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This Is Unreal

 
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Old 08-13-2019, 04:50 AM   #1
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This Is Unreal


Was doing a job for a customer, Half Bath 2 bay sheetrock repair due to a roof leak, was 90% done but they had a scheduled vacation so I was to return 2 weeks later and finish up... was only left to nail a few pieces of molding and paint touch up.

The homeowner returned this weekend I go there yesterday, ring the bell nobody is home. I text the Homeowner he goes please wait I will be there in 10 min. He comes over and he goes the house was flooded and they're forced to move out to a hotel.
We go inside and most of the house is destroyed.
The plastic screw that secures the water line to a flush valve split in half and the water was gushing god knows how long.
I never have seen that nut crack like this before, unless it had a small crack, to begin with, or defect in it or maybe it was over-tightened or because of any other reason, and this was the original installation and the house is around 15-17 years old.
Approximately 40-50k in damage, people are so nice, I feel bad for them.
Here is the image of what caused the leak
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:57 AM   #2
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Re: This Is Unreal


Same thing happened to me when I was working at a friends house. Luckily they were home when it happened and mainly did damage that was confined to the bath floor upstairs and the wall below downstairs.

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Old 08-13-2019, 05:59 AM   #3
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Re: This Is Unreal


My plumber has come across many of those, even one in a condo that caused a leak 4 floors down. Only use the brass nuts
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:03 AM   #4
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Re: This Is Unreal


I actually had that happen to a toilet in my house, and it was in an unused guest bath....I mean rarely used, like I would make it a point to run water in the sink and flush the toilet periodically. Luckily, we noticed it before it split, when it was just seeping, and when I was feeling around for the leak, it broke off in my hand, so I was there to close the shut off.

Did you move the toilet during the repair?
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:40 AM   #5
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Re: This Is Unreal


My wife recently did an open house in a townhouse (no basement) the homeowners were down the shore for the week.
I was coming back from a shooting range and I stopped by to drop her off a cup of coffee we BS there for a few minutes and I went home, I live around the corner (1.5 miles away).
I just walked into my house and she calls me OMG the water is gushing in the kitchen from under the sink (proud of my girl, she shut the water off under the sink and killed the main shut-off just in case).
I go back over there she got the towels to prevent water from going into the living room area (engineered flooring throughout)
I help her get all the water off the floor.
Looked under the sink and there is a dishwasher line the steel casing is torn and the hose just burst open and the rip was in mid-span, looked like someone ate it right through it was my first thought.
Thank God she was there.

By the way, to add to my original post... Before the homeowners went on vacation (they told me the last min) I was asking them if there was a way for me to finish while they were away (happened on many occasions people leave you the house while away to finish up if work is in progress or near the finish)... It was a few hours of work and I told them I would make sure everything is locked.
The said because of the security system, etc they rather have me finish the job when they get back. I said NP at all.

When I saw that mess yesterday I said to myself "s^*t, if they would be ok with me finishing the work while they away, I would probably be blamed for this, that it was done intentionally" I mean they're decent people and very nice, but who knows how some will react when something like this happens. Just something to keep in the back of your mind.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:20 AM   #6
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Re: This Is Unreal


That's the exact reason I advise people to shut off the main when they leave for extended periods. Doesn't take but a second to turn off the water in my house.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:22 AM   #7
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Re: This Is Unreal


One of the reason I turn my pump/ water off when we are gone any length of time.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:41 AM   #8
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Re: This Is Unreal


That happened to me on a job where i installed the toilet. It was about a year after. The people were home and caught it before it did any damage. That was about ten years ago and every time i install a toilet i think about that when i am tightening that nut. I have been thinking for years that they should make that nut in brass.
The flex supplies aren't so bad. They have that rubber washer in them and you barely need to snug them

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Old 08-13-2019, 07:51 AM   #9
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Re: This Is Unreal


Systems like this are getting more and more popular to counter the ever present leak threat...........

Years ago we were doing some remodeling in a commercial building and it had the old style flex line that had a smooth sleeve above a corrugated flex part. One of us didn't tighten the nut enough and sometime after work the water pressure pushed it out and it was running at a pretty high pressure for hours and hours.

What saved us on that incident was it was on the ground floor and there was a floor drain so it was just draining away without causing any real damage. After that incident it was and has been always the woven steel flex lines.

