Faulty valve on new shower - who is responsible for extra plumbing costs?

Hi, 
We are in the middle of a bathroom refit. I bought and supplied all the products. After the first fix, we noticed the water throughout the house was lukewarm. We noticed this from every tap in the house - although not the bathroom being refitted as no actual taps or showers had been connected yet ( just the piping and valves in wall). 
There was no reason to think it was connected to the bathroom refit other than timing co-incidence. The bathroom fitters did not get involved in the problem because it was not apparent in the bathroom they were working on.
I first called out a boiler repair guy who checked everything and isolated taps and said it wasn't the boiler but that a mixer tap somewhere was 'letting by' and cold water was getting into the hot water. He guessed it was the mixer shower in our other bathroom as this is the only one he couldn't isolate to test ( he tested all other taps although not in bathroom being worked on as only pipes and valves there).  However boiler repair man didn't do showers (only boilers) so I then had to call out another plumber.
This new plumber spent two hours trying to locate the problem - he took our shower apart and said there was no issue with it. He couldn't find the fault anywhere. Eventually he checked the bathroom that was being refitted (was in the middle of being tiled post first fix). He found that the problem was actually a faulty non return valve on the new shower. He was very surprised.
I contacted the supplier who contacted the manufacturer and I now have 2 new valves being sent.
However, we have incurred nearly £300 trying to get this issue diagnosed. Is anyone liable for this cost? Should we expect any compensation  from the supplier?

Comments

  • Was it a faulty valve or a faulty install? 

    If the valve itself was faulty then its the valve supplier I think you need to pursue but I'm not sure to what extent you can claim expenses of diagnosing the fault but its certainly worth a try. You should certainly be able to claim for costs of repairing/replacing the valve. 

    If it was wrongly installed you will need to pursue your contractor.
  • Hello OP

    The trader should bear any necessary costs incurred in doing so [providing a replacement/repair] (including in particular the cost of any labour, materials or postage).

    With regards to the costs you suffered in identifying the issue, I would assume they are damages you've suffered as a result of the trader's breach of contract (supplying goods which did not conform), whether they are reasonable to claim I'm afraid I don't know.

    Best to have a chat, see what they offer and then decide how much effort you're willing to go to in order to recover the costs :) 
  • As above, ask and see what they say.

    This is why it's normally better to ask a tradesperson to supply and fit.  Problems like this one are then his/hers to resolve at their time and expense.
  • Hello OP

    The trader should bear any necessary costs incurred in doing so [providing a replacement/repair] (including in particular the cost of any labour, materials or postage).

    With regards to the costs you suffered in identifying the issue, I would assume they are damages you've suffered as a result of the trader's breach of contract (supplying goods which did not conform), whether they are reasonable to claim I'm afraid I don't know.

    Best to have a chat, see what they offer and then decide how much effort you're willing to go to in order to recover the costs :) 
    To confirm - you’re talking about the trader of the products (the retailer) not the tradesperson installing them. The tradesperson installing them didn’t supply the products, and assume they didn’t damage it during installation. 
  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Posts: 7,331
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    edited 22 September 2023 at 9:40AM
    Hello OP

    The trader should bear any necessary costs incurred in doing so [providing a replacement/repair] (including in particular the cost of any labour, materials or postage).

    With regards to the costs you suffered in identifying the issue, I would assume they are damages you've suffered as a result of the trader's breach of contract (supplying goods which did not conform), whether they are reasonable to claim I'm afraid I don't know.

    Best to have a chat, see what they offer and then decide how much effort you're willing to go to in order to recover the costs :) 
    To confirm - you’re talking about the trader of the products (the retailer) not the tradesperson installing them. The tradesperson installing them didn’t supply the products, and assume they didn’t damage it during installation. 
    Sorry, trader would always be the other party the consumer has a contract with, I appreciate this probably isn't obvious so yes as the OP purchased the taps that would be the retailer with which they need to make a claim :) 
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,700
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    edited 22 September 2023 at 11:31AM
    The seller of the non-return valves held his hands up and replaced both units. I think he has complied with his consumer rights obligations.

    OP gave those valves to the bathroom fitter to install. That should have been done with the care and skill expected of a professional bathroom fitter. Some things can't easily be tested, e.g. a plumber might not be expected to test the electrical function and safety of an electric shower. However even I can inspect and check a NRV.

    At this point the OP decided to bring in a boiler specialist to diagnose what was wrong. He did what he was paid to do and confirmed there was no boiler fault and suggested it was something to do with the plumbing.

    The OP brought in a different plumber who diagnosed the fault. Again he did what he was paid and contracted to do.

    In my view the OP should have brought the bathroom fitter straight back to trace and fix the fault. The fault appeared immediately after the new pipework was installed - surely that was the most likely cause rather than the least likely?
    I think the bathroom fitter should concede that it was his fault that he completed the installation with a leaking NRV but he will claim that the OP should have brought him back first to deal with it. He will not be willing to pay for the boiler engineer or the other plumber.
  • PHK
    PHK Posts: 1,149
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    I agree with Alderbank, the bathroom fitter should have tested and checked their work as they went. 

    Had they done so they would have found the faulty valve.

    As for liability. I think you can expect two things.

    1 The retailer to replace the valves.
    2 The bathroom fitter to replace the valves and any closely associated costs. If they need to remove some tiles etc.

    As for the fault finding costs. I think the best case is against the fitter (as above). However, there is an argument that you should have had the new bathroom checked first as it was more likely the cause. So I'm not sure if you'd get the boiler costs back.

    Perhaps ask the retailer and bathroom fitter to contribute.
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