Leak in Condo...Is it My Fault?

Previous | Next
 rated by 0 users
Latest post 09-28-2009 11:47 AM by Drew. 4 replies.
  • 09-28-2009 11:06 AM

    • Tlanie11
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 09-28-2009
    • VA
    • Posts 2

    Leak in Condo...Is it My Fault?

    I live on the 4th floor of a garden-style condo complex. Last month, the management company posted a notice on my door saying they needed entry the following day to investigate a leak that was causing damage to a unit below me. I stayed home and they never showed up; I called the office and they indicated that they had found the leak. A few days later, I received another notice requesting entry again. This time the notice specifically said they needed to check my water heater. I once again came home to give them entry. Before the engineer arrived, I opened my water closet and there was no water anywhere and everything was in place. The engineer arrives, inspects my closet and says that my pressure relief valve is leaking. How he knew that I don't know. He proceeded to also tell me that the pipe coming from the tank was short and I should have it lengthened. No problem. I called my home warranty and they sent out a plumber. At first the plumber couldn't even tell my valve was leaking. He took it off and there was a sort of a steady drip like you might find in your sink faucet. He fixed it, but said that my pipes were fine. They were aligned and whether they were 1in or 1/2in. they were aligned and draining to the right place. The pipes should go down to the garage. He also said that if there were any leaks it must be a two-fold situation: my valve was leaking and the pipes in the wall perhaps had a crack. He didn't see how water damage could come from my leaking valve when the valve was leaking into the right pipe. I informed my association of this and they said fine. Well, 3 weeks later they are contacting me saying that the engineer is claiming that the pipes were misaligned and that the water from the valve was actually dripping down the outside of the pipe. I also learned that the damage is NOT to the 3rd floor but the 2nd floor ceiling. They want to come in and pour water down my pipes. I'm guessing they want to do this to see if the water leaks when poured directly in the pipe. Apparently there is significant damage to the 2nd floor. I guess after all that my question is - if the plumber says one thing and the engineer says another, shouldn't the onus be on the association/community to provide proof that it is in fact my responsibility? I have absolutely no water anywhere. Even when the engineer came the only water I saw was when he physically took the pipe out and shook. And if they pour water down the drain and the 2nd floor doesn't leak, then does that necessarily prove it's my responsibility? The association should provide me with some sort of documentation that proves the piping in fact runs from my unit past or through the second floor and how this issue could've bypassed the 3rd floor, right? Shouldnt' they also indicate to me what the original leak was they mentioned? I don't think this should be my responsibility. I do have homeowner's insurance but I also unfortunately had a car accident and JUST had to file a claim for that. I'd rather see if I can resolve this on my own before I utilize my insurance. The plumber is also going to write me a statement to address what he saw, what he fixed and what he told me, etc.  

  • 09-28-2009 11:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Leak in Condo...Is it My Fault?

    Nobody's accusing you of "responsibility" for anything. The HOA is asking for your cooperation in locating the leak.

    You have no liability for an unforseen hidden leak, so cooperate and get it over with.

    Might be inconvenient but that's what you get for living in a condo where every unit can affect every other unit.

    Don't anticipate trouble until you actually have trouble.

    Then come back and report.

    Meantime, I can understand your reluctance to get your insurance company involved, but you are required by your policy to notify your claims department of any incident that may give rise to a claim, even if it ultimately doesn't. The claims people need an opportunity to investigate while it is possible to investigate. Your failure to comply with your policy is likely to give you more trouble later if you've prejudiced your company's right to investigate.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 09-28-2009 11:38 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 48,931

    Re: Leak in Condo...Is it My Fault?

    You may be responsible for your own drain line----don't assume too much too early!



  • 09-28-2009 11:38 AM In reply to

    • Tlanie11
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 09-28-2009
    • VA
    • Posts 2

    Re: Leak in Condo...Is it My Fault?

    Thanks for your advice. I guess I am anticipating trouble because the engineer is saying the leak is stemming from my water heater and the pipes being misaligned and my plumber is saying something different. The lack of proof or any documentation on the leak from the association's end, but the fact that they continually indicate I may be responsible for the damage is disturbing me. When the complex engineer first came he said that I needed to contact the unit below me to resolve the damage. I guess I just don't want to get stuck paying for something that hasn't even been proved to be my issue. That's all. I am definitely complying and allowing them to enter my unit today...but I will be there.

  • 09-28-2009 11:47 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 48,931

    Re: Leak in Condo...Is it My Fault?

    May not make any difference--depends --seems the leak originated via your equipment--unless  association owns lines once they go inside walls. 

    Whether the leak was where relief valve vented or two levels below in some defect in  drain line --its your leak?



Page 1 of 1 (5 items) | RSS

My Community

Community Membership New Users: Search Community