Repipe Permit Regrets

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by luvHiFlo, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. luvHiFlo

    luvHiFlo New Member

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    California
    Hi Everyone, We are in the middle of repiping our entire house with PEX. The work seems to be rough and on the sloppy side. Some furnitures were not covered and scratched up, there were dust all over the place, on my closet mirrors and a shelf full of clothes. They have taken apart our laundry door and left it in the garage and, emptied out the cabinets and left our belongings in different places, all without asking. The shower was installed off center (a hole is showing in the tile), and they have butchered a joist with inadequate spacing between pipes, thereby also making it impossible to wrap insulations around those said pipes. They have also cut into a drain pipe along an exterior wall, and patched it up with a glob of glue. Most of our fiberglass insulations were missing, and some pipes along the exterior wall were also not insulated. We were talked out of an inspection to save time (prolonged delays due to the city’s backlog during Covid) and also to save a bit of money.

    1. Is it too late to ask for an inspection now?

    2. Is it common to drill holes quite a bit larger than the diameter of the pipe in the joists for expansion purposes?

    3. Should I be worried about structural integrity with holes only 1/2" apart?

    4. Is it reasonable to request for a new drain?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  2. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    1 3/8 inch is a standard hole for water lines . that looks like the size they made.
    The bulging I dont really see but it looks like they slopped glue on for repair.
    The best way to do a repipe and the easiest , cheapest are a far ways apart. If you as the owner doesent care what gets torn out to make it a spic and span clean install that helps. Ripping cabinets lots of holes etc. its a ballance of short cuts and quality.
    Ive seen total butchery pass inspection and Ive seen tough inspection as well.
    Ive never had an inspector get under a house or in an attic.
    Work does sound rough I hope they fix to your satisfaction

    Inspection shouldnt delay the plumber only the patch work
     
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  4. luvHiFlo

    luvHiFlo New Member

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    Thx Jeff for your reply. Not to delay the plumbers, only the drywall/stucco patch work. Sorry for not being clear. Many people skip the inspection, so that they don't have to live with holes in the walls for an extended period of time due to the city backlog during Covid. In hindsight, it's a huge mistake.

    I'm seeing more places that the fittings stick out beyond the studs, making it impossible for the drywall to sit flushed against the studs. Again, something that the patch crew expects?

    Not sure why the plumbers use those large mounting brackets between studs, making it impossible to wrap insulation around the pipes.

    Also, is it common to switch from red pipe to a translucent white pipe right before the faucet for the hot waterline? I look up the specs, the red/blue straight is UV resistant 6 months, the translucent white is only 1 month.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  5. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    You bring up some good points and I know you want a quality job. Yes I understand inspections make the job longer with covid. but inspectors dont always call all the little things.

    The stucco patch , they probebly arent putting the plywood back just wire mesh ,paper and stucco
    the insulation is pretty close withen last few inches.
    the 90 degree brackets are not available in other sizes kind of hard to manuver in the stud bay possibly with drywall on one side.
    The color of pipe makes no differance . he was using the smaller pieces of clear and saving the red for longer runs where color coding might be an issue,
    . What I find common is to convert to copper just befor stubbing out. though Ive seen both.
    Generaly Im not impressed by the work its hard to get everything perfect but at the same time some of these issues dont make it a very clean job. but an inspector wont call any of what you pointed out except perhaps the strucural issue of a joist. Once again I hope you can be happy and trusting in finish job.

    This is getting lengthy but curious I am from So Ca plumbed many homes in OC and San bernardino County. Your house has ABS drains so Im guessing your repiping a home that had copper? Did you have slab leaks? why a repipe?
     
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  6. luvHiFlo

    luvHiFlo New Member

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    You r totally right! We had a slab leak, and this is the 2nd leak in a year, the 1st one was in the garage ceiling off the main line, so we decided it's time to repipe from copper to PEX.

    Yes, the solid colors are all the same, doesn't matter if it's red, blue or white. But there are actually two different types of whites, the CLEAR white is a little bit cheaper than the SOLID white which has a longer UV resistant window of 6 months like the rest of the solid colors.
    I think they are probably trying to save a bit of money using the clear white. They choose to downgrade the hot line rather than the cold line, probably thinking less chance of a hot line running anywhere near an exterior wall where longer UV resistance might be of more value. I'm totally speculating here.

    The missing insulation with the 90 elbow brackets above is about a foot. I've found at least 4 different places where there are no insulation ranging from 1' to 2.5', and with the 2.5' along an exterior wall off the masterbath where foam insulation sleeves would have been very helpful if not critical. They have also thrown away all my fiberglass insulation along ALL the exterior walls! One of the crew members was 2nd day on the job, he probably didn't know and thought the patch crew will bring new insulation to fill in the voids.

