Ryan–owner & plumber of R.E Martin plumbing provided quote for us to replace polybutylene with PEX pipe for our basement suite (~1000sqft). Quoted us $4,700 for the repipe basement suite including $118 city permit fee, install new tub faucet with shower head and tub spout, replace PRV, includes 1-year workmanship – note that ALL DRYWALL has been removed by us. When asked if there is any possibility of a discount, Ryan proposed cash job $4000 with a handshake workmanship warranty but there would be no invoice, stating that his goal is to be our plumber for years to come. It turned out it was the worst trades experience we have ever had up to date. After having our plumbing work inspected by 3 red seal plumbers after the fact, we learned that this company used the cheapest plumbing products (eg. Pipes & fittings) and did inferior quality work. Ryan is not upfront that he sends his apprentice to do the work. I personally would not hire this company ever again, nor recommend this company to my worst enemy. See photos for your reference.
1. The first city inspection failed due to multiple issues:
a. Use 90’s where required when connection to poly B so transition joints bare no stress from pex piping
b. Ensure piping in walls have clips every min 31’
c. Ensure pipes going through studs bare no stress from bends, use fitting where required
d. Complete piping to tub divertor
e. Ensure hot and cold pipes are separated
2. Two red seal professionals that were onsite to assess the plumbing work (been in the field for 15 and 30 years) said it was not quality work, the work that was done appeared to be “just winging it”. After I brought up the quality concerns with Ryan, he quickly tried to discredit the other professionals’ opinions, and express that “this is plumbing” and that he “sees this all the time”. I requested that Ryan himself address the plumbing deficiencies pointed out by the city, Ryan did not follow through, his apprentice continued to do the remainder work.
3. When I asked Ryan if he could fix the quality issues, he states that their quote was lower than others and quality was not to be expected for the price I was paying.
4. When we pointed out some additional flaws he made the following statements to defend himself:
a. Issue: Low PSI in the house after work was done
i. Ryan: He cannot increase the PSI above 50 for legal reasons and to fix the low PSI, after inspection, he will increase the PSI, without considering the rest of the house still has poly B, hence subjecting our system to unnecessary pressure
b. Issue: Multiple areas where the hot and cold pipes were touching, he wrapped in tin foil and leftover insulation that was taken from our wall.
i. Ryan: This is how things are done in construction.
c. Issue: Stress on the pipes in multiple areas of his work as he did not use 90-degree connectors is some areas.
i. Ryan: He could find many plumbers that would agree that his work is normal in the field
d. Issue: Everything above which lead to the re-piping to be done as a 1:1 change. No consideration was made to change the design or improve the unauthorized plumbing work that was previously done
i. Ryan: Plumbing Code has not changed since the old pipe was installed. (For reference, the polybutylene was installed in the 90s without city permit by the previous owners of the house).
e. Issue: Newly installed Hot and Cold PEX piping were mismatching colors is certain areas.
i. Ryan: Piping is all the same color and colors do not matter.
5. After some investigation, research and approaching multiple professionals for their opinions, these concerning items were revealed regarding the issues in point 4:
-Called the City to inquire about this legality and they said nothing like this exists in the city we live in
-Multiple professionals said they have never seen such poor quality plumbing work like this in the 15 to 30 years they have been working in the industry
-Multiple professionals said that extra pressure on the pipes is not good for the pipes and will lead to additional wear on the fittings and pipes