New Toilet Has a Crack in Porcelain

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Verdeboy, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    I bought a new cheapie $80.00 Eljer toilet for a customer who wanted a cheap one. It has some sort of defect on the upper part of the bowl in the back. When you flush the toilet, water seeps out of this defect.

    I'm sure ACE will replace the toilet at no charge, but I will have to charge the customer again to remove the old toilet and set the new one. Is there a waterproof epoxy or something else that would work here?
  2. tonykarns

    tonykarns In the Trades

    No Charge

    How can you possibly charge the customer for another installation?? In my opionion I would simply take it back where I bought it from, get a new one, and do the install free of charge. If I install something that is defective, it is my responsibility to make sure that it works properly.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    My thought is the only way to charge them to reinstall would be if they bought the fixture. You may have some recourse against the manufacturer, but their warranty often explicity states materials only, no labor...that should be covered in your markup.
  4. looks like this thread will discuss this now.

    My first thought is that there are some ultra-competent handymen and handywomen who charge very little per hour on the condition that their time be paid all the time. They have thousands of tools and inventory, they waste little time, they are good, but they don't want to add sufficient padding to their base rate to account for the million things that can and do happen.

    I have seen people operate this way. It happens. They charge very little. I won't publish the rates, as that information all by itself would probably cause too big a stir.

    If someone could answer the original technical question, the person posting it would be well served.

    Something about epoxy gluing a tank crack. Sounds good to me. I've never done it, and I don't know if toilet tanks can be glued effectively.

  5. molo

    molo Member

    cold new york
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    1. I would never patch a crack in a toilet. There is too much liability if the crack continues and the toilet falls apart.
    2. If you supplied it you warranteed it and therefore should replace it free.
    3. That is what happens when you buy plumbing "stuff" from Ace, HD, Lowes, etc.
    4. It is also why I only supply the best fixtures. If the customer wants "cheap" they can buy it and I will install it without any guarantee other than for leaks in the installation.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    A crack in porcelain may just be there problem. Or tomorrow morning you could find the tank in 2 pieces on the floor and 1000 gallons of water running down the hallway.

    Any good epoxy putty would stick to the inside of the porcelain, and would probably seal the leak. Would I take the chance? NO WAY, JOSE.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    A crack in porcelain is very likely to only get worse. A thin crack is almost impossible to seal with a surface application of anything without embedding the material into the crack which usually requires widening it, which with the porcelain would almost certainly destroy it. It is possible that the crack was caused by overtightening things, which would again not imply the customer should pay. One of the hazards of miniscule margin operations...sometimes you have to bite the bullet to keep up the referrals.
  9. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    I guess I have a different business ethic than you guys do. The most, and I mean most, money people will pay here for a Handyman is $20/hr. The vast majority just call their nearest relative or some illegal, who'll work for bus fare or beer.

    In order to simply survive, I never guarantee parts. If I screw up on the labor end, I will come back at no charge.

    Fortunately the defect is in the "dry" part of the bowl and not the tank or I would just return it and let her pay the $50.00 for me to pull the old toilet, drive 20 miles to ACE, drive another 20 miles back to her house, put together the new toilet, and re-set it.

    That's why I am looking for a simple repair suggestion.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    And that's why I can't afford to install the $80 stuff.
    I would be spending way too much time replacing defective parts.
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    Seems to me that HJ's reply is right on the nose. You bought it, you replace it. As a professional, you certainly should know the lowest cost fixtures and other products that you can supply and can stand behind. Tell the customer straight out that discount fixtures are subject to problems and that you can't replace defective products they supply for free.
  12. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Phoenix, AZ
    I agree with the others...
    If I install it and something goes wrong, I replace it...
    If it is a manufacturer's defect, I get a new one for free...
    If I damage it, I eat it...
    The re-install of fixtures I supply is not billable to the customer...(they already paid for me to install a properly functioning toilet etc. - and that is what I have to do...)
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