I went to the Ace Hardware at 5423 W. Devon in Chicago, IL and told Ed, the salesman that I was having a problem with my water heater. The TPR valve was leaking and there was no hot water coming out. Ed immediately blurted out, "Oh NO..you can't mess with that.. that's dangerous, you need a professional"!!
Although I am a very handy woman, I reluctantly took his advice. After all, isn't he supposed to be the helpful handy man? Taking his advice was an expensive mistake. It was also a mistake calling his referral: M&M Plumbing. Don't even get me started on those greedy gougers.
Well, I learned that when a TPR valve leaks you simply replace it. An item that can be purchased at Ace Hardware. The repair is so basic it's the plumbing equivalent of "changing a light blub". Apparently, Ed thought my female brain could not comprehend the high-tech intricacy of operating a wrench. I was so disgusted, I called Ace Corporate Headquarters.
Ed defended his advice to customer service claiming, I could have been scalded or maybe a house fire. Is He for Real?? Scalded.. huh? I had no hot water!! Did he think I would light the pilot with a gas can in my hand? In hindsight, out of curiosity, I went to Crafty Beaver (on Central) and Ace (on Montrose) and told the salesman exactly what I told Ed.
Both times I was escorted to the plumbing aisle and assisted. It is obvious Ed was more concerned about generating business for M&M Plumbing than the customers that rely on him for trusted advice. So instead of doing the repair myself for less than $15.00, I was charged a total of $200.00. The plumber charged me $135.00 and hour plus parts of which he charged me $65.00 for a $15.00 valve. Gee... thanks Ed, you have been so helpful.