    I can overlook all the small imperfections, what I've mentioned above are just a small sample of the sloppy work. I'll even buy my own fiberglass insulation and have the shower re-tiled since they have installed the valve a little off center, and now there's a hole in the wall. But the cut/broken shower drain pipe and the structural integrity issues, those two I can't overlook. Are you saying that requesting an inspection would be of not much value to me at this point? Wouldn't it force their hand to make those 2 things right?

    I took a look at the butchered drain pipe more carefully. There is actually a collar around the pipe where they've cut into, so I'm hoping that they are only gluing the collar back, the pipe itself is still intact.

    As for the butchered joist, I'm not exactly sure what they can do at this point, put in some extra reinforcement, steel plates etc? Is that even a plumber's job? So, again pointless to ask the plumbers/repipe company to pull a permit now?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  7. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Active Member

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    In normal situations you are allowed to drill a hole up to one-third the depth (height top to bottom) of a joist; the hole should be located no closer than 2 inches to either the top or the bottom of the joist, ideally centered along the center line of the joist where bending stresses are the least. What is the size of the floor joist? If this is just a single joist there's really no cause for concern about "structural integrity".
     
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  8. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    So you want to pull a permit and then point out all this crap work to him so it fails?
    No its not the plumbers job to repair the structure generaly he isnt an expert in structure. Nor is a cabinet installer qualified to repair plumbing. Now some things are simple and some are not. But a plumber is not a carpenter and vice versa. Does this make sence?
    Actualy study up if you wish on all the structural codes . We plumbers have some knowledge but at least I am not a carpenter but I do know when to fix it myself or consult an expert.
    Like I said this work dosent look that good. but you are really pickey where the heck is ultraviolet rays going to penetrate the walls and destroy the pipe?
    You got dirt bag plumbers , your never going to be happy, but you can push some of the important issues like replacing wall insulation. even a foot at the end of a line isnt that big a deal. It doesnt even require insulation but missing pieces in the middle of a run isnt good.
     
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  9. luvHiFlo

    luvHiFlo New Member

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    Thx jadziedzic for your reply! My ceiling joists are 2x10 (9-1/4"). The plumbers drilled 2 holes next to an existing electrical as shown in the picture. All 3 holes are about 1/2" apart, so there's no room to put on any insulation sleeves, those pipes are totally exposed in the middle of a line. The red pipe really draws attention as all the other exposed pipes are either blue or white near the end of a line.

    There is another joist (part of a double joists) that they had drilled 4 unnecessary holes, but they are spaced far apart and up to code, other than a split in the middle between 2 of the holes. Both butchered joists are underneath the master bath, with one of them supporting a roman tub, a double sink vanity and a toilet. I'm hoping there r a lot of redundancy built into the system, so a couple compromised joists here or there won't be a huge deal.
     
  10. luvHiFlo

    luvHiFlo New Member

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    @Jeff,

    You are putting words in my mouth. I never said that. I don't even know how inspection works. I have made it clear that I can overlook all the small imperfections, even the hole in my shower which had obviously been installed a little too low, and that I'm temporarily putting a piece of masking tape over it until we have those few pieces of tiles replaced. As for the clear pipes, I was just curious why switch up the colors to confuse yourself, just to save a few bucks? That didn't make any sense, I thought perhaps there might be a better justification for that. Similarly, why use large brackets between thin drywalls and make the patch work more difficult and no room for insulation sleeves. I even asked you if those are common practices. I'm not asking them to redo the work, and like you said the inspector won't even call out any of those for the most part. At this point, I only care about the cut drain pipe and the butchered joists, those 2 that I hope the inspector would catch without even me pointing them out.

    Also, i never say I'm going to pull a permit behind their back. They should pull the permit for their work, and if they feel something is not up to code, they should fix it now before the inspection.

    The primary reason to skip the inspection was to save time, what I didn't anticipate was that it might have saved me time and prevented the butchered joist which you also acknowledged that it would likely fail the inspection. I also have a neighbor walked up to me noticing the holes in the wall, asking when the city is going to come inspect. I hope it's not too late to pull a permit now. I just don't want to get into trouble, I'm quite sure it's bad for the plumbers as well.

