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I feel responsible. I always have.

There are limits, of course. And there are a lot of factors involved. With materials getting cheaper because of the demand for less expensive plumbing it's hard to make them last or even work when they're first installed.

If there were protective covers on the pipe and someone manages to get a nail into it anyway, it's the fault of the person who put the nail there.

Yes, we test. Even so things can fail. Then you have to determine whether it was workmanship or faulty material. Can a plumber be held responsible for defective copper pipe? No. He can, in my opinion, be held responsible for installing substandard materials such as junk faucets and valves.

So the bottom line is, the plumber must know his material, his workmanship, his limitations. In all the houses I plumbed, I cannot remember ever having to go back because something leaked and damaged property. Knock on wood. In fact, knowing the likelihood of an eventual problem somewhere, it's amazing how well I've done.

I did once have an employee who sometimes did things a bit too quickly, and I had to go back once and remove an expensive cabinet and make a drain repair in the wall. Another time he ran water lines above a garage instead of a heated area and the first winter I had to go back and thaw and move the pipe. No damage resulted from either of these problems since they were caught in time. I was responsible to fix them and did so immediately.

OTOH, I've gone into jobs done by others and made repairs after serious damage had resulted.
 
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