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Dealing with plumber who just does not get social distancing

(10 Posts)
Forestshade Tue 09-Jun-20 02:45:42

He is our neighbour/plumber.. had a ok relation so far for urgent works etc. I am thankful for his help. Last year we had a problem that he fixed, but he tries to sell his 'Power Flush' service a lot.

We had Power flush from him evert time we call... 2 times in a year. Usually other people do this every 5-6 years. We thought it was necessary the first time and just gave in the second time. £450 each time.
Also he has the habit of just chatting about his life for >30 min at streches. We had no problem.

Now, we had a little problem again and called him. I explained to him that my DH is in extremely vulnerable so we are social distancing. Our boiler is in the garage which I thought would make things simpler. I was wrong. He came into house just to chat with us and stood <1m , when I move back, he just closes the gap. That chat was totally unnecessary and lasted for 30 min.

Boiler was fine. I was about to pay him the next day but he just calls in without notice and tells that chemicals need to be put. I said 'ok' ( but still not finished)... he barges in and goes around the house thru every radiator and standing close and chatting with kids. Tells me he is going to come today for the Power flush ( has been 4 months he did). He also coughed in our house today for 5 min straight.
Sorry I seem to be anxious I know. Thats because... well I am an axious person sad.
I had enough.

I gave him a long polite message that we are finacially struggling and cant afford the service and that the boiler seems to be fine. I said sorry to have cancelled . No reply.
I am expecting him to just knock on the door and barge in again tomorrow .
What should I do?.. how do I handle?

OP’s posts: |
Littlemissdaredevil Tue 09-Jun-20 06:15:00

Keep your doors locked so he can’t just barge in.

He’s ripping you off. Your central heating system shouldn’t need power flushing every few months. I don’t see how rust/sludge could be building up in your radiators that quickly. Are they cold at the bottom when you turn the heating on? If your radiators are ancient I would be cheaper in the long run to have new radiators fitted!

40somethingJBJ Tue 09-Jun-20 08:27:28

Agree he’s ripping you off. I’ve never had my heating system power flushed in the 5 years I’ve lived here. Every few months is excessive!

Keep your door locked. Speak to him through the window and firmly tell him you don’t need it done and you don’t feel comfortable having anyone in the house at the minute.

livingalife Tue 09-Jun-20 08:32:29

Sorry to sound rude but from reading your post are you from the UK ? He seems to be taking advantage! Keep your door locked and if he knocks say 'Sorry you must not have received my message I sent to cancel' x

Forestshade Tue 09-Jun-20 09:24:26

Thank you for all the replies smile.

@livingalife... Not originally from the UK but we moved here 4 yrs ago.

OP’s posts: |
jimmyhill Tue 09-Jun-20 09:35:14

You don't need a powerflush more than once every while and he is taking advantage of you by selling you that service so often

NotEverythingIsBlackandWhite Tue 09-Jun-20 11:51:20

Yep, I agree that he is ripping you off. A power flush should be a 'once in the lifetime of a central heating system' when it is ageing. You need to be more assertive as he will continue to rip you off because you are letting him.

As for social-distancing, why didn't you set boundaries when you asked him to do the work?
When he comes within 2 metres, why don't you ask him to step back and keep his distance?
When he was coughing, why didn't you ask to leave? Was it a dry cough?
You have a problem with assertiveness which, in the near future you need to address.

For now, you have told him you don't want the powerflush but he will tell you that the chemicals need to be removed from the system. Depending on what they are, they can be left in for up to a couple of weeks. They do need flushing through but not necessarily power-flushing. Can you contact another plumber and discuss this?
Do you know what product he put into your CH system?

I would never use the ndn again. Ensure you do not leave your door so that he can knock and walk in. That is also a cheek.

Forestshade Tue 09-Jun-20 13:24:07

He is a neighbour and I could not be staright enough as I thought it might trigger bad relationship. We gave him a whole bathroom redoing job and he did it well. We thought it was unnecessary to be too rigid and thought he would understand. I admit I needed to be assertive. I thought he would get a clue when I told we were vulnerable. However, he seemed to have turned more non-social distant because I asked him to do otherwise. He would not just let himself in previously but he is doing it when I asked him to maintain distance.

Anyway, I need to find out what chemicals he used as he said they were 'chemicals' thats all. He has not responded anything yet if they need to be flushed or not. I will ask him and then get anither plumber , I am sure I can lay the rules far more better with someone we dont have to see everyday.

OP’s posts: |
Derbygerbil Tue 09-Jun-20 20:20:19

Quite apart from possibly ripping you off, even if someone can’t personally see the point of socially distancing, it’s incredibly thoughtless and rude not to do this once you’ve explained you expect it.

Derbygerbil Tue 09-Jun-20 20:50:12

I explained to him that my DH is in extremely vulnerable so we are social distancing.

He also coughed in our house today for 5 min straight.*

He came into house just to chat with us and stood <1m , when I move back, he just closes the gap. That chat was totally unnecessary and lasted for 30 min.

Just re-read this... Wow. His behaviour is so astonishing that it feels like he’s abusing you... He knows you’re uncomfortable and he is taking some kind of sick perverted pleasure in it... It might seem crazy, but I can’t think how else to explain it.

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