mean is, around here we have so many of these crap "con-tractors" but their work is so shoddy it is great advertising for those that are truly skilled at their craft.
Rather than try to catch this rat, use this idiots (and the HO's) work to compare to your own. Kind of a "see what can happen?" scenario.

It's not such a tough hill to climb since you're already at the top, my brother. ;)
 
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