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Time-Delayed Leak


hausdok
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Hi All,

I thought I'd tell you all about something that occurred yesterday and see if anyone has a theory as to how it could have occurred.

About 1:00 PM yesterday I got a call from a former client that there was water pouring through the ceiling of her garage in a new home that she moved into in June. Naturally, she was 'concerned'.

It'd been raining a lot all morning and for the past couple of days, so she naturally thought it was the roof of the garage and she reminded me about a misplaced furnace exhaust vent on the roof that I'd found during the inspection and how the builder had moved it. She suspected that the builder's people had done a lousy job patching the hole left over from the misplaced vent.

She said she'd notified the builder and that their service personnel were on the way, but, because she works for them (she's a real estate agent), she wanted to make darned sure they knew not to try to put anything over on her, so she asked me to come by while they were there.

She lives about 5 miles away from my home, so I saved the file I was working on and went over there.

When I got there, the builder's rep was already there and had turned off the water. She and he were standing in the garage staring up at a large hole in the drywalled ceiling. There was drywall and water all over the floor and as I walked into the garage I noticed that they were looking at a pair of water supply pipes and elbows coming through the floor of the master bath above. The spot was about 15 to 20 ft. from where the misplaced vent had been.

It became immediately apparent this was a supply line leak, so I asked her if I could go in and look at the master bathroom above. She said fine and I went inside to check out the master bath. Dry as a bone. I put my ear to the soaking tub and I could hear them talking in the garage below. I walked back down, pointed out that I believed the leak was coming from at least one of the supply pipes to the master bathtub and that the plumber (who'd been called and was on the way) wasn't going to be able to see anything until he cut through that floor sheathing to expose those pipe and the actual leak. We chatted for a few minutes, which seemed to make the builder's rep extremely nervous and then I took my leave, very happy that it hadn't been something I'd missed.

This morning she called to tell me that the plumber had discovered that the hot and cold pipes for the master tub had never been glued at the fittings under the tub and one of them had finally leaked. She said he was there long enough to cut an access hole, discover the cause of the leak and then glued the two pipes and left after about half an hour. Now it seems the builder will repair everything and then go after the plumber to recoup costs.

I thought that was pretty weird, since it means that some unglued CPVC pipe had been in place without leaking for a total of 14 months (It had been a model home for 8 months before she purchased it.).

Has anyone ever heard of something like that happening?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Strange, but understandable. I experimented w/some CPVC several years ago by pushing the parts together has hard as I could; it held remarkable well under full water pressure without glue.

The joints in CPVC have a very slight taper so compression plays a big part in the seal. I guess it plays a bigger part than I thought.

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Hi,

Yeah, or the 2-1/4 inch 16 ga brad shot through drywall that penetrates the PEX expansion loop in a wall and only leaks when the hot water comes on and softens the material enough to allow pressure to push water past the nail and then re-seals itself when the water is turned off and the pipe cools.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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In Texas, due to recent legislation, a leak like that would be 2 months outside the responsibility of the builder. (unless proviso it was identified at the closing walk trough).

Some New Home Builders now include a binding arbitration clause that can be more costly, and take more time, than going to court. Builder liability is limited as well. Builders now have learned to blame everything on poor homeowner maintenance. Mostly the homebuyer just signs the new home contract without understanding the implications. The seller saying it’s just “standardâ€

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Hi,

Here in Washington State builders generally have a 1 year general warranty on their homes. However, they're also locked into a 6-year habitability warranty by state law. So, a piece of trim that dries and splits, drywall cracks unrelated to settling or seismic activity or a clapboard that cups at 18 months aren't covered but anything that would potentially make the home unlivable is.

Anyway, her purpose in having me come by was primarily to be her advocate. I'm sure that somewhere in the back of her mind she was asking herself, "I wonder if Mike screwed up," but I doubt that she was hoping that was the case. She's really a very nice lady. So nice, in fact, that the Korean Konnection likes her, which is pretty unusual, because I've always found that women tend to have that feline stand-offish thing going for them while men are kind of like canines and pretty much willing to shake anyone's hand and trust anyone until they get bit.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike,

about 20 year ago we added on to my mothers house, added a new water heater for the new bathroom and inside laundry. About 8 month later the elbow on the cold water side started leaking. When my father and I when to fix it, we found that the pipe and elbow had been clean but not glued. So my father had a word or two to say to his son in law that was suppose to have done the gluing.

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