Know the Root Problem Before the Repair is Performed

By Tom Grandy

How many times has the tech quickly diagnosed the repair and performed the work only to find out the problem was not fixed?  It happens a lot and it tends to create some very unhappy customers.

Just this past month I was in my father-in-law’s home that had been shut down for over two years.  He had moved to an assisted living facility.  When we opened the house the list of needed repairs was quite long.  The plumber had to replace two toilets, fix a water leak and install a new sink facet.  When the work was completed, he left.  The next day we noticed the water pressure was very low in the faucet he replaced.  Nearly two weeks went by before we could get hold of him to return and fix the problem.

Note to self:  Be sure repairs are done properly and systems tested, prior to allowing the tech to leave the home.

When he returned to work on the facet, we noticed there was water under the hot water heater, or so we thought.  Yes, it was an older piece of equipment so his immediate suggestion was to replace it. Well, that sounds really simple but the house ran on propane so a propane tank had to be located.  That alone was not an easy task and eventually required one be purchased from a distributor 45 minutes away. 

When the water heater arrived he installed it.  After the work was completed, we noticed there was still water around the tank.  Come to find out there was a leaking pipe in the wall right behind the water heater.  He removed the drywall and made the repair.  Once completed he mumbled, “We may have just replaced a working hot water heater!”  We were not happy customers.

The point of both situations is obvious.  Slow down and do the repair correctly the first time.  Test the repair (faucet in our case) before leaving.  Also, before recommending replacement of a piece of equipment, be sure you know the root cause.  Failure to do either of these things can cause the company to lose a customer.  This particular tech will not be returning to my father-in-law’s home.

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