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Drain problem. Home insurance?

Discussion in 'Building' started by Steve, 5 Sep 2018.

  1. Steve

    Steve

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    I've had a leaky soil stack for quite a while. We couldn't see the leak, it was just under the concrete patio. We knew it was there because about 6ft from the soil stack is a water meter chamber which was always full of water. I excavated this last year to renew the water main and the whole hole filled with water.

    Last week my dad and I broke out the concrete and immediately saw the problem.

    Just above ground a plastic stack had been coupled onto the stub of cast iron left in the ground using a rubber joint. Just below the concrete this cast iron went into the clay pipe collar. The collar was completely broken off and there was a gap of about an inch all around between the clay and iron.

    So. I took out the iron and tried to expose more clay so I could get a coupler on it.

    Not happening. The clay pipe is buried in concrete from the soil stack right to the manhole (3ft away). Literally it's in a massive blob of concrete. And it's hard. My SDS drill bounced off it. Clearly it's impossible to remove the concrete from the clay without breaking the clay so the clay pipe needs renewing back to the manhole. A job for somebody who knows how. . .

    I've made a temporarily fix involving a length of brown pipe and a child's bucket made into a large funnel so water is no longer leaking.

    in breaking out the concrete surface we wrecked a gulley next to the stack. This joins to the soil pipe under ground. This gulley needs to be renewed.

    Would home insurance cover the remainder of the work? I've attached a picture of the current state of things. We've asked a builder we know for a price but he hasn't got back to us a week later.

    Any advice appreciated

    Thanks

    20180827_155622.jpg
     
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  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    No. Wear and tear and your own negligence.
     
  4. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    Do you have drains cover? It's an extra. If so then yes it usually would although there would likely be a policy limit. Normal insurance only covers things that happened unexpectedly rather than poor workmanship or deterioration.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve

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    Negligence? If you mean the fact that the leak happened at all, it was leaking when we bought the house. If you mean by me digging the problem up, I've made situation no worse. I've improved it but I recognise further work is required.

    When was it ever normal to bury drains in concrete? 1955 it appears. . .
     
  6. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The initial leak is wear and tear. You and your dad broke the gully that's your fault aka negligence in insurance terms.

    It still is normal to encase drains in concrete.
     
  7. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    In Insurance terms, damage to "Underground Services" which includes drains is included in if not all certainly most Policies

    Again in Insurance terms, if the Policy Holder cannot see the drain he cannot maintain it, or if the drain is in need of repair, because the Policy Holder cannot see the drain, the Policy Holder will not know what repairs are needed.

    OK crunch time, the Policy Holder has attempted to instigate a repair to what the Policy holder believes is a leaking drain, fine so far.

    During the attempt by the Policy Holder to repair his own property it became clear that the degree of damage was more extensive than the Policy holder first envisaged?

    NOW, for the bummer? if the leak was happening prior to the purchase of the property, the claim would be declined? why? because the Policy Holders Insurer will regard the damage as what is termed " Pre-Inception Damage" that is the building was in that condition when the Policy Holder purchased, the insurer will simply walk away. Then again if the property has been owned by the Policy Holder for some while then this Pre-Inception cannot be applied.

    Sorry Woody, but? the negligence issue would very difficult for the insurer to prove? the general Insurance definition is IMO that the Insured has attempted to maintain his property but uncovered nore than he can be expected to undertake??

    Ken
     
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  8. Ian H

    Ian H

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    I repair stuff like that through insurance all the time.

    If I came to look at yours, i’d CCTV up from the manhole, then (if needed) break out the gully and rest bend down to the junction. I’d make a connection with a patch liner if I couldn’t get the concrete off the pipe.
     
  9. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    Is that the drains cover i mentioned above, or do many normal building insurance cover that?
     
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  11. Ian H

    Ian H

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    Normal buildings.

    The ones you pay extra for usually have a limit and from what I see they send someone clueless to dig a random hole then tell you your upto your limit.
     
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  12. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    This is not covered on a standard home policy. If it is covered then you would have had to specifically ask for it and would know and not have to ask.
     
  13. Ian H

    Ian H

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    Yes it is.
     
  14. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    Depends what "this" is, as i said above it's the cause that's covered not the result. If it happens because of a lorry crashing into your house the drivers insurance will cover it, if it happens because of subsidence it will be covered under yours, if it happens because of expected deterioration it would not be covered. Otherwise after 90 years when your roof is collapsing you could get it replaced on your insurance, so it would be more of a maintenance fund than insurance.
    And if it were never fitted correctly in the first place then that is just poor workmanship. Interestingly, of your roof is old and falling apart and the water comes in, the roof repair is not covered but the consequential damage usually is.
    So it all boils down to whether your drains are old or fitted badly, or whether the damage was caused by an unexpected event.
     
  15. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    .... or somebody whacking them with the pick.
     
  16. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    That would be accidental damage, many policies do cover that but generally, like plumbing and drainage cover, it would come with a platinum policy or as an add on.
     
  17. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    No its not accidental. The person wieding the pick would be expected to take due care, the fact that they didn't mean to smash the gully is still not an accident in insurance terms.

    A careful way would be hire a disc cutter, it can't be said they were being careful when they did not exercise all due care and take other options.
     
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