Goleta >Plumbing Contractors > Eldon H Smith & Son Inc
6194 Magdalena Pl, Goleta, CA | Directions 9311734.450882 -119.838533
Eldon Smith & Sons: Buyer Beware
In 1996 my wife and I hired this company to install a 1000 foot water main to our home in the Santa Barbara foothills. Don Smith was, and is, the owner and he personally did the work. The pipe consisted of 2” diameter PVC, and since most of it was to be covered by our asphalt driveway, we asked Don to be especially careful, and even had him install a second pipe in the trench as backup.
For four years all was fine, but then a leak occurred from one of the pipe’s glue joints. A puddle appeared in the soil, but since it wasn’t under asphalt, and we were in a hurry, I repaired it myself. We thought “that was that” and went about our lives. Well, it turned out that was only the beginning, since leaks began occurring on average of once every two years!
We were especially unhappy when we learned the causes. First, prior to gluing the pipe couplings, Don did not apply PVC primer solution. (Applying primer is standard procedure for strong glue joints.) Secondly, Don used a “convenient” fast drying glue normally used for low pressure irrigation systems (not 2” water mains under 110 PSI of pressure). At this point we no longer trusted Don’s standards to have him do the repairs.
Then the crowning blow. This summer (of 2012) we discovered two locations where water was oozing up through the middle of our asphalt driveway. This was quite serious since it stood the chance of causing a landslide, and would require cutting open the driveway, repairing the leaks, and patching the asphalt. We finally realized we had to abandon the water line. (And the originally installed backup was of no value since Don had used his same procedures.)
Installation of the replacement line involved three workers jackhammering for 20 days. They had to cut a trench 2 feet deep and 800 feet long through hard rock. I called Don to ask him if he’d like to see the repairs in progress, although he never came. He simply told me he always uses that glue, and still does to this day.
We considered filing a lawsuit, but learned it was too late, since the statute of limitations had expired. So after a decade of incredible frustration, and spending well over $20,000 in repairs due to Don’s work, all we can say is, Let the Buyer Beware.
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