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Fricking plumbing nightmare......rodents eating my pex pipe in Park Model.

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Got the water to the RV and lo and behold since last year, something got under our metal bottom and chewed up two of our water lines. No water to bathroom or kitchen as water poured out the bottom of the park model.

Decided to get new Pex pipe and shark bite compression connectors and we are bringing the plumbing into the RV and will run supplies on a new shelf we will build in the bathroom and we will simply run lines in the interior and will reseal te metal bottom and keep the pipe in the interior. Very expensive with shark bites, but when you are old and tired, they make things so simple.....a kindergarten student could do plumbing with these easy compression fittings.

I hope to have it completed by Monday afternoon as I am driving back to illinois for my shots at noon in downtown Chicago. Will return next Friday or Saturday as I am giving an extra day because of my health. Tuesday the RV repair guy will bring a new thermostat for the furnace and AC, and a new fitting for the propane water heater, and hopefully we are good to go. However, we still have to correct the breaks at the backflow valve. This has been a nightmare. I sometimes do not even know why I bother, and then I think God has a sense of humor and is keeping me around for grins.

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Good holy grief. What next????

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Do you ever wish you still had the condo?

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Do you ever wish you still had the condo?


Not even slightly. One of my partners had a partner who lost his wife and was eighty years old living by himself on the beach when a hurricane destroyed everything he owned, and he was lost. My partner took two of his employees from Illinois and sent them down to clean up his home and get him settled safely. Living right on the beach in Navarre was and remains insane for somebody in my health condition.

However, everything which can go wrong on this project has gone wrong. The plumbers were highly recommended and actual install had young kids who used the wrong fittings and did not support the backflow. Two inch water lines require strapping and support. I have just come to the conclusion after general contracting projects for thirty years, that the panhandle is a different animal on getting qualified professionals who will conform to my plans. They just do their thing, and charge fifty percent more than in Illinois and do shoddy work. I will not change my electrician or plumber because sadly they are the best for here. They would not last a year in Illinois with the amounts they charge and the quality of the work. We had to mix up concrete, set some 2 x 4 supports in the concrete, steel strap the backflow and use schedule 80 and threaded connections so the pressure will not blow out the water connection again. A two inch water main flowing for a day could cost five hundred a day in water and we have decided to turn the water off until we have an onsite caretaker who will check for leaks every day. I have no confidence in what was put in the ground already. When we used SS Steele to build three brick houses twelve years ago, we saw the same poor quality with the electricians and plumbers. I am still amazed how half aszed the temporary power poles are on construction sites. I have had people try to explain that poverty causes these type of shortcuts, but a professional should be installing electric and plumbing which can last thirty years without a failure. Again, in our condo it was the most poorly constructed wood framed building I had ever seen. The way they installed water heaters guaranteed that the unit below you would within five years have a water heater fail and cause drywall damage on the lower unit. I honestly have not been in a well constructed home which did not have shortcuts. Very discouraging when you are used to excellence in the mechanical systems.

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I hate all the trouble you are having.

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What Joani said. Not all tradespeople here are incompetent, however.

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Not all tradespeople here are incompetent, however.


Florida reminds me most of Mayor Daley's Chicago in the 1960s. It was all clout and good old boy network. Big developers got passes on projects, and a small business which was not contributing to the Alderman found constant visits from the building inspector. The difference with Chicago is that there were highly trained professionals and there was ample competition. There are hundreds of unqualified people in the panhandle who call themselves electricians or plumbers. They do shoddy work, but the worse problem is how few competent licensed folks are left, and who charge whatever they want because they are plugged into this good old boy network, and there is NO competition to this monopoly by a few trained people. It is not an accident that Navarre north of 98, and Milton look like shanty towns. Fortunately the standard brick home on a slab is the building of choice which is hard to screw up on the exterior, but give me five minutes on a construction site, and I could point out the shortcuts which are accepted. It starts with no drainage plans and ends with shantytown building practices. If you want to see examples of what I am talking about take a ride north on Panhandle in Navarre and look at the new homes being built and the drainage. The result is folks are doing their own thing because they can do it better than so called plumbers and electricians, and the real pros have a monopoly which is too expensive for the average lower income family who needs repairs. It is a catch 22 which severely handicaps managed quality growth.

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All plumbing is working on the Park model RV. The furnace was removed to repair a bearing, and the tech will test the furnace and water heater and all propane connections Tuesday when the part arrives. The Air conditioning is working great with the new thermostat. We should be able to use all functions in two weeks where we are able to take a hot shower, and actually flush a toilet. I am so tired of going to gas stations.

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Easy on bad mouthing all the panhandle tradesmen.. My highly unqualified son got hired by the dazzling folks from near Chicago. My son says if you need the job done you have get of of the southern guys to help.. Lot of people do some amazing work..

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There is no comparison with plumbers and electricians in the Chicago metropolitan area and my experience in the panhandle for forty years.  The very good folks charge forty percent more than union electricians and plumbers.  The folks who call themselves plumbers and electricians need to be a master plumber to set up a simple sewage pump.  I have personally put in three of the same, I buy the pumps, the basin, and control panel.  The electricians have probably put in thousands in the metro area and quickly and professionally get it done, and the plumbers do NOT have the designation of master plumber because they know what the hell they are doing when they are a union plumber.

I have found a plumber I trust here, and he is a master plumber, but the work of his people are not the same quality I am used to in a project and it is almost fifty percent higher than a union plumber.  Quite simple there is no comparison.  Now if you are using non union plumbers and electricians in the metro area I would agree with you 100%.  However, the experience I have had is that the lowest bid when dealing with shoddy work cannot compare to pros who get the job done quickly and move to their next job.   I have plumbed and done all the electric in over five homes and I know shoddy work and methods.  First, any plumber in Florida which does not use the blue moisture ready glue on PVC on a water line should not be doing work in any state.  I do not even like it on four inch waste, but all I see is cheap asz glue and I am thinking I will be dead, but what a mess in ten years on some of the work......and the worst part these guys are the best.

Now I have been impressed by the RV repair guy.  He has been nailing it on fixing the water heater, furnace and air conditioner.  Definitely better than some yo yo folks in Illinois who work on RVs.

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