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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member) Jarrahfrog's Avatar
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    Default Plumbing Rough in - Opinions sought

    Hi All,

    We're having some plumbing roughed in at the moment and after a site visit this afternoon I'm seeking some qualified opinions. I'm considering halting work at the moment as I'm not entirely happy with a few things. The Plumber is a nice bloke and all, but ultimately I'll be forking over a heap of cash at the end of this.

    Some background, after finding a water leak during renos in the bathroom area that destroyed a lot of the framework, we decided to replace/upgrade all copper pipe from the front of the house in the hope it will see us out. House is forty years old, so the assumption is all joins were soft soldered, new joins will be silver soldered. Current pipes run under house with tight access but it is manageable, and I was happy to remove some floorboards to improve access if required. The laundry, bathroom and toilet are all open floored at the moment so easy access in these areas. All discussions were around pipework remaining in situ.

    We turned up on site this morning to discover the pipes had been re-routed to the ceiling cavity. Is this a major concern? My thoughts are if a pipe leaks here the potential for damage is a lot greater than if it's running under house.
    I've attached photos of some of the joins. Thoughts/opinions please? One appears to be butt joined, is this acceptable? ie: meets standard. The other is "crimped" and joined??
    I've attached photos of some of the "carpentry" work. Thoughts/opinions please?

    I'm not looking for a firing squad, just some opinions from other tradies/plumbers. I can be a pedantic PITA so maybe this is the accepted norm and I'm expecting too much.

    Thanks JF
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails p1010331.jpg   p1010327.jpg   p1010339.jpg   p1010322.jpg   p1010337.jpg  


  2. #2
    1K Club Member Godzilla73's Avatar
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    #1 and #2 are fairly standard, #1 has one pipe expanded a bit and the other pipe slips inside completely normal. #2 he's gone from 3/4 to 1/2 by crimping the 3/4 around the 1/2, again seen it done a lot. #5 is a bit rough i guess 2 joins within 100mm, my theory would be more joins = more possibility of leaks... The check outs are a bit on the large side.
    I had a life, but my job ate it...

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    Apprentice (new member) Jarrahfrog's Avatar
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    Thanks Godzilla for your prompt response. I'm just not sure if we've achieved what we were hoping for ie: trouble free pipework. The 2 joins close together were in the pipe leading up to the shower outlet as we needed to lift the height. I would've preferred the whole pipe to be replaced. This is the exact pipe that leaked and caused all the damage to the framework.
    Any thoughts on running through the ceiling cavity as opposed to under floor?

    Thanks again.

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    So your considering halting work, thank god I'm not working for you!!!!!

  5. #5
    2K Club Member barney118's Avatar
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    Default Plumbing Rough in - Opinions sought

    I can only think the plumber has a preference to go through the roof as it is more convenient for them, if you asked to go through the floor then I am sure the price would have reflected that and that is what they should have done unless they got authorization from you first. The soldering job looks ok, I have seen better reduction soldering, I am one to ask why not choose PEX these days?


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    Apprentice (new member) Jarrahfrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plum View Post
    So your considering halting work, thank god I'm not working for you!!!!!
    Thanks for your thoughts. The total job is close to 10k, this is just part of it, so I figure I've got a right to halt the work if I'm not happy with it. Plus approval was not sought to go into the ceiling.

    Thanks

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    Apprentice (new member) Jarrahfrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barney118 View Post
    I can only think the plumber has a preference to go through the roof as it is more convenient for them, if you asked to go through the floor then I am sure the price would have reflected that and that is what they should have done unless they got authorization from you first. The soldering job looks ok, I have seen better reduction soldering, I am one to ask why not choose PEX these days?

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    Hi Barney,

    I tend to agree going through the ceiling was more for their convenience. They did not get authorization prior to doing this. The job was quoted based on the existing pipework which runs under the floor so any difficulties with access I would assume were factored into the original quote. By going through the ceiling I'm sure a lot of time has been saved.

    We did consider PEX and had it quoted, but our thoughts were copper has been around for a while and the difference in price wasn't a lot in the scheme of things. A few hundred dollars in a full reno is not huge difference.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Cheers
    JF

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    2K Club Member barney118's Avatar
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    Default Plumbing Rough in - Opinions sought

    And as Plum mentioned the check out in the studs are not to std. It's probably cheaper for them to go through the ceiling too.


