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The law of delayed resolution — don't just do something, stand there — as practiced by SOS, requires you to walk away from a problem. When you come back, an answer will present itself.

In June 2010 Franklynn Peterson, had one big piece of StainMaster linoleum installed in the kitchen of a Gregory Street rental house, a $1,200 job with materials from H&R Carpets, of Waunakee. There was a two-year warranty against stains. Within six months, a stain began forming and stopped after another six months. He sent a photo to SOS.

He contacted H&R, which sent around a professional inspector who found evidence of moisture but couldn't find its source. The manufacturer was consulted and quickly a series of excuses and explanations was established, none of which helped Peterson and all of which absolved the installer, the floor company and the manufacturer. There is no warranty if moisture is the source, was the mantra.

So all were mystified and Peterson was unhappy and SOS, contacted this February, wasn't any help, either.

But Peterson persisted, was patient, and decided to take the case to small claims court. (Peterson, by the way, is the author of "How to Fix Damn Near Everything," a very successful book that came out in the 1970s.)

Two months later, SOS wondered what happened, and when contacted last week, Peterson said that instead of court, he and H&R participated in the UW Law School's Mediation Clinic. They sat down and agreed to have an expert, a plumber, try to find the source of the moisture.

"It was a good experience," said Peterson of the mediation service.

The plumber checked the dishwasher. No leaks.

But when he flipped on the kitchen faucets, there it was. The faucets were fairly new, good quality, installed in 2010, said Peterson. The plumber said the leak was not an installation problem, but may be due to a flawed faucet.

"That was the source of the problem," said Peterson. Not faulty installation, not a bad piece of linoleum.

Peterson called the faucet company, Moen, and was provided with a replacement faucet immediately. He dropped the old one in the mail this week and is waiting to hear if the company will pop for a new floor. He said he would be pleased to have H&R take care of that one, too.

SOS promised to abide by the law of delayed resolution and do nothing.

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