Home Depot Informative - Install of a Gas Pipeline from house to BBQ
KINGSTON -- In June 05 I purchased an outdoor Ducane BBQ from Home Depot and as part of the purchase requested that they arrange installation into the house natural gas line. I understand they went to their subcontractor Gasman (Toronto, Canada), who again subcontracted the job to a Mr. Mike Calamusa in the Belleville/Kingston area. The job of installation was done over the period 21-22 June 05. This led to me making a customer complaint with Home Depot which has gone unresolved as far as I am concerned. The gas piping used was an obnoxious yellow non-flex type. On the outside of the house it is not flush with the wall in the patio area, there is a large bend in the pipe and it does not seem to be very sturdy to me. In fact I was surprised, when pointed out to me, that the pipe is supposed to be for underground use (“Gas Guard” 5/8” Type L MH48231 Primary Carrier Pipe For Underground & Sump Use 50 PSI/80 IN-LB For Use With Compression Fillings/Installed Per Gas Guard Instruction B1 01-28-04). I was further informed by acquaintances, with experience in construction, that it really should have been cut, threaded properly and a solid steel or brass type of piping attached to ensure it was completely flush with the house. I was concerned about the safety issue, because if somebody or something catches the protruding bend it could pull loose. When I questioned the colour and size of the pipe, the installer suggested that to cover the yellow pipe I could just paint it? This after I paid $900.00 for the installation. I have since had other installers and local government inspectors come and take a look. Unfortunately for me, they say that the pipe does technically meet standards. However, both gentlemen did say that the work could have been completed to a higher standard. In fact the Government Technical Standards & Safety Authority Inspector stated that a drip valve on the outside or inside should have been installed, which of course it wasn’t. In my ignorance I did sign-off on the work form as the supposed tradesman left, not fully understanding or realizing what he had done.
Secondly, and more importantly, on completion of the work there was a gas leak from our fireplace into the house as the pilot light went out when they shut down the gas for the pipe install. We did not discover the leak until later, when we had people down in our finished basement area for a get together. It was lucky someone noticed the smell and we found the leak, as we went on two weeks vacation a few days later. The house was all sealed and locked up of course. I believe as a certified installer he should have checked all of that. To us this all seems like substandard work, and could have contributed to a major accident or health problem for our family and neighbourhood. The problem as far as I am concerned was the fact that the installers seemed to be in one big hurry.
When I contacted Home Depot they took the complaint and put me in contact with Gasman. I still do not understand why I had to deal with the sub-contractor and not them. When I called the Service Manager at Gasman the attitude was dismissive as far as the leak went and that the work was alright as far as they were concerned, and that I had signed off. This was completely unsatisfactory, and I informed Home Depot so. They sent out their local store Installation Manager who took some pictures. They then called back and had the nerve to say that it was all okay. As the installation fee was $900.00, I told them that Home Depot’s response was totally unsatisfactory. They actually had the nerve to offer us $100.00 in a shopping certificate in compensation for the leak. When I called the Head Office in the USA I received the same condescending and uncooperative attitude.
Up to this incident I had been regular customer (almost exclusively buying home/garden improvement products) at Home Depot, even going so far as to get one of their Credit Cards. In fact I had spent $3500.00 purchasing the BBQ and Patio Set at the same time. I have now cut-up the card and will have nothing further do to with this shoddy outfit. Home Depot is a disgrace, and I would not recommend anyone to shop there and definitely not to deal with their installation service. I intend to send this story to the consumer advocate in the local paper, so that other people in the community are made aware of this issue and safety ramifications.