%&*%&^$ Hell! Main water line broke under my house! - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 07-20-2009, 11:14 PM   #1
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Default %&*%&^$ Hell! Main water line broke under my house!

Awe come on!!!

So I get home tonight and hear water running in my basement... Think that maybe one of my toilets was just running upstairs; but after looking at all sinks, toilets, appliances and more it seems that I have a leak.

Call the city and they send out a person from WSSC and he turns off my valves after the meter and no change in sound. He kills the main feed from the street to the house and the sound is gone. WTF?

So it looks like I have a leak under my foundaton!!! The city says it is my problem and turn the water back on and leave. Call my home owners insurance company and they said that they will send an adjuster in the next day or two!!! WTF, there is a water leak under my house and they are sending someone in the next day or two? You have to be kidding me!

Anyhow, so I go inside to wash my hands and the water is orange from the damn clay. It cleared up; but I have my main water feed leaking under the house... dunno what to do. My main line comes up from behind my HVAC which means I have to take out a wall to remove the HVAC unit just to inspect the pipe! Looks like I will have to bust out the foundation in order to find the leak...

Man, what does one do? Homeowners is not sure if it is covered and the water has to be going somewhere... my lord, what does one do when this happens?

Argh, waiting on insurance company to call back and also waiting for my neighbor to come and beat my door down when the water travels into his house... cuz he is 2' lower and we share a common wall... tho it could be his tree roots that are getting my line?

So, what do you all think? Anyone have this happen before?

Cheers,
Prospero
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:18 PM   #2
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Depending on how the lines are run, it may be easier to just run a new feed to the house from the meter. Or I assume to meter is near the street like nearly every one I've ever seen. Though your post makes it sound like otherwise.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:48 PM   #3
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how does your insurance company not know if it's covered? is it classified a flood and need flood insurance?
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:54 AM   #4
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I used to be an insurance agent in a former life. What they will be "checking on" is that water damage from a "ruptured appliance" is covered. Flood, like from a rainstorm is not. So, if your water heater goes **** up and floods the house it's covered. The defenition of a "ruptured appliance" may or may not extend to a pipe. It generally covers a frozen pipe that bursts and soaks everything, though. They will also want to determine if the pips is your property or the city's. They won't just take the city's word for it. I think you will be taken care of.

My sister just had a line crack on the toilet feed right at the plastic nut where it screws onto the tank. It was on the second floor. It soaked the second floor, first floor and finished basement including all carpets, drywall and walls and ceilings below. $60K damage. Insurance took care of everything including putting them up in a hotel for six weeks while the damage was repaired including a food allowance.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:13 AM   #5
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This doesn't make sense to me.

The electric company owns everything from the pole to your power mast in aerial applications, not 100% sure about burried but I'd assume its identical only they'd own between their box and your meter.

The telephone company owns everything between the pole and your phone's demarc on the house (little box) and everything beyond that is yours.

Cable Television company owns everything between the pole and the grounding block mounted to the house.

LP Gas company owns everything up to their meter mounted on your house.

Explain to me why from the main water feed TO your meter is YOUR ******* responsibility? Maybe if you were digging w/out calling the dig-rite place to mark underground utilities, I fail to see any connection on why it should be your dollar to fix.

Secondly I'm not sure how homes are built in your neck of the woods, but here the main water runs down the citys easement in the front yard and thats where the meter is. From the meter there is a 3/4" NPT pipe running into my basement approx 5' under ground and right in the side of my cement wall. The meter used to be mounted there but they got tired of knocking on doors to read your meters long before they had radio frequency meters.

Do your water lines run directly under the slab in your basement floor? wtf??
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:07 AM   #6
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Pics or this never happened.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:39 AM   #7
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I'm surprised they turned your water back on. That's a really good way to ruin a foundation. Fix that thing right away if you like your house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elesjuan View Post
Secondly I'm not sure how homes are built in your neck of the woods, but here the main water runs down the citys easement in the front yard and thats where the meter is.
+1
Houses around here have meters inside of a christy box at the sidewalk, and everything leading to the house is yours.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:07 AM   #8
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My first reaction is you need the water turned off now. We can do that ourselves at the water meter in the yard with a shut off tool you can buy at Lowes. Second you need to call a plumber. The insurance company has nothing to do with fixing this, which is your first priority, they have to just pay for it if it is covered. Call the plumber and then tell the insurance company when he will be there and they need an adjuster there then or you will just take pictures for them. But first and foremost turn the water off NOW. You would be liable for the damages to anyone else's property if they found out you knew you had a leak and left the water running.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:18 AM   #9
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I'm closing on my first house on Friday the 24. This scares the **** out of me.

Good luck.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:56 AM   #10
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Alright,

So water is off... I went out and bought a tool, closed the valve after turning off my hot water heater.

