Recently we installed a water service line for a family. We were working outside the house exclusively. The job involved turning the water off, installing a pipe, turning the water on. It sounds simple and it was. The customer left before we could turn on her water. We had a choice of making a second trip to turn on the water or turning on the water, watching the meter for water flow, and then moving on to the next job. The water company turns water on and off without their clients being home every day. This is common practice. When we turned the water on at first the meter didn’t move. Then, after we’d gone, something absolutely unlikely happened. At some point a part that had been improperly installed years ago by someone inside an upstairs toilet tank shot up and knocked off the lid. (The toilet had been untouched for five years. The water had been turned on and off during that time with no consequences.) A small stream of water shot out the bathroom door out onto the carpeted landing and ran for an hour or so before the customer discovered it. There was significant damage. The customer felt that we were 100 percent accountable. We tried to explain how this wasn’t our fault. The customer did not believe us. We had a choice of taking full responsibility or going to battle with someone who was very angry and quite willing to hurt our reputation. We ended up not charging her for the waterline and then paying to have carpet pad replacement, carpet cleaning, drywall repairs, and free installation of a new toilet.
Polybutylene Replacement: Well worth it
Many of our pipe replacement clients contact us for the first time after one or more bad experiences with polybutylene leaks. It’s common to have multiple problems in a relatively short period of time and it’s very tempting for a homeowner to continue paying two or three hundred dollars for each repair in hopes that the problem with the system will stop. We recently interviewed one such client.