Originally Posted by Mike Leary
Why trust a third party that may be screwing the test up? Jezz, is there no honesty anymore? Most testers (including myself) would have never faked a test, but it's happened. I know how to read a test report, and that's the only way I'd sub it out: approve the test before the sub is paid, and turn him in to the State if I found a fraudulent test. Believe me, getting a backflow ticket is not an easy gig; only fools cheat, and their ticket (and their plumber's license, if applicable) should be pulled, forever. Backflow rant over.
Here is the reason why:
Here is the scenario:
I install a system for Joe, and Joe has a three year old daughter. This girl ends up sick a month or two after the installation and dies. (Extreme I know) The Doc determines she ingested some kind of foreign bacteria, Amoeba, (whatever), and says the source could be dirty water.
Joe then remembers me installing the system and telling him the back flow device protects potable water. He then calls the city and they send the village idiot out to test and inspect my valve. Over the course of the month or two the valve failed (for some reason) and tests bad. Then Joe finds out I tested my own valve and passes that little nugget of info over to his lawyer.
Joe's Lawyer then contacts me to provide tangible evidence that I had in fact tested the valve and not forged the paper work to save time. And if I cannot produce anything he will be taking me to court.
Because I cheaped out and did not hire a third party I am SOL. I will be sued as the BIG BAD CONTRACTOR that killed a little girl to forgo the $45 to get an independent inspection which would have found that "for certain this valve was good from the beginning."
I then am on the first bus to jail leaving my Daughter and Wife to fend for themselves, even though I did honestly test the valve and it was good at the time of installation.
All of what is stated above happens.... but instead of me getting screwed....
I point the finger at the guy that tested the valve. Who then can stand up in court and say "I was hired to independently test the back flow valve and at the time of installation it tested good. The evidence I was there is in the fact that I left a test report fixed to the back flow valve after it was installed."
We (The BPAT and I) then go on our marry way, and the Parents of the child find out it was the water in the nasty pond they swam in last week.
I know this was extreme, but even if the little girl just got really sick I still would have been screwed. I pay the extra money to prove the valve is good. I know for a fact that there are some outfits around that fill out the paperwork at the office, stick it in the BF box and tell the tech to put it in with the back flow. I pay the money, because I do not have the time to drive around to 8-12 locations a week to test all of the valves we install. Purely the fact that we have installed 4-6,000 valves in the past years means something crazy is bound to happen one day. Hell, McDonalds paid out millions because a lady spilled hot coffee in her lap. Ralf Nadar won a case for a guy because he stuck his hand under a running mower and cut his fingers off, hence the sticker on all mowers now.