A few months ago we had a plumber install a washroom utility sink and the
additional piping in and under the laundry room. Evidently he didn't
reconnect the water hose to the clothes washer properly, and the small leak
continued unnoticed for months. Eventually we noticed the adjoining family
rec room carpet getting wet and even some fungi growing in the corner
closest to the wall adjoining the laundry room and the rec room. Since the
original plumber was too busy to respond to our calls, we hired another
plumber, who found the source of the damaging leak. Because of the leak, we
have had to replace part of the wall between the two rooms, some of the
flooring under the carpet in the rec room, and the carpet itself, and we
will also have to have some of the masonry done in the rec room fireplace.
Do we have just cause to hold the original plumber liable for all the
damage? Or should we contact our home insurance company to apply our
coverage? Thanks for any advice. Michael
The plumber is going to pay for this. You should give him a call and file
a claim with his insurance. Or you can give your insurance agent a call and
let him handle everything, then sue the plumber for your deductible.
I'd recommend calling the plumber.
Don't know how every State operates concerning insurance. I had a claim for
something that was a contractors fault, in my State when you file under the
insurance they retain a rights of subrogation. They in turn sued the
contractor, when all collected they then paid me my deductible back. I
basically gave up my right to sue the contractor when I turned it into my
Under the rights of subrogation, the insurance company has the right to go
after anyone to collect their money. You have to be careful because I've
heard tell they can come back on the policy holder if the policy holder
collected something before the insurance.
This is my opinion. I would make a claim to my insurance company, and let
them make a claim to the plumber. This way you are getting your insurance
company to handle this for you. They will have a greater success than you as
an individual. You are paying for this in your premiums.
Unless you're in one of the states where the insurance companies
are being really obnoxious about dropping people. In which case,
you should try going after the original plumber yourself..
Else you could find yourself in a repaired, but uninsured and uninsurable house.
If you make a claim with your insurance company it will be held against you,
in other words minimize the claims you make with your insurance company
because you can be dropped if you file too many. File a claim against the
plumber. If worst come to worst go to small claims court, but bring all
documentation with you.
A few months is a long time.
Was it the hose that failed or was it the plumbers fault? How old was the
The plumber could say that he never disconnected the hose from the washer.
Or he could say that he did and checked it for leaks before leaving.
After "a few months" you could have a problem blaming the plumber. The best
thing to do is go through your homeowners policy. They're the experts and
regardless of how they handle the claim you should get paid less your
The hose was brand new at the time. The second plumber says that you can
tell from the condition of the washers at the connection that it wasn't
screwed on straight by the original plumber. The original plumber was the
business owner's young son, who seemed to fumble his way in taking over 7
hours to do what I thought was a 2 hour job. I'm sure he just wanted to get
out of there when he was finally done and just neglected to screw on the
hose correctly in his haste.
Sorry if I seem to be over-critical, but if I've learned one thing about
any kind of trade contractor is that if their work is suspect when
they're actually *doing* it, you should have been watching that area
like a hawk for a good long while after the work was done. Either that
or getting a respectable plumber or double-check the work of the first
one just to make sure everything was hunky-dory. IMO, both the original
plumber AND you are at fault, so it's pretty much a wash and the problem
is really yours to eat and chalk up as one of those "live and learn"
Clothes washers belch out a massive amount of water when they empty
after each cycle. It's kinda hard for me to imagine that you didn't
notice the problem until just now.
What did the second plumber give you as the reason for the leak? Sounds
to me like you are a day late and a dollar short - calling the insurance
company should have been done when the damage was discovered. Always
worth a try, maybe :o) A leak existing for several months? Who was
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