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    The Official Dirtbag Plumber Triangle Thread

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    Lorenzzo

    Posts : 691
    Join date : 2012-12-05
    Location : Park City, UT

    The Official Dirtbag Plumber Triangle Thread

    Post  Lorenzzo on Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:40 pm

    Had something happen that was both incredibly disappointing and at the same time ridiculously awesome.  For those of you who've been jacked around by dishonest plumbers or other tradesmen, this story may warm your hearts just a bit.

    The first year I lived in PC I rented. This summer I closed on my permanent crib. Since my neighborhood has active groundwater the homes here have sump pumps.  My home purchase inspector determined the pump was dead and so the prior owner agreed to replace it and suggested I upgrade it to automatic. after I move in.

    This week I called the same plumbing firm to add an auto switch.  An older guy, an owner of the most respected plumbing firm in town, comes out and says it already has the auto feature but it's really old, at least 10 years, and so no longer reliable.  So I said, fine, go down there and install a new one.  I figured if it was actually replaced just a couple of months ago then the liar would be this guy.  If it wasn't replaced then the liar was probably the prior owner.

    Well, the prior owner's a solid guy, the plumber is, well, a plumber.  So I figured I'd have some fun with this.  When the old guy came out of the crawl space after installing a new pump I told him the story and he's fighting mad.  I said to him, "You ought to calm down, I'm not the crook here, if I call the police they'll have to taser you, you're old, you won't survive.  Look, a dead dishonest plumber isn't that big a problem for me, except I'm having company later and wouldn't know how I'd get your body to the dump before company comes."

    But here's the real kicker.  The guy wasn't pissed because I caught him red-handed and made him unnecessarily install a new pump I wouldn't be paying for, he was pissed because the prior plumber was his son who had pocketed the money in cash and then failed to enter the work in their computer system to cover his tracks. Without the replacement showing in the computer, the old guy probably felt he could do the unnecessary work.

    I sure as shit wasn't going to pay for the second pump. So in essence, this guy was stealing from himself in trying to steal from me after having been stolen from by his own son.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. When he saw me smiling broadly while he was yelling at me, he finally stopped and realized I'd played him and was simply enjoying the whole thing.
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    Mongrel

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    Location : The Oort Cloud

    Re: The Official Dirtbag Plumber Triangle Thread

    Post  Mongrel on Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:50 pm

    I really got tired of paying exhorbitant sums of money to the crew of turd-chasers my wife had called to fix some minor problems in the last few years. So I just bucked up, went on the internet, and learned to do a bunch of piddling repairs myself. Sometimes its a b!tch lying twisted on the concrete floor trying to get this and that to fit just right without leaking but at least I'm not contributing to the lease payment on some union plumber's $60,000 pickup. Did the same thing with my swimming pool.

    Depending on how fast the groundwater seeps into your place and I assume that you have a below-grade basement, a decent sump pump can last 20-40 years if it doesn't run much. And the on/off switch on the old ones is just a rod attached to a float that trips the power switch when the water rises and trips it back off when the pump lowers the level to normal. Same concept that was developed right after the land masses on the planet shifted to their current alignment.
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    Lorenzzo

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    Re: The Official Dirtbag Plumber Triangle Thread

    Post  Lorenzzo on Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:29 pm

    I figured I might as well replace it since it wasn't going to cost me anything. The over under here as to life of sump pumps seems to be about 12 years. But they can fail at any time and the risk increases with age. With spring melt coming down the mountains sump pumps run a lot around here during spring and if they go out undetected you have big problems.

    Yes, I would save money and screwings doing things myself and at times I do, but I'm not replacing a pump under the house. I did replace the toilet workings myself when I moved in.
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    Mongrel

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    Re: The Official Dirtbag Plumber Triangle Thread

    Post  Mongrel on Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:48 pm

    The problem with modern pumps and electric motors is that, to beat a tired cliche, they don't make them like they used to. Take a 20 year old electric motor and compare it with a new one. The one one probably weighs twenty to thirty per cent more due to the heavier iron casing and bearings. Same with the pumps. Now if you want to do your sump pump system up right, you might want to consider a battery back-up in case the power goes out. Some of the folks in my neighborhood have those since we've been having multiple day power outages for the past several years ( although none yet this year knock on persimmon). Luckily we have one of the few dwellings that has stayed dry even with hurricane rains for several days with no power. Knock on some more wood.
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    Lorenzzo

