You're not gonna BELIEVE this!

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Melissa2007B, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Melissa2007B

    Melissa2007B Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Those of you who are experienced plumbers, prepare to have your mind blown.

    We bought this UBC modular house from Schult in 2003. They recommended a couple of builders to put it on our lot for us, on a regular foundation. They said both builders had done their work for them before and were recommended.

    To make a long story short ( I could write a book! ) the builder we got was a real bum. IMO he cheated us out of plenty of money, first and foremost by just not doing the work. It took him 6 months after we got the construction loan, JUST to start working on the lot. HE claimed it was because of the city regulations, but in desperation, we went to them finally and found out that he hadnt even filed for licensing with them yet! Bum!

    Anyway, the guy kept asking if he could do this and that, which was against city codes, and I kept telling him "NO! Follow all city codes!".

    Well the last thing he asked me that about, was the plumbing hookup. He even TOLD me that he had a plumber up in the mountains, who could sign off on it, and he would just get it done, assuring me he was an old pro at it. Again, I said "NO! Follow all city codes!". I later reported this, among other things, to the city and they pulled his license as soon as our house was FINALLY finished.

    Anyway, still making a VERY long and sordid story short, he was finishing up the place one day and I arrived and found him in the crawl space doing something down there with the plumbing. I said; Oh, where's the plumber, I'd like to meet him. "He just left, 10 minutes ago." Uh, ok. ( I later reported this to the city too, telling them that I'd never met the plumber and was suspicious after what he asked me before that!

    So we closed on the house and moved in around Christmas of 2004, BUT ever since then, we've been having plumbing backups in our main line from the house. One toilet would start burping, then not go down. I'd be taking a shower and bubbles would come up in the toilet. Then another toilet would go out at the other end of the house, and finally the third, and we'd be in deep...well you know. I even posted about this here before, out of frustration, it was why I joined this forum originally.

    So we'd call a rooter service and they'd come over, but they always had funky problems and had to try various things from both ends of the house, to finally clear the whole place. It drove some of them nuts. This has been happening every 3-9 months since we got the house!

    This past Tuesday it started happening again, and we are SO sick of this.

    So I go on Craig's List to try to find someone to clear it out again and this time, HOPEFULLY figure out what's REALLY wrong here.

    I was LUCKY enough to come across [deleted] at this company:
    [deleted]

    We'd had some success before, with having a rooter company snake or jet out the main line from the cleanout in the driveway, but he tried that late yesterday afternoon and it didn't do a thing this time. And he seemed to be running into some kind of blockage partially down the house, that just wouldnt move. So he went to the far end of the house today ( see top end of diagram below ) and removed the toilet and started his electric snake from there, and again he ran into some kind of blockage that just stopped it dead and wouldnt move.

    So out of frustration, he takes a journey down the crawl space and starts removing some of the plastic covering that's still on the bottom of the house, and looking at what the heck is going on under there. He said he's never seen anything like this ever before! I've done some AutoCAD drafting and already had a diagram of the house, so I saved it as a plumbing mess diagram and detailed out everything that he told me he'd found. ( below )

    Now this is gonna cost some money to fix, and again, I'm glad I found Ethan, because he's very reasonable.

    This ( IMO ) crooked builder even mentioned to me, while all that was going on before, that he kept everything in his wife's name, but now I REALLY know why. But the city was supposed to inspect all this, right?

    I'm just wondering if there's anyone we can actually go after, to compensate us for all the trouble and mess we've had since getting this house. Now part of it appears to be done by Schult before it was shipped, and part of it no doubt was done by ( IMO ) "Mr. Crooked Builder". But jeez, it's gonna seriously cost us to fix this messed up plumbing now, and it's just WRONG.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  2. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Occupation:
    Hand copper part cleaned ready to go
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ Sitting on an upside down 5 gallon b
    Have the plumber take pics and then we'll really get astonished. Are you gonna hire your own inspector to survey the entire home¿ (Sounds like the plumbing might not be the only thing done haphazardly.)
     