Last edited by Rio; 08-13-2019 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:02 AM   #10
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Re: This Is Unreal


Same here, a couple months ago.

Happened to my sister's tenant in a basement apartment. 10:30 pm And by phone I'm telling the girl how to turn off the valve until I get there...she says it's still leaking(!)..and I'm saying....turn it HARDER, HARDER...or go find a guy and have HIM turn it harder!

Last edited by MarkJames; 08-13-2019 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:16 AM   #11
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Re: This Is Unreal


Had the same thing in a vacant apartment. It was a two story townhouse with basement. Upstairs toilet, ran for a few days. Helper called and told me there was water coming from the ceiling. When I arrived you could see water seeping out of the weep holes in the brick. Around $70,000 damage, covered by insurance.

There is/was a class action lawsuit, involving the manufacturer of the supply line/assembly that must have been settled. We ended up getting the $1,000 deductible back.

A few years ago, we had one burst when we had the water shut off an 8 unit building while doing a repair in another unit. It burst when the plumber turned the water back on and fortunately, the tenants noticed it and came down the main hallway hollering at my plumber.

Shortly after the vacant unit disaster, I had my plumbers go through each of the 55 other units (81 toilets) I managed, and replaced all the toilet supply lines.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:26 AM   #12
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Re: This Is Unreal


Every new construction build that I handle gets a ball valve main shut off.....for the simple reason that after a few years, the little stop valves sometimes just refuse to shut, and I have seen gorillas break them off the pipe as well.

My own home has a floor drain in the laundry room to prevent water damage....and we have steel braided hoses on the washer and dishwasher...and we can't shut off the water when we leave because out dogs have an automatic waterer, plus the horses, so I get my son or daughter to come over once a day and walk through.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:46 AM   #13
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Re: This Is Unreal


Fluidmaster has a supply that clicks when it's tightened enough. Their regular connector has an explicit warning not to overtighten. My guess is that overtightening is the main cause for failure.

https://www.fluidmaster.com/products...t-supply-line/
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:56 AM   #14
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Re: This Is Unreal


Quote:
Originally Posted by RichVT View Post
Fluidmaster has a supply that clicks when it's tightened enough. Their regular connector has an explicit warning not to overtighten. My guess is that overtightening is the main cause for failure.

https://www.fluidmaster.com/products...t-supply-line/
It's a plastic that gets brittle over time. Sometimes it can crack when you look at it funny.

This includes the plastic used with earlier version of flex hoses, like the white ones.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:17 AM   #15
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Re: This Is Unreal


They also warn against exposing them to "household chemical products" so maybe that's another reason for failure.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:02 PM   #16
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Re: This Is Unreal


The more I look at that picture, it seems like the nut was overtightened and it caused a small fracture which over time (15-20 years) just snapped.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:15 PM   #17
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Re: This Is Unreal


I recall a story from my plumber where a family went for vacation and the kid flipped the toilet seat up too hard against the tank while taking a squirt before hitting the road.

They arrived home to a plywood front door after the fire department knock the door in when neighbors saw water flowing out of the first floor windows.


Glad it wasn't on your work Greg
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:21 PM   #18
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Re: This Is Unreal


They have fill valves that won't keep refilling the tank if, say the flapper is slowly leaking. Great for a vacation home, to save water.

But I installed them once for a client, and they were so angry when they tried to flush and the tank was drained. Even though the tank immediately started refilling when they used the handle, they could not comprehend the logic of it. So never again.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:59 PM   #19
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Re: This Is Unreal


Quote:
Originally Posted by pinwheel View Post
That's the exact reason I advise people to shut off the main when they leave for extended periods. Doesn't take but a second to turn off the water in my house.
In some cases yes in many no, especially in a house with steam heat in the winter or many here have water powered sump pumps. Ideally they should be on an isolated line that is kept on at all times.

If the steam boiler needs water and water is off the low water cutoff will kick in and shut everything down and pipes could freeze
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:26 AM   #20
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Re: This Is Unreal


One more for the , I had that happen.
Luckily it was the bathroom I had yet to renovate.
But it destroyed the downstairs powder room and family room that I had just finished.
The insurance adjuster asked me if I wanted the job.
I declined.
Not enough manpower.


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