Is this normal for a plumber to do? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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12-15-2016, 10:10 AM
Ok, I bought a new Moen shower tub faucet and had a plumber install the valve.
He turned off the water- soldered in the piece and left.

IT wouldnt stop leaking so I called the plumbing company- they came back and looked at if for one minute, told me its the cartridge, explained to me how my husband could change it :rolleyes: and left.
OH, and gave me grief for not buying a faucet from them.

Called moen- sent new cartridge - i changed it- pulled out old one, removed huge chunk of solder from it...
installed new one...worked for a day, now its leaking.

I guess im confused on who is supposed to be fixing the problem? IS this my problem or the plumbers?
I feel like they created this mess by not flushing the lines?
But, i guess i didnt buy their parts?
Also it cost me $150 dollars to have the valve soldered in- is this normal?

Any advice?

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argile tile
12-15-2016, 11:23 AM
it's a tile forum not a plumbing forum

get your money back for failed work, have someone else do it: that's the accepted practice of a home owner, don't accept no for an answer.

the plumber did not diagnose the leak - thus the repair didn't fix the problem. likely they will continue to mis-diagnose until you attempt to get your money back, plain theft if he didn't offer to fix it free (n.i. parts - though parts here would cost very little so often not charged for a come-back).

it doesn't sound normal and i've had the same issue with old folks calling plumber 3x to fix 1 shower faucet an occupant broke by turning hard daily. it depends how corrupt the workers in your county are (ultimately how corrupt the county courthouse is). they always say "something else is also leaking" - in my opinion plumbers in my area are simply infamous un-trustable to do their field of work.

it is a DiY (do it yourself) plumbing project per say - as no re-design is required just replacement of existing if needed and soldering. there are no "plumbing considerations" other than common sense of not flooding the house and doing only what your home insurance and county allows (which is some but not all fixit jobs).

recently my old folks called a plumbing service the gov advertises for at dept. of motor vehicles "trusted plubmers". diagnosed toilet leak. i looked at it and said "hey i put in the wax seal on that recently and double checked it". i look and see (as usual) some occupants had been leaving the window open during rain (also coming with that - flat denials this ever happened though i saw it open and the previous day was a heavy rain fall!)

ask plumbing question on plumbing forums :)

hope that helps

*update: ok sorry that was a little strongly worded. on other forums "stay on topic" is strict so but I will remember the "helpful advice" request of CX. however she did say she'd already asked for re-repair and was Refused. the rip-offs and lies in my area are real (your area may differ), i've had not less than several to deal with including (pluming, hvac, electrical, roof, tree trimming, you name it i've had to re-fix it - and sometimes the damage appears intently left to create "come-back" work, and infact some bosses in my area instruct employees to cheat customers i've had one. and they get away with it, in my area.

Houston Remodeler
12-15-2016, 11:47 AM
Where is it leaking from? The center valve cartridge? A side solder connection?

Flushing the lines is often delayed until the plumbing trim out at the end of the job.

12-15-2016, 11:48 AM
its leaking from the cartridge.
not the valve or lines.

12-15-2016, 12:57 PM
i fixed it- more solder inside the cartridge..
sorry to post about plumbing on a tiling forum!

12-15-2016, 01:25 PM
Chloe, it's perfectly acceptable to ask your plumbing questions here. You may not always get a useful answer, but we've got folks who are pretty knowledgeable.

Our new friend Argile apparently hasn't been here long enough to recognize that our mission is to provide helpful and friendly advice to all our visitors and not to tell them to take their questions elsewhere. We do frequently recommend other specific sites for specific types of questions we can't handle adequately, but we don't just sent visitors away because their questions don't concern ceramic tile. :)

12-15-2016, 02:51 PM
Lots of solder loose inside of the pipes is just plain poor workmanship (IMHO). Plus, if you follow the instructions, and you are paying the plumber to either know them or read them to install it properly, it (always!? at least every one I've dealt with) says to flush the lines prior to installation of the cartridge. Part of finishing the job should be to check for leaks with any plumbing job.

