Not All Plumbers Are Created Equal in Oklahoma City, OK
This project was another companies mishap. I never mention other companies but thought it may be a interesting look into my profession. Contrary to popular belief we are not all the same skill set. Are all mechanics equally skilled, or accountants, or teachers, or athletes? Receiving calls from home owners asking me to correct a plumber's mistake embodies a decent portion of my work, which is, instead of the property owner having a company that dropped the ball come back and fix their own mistakes, the owners just call me to re-plumb the work properly, or often times to at least assess and accurately diagnose the situation.
10-20% of my work stems from a customer being dissatisfied with another company's work. This project is a prime example. The client called and said ONG, our local gas company, turned off their gas due to a large gas leak outside of the home on the service line supplying the home with gas. The customer originally called another plumbing company to repair the line, he needed the repairs or diagnosis quickly, after all, ONG shut off the gas resulting in no hot water, or stove, or clothes drying, or heat. The company came out and found one leak and instead of digging it up so they could properly disassemble the pipes, which takes two wrenches, they put tremendous force on the pipe that the leaking section was connected to, resulting in weakening that section as well. Once they replaced the original leak they charged him for the work and told him to call ONG and tell them the repairs were done and to turn on the gas.
That's where "A Perfect Fit Plumbing" comes in. When the customer had ONG come out, they still would not turn on the gas, citing a large leak still in the same area. The customer lost all faith in the original company and called me.
After assessing the situation I explained we needed to access and expose the underground piping, which happened to be under a thick 5" sidewalk. I carefully removed a section of the walkway and exposed the piping, digging enough out that I could use the proper size wrenches for the pipe work. As I was removing scale from the second section of pipe to get a good grip with the wrench, a large hole presented itself and the customer had his answer. It is illegal in Oklahoma to repair a metal gas pipe underground if the failure is due to age, the reasoning is if a section fails due to age, then the whole pipe is not far behind, and we all know what happens when gas lines leak. Unfortunately, the gas company could not get back to their home for a week and his family was left without gas for 2 weeks. The first plumbing contractor cost him a few days time, they weakened the existing pipe and charged them for their mistake. The first company should have tested their work so as not to waste everyone's time.
ONG replaced the exterior line at no charge to the customer but the customer's quality of life was diminished due to the fact that "all plumbers are not created equal!" Just a little "food for thought ".