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    Re: The Official Dirtbag Plumber Triangle Thread

    Post  Lorenzzo on Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:51 pm

    Mongrel wrote:The problem with modern pumps and electric motors is that, to beat a tired cliche, they don't make them like they used to. Take a 20 year old electric motor and compare it with a new one. The one one probably weighs twenty to thirty per cent more due to the heavier iron casing and bearings. Same with the pumps. Now if you want to do your sump pump system up right, you might want to consider a battery back-up in case the power goes out. Some of the folks in my neighborhood have those since we've been having multiple day power outages for the past several years ( although none yet this year knock on persimmon). Luckily we have one of the few dwellings that has stayed dry even with hurricane rains for several days with no power. Knock on some more wood.
    Next year I'll be installing a second pump with a battery back-up.

    There are plenty of folks around here who replace their sumps every few years just because the consequences of their failing can be so severe.  Not Boulder, CO severe but severe. I think it makes more sense to just add a second pump and inspect them every year.

    By the way, we had flash floods here when Boulder was having theirs, it's just that we don't put our homes and roads in the middle of a wash.  Coloradans don't seem to know any better.

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    Horseballs

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    Re: The Official Dirtbag Plumber Triangle Thread

    Post  Horseballs on Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:00 am

    Lorenzzo wrote:
    Mongrel wrote:The problem with modern pumps and electric motors is that, to beat a tired cliche, they don't make them like they used to. Take a 20 year old electric motor and compare it with a new one. The one one probably weighs twenty to thirty per cent more due to the heavier iron casing and bearings. Same with the pumps. Now if you want to do your sump pump system up right, you might want to consider a battery back-up in case the power goes out. Some of the folks in my neighborhood have those since we've been having multiple day power outages for the past several years ( although none yet this year knock on persimmon). Luckily we have one of the few dwellings that has stayed dry even with hurricane rains for several days with no power. Knock on some more wood.
    Next year I'll be installing a second pump with a battery back-up.

    There are plenty of folks around here who replace their sumps every few years just because the consequences of their failing can be so severe.  Not Boulder, CO severe but severe.  I think it makes more sense to just add a second pump and inspect them every year.

    By the way, we had flash floods here when Boulder was having theirs, it's just that we don't put our homes and roads in the middle of a wash.  Coloradans don't seem to know any better.

    It's not the native Coloradans that don't know better. It's the idiot transplant Californians who are taking over the other western states like Colorado and Utah.
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    Lorenzzo

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    Re: The Official Dirtbag Plumber Triangle Thread

    Post  Lorenzzo on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:49 am

    Horseballs wrote:
    Lorenzzo wrote:
    Mongrel wrote:The problem with modern pumps and electric motors is that, to beat a tired cliche, they don't make them like they used to. Take a 20 year old electric motor and compare it with a new one. The one one probably weighs twenty to thirty per cent more due to the heavier iron casing and bearings. Same with the pumps. Now if you want to do your sump pump system up right, you might want to consider a battery back-up in case the power goes out. Some of the folks in my neighborhood have those since we've been having multiple day power outages for the past several years ( although none yet this year knock on persimmon). Luckily we have one of the few dwellings that has stayed dry even with hurricane rains for several days with no power. Knock on some more wood.
    Next year I'll be installing a second pump with a battery back-up.

    There are plenty of folks around here who replace their sumps every few years just because the consequences of their failing can be so severe.  Not Boulder, CO severe but severe.  I think it makes more sense to just add a second pump and inspect them every year.

    By the way, we had flash floods here when Boulder was having theirs, it's just that we don't put our homes and roads in the middle of a wash.  Coloradans don't seem to know any better.

    It's not the native Coloradans that don't know better.  It's the idiot transplant Californians who are taking over the other western states like Colorado and Utah.  
    Of course you are completely right, my point was the dumber transplant Californians head to Colorado. It may be because there are songs about Colorado, it could be because it comes before Utah alphabetically but it's definitely one of those two things.

    Remember, I'm from Italy, I was never really a Californian, I just liked casual relationships with the women there. Now that I have enough of them willing to visit, why should I stay there? The weather? Ok, the weather's pretty good, but other than that.

    As we all know, women are more sexual when they're on vacation. Seriously, they can barely wait to take their clothes off when they get here from the airport. It's also partly because I've done that drive to my place from the airport enough that it's become kind of like a repeat scene from Groundhog Day.

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