Cowboy plumber advice

9 Jun 2006
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United Kingdom

My mother seems to have found the worst plumber in the world, and it's really getting her down, so I wanted to ask for some advice.

Firstly, she called him back in April because our overflow pipe outside (from cold tank in loft) was dripping. She found a plumber in the yellow pages, he came, replaced the part and she paid him for the work. But then the tank started squeaking whenever it was filling up. So we had to call him back out to replace the part which he said must have been faulty. After that, the squeaking ceased.

Then she asked him to repair the gas heater (it's one of those stand-alone units on the wall in the lounge). First of all she payed him to give it a full service which she has always done every two years. But he didn't really do much (he didn't even hoover it out, which I thought was part of a service on that type of heater). The problem was that the heater took ages to light. So he replaced the thermo coupling, charged my mother the money and left. But when she tried it, it still didn't light (infact it was worse than before he came). So he came back twice after that to change parts about, and it still doesn't work.

Now, two months later, the overflow pipe has started leaking again (this time it's almost pouring out, flooding the patio big time) and the gas heater doesn't work (never has). This has been going on for the past two weeks (the overflow) and now he's ignoring our calls. We've called his home loads of times and his wife answers and claims to be passing the message on, but he doesn't call. I've tried his mobile loads of times and left messages. So she's payed for parts in both the water tank and the heater, and neither are fixed.

She is really angry and wouldn't mind just going elsewhere now. But she's payed for the parts, so she can't really just go elsewhere.

Any advice?

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you have been unlucky, very little you can do, put it down to a bad experience and ask a friend or work mate if he knows a good gas engineer
Firstly check he's Gassafe registered, If he's not then he's breaking the law and needs reporting. By sound of things you'd be better to cut your losses and get someone in who does know what they're doing....

Ask around for recommendations, friends, neighbours etc. Its possible some grit may have stuck in the ballvalve causing it not to shut off properly, but the gas heater really needs checking for peace of mind.
why on earth do you want him to come back? as said cut your losses, find someone recommended
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If he is not Gas Safe reg. he deserves all he gets - report him . If he is G.S then he may just be incompetent . As to the ballvalve - it might be a faulty batch from China :rolleyes: . I had a similar problem years ago with loads of low pressure valves we were going round replacing in Social Housing - after a week or 2 they all started leaking and overflowing seriously . Had to re visit all the sites and change the valves for Pegler brand ones - luckily I was employed @ the time , it would have been a financial disaster as a subbie .

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