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5.5hrs to change toilet flush/siphon


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I have just received a bill for 5.5hrs labour to fix (yes, fix not fit a new toilet) an absolutely standard (not boxed in) close coupled toilet that was not flushing. The justification is largely 'carefully removing rusted fixings' to allow a new siphon unit to be fitted. As a keen DIY-er, who has done this job before, I'd say rusted bolts, nuts, fixing screws etc are par for the course. I have always been able to either loosen them or snap them off. At worst, I guess an angle grinder, hacksaw or power file would quickly solve most problems in minutes.

 

To what extent do you feel this is an excessive amount of time for the job?

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Council recently replaced my syphon as loo not flushing, it was also rusty and stuck as a result. Took them twently minutes;) Common and cheap problem to fix. Imagine if each council house had 5.5 hours of work on such a job:confused:

 

So if they have parts I would have though half an hour?

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well having a brother who has been and still is a plumber for the last 25 years

 

can answer this question

 

he has stated in all that time the max time he has ever had to deal with in this sinario was 2 hours.

 

he said you dont mess around and just saw or use an angle grinder on the bolts etc

 

he states it should take no longer than an hour and he would charge £65 for the first half hour and total cost would be no more than a £100

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£35 call out to "assess" the problem! Then £162 parts and labour. Admittedly the labour rate is very reasonable but I can't fathom why the problem needed to be "assessed", it's not like there can be a lot of reasons why a loo doesn't flush. Even I know that!

 

Being an absentee landlord of a holiday let, I get the feeling the situation is being taken advantage of by tradesmen. I was recently charged for replacement of a fairly recent satellite dish. I was told "the old satellite dish ... was damaged beyond repair - it was cracked by the storm, distorted and no longer able to receive a signal. The fixings were bent by a storm." I then found the dish in the alley in perfect condition. When I called the installer, I was told the bracket had rusted and failed, not the dish. Why just the bracket itself wasn't replaced I have no idea since they are pretty much universal. Sadly, I didn't check the bracket on my visit although it was still in position.

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Was a price agreed at the initial call out ?

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It was all handled by my agent. I don't imagine a price was agreed in advance. I certainly would not have agreed to 5.5hrs work. I have installed a new toilet in less time.

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