Tag Archives: Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

The "broken" pipe

Plumbing nightmare

About a week ago we had Benjamin Franklin Plumbing come out to fix whatever was causing our basement plumbing to back up. We assumed it was clogged like it did shortly after we moved in 5 years ago. They told us that the reason was that they found with a camera, a “broken, caved in pipe under the floor that was filling with mud” so it was clogged with mud, hence the back ups. So they pin pointed the exact spot of the “broken” pipe,  had the new carpet pulled up, cement guys came in to cut out the  floor so they could replace the “broken” pipe. So after they cut out the floor, come to find out the pipe was never broken. Not cracked, nothing.  Just very clogged. Ant not with mud, but with a white putty-like stuff that they said they’d never seen before. But after talking with other plumbers, it’s common with basement pipe with laundry soap and whatnot. We went downstairs to have a look at the “progress” while the plumbers were outside and even saw the pipe for ourselves, unbroken. It had cuts in it from when the cement guys cut out the floor, but not breaks or cracks or nothing; a perfectly fine, clogged pipe. After they came back in the said they thought they clog may be clogged worse further down the line and suggested that they might need to tear up the entire hallway and replace the whole line. Of course we didn’t want to do this so we just had them try to pressure jet it out first.We also brought up the fact that we did not see anything wrong with the “broken pipe” They tried to turn it around and say that our definitions of “break” were different and that they just meant that the joints were just loose and stuff was seeping in.  But I was told it was broken and caved in and filled with mud, and not to used the sinks because everything that drained was making it muddy under the house and would cause the cement slab to sink. There was no mud, there isn’t even dirt under the house..it’s all sand.  So the pressure jetted out the pipes to clear all the stuff out. Success. That was all that ever needed to be done. We never needed to have our carpet pulled up, the floor removed and a perfectly fine pipe replaced.  Chad let them know we did not want to pay for having all that unnecessary work done. After hearing that they called their boss to see if they should even finish doing the work. (filling in the hole) Their boss said to go ahead and finish and that he would call and talk to Chad. Chad had to go back to work, but made it clear to them that I would not be signing anything or paying anything, at least not until he spoke with their boss to get things straightened out. After they finished filling in the hole and were ready to leave, came up and told me they were done and that “Your husband said you would pay with card.”  Knowing this was not true because I had talked to Chad about it before he left, called Chad at work. Chad had the card that we would have used if we were going to pay so I told them he had the credit card. One of the plumbers then rudely replied, “So, then we’re just not going to get paid?!” So I put Chad on the phone with him. Chad told them their boss still had not called to talk to him. They said that their boss said he called and left messages. But there were no missed calls or messages. So they left without us paying like we had planned on in the first place. Chad is supposed to talk to their boss again today to get this cleared up. They also have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on the back to every invoice that says if you’re not 100% satisfied with the work done they’ll refund all your money.  Well. We are not satisfied. So far they have not been compliant and we may end up going to small claims.  On top of all that, I went down to see the “finished” work. The cement job they did is horrible. It very rough and scratchy and without a down will tear up the carpet pad and whatever else. It’s not flat or even, it’s extremely lumpy and bumpy and parts don’t even come up all the way to fill up the space.There are still huge cuts in the floor that I thought would have gotten filled. It’s horrible cement, NOT what basement floors are made of. Sidewalks are nicer that this. I had expected to have the same kind of cement that is already down there. This was supposed to be a one day job as I was told it was, but they cut it out, cleared the clog and put in a new pipe on Monday, left and were supposed to come back Tuesday to fill it in.  They called Tuesday morning and said they couldn’t get a hold of the cement guys so they would come on Wednesday. We were like, okay, and left with the impression that the cement guys would be coming to refill the hole. Wednesday the plumbers got showed up and turns out THEY are the ones who refill the cement. Not the cement guys. So they lied about that, and there was no reason they couldn’t have done it on Tuesday.

This has been the worst experience ever. I had expected way more from one of Wichita’s biggest plumbing companies. They did nothing but lie to us and destroy our basement.