04:12AM | 09/28/02
Member Since: 09/27/02
3 lifetime posts
We are having an addition put on our kitchen, and the plumbers were in last week. Coincidentally, the water heater needed replacing at the same time and I asked them to replace it while they were here.

Since this work was done, we have been having strange problems with faucets. The one in our tub seems "sticky" or gritty at times and the flow is much less than it was. The vanity faucet in our room has a slower flow than I remember. My daughter says that the water pressure in her bathroom is higher than it was before but that it takes longer for the water to get hot. And in the kitchen, there is noticeably lower flow when the faucet handle is set to all hot than to a mixture of hot and cold.

The plumber claims that replacing the water heater shook up sediment and that the diverter (whatever that is) in our bath is probably bad -- he wants a minimum of $350 to cut into the wall and replace it.

Has anyone else ever experienced something like this?


08:45AM | 09/28/02
Member Since: 08/30/02
16 lifetime posts
It is very typical for this to happen. Every time the water is shut down and turned back on in your house the sediment will be stirred up. As a plumber myself I am well aware of this problem and I personally take responsibility for removing showerheads and aerators on faucets before opening any valves. Almost every shower diverter I have ever serviced is servicable from the front side. Unless the plumber is replacing the entire shower valve he should have no need to cut into your wall. I know how these situations generally work with most companies and no plumber wants to take responsibility for taking all precautions necessary to insure that he does a perfect job. I work for a company where we are held to very high standards and if I replace a water heater I am expected to always make sure that everything connected to the plumbing system is working as it was when I got their.
So in a nutshell I think a better job could have been done to insure that you weren't plagued with other problems. It's only natural that they'll want you to pay for them to repair it, somebody has to pay for their time.
Also, Your whole diverter or valve should not have to be replaced. It can be repaired. Sometimes just cleaning it and relubricating it is all it takes. Good luck and let me know how you make out.


10:15AM | 09/28/02
Member Since: 09/27/02
3 lifetime posts

I have not paid the plumber for the water heater yet. Given what you told me, do you think that I am justified in refusing to pay until my plumbing is back to the way it was?


07:39PM | 09/28/02
Member Since: 09/16/02
250 lifetime posts
Could it also be that the aerators are plugged at the faucet/showerheads? Try taking them off and rinsing them. Some faucets also have a screen inside to protect the ceramic piece inside the faucet. Could be either one. This is cheaper to check than the other suggestion.


09:06AM | 09/29/02
Member Since: 08/30/02
16 lifetime posts
Tough question. He did do the work so he should get paid for it as far as the law is concerned in my state. However, he should take some responsibility in this case and rectify the problems (without any charge) that have occurred. The only thing that can really be done is for you to pay someone else for the needed repairs and file in small claims court. That can usually be a greater headache than it is worth so most folks opt not to do it. I don't want you to think I'm giving you legal advice because I am not a lawyer nor do I aspire to be one. Good luck.


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