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Persistent bathroom leak - have plumbers tried to bodge it?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by optimystery, 10 Jul 2019.

  1. optimystery

    optimystery

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    I have just had a bathroom installed. Things have gone well, except for a leak which has recurred for the 3rd time. I'm getting concerned that they are trying to cover up a more serious problem. What would you think based on the following?

    1. Dripping reported from downstairs flat (below my bathroom), about every 2 seconds. No sign of water coming through the ceiling
    2. Builder removed access panel tile on bath. said they found a cracked elbow joint, on cold water bath tap side. First said it was made of brass and they couldn’t understand why it would just break. Said it wasnt leaking through the ceiling because it was dripping into the wall cavity
    3. 3 days later neighbour reported water dripping through their spotlight fixture, same location, higher rate of dripping, this time actually water coming though. If the leak had been into the wall cavity before, why now water coming through the light fixture? Builder said it was now the same piece cracked but on the hot water side and they would replace, must be a bad batch etc
    4. Builders spent several hours, swearing a lot, removed wall-mounted bath mixer tap as well as bath panel again, and eventually said problem fixed. I noticed this time there was a can of foam filler, and the bath tap rings had been sealed with silicone when they hadnt before. The elbow they removed was made of plastic, not brass.
    5. Next morning I noticed water dripping from the bottom of the bath mixer. Builder said it would just be a new washer that needed to be tightened

    At this point I don’t trust what they are telling me. I just cannot stand dishonesty. The explanations seem inconsistent and I'm concerned the leak may come back months later. For the 3rd and latest leak, why spend so long fixing something and then not bother to tighten a washer? It seems like they may have tried to avoid having to remove a large wall tile to do a proper fix, and instead bodged with filler and silicone?

    At this point I can still withhold part payment and wait a month to see what happens.

    What does this sound like to a professional plumber?
     
  2. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    optimystery, good evening.

    OK First up i am not a Plumber.

    I work as an Insurance Claims Surveyor.

    I would withhold any further payments until all the leaks have been addressed, fully and completely over a one or two month time scale.

    As for your downstairs neighbour? give them the name. and address of your builder / plumber your neighbours insurer may want to seek a "Recovery" of the insurers outlays to restore your neighbours property to a [so called] Pre-Loss Condition??

    All in it sounds like a bodge ??

    Ken
     
  3. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Please post pictures.

    Andy
     
  4. optimystery

    optimystery

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    Thanks for the replies.
    Luckily there is no water damage. The builder pressured me to agree to 1 week delay in payment, but I may reconsider. He says there is a guarantee though anyway.

    The bath panel has been replaced, so there really isn't anything visual that will explain the issue. Pictures would not really help. Visually the bathroom looks good, it's just this leak that had me worried.

    I asked for a detailed explanation of what exactly went wrong, but only got very vague and contradictory responses.
    For now it seems the leak is fixed, but I am worried some of it was done with the help of foam filler and silicone. I still don't know exactly what the problem was and how it was fixed.

    The leak from the bath mixer tap was due to a "new washer" and the bolt had not been tightened enough.
    After the 2nd leak was fixed the bath plug stopped closing properly and had to be tightened all the way up (making the plug shorter). It seals just about, but was better before.

    Fingers crossed there will be no more problems. This kind of stuff just shouldn't happen!
     
  5. Bodd

    Bodd

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    It shouldnt but there are so many shisters out there. Good luck hope it's OK now
     
  6. gasbanni

    gasbanni

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    It's quite simple really .....don't pay until the leaks fixed ......don't fall for the gtee tosh.

    Run the hot water tap for ten minutes and check for drips.

    I once had a leak on a tenth floor that showed itself only on the first floor and it only happened when hot water was run in to the bath.
    Cold water no leak !

    It was a hairline crack that opened up in the plastic waste pipe when only hot water ran through it !

    So leave your hot tap running in the bath .....Make sure the bath overflow is connected ( did you have a bath with the water going out of the overflow ?)
    If the leak is intermitant wastell pipes ....constant supply pipes.

    If it still leaks make the builder show you where it's actually leaking from .......look for the drip on the pipes !!!!! Not where it's dripping in to the room.
    Some leaks are very difficult to find .....I don't think yours will be !
     
  7. sbgasman

    sbgasman

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    you are going to get problems if you employ a builder to do plumbing work ,
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2019 at 2:22 PM
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  8. jeff the gasman

    jeff the gasman

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    Could be anything and don’t be too quick to apportion blame.
    Loss adjusters hmph. Overpaid insurance agents.
     
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  9. dilalio

    dilalio

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    Foam and silicone used for leak remedies... Doesn't sound good... Dread to think what a future plumber will face when it comes to routine maintenance/fittings replacement!
     
  10. Madrab

    Madrab

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    The first problem was that you let a builder do the plumbing, the second was that you let a builder sort the problem out on the 3rd instance. Quite rightly you gave them the opportunity to fix it, they failed, at that point they should be getting an experienced plumber in that you can verify is experienced.

    All the pipework & outlets should have been tested (supply and waste) prior to be hidden, especially in a flat that's above others, it's basic plumbing practices. They obviously didn't do that and now it's too late to easily sort now it's buried and hence they bodge it with silicone and expanding foam.

    Only way to be sure, IMO, is that they open things up, identify the culprit, replace, test and then make good.
     
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  11. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Can you not remove the bath panel to take a look and some photos?

    I agree, if you are paying for a professional job, it ought to be a qualified plumber doing the plumbing work, not a builder botching the work.
     
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