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    Going through the ceiling space is normal practice, did you make it 100% clear you wanted the pipework under the house, you really have to keep an eye on some tradies.
    No doubt those massive check out's of the studs will be the hilarious butt of the jokes for the carpenters on-site for many lunch breaks!, probably still structurally sound though.
    cheers
    Lashings will continue until morale improves.

  10. #10
    Apprentice (new member) Jarrahfrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodchip View Post
    Going through the ceiling space is normal practice, did you make it 100% clear you wanted the pipework under the house, you really have to keep an eye on some tradies.
    No doubt those massive check out's of the studs will be the hilarious butt of the jokes for the carpenters on-site for many lunch breaks!, probably still structurally sound though.
    cheers
    Hi Woodchip,

    The current pipes are currently running under the house and improving access by removing floorboards was discussed with the plumber before any rough in commenced. To be fair we did not stipulate we didn't want the pipework in the ceiling, however following the path of the current pipework would make more sense to me and all previous discussion was around replacing existing pipework. By the time we arrived on site yesterday morning pipework was roughed in all the way up to the wet areas at the back of the house! I'm a little annoyed with myself to be honest because I had intended to be on site first thing before any work began, having said that I wasn't planning on hanging around all day to keep an eye on things. It's certainly been a learning experience, for the future "clearly scope things out and any major change requires approval first".

    As a woodworker the "large" check outs for me are little frustrating as it doesn't take any more time to do them a bit more neatly. At most I would think 100mm wide would be enough, some of them are close to 300mm, I do get they'll never be seen but.... I didn't post all the photos but there are some rather large chunks out of top plates in a few places as well. The structural integrity did cross my mind.

    Anyway I'm meeting him on site this morning to discuss things so we'll see what happens from there.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback so far, much appreciated.

    Cheers
    JF

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    #1 is fine
    #2 is actually illegal
    #3 Can't see anything wrong aside for the sloppy checking out
    #4 Nothing really wrong here either, again aside from the checking out, could have neatened up the pipework a bit
    #5 Nothing technically wrong, just looks like a f##k up. I would have cut that out and started again back at the last joint and used that pipe elsewhere, if it was practical to do so
    Plumbers were around long before Jesus was a carpenter

  12. #12
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    Just re-read your previous post, if it's the shower outlet, I wouldn't be too concerned as it isn't under pressure. Just looks shyte.
    Plumbers were around long before Jesus was a carpenter

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    Apprentice (new member) Jarrahfrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderplumb View Post
    #1 is fine
    #2 is actually illegal
    #3 Can't see anything wrong aside for the sloppy checking out
    #4 Nothing really wrong here either, again aside from the checking out, could have neatened up the pipework a bit
    #5 Nothing technically wrong, just looks like a f##k up. I would have cut that out and started again back at the last joint and used that pipe elsewhere, if it was practical to do so
    Hi Wonderplumb,

    I appreciate your feedback. I've been a member here for quite a while having started originally on the Woodwork forum. I've read many of your replies to posts and you always offer good sound advice.

    I too thought #2 was illegal when I saw it, and the cost of 3/4 to 1/2 reducer is all of $2.00.

    I arrived on site this morning to find work had already started even though I'd asked for a chat prior to work starting . The jobs really too far along to change things now. Assurances were given that running pipe through the ceiling poses no concerns and work is warranted etc etc.. I might request the crimped joint be replaced with a reducer though, especially as it's illegal, that will be an interesting discussion.

    I'm getting the feeling he feels he's either under quoted on the job and has to make up some time, or has too much on at the moment and is trying rush this job through. Either way I think communication has been the main issue here. A phone call to discuss a change of plans goes a long way in my book. I feel we're fairly easy to work for and certainly haven't been pushing to get things done quickly. We're not on site looking over his shoulder (perhaps this is the issue) and he can come and go as he pleases with a set of keys. I feel site access is fairly good as well with no wall linings in place...anywhere.

    I've attached a few more photos if anyone is interested.

    Again thanks for all the feedback.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails p1010321.jpg   p1010338.jpg   p1010333.jpg   p1010342.jpg   p1010343.jpg  


  14. #14
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    Default I'm no plumber, but...

    For a bloke like me that has been known to be a bit rough, sometimes, when it does not matter, on my own work, the checkouts seem to bear no resemblance to the job in hand. Surely he could get it closer than that?
    Also, I've never joined copper pipe but have had quite a bit done and I have never seen joints like those...look a bit amateur?