Called plumbers and have several scheduled to come and give an estimate over the course of the day. Neighbor says that I'm the first in the neighborhood since they can remember with this problem; though the house just turned 21 this month. (Old enough to drink!) Plumber says that if it is blue poly that they can pull that out and install a new one with some digging. If it is copper... I am screwed.

Can't tell if my whole line is copper or not; it comes out of the foundation via a black plastic sleeve as copper but don't know what is below. Tried to get a grip of the pipe but the damn HVAC is in the way! ******* hate these tight townhouses! Hot water heater on one side, HVAC on the other... I guess the lesser of the 2 evils will be to pull the duct intake off the HVAC and wiggle in from there.

Insurance company issued a claim number and are sending an adjuster. I don't hold out much hope for them paying the bill. There are absolutely no signs of problem except a little patch of mold on the drywall and a tiny wet spot on the concrete slab. (Tho the water spot could have been from when the city water guy was cranking on the valves since they are right above.) However maybe the insurance adjuster will see that the pipe is broken and that the water has been washing the dirt from right under our row of townhomes. Strange as hell... can't find the water anywhere. No wet spots in the front yard, back yard... so it's gotta be going under one of the neighbor's places. No one has said anything yet... but who knows how long it will take.

Will shoot pictures when there is something to see. Right now the only thing to see is my laundry / utility room and dust bunnies!

Thanks all for the advice. I am hoping for the best; but was sleepless all night. The prospect of forking out cash right now is not good...

Damn, what a pain!
Cheers,
Matt
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:41 AM   #11
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Wow, that sucks. Insurance should cover that, otherwise what is the point of having it if it doesn't cover unforseen home issues?
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:02 AM   #12
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We had a company that was laying fiber on our street spear our sewer main with their 3,000psi diamond head borer. That sent a geyser up through our basement toilet. Wife ran out to the front screaming for them to stop- and they did. Unfortunately it packed our entire sewer main with Georgia clay. It took the plumber three days to clear it out with diesel powered rooter machine. Fortunately we had basement toilet - otherwise it would have come out the toilets on our first living floor.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:27 AM   #13
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wow that sucks.

They city did some work in my parents neighboorhood. they tore up my parents back yard, along with most of the neighboors on thier street. My parents and I were upset as they did not bother to put anything back how it was and did not patch the grass. Just left a mess. Tax dollars at work for you. And people want government health care haha
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:05 PM   #14
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I arrived at work this morning to find that a water line between our carbon filters and the main deionizer unit had popped off and flooded my side of the lab. We discovered that the fitting popped off because it was installed by a lazy dumbfuck who obviously thought he could make two incompatible fittings work fine if he just wrapped them with enough teflon tape and stuffed them together. I'm shocked that it actually held for about 6 months before giving way, because there's a decent amount of pressure in that line. But it's time for that installer to pay the piper because there's water damage on three floors below ours as well.

In a townhouse is there an HOA that has any responsibility for exterior maintenance? In my old condo it was the HOA's job to fix the foundation, roof, pretty much anything outside my wall studs was not my problem.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
...except a little patch of mold on the drywall...
This is an ominous sign. Open up that stud bay and have a look. Spray it with bleach to kill it. Never tell anyone it was there. The presence of mold will have a severe impact on you home value.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanlow View Post
This is an ominous sign. Open up that stud bay and have a look. Spray it with bleach to kill it. Never tell anyone it was there. The presence of mold will have a severe impact on you home value.
+1

Mold is some seriously nasty ****. We had to strip down an entire room a few months ago at my parents house and kill/strip the molded sections out while the room was taped up from the rest of the house. It really screws stuff up.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:35 PM   #17
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Ahh,
Pictures are worth a thousand words! So the start of the repairs went well...

Had to pull out the hot water heater, HVAC intake duct, washer and dryer from my utility closet. The water meter and main line coming in all had to be relocated as to make room for the new water heater that is 80 GAL as opposed to the 50 GAL one that we yanked out.

So the fun part! The guys accidently hit the water main!!! Miss utility seems to have missed the markings by a lot!

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Old 07-25-2009, 05:38 PM   #18
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What a bunch of idiots. LOL @ the pic with the guy shoveling dirt. The hole got much deeper after that picture. He must of worked hard. Sorry to hear that.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:48 PM   #19
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Miss marked utilities, never!? 9/10 times I have dealt with that kind of stuff some of the markings were as much as 2 or 3 feet off, depending on depth. Makes it hard when you are dealing with stuff that has to go pretty close. Ive had my share of broken water and gas lines. Gas is no fun since you have to jump into the hole with the hissing snake and crimp it closed until a repair can be made. Gets your heart rate up a bit. Good to see repairs are happening though. Hope it all works out.
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Old 07-25-2009, 06:12 PM   #20
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That looks like quite an adventure. Did you get the insurance situation worked out?

80 gallon water heater for two people? That should be sufficient.
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