    As for the insulation, it's not just UV (which I never understood, like you said everything is going to be hidden behind walls), but it's the thermal protection that matters as explained to me. If you start saying that, why even bother putting on any insulation sleeves period since they r going to be hidden behind walls, and why do they stress on the exterior wall, just to meet the code? And how about all the fiberglass insulation (the yellow stuff) along the exterior wall that they've thrown away, they also serve as sound barriers for the house. And there are areas that are more critical than others like the pipes along the exterior walls of the baths. I don't think I'm being overlying picky when i complain about the 2.5's exposed along an exterior wall of a bath, totally exposed to the sun as of now. I wouldn't have noticed that if they haven't thrown away the yellow insulation that suppose to cover those pipes up. Nevertheless, that's an easy fix, something that I can even do it myself.
     
  11. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Im talking about a foot of pipe insulation on the end missing is not an inspection issue. you only need 5 foot of insulation at water heater both sides hot and cold.
    the wall insulation should be replaced.
    Yea What I said was the butchered joist might get called based on what you told I cant tell by that picture and dont care Im just going along with your description of butchered.
    Keep us posted how you decide to handel it . and if you pass inspection. Good luck!
     
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  12. luvHiFlo

    luvHiFlo New Member

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    The one foot pipe, I was actually more concerned with the fitting sticking out making it difficult for the patch crew, the insulation is secondary as it isn't an exterior wall, there isn't any extreme temperature changes. I don't get their justification for using those 90 brackets, I actually thought they were trying to meet some code, and sacrificed the insulation sleeves and the patch crew.

    I just found out that the fine for homeowner is $100/day for not having a permit, but it could be up to $5000 for the contractor and they could have their license suspended or revoked. I don't get that why any legit company licensed and bonded would even risk it. Isn't it in their best interest to pull a permit for the sake of their own good?!?
     
  13. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    The thinking behind the 90 degree brackets actualy could be cheaper but another advantage is there are less joints .
    Some guys will put on contract permits to be pulled by owner or something to that effect. Those harsh penaltys I dont think are the norm. but it can get ugly. The Contractors license board can come down hard too.
    so many things require a permit much less work than a repipe and a lot of companys dont get them. It could hurt them not getting one
     
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  14. luvHiFlo

    luvHiFlo New Member

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    "Some guys will put on contract permits to be pulled by owner or something to that effect." You mean they would have all the paper work prepared ahead, and let an owner apply for the permit on his own?

    Why would any homeowner hiring a licensed contractor to do the work apply for a permit on his own? Isn't it always part of the contractor's job to pull permits on behalf of a homeowner? Also, isn't it a lot of paperwork, not something that an average homeowner could decipher?

    I think I'm just going to be upfront and ask the guys to pull a permit before they come back to fix the kitchen. They probably arent going to be happy about it, but can't say no, also for the sake of their own good. Come to think of it, it's kinda crazy, for the scope of a repipe job, cutting up joists, opening exteriors wall, etc. It's not like everything is contained inside the house, and you can hide it from your neighbors, a not so friendly neighbor could rat you out and get you in trouble. I'm actually getting a bit nervous after a neighbor poked around asking when the inspection is going to be.
     
  15. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    I live in Southern California and work in a dozen citys Literaly When I pick up a small job a 3 hour job . Its hard to get enough money out of it to pay me too buy a city buisness lic (every city) figure out the hours and days of week they are open as little chicken shit citys like La Habra Heights and Villa park arent open everyday they are part time, Deal with the corona BS. The customer has to pay for this and home owners are just as cheap as a contractor . So to pull a permit is more like 500 bucks. especialy if you dont hold a lic. for that city.
    Oh yea neighbors can rat you out. its a chance millions take. some get caught thats how it works
     
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  16. luvHiFlo

    luvHiFlo New Member

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    For my city, the permit fee isn't that bad, I was told by the contractor the permit is ~$200, hence why that they knocked $200 off the bill when I decided to skip the inspection. Interesting that it costs more when you don't hold a lic for that city. It must be tough for the little guys.

    I totally get that for small jobs, permits are hardly worthy. But for a job as big as repiping an entire house, it's a definite must. I was foolish to skip it to save some time, even with the Covid backlog, it can't be that bad. I also just found out that no Repipe permits could be bad for resale, more the reason to pull one.
     
  17. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    contractor must purchase a city buisness liscence so added cost plus time.
    If you are uncomfortable ,get permit but befor closing walls no problem
     
  18. luvHiFlo

    luvHiFlo New Member

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    Already talked to my Repiper, they seem totally cool about it. What a relief! They are going to pull it and let me know the schedule of the inspection. Phew! Thx for all your help!
     
  19. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    oh good shouldnt be a problem.
     
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