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    Apprentice (new member) Jarrahfrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David.Elliott View Post
    For a bloke like me that has been known to be a bit rough, sometimes, when it does not matter, on my own work, the checkouts seem to bear no resemblance to the job in hand. Surely he could get it closer than that?
    Also, I've never joined copper pipe but have had quite a bit done and I have never seen joints like those...look a bit amateur?
    Hi David,

    Yes, that's I feel too. The checkouts seem to have been done with as much "clearance" as possible to make it easier running the pipework ie; less care needs to be taken putting bends in, lining things up etc..and then the pipe has been fastened wherever it's sits in the checkout. The house is over forty years old and the checkouts from any previous pipework are no more than 50mm wide, anywhere. I'm pretty sure cordless reciprocating saws weren't around in those days either, they would've all been hand cut. As for the soldering, I think "amateur" nails it. I would expect my joins to look like that not a trained professional.

    I'm really dissapointed with the quality of work to be honest. We've pretty much done everything ourselves on this house up until now other than removing the asbestos, shifting around some structural walls and repairing the floor in the wet areas, which we got a builder in to do. It's annoying to see a wall stud I put in the day before that's directly under a roof strut cut 3/4 through to run a pipe in!

    The most annoying thing is if he'd run the pipes under the house where the others already are the massive checkouts in the studs wouldn't even be there! All there would be is a hole in the bottom plate and maybe a not so large checkout in the stud either side if needed.

    Anyway about to head to site soon. I'm looking forward to viewing whatever quality craftsmanship took place yesterday afternoon.

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    I am no expert but I thought there was a section in the framing code about crippling a stud and that it could not exceed a certain percentage, maybe 25% ?
    I do not think a stud crippled by 50-75% directly under a prop would pass code, maybe some one with access to the code could check.
    Regards Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by droog View Post
    I am no expert but I thought there was a section in the framing code about crippling a stud and that it could not exceed a certain percentage, maybe 25% ?
    I always thought that too, but couldn't find it anywhere.
    Posted by John2b, And no, BEVs are not going to save the planet, which doesn't need saving anyway.

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    Looking at table 6.1 in AS1684 the section title is "Notching, trenching and holes in studs and plates".
    As I said I am not an expert so happy to be corrected by some-one with better knowledge of the building code, but as I read it the above situation would not be allowed.

    Wanted (Vic) Wanted: AS1684
    is where I found the link to AS1684.

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    Thanks for the positive feedback, Jarrahfrog.
    It's just sloppy tradesmanship. I cannot for the life of me see what one would gain from shecking out studs like that!
    With that joint, where ever you flatten or pinch copper tube like that is the first place it splits.
    Plumbers were around long before Jesus was a carpenter

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    I am no expert but I do have a copy of AS 1684.2 1999 (non-cyclonic areas) and on page 60 it states;

    “Studs may be designed notched or not-notched. For common studs, the maximum notch depth for a single or upper storey or lower storey construction shall be 20mm”.

    There is an exception to this on page 59 which states;

    “A horizontal line of notches up to 25mm (depth) may be provided for the installation of baths”

    I would assume that the above rule will only apply to houses built to the above Standard. If I choose to use 120 by 35 studs (say for extra insulation) and the Standard says all that was needed was 90 by 35 then notches could be deeper as long as the minimum stud size was not compromised.

    We don't know if the OP's house has been designed to AS 1684.
    Good enough today is better than perfect tomorrow

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    I am not an expert but looking at picture 1 (post #13) it looks like there is a roof strut at the top of the stud that is excessively notched out. IE the stud is load bearing.

    I would not live in this house until the structural integrity was checked and restored if necessary.

    The actual plumbing work is probably up to standard but the notching is abysmal.

    Maybe the thread should be moved to a thread chippies read, and can comment on the quality of the work.
    Good enough today is better than perfect tomorrow

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    The Master's Apprentice Bedford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johning View Post
    Maybe the thread should be moved to a thread chippies read, and can comment on the quality of the work.
    Done, sorta, http://www.renovateforum.com/f76/som...71/#post901226
    Posted by John2b, And no, BEVs are not going to save the planet, which doesn't need saving anyway.

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    Apprentice (new member) Jarrahfrog's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    Wow, I've been out all day and a lot of feedback has come through today!