12-15-2016, 09:39 PM
From this vantage point it sounds like the plumber caused the problem with quickie work, then didn't "own it" and blamed you with some passive/aggressive behavior. Nobody should find solder in their cartridge.

Tool Guy - Kg
12-16-2016, 12:28 AM
Argghhhh! As soon as you said you had a second leak, a lot of us were groaning and saying to themselves, "There's more solder in the lines that wasn't flushed". It's a poor practice to not flush the lines before you install the delicate cartridge.

Some plumbing outfits really, really, really don't like installing stuff they didn't sell. And there's reason for that. You lose control of little variables that can make for more problems. But it's a free country. If someone doesn't want to install something they don't sell, fine. If they do, fine. But don't unfairly blame the customer (which is obviously an installer boo-boo here) for problems under a blanket excuse, 'that's what you get for not purchasing the fixture from our plumbing company'. It's obvious they have a chip on their shoulder for not selling you the fixture. But they agreed to install it in the first place, so giving you grief after the fact is fundamentally wrong.


12-16-2016, 01:18 AM
Just out of curiosity, how would excess solder cause the valve to leak?

Wouldn't the solder harden on the inside of the fitting (thereby preventing it from flushing out in the lines)?

Tool Guy - Kg
12-16-2016, 02:22 AM
Good question, Jon. But no. The pipe fitting will only hold a finite amount of solder. Any excess will drip into the inside of the pipe. The inside area not covered with flux and brought up to the same temperature will cause the solder to not stick. It will roll into the inside of the pipe where it will re-solidify into a round....or possibly nasty pointy metal shape.

The orifices within the cartridges that allow varying amounts of hot and cold water to pass through them are relatively small. Excess solder beads and chunks in the water pipes upstream from the mixer valve will attempt to flow through the orifices when the mixer valve is turned on. If any chunks get half stuck in the orifices, they're likely to catch the opening of the valve body when the mixer valve is turned to the "off" position. If that happens, it'll tear at the soft rubber seals of the cartridge.

All it takes is a single piece of solder to ruin a cartirdge. Not flushing a line upstream from a mixer valve is an elementary plumbing mistake that plumbers learn the first day they ever sweat in a mixing valve.


12-16-2016, 11:35 AM
SO for tile guys ya'll sure know a lot about plumbing:)

thanks again for the advice. Its very encouraging

should i leave a bad yelp review for the plumbing company?
Or just forget about it?
Or have them reduce my charges?

Whats normal protocol?

Here is the 2nd cartridge full of solder...did I mention how much of a pain this has been calling Moen customer service, calling and meeting plumbers, tiling around a leaking faucet...

12-16-2016, 11:39 AM
also, now the main water shut off is leaking in the basement.
could this have been caused by the plumber?

12-16-2016, 11:44 AM
That may just be from having used the valve. If it has a bonnet nut on the stem try tightening it up a little bit.

12-16-2016, 03:25 PM
If you're in the mood for this....

Call them, explain, and give them a chance to make it right. Doesn't hurt to ask.

12-16-2016, 05:45 PM
WOrst case, the solder scratches the body of the valve when you operate it and then, a new cartridge often will not stop a leak, or if it does, wear a new one out quickly from the rough edge(s).

A good plumber knows how much solder is required to make the joint...excess does not help and can create problems. FWIW, a good rule of thumb is about as much length as the diameter of the pipe in use is usually sufficient to make a good joint.

Tiger Mountain Tile Inc
12-17-2016, 12:26 PM
This is a case of "not my problem" mentality on the plumber's part. If you had purchased the valve from them then they would be responsible to make sure the entire thing works. Sometimes a trades person will help you out and others figure you get what you get. More than likely the plumber left knowing you would have a problem but justifying it by figuring he did what you had hired him to do.