A buddy of mine was away for a week and returned to find that the water
heater in his rented condo had sprung a major leak. He said it was
running about like half of a wide open sink faucet rate. The friggin
thing was about 23 years old. I remember seeing the label on it, how
the area around the pipe connections looked corroded, etc. I warned
him about it and told him to make sure he shut off the water when he
was away on trips, but obviously, he didn't.
Good news is that the water was handled by the sump pump. Bad news is
a lot of water may have been billed. Not sure about the gas, as he
shut the thing off without finding out if the thing had been fired up.
The water coming out was cold, but at that flow rate, it could just be
that it couldn't heat it fast enough. He did say he didn't hear it
running. I'm hoping the water put the pilot out, but on the other
hand, from where it was leaking, it sounds like it was the anode rod
fitting area at the top of the tank that went.
Just wondering, does anyone have any experience in what happens with
the water or gas company in a case like this. Do they expect full
payment for the water/gas? Or if you can show it was an accident do
they negotiate or give you a break?
Also, what are views on the landlord's responsibility for paying for
the water/gas if the utility company does not? In the general case,
where it just happens to say a reasonably new water heater, it would
seem to me this is a grey area as to whether the landlord would be
responsible to pay for water. In the case of a 20+ year old water
heater, I think he has a much better case, as it's well known that
these things usually fail long before that, so it looks like a case for
negligence could be made.