    Some of the information that's come through today regarding the potential structural issues is a little concerning. I will be addressing these issues soon though. ie: making required repairs.

    Just to update everybody, we made the decision this morning to settle up the account with the current plumber. It was not an easy decision, or conversation, as he is a nice young bloke trying to make a go of it. Ultimately however we aren't happy with the pipework being put in the ceiling without consultation, or with the quality of some of the work. Our intention is to be in this house for a long time and we would not be happy leaving things as they are, so yes, it will all be coming out and going under the house. We're meeting with another plumber tomorrow (referred by a friend at work) who seems to be talking our language.

    I would like to thank everyone in this thread that provided feedback, opinions, thoughts and information relating to Standards etc. After a couple of sleepless nights it certainly helped us to make a difficult (and expensive) decision. More importantly however, it has reinforced that fact that we have made the right decision. I've already learnt a lot doing this renovation and this current episode has taught me a lot as well, this lesson is unfortunately the most costly though...

    Thanks again.

    Cheers JF

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    I think that you have made the right decision. I did not mean to be alarmist about the structural issues. Any good quality first-fix carpenter can rectify the faults.

    I always try to supervise/monitor any tradesmen that I employ.

    Sleep soundly. It is only a house.

    Good luck.
    Good enough today is better than perfect tomorrow

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    Just thought I'd clear something up from my earlier post, before I had seen the follow up pictures, I didn't think the work was a sackable offence. The welding, not great, but certainly not sackable, but the notching leaves me speechless, and if that's an indication of his workmanship, I reckon the right decision has been made terminating his services.
    If he is a young bloke, I would hope he learns from this, otherwise his future will be limited in the trade, he'll get found out by the NSW plumbing authorities and be put on notice, so to speak.

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    I like the OP's opening post when he called himself a pedantic PITA, however in this case I would have probably done exactly the same thing. He may well have done the young plumber a favour, he needs to communicate with his customers and the roughing out is dreadful, he will not last long if he can't either follow the clients wishes or explain to the client why they can't have what they want or the reason why he would like to do it differently. Most succesful tradies or others that deal with the public soon learn we need to make it clear at the start what the likely outcome and cost will be so issues are resolved beforehand, failure to do that usually leaves an unhappy customer and unpaid bills.

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    So long as you are comfortable that you made the right choice! Which end of the mountains are you?
    Plumbers were around long before Jesus was a carpenter

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    Apprentice (new member) Jarrahfrog's Avatar
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    Thanks for the support everyone. We definitely made the right choice. The new plumber came out yesterday to review the site and has picked up a few more things that haven't been done well. He was very professional and wasn't bagging the guy, just explained why it hasn't been done well and how it should be done. Things like inspection points were not put in the sewer line near the house, tap outlets were not secured properly, things like that. He thinks the way I do, do it properly the first time and then you don't have to come back to fix it later! He can help us out before Christmas too which is great, as it means this "hurdle" won't impact us too much, at least time wise.

    I hope the young bloke learns from this too, although he was adamant he hadn't done anything wrong and initially didn't seem to understand where I was coming from. The post from johnc is spot on, hopefully in time he'll realise communication is the key.

    My job over the next week is to dig up part of the sewer (again), pull out the copper spider web in the ceiling space and fix the damaged framework resulting from the Texas chainsaw massacre!

    Plum,

    No problems mate. When I originally posted I tried to avoid any photos that may have identified the site. This is a public forum and in the off chance the plumber viewed this I didn't want him thinking I was denigrating his business. The 2nd lot of photos gives a better indication of the whole job.

    Wonderplum,

    Will pm you.

    Thanks
    JF

  29. #29
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    The pictures you posted have to be one of the worst butcher jobs I have ever seen on a timber frame, there was no excuse to cut so much timber from the studs, it not only looks bad it has weakened the entire row of studs hacked to bits, I think the plumber was intending on running 20 pipes through the walls going by the size of the notches he has take out, if one of our plumbers did a job like that, they would never work for us again.

    Are you sure this guy was licensed ? I cannot believe he has made it through his apprenticeship performing work like this.

    About the picture below, there is a critical stud missing from the frame between the pipes, who took this out ?.
    This stud is transferring some roof load to the ground, and really should be replaced, I hope you have put a new stud in there

    The 2nd picture below is totally unacceptable, and has reduced the carrying capacity of this stud to about 20%, again I hope this has been rectified ?