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  4. Melissa2007B

    Melissa2007B Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I dont know. If it costs us money and there's little hope of recovering anything, there's not much point. But I'd LOVE to find a vicious Denver area attorney who could go after that builder on a contingency basis ( perhaps Schult too ) and GET HIM for us! :mad:
     
  5. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Occupation:
    Hand copper part cleaned ready to go
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ Sitting on an upside down 5 gallon b
    Not much point¿ Peace of mind that the roof over your head is not gonna collapse in on you should make one think twice about getting the whole home from foundation up scrutinized by a keen eye.
     
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    plumbing

    I am not sure about your house, or area, but the couple of modulars I have worked on were not subject to the city codes. Since they came under the same codes as mobile homes they were regulated by the county codes, which were much more lenient. One case being that the city required fire sprinklers in all buildings but the county did not, which REALLY upset the city building and fire departments. The only thing in your drawing which is suspect is the 4 elbows, and they may be there for some reason you do not show.
     
  7. Melissa2007B

    Melissa2007B Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I'm not sure about how lenient they were. This is a UBC modular ( Universal Building Codes ), which is the only kind that are allowed to be put on a foundation on a city lot, like a regular home. I think I figured out the 4 elbows. That part apparently came from the factory that way, and guess why. Modulars are usually put on mobile home lots or over a septic tank away from the city. I bet it's where the septic tank tap was supposed to go out, in the middle of that square?

    We put it on a city lot instead, so the sewer tap is at the end of the house there. So Mr. Dee Dee Dee Builder never thought that MAYBE he should take that out and make a straight run.
     
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    IF that location was where the assembler assumed the sewer would leave the building, then I can ASSURE you that everything "South" (down in your drawing), will be back pitched if that section was also preinstalled to flow that way. They do not put septic systems under structures so that would not be the reason for the 4 elbows.
     
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I do get a kick out of the Dee Dee Dee reference...
    I'm a big Carlos Mencia fan...

    I would say the builder does qualify as one.
     
  10. Jay Mpls

    Jay Mpls Master plumber

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Occupation:
    Master Plumber /Sewer rat
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Was the guy you used the lowest bid?
     
  11. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    I can see this house, if it was to mysteriously catch on fire and burn to the ground, be a blessing.
     
  12. Melissa2007B

    Melissa2007B Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    But they put them in the back yard behind the house, and the center of that square may have been the tap point to go out there.
     
  13. Melissa2007B

    Melissa2007B Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    We are too, and yes he definitely does. A dishonest ratbag dee dee dee.

    For those who havent discovered Carlos:
    http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=72779
    :D
     
  14. Melissa2007B

    Melissa2007B Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Aw jeez!

    I ran a load of wash tonight and it looked like it had residue in it, so I ran the same load again, then the toilets started backing up again! :eek:

    This is getting me SO stressed out, from not being able to use the toilets and not being able to shower every day, that I dont know how much more of this I can stand, it's making me crazy!

    One of the toilets already leaked onto the floor again and made a pool about 6' long ( at least it's clean water...so far! ).

    We thought buying a modular house was gonna save us money but I'm not even sure we can keep living here, the way this is going, we might lose our home! :mad:
     
  15. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    How much $$$ does this plumber want to correctly replumb the house so it meets all codes...and will he have it inspected...when the plumber checked out under the house did he bring a level...it is possible that the whole system is not pitched right as well as being plumbed wrong...
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  16. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Occupation:
    Hand copper part cleaned ready to go
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ Sitting on an upside down 5 gallon b
    Maybe it was the first house the contractor set on a hill¿

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pitch

    IF all the drainage was preinstalled, AND that center point was were they assumed the connection would be, then ALL the piping would have sloped to that point. IF that was so, and the "lower" portion was not removed and reinstalled properly, THAT section is flowing backwards and WILL be the reason you have problems.
     
  18. KULTULZ

    KULTULZ Jack of all trades, Master of none

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Location:
    ROCKVILLE, MD
    I hope I never wind up there when on a binge... :confused:
     
  19. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Occupation:
    Tech. Instructor
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Is this a true modular house or what they call a modular conversion which is really a mobile home that they set on a foundation?
     
  20. Melissa2007B

    Melissa2007B Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I think if that was the case, we'd have had problems far more frequently?
     
  21. Melissa2007B

    Melissa2007B Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Good questions, I need to get that in the bid.

    Thanks.
     
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