How do I repair a groaning pipe and dripping shower head?


In early December, a plumber fixed a drip coming from the hot water knob on my shower. He removed the small part that needed to be replaced, went to Lowe's which is 5 minutes away, came back in about an HOUR, saying he had to walk all around the store looking for the part. I think he had lunch because a plumber wouldn't have to do that. Then he "fixed" it and after that the hot water turned on in the opposite direction but I can live with that. He charged what I thought was a whopping $165 for that tiny job! But now, for a few days, when I turn off the hot water, I hear a groaning sound from a pipe. And today, the shower head has a drip from the hot water. People told me after the aforementioned repair that I should have called a handyman and not a plumber and that I was ripped off. Can anyone tell me what I should do about this groaning pipe and brand new, bothersome drip?Can a good handyman do this repair -- and for a reasonable price? And what IS a reasonable price?

q what do i do about the drip in my shower head
  10 answers
  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 10, 2020

    Call the person who did the work and tell them they need to fix this problem they apparently created. You paid to get the job done correctly and this isn't working. Have you contacted this person yet? What is the person's hourly rate that did the job? My state has a program for consumers to address these types of complaints. Look in the yellow pages in your phone book to see what options you have. But call the person first and give them a chance to fix the problem.

  • William William on Jan 10, 2020

    Sounds like the plumber did a lousy job. If the hot water turned on in the opposite direction after the repair he replaced with a wrong part. I would not have paid him until it was corrected. The groan can be because it's the wrong part and improperly installed. Plumbers are expensive and $165 seems high but just about average. A good handyman should be be able to fix it. You can check Homeadvisor, Angie's list, Thumbtack to get quotes. Prices also vary all over the country. You can also ask neighbors for any referrals.

    • See 1 previous
    • Louise Louise on Jan 13, 2020

      William, is this drip and groan considered "heavy" plumbing or something relatively simple for a skilled handyman? I was under the impression it's the latter but a handyman whom several people recommended to me on NextDoor told he did some plumbing work but didn't do "heavy" plumbing and could refer me to a plumber friend. There are DIY videos on this so it seems a plumber isn't necessary.

  • The man who did the work does not sound like a plumber at all to me. I would call a reputable plumbing company in your area to get this fixed properly. I wouldn't want him back in my house.

    • See 2 previous
    • Good luck getting it all straightened out. It's so frustrating when you can't find reliable people to work on your home.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jan 10, 2020

    The groan could be air in the pipes. Sadly, it sounds like you got a dud and he will probably tell you that your shower head has nothing to do with the repair he made. It is worth a try. I also check with BBB and if he doesn't fix it, file a complaint with them as well as a poor review on Google, HomeAdvisor, and Angie's list.

  • Oh my, when I hear stories like this it always gets my goat. Here is how to hire any contractor you will ever need.

    I so feel for you. Good luck.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jan 11, 2020

    Great reference link from Naomie.

    I would call this plumber back and have him fix the problem he did not fix, Document everything. You may be reluctant to ask him back to fix this, but giving him a chance to correct is the first step to a solution. In the mean time check his references and a BBB lookup is in order. If a true botch job, then take him to small claims court. You might be able to recover some of the money you laid out.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jan 11, 2020

    Hi Louise: I agree, have him back to fix the problem. If he refuses, then take him to small claims court. I would also tell the judge that you "have lost faith" in his abilities and want another plumber to do the work. I agree with the 'hour walk'. Obviously he doesn't know what he's doing or, did something else with his time. If you can get some estimates for the work, get them in writing and take that to court with you. Good luck

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jan 11, 2020

    call him and tell him it isn't fixed and insist on him fixing it properly

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jan 13, 2020

    Did both of you sign a contract that specified the work that was to be done?

    If not, then you will not be able to file a case in small claims court on the grounds of breach of contract, simply due to the fact that there was no written contract.

    Neither a verbal agreement or 'handshake' is considered a binding legal contract.

    • Louise Louise on Jan 13, 2020

      Nope. I gave him a check and his "partner" sent me a paid invoice via email. But considering the relatively small amt of this -- certainly for small claims and all its hassle -- I'm not going to pursue legal action. I'm just going to find someone else to fix my current problem and never use him again.

  • William William on Jan 13, 2020

    It could be a simple fix. Yes there are a lot of Youtube videos and a lot of written instructions with photos. Check out videos by Ask This Old House. They tend to be more detailed. Also look for tutorials and videos for the type of faucet you have. Single handle or double handle. You would need to get behind the faucet to get at the main valve by removing the cover plate. Basically the valves are the similar in the wall with minor differences.