    This is a classic example of why plumbers cannot become a builder by doing additional tertiary studies, like a bricklayer or carpenter can, because if this guy knew anything about structural principals he would understand why what he has done is so wrong.



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    Quote from Metrix......This is a classic example of why plumbers cannot become a builder by doing additional tertiary studies, like a bricklayer or carpenter can, because if this guy knew anything about structural principals he would understand why what he has done is so wrong.



    Thanks for that Metrix, I needed a laugh.

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    Who'd want to be a builder anyway......

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclic View Post
    Quote from Metrix......This is a classic example of why plumbers cannot become a builder by doing additional tertiary studies, like a bricklayer or carpenter can, because if this guy knew anything about structural principals he would understand why what he has done is so wrong.
    Thanks for that Metrix, I needed a laugh.
    I guess that'd be one of those trained builders who did that framing in pic 1?

    Funnily enough I haveknow a few plumbers (and sparkies) who have gone back and studied and become excellent builders (while retaining and using their first trade quals). I think a word is missing here though "This is a classic example of why some plumbers cannot become a builder by doing additional tertiary studies . . ." - just as some brickies or carpenters cannot do so either . . .

    Pic 1 is actually OK - whoever did the work has added studs either side - one directly under the angled strut to replace the single stud removed and the others are closer than needed an under the ceiling joist on the right in the pic. Belt and braces would see a blocking piece added between the two new studs underneath the plate where the stud check-out so that vertical strut was well supported, but from that pic there seems plenty of added support to take the loads where they need to go.

    That second pic as Metrix says is appalling work - may as well have just cut all the way through, but . . . fact is you can cut a stud or two out from most walls and it will have almost no impact on the integrity of the structure. Doesn't mean you should - and rubbish work is rubbish work.
    Advice from me on this forum is general and for guidance based on information given by the member posing the question. Not to be used in place of professional advice from people appropriately qualified in the relevant field. All structural work must be approved and constructed to the BCA or other relevant standards by suitably licensed persons. The person doing the work and reading my advice accepts responsibility for ensuring the work done accords with the applicable law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plum View Post
    Who'd want to be a builder anyway......
    Some days, I find myself saying the same thing,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metrix Building View Post
    Some days, I find myself saying the same thing,
    Love it! I was curious as to how this'd turn out. No matter what trade you're in, you just sometimes think "what the f**k" !
    Merry xmas fellas!
    Plumbers were around long before Jesus was a carpenter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metrix Building View Post
    Are you sure this guy was licensed ? I cannot believe he has made it through his apprenticeship performing work like this.
    Hi Metrix, sorry I haven't replied to your questions sooner. Pretty sure the guy was licensed, his invoices and ute certainly suggested he was with his license number clearly displayed! I'm not quite sure how he got through his apprenticeship either to be honest. All the copper has now been pulled out and I'm in the process of repairing the framework. The soldering is terrible and I keep finding damage as I go, so far 2 broken studs under the window frame which I hadn't noticed before. One was split down the middle and the other had the 2 nails at the top pushed through the side, I'm assuming they were whacked hard with a hammer when the "checking out" was done!

    Quote Originally Posted by Metrix Building View Post
    About the picture below, there is a critical stud missing from the frame between the pipes, who took this out ?.
    I took this one out, but the one beside it to the right is at about 220mm centres, the picture doesn't really show it. Based on this I thought there would be enough support for the struts above it, and as Bloss mentioned I added an additional stud under the angled strut to the left.

    Having said that though, that was before 2 holes were drilled through the top plate either side of one of the struts to put the pipework through! Now that I have to replace the 3/4 cut through stud I'll add support to the top plate with an additional piece of timber before putting the new stud in.


    Quote Originally Posted by Metrix Building View Post
    The 2nd picture below is totally unacceptable, and has reduced the carrying capacity of this stud to about 20%, again I hope this has been rectified ?
    This is the one I will be replacing (which is under the angled strut by the way) so will definitely be rectified.


    Thanks for your comments and feedback.

    Cheers
    JF
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails p1010342.jpg   p1010338.jpg  

  36. #36
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    It will be fine to leave the original stud out, as you have put the new ones in either side, The photos did not show the entire stud and I was not sure if these had been attacked by the butcher, if they are still intact then you can leave the original stud out.

    Also there is no need to strengthen the top plate, it is only a few holes which won't make any difference to its strength.

    Hope you have found a better plumber.

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