loft tank flooded most of house

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by elcaro, 11 Nov 2009.

  1. elcaro

    elcaro

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    Hi all, just a query regarding a bit of a disaster

    I was away for the w/e, got back 2300, in door, try lights, no power, wonder why, then realise I'm standing in 1 cm of water. Fortunately torch in car. Get it. Back into house, water everywhere. 2 or 3 sq metres of ceiling on floor in kitchen/diner. Stairs are a waterfall. Turn off water at mains tap. Upstairs - ceiling dripping/pouring. Stepladders - into loft. The ball from the ball-valve in the loft tank is floating about in the tank, it has come off, valve fully open. Downstairs, frantic search by torchlight for insurance documents. OK OK , it's still in force, I haven't forgotten to renew it. Phew!

    Sleep in lounge. Next a.m. call insurers. They hand case to a disaster recovery firm. They come round. Bring blowers and de-humidifiers. Take notes / pictures. Good stand-up guys. Next day they send people to take out the affected loft insulation which is acting like a giant sponge. Take up some floor coverings. Get more blowers into loft.

    "Loss adjuster" 1st appointment next Wed, a week's time. Me to disaster recov guy as he rips out carpets "I hope the loss adjuster is going to stand behind this ..." with nervous chuckle. He says sure.

    So - I would be grateful for any advice - looks like insurers are standing behind this so far but I just want to keep my powder dry (if I can get it dry in this place!!) Do you know of any "gotchas" in this area? Obviously I'm keeping the defective ball valve - looks like the rod holding the ball just corroded right through. Anything else to watch for? The term "loss adjuster" sounds as if he's out to minimise their loss. Or am I getting all adversarial when there's no need? TIA for any advice. As I say all looks fine so far.... - Terry.
     
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  3. htgeng

    htgeng

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    Ironically they should pay for all the remedial work *except* any plumbing cost to put the job right. A similar job where a pipe froze in a loft - none of the pipes were lagged. They didn't pay for the pipes to be lagged properly. Who is your insurers? If you have a bargain basement insurers they might quibble. Do you have new/old and high value contents insurance. I think my contents are covered up to £250,000 even though I don't have anywhere near that!
    Playing devils advocate, they might say you should have turned the water off when going away or ensured the tank had been maintained?
    Also the overflow should be installed to take the full flow of the water in situations like this. Was there a problem with the overflow. I have seen a few cisterns and toilets where there is no overflow and any fault would have caused serious flooding similar to yours.
     
  4. elcaro

    elcaro

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    htgeng, thanks for your reply. You are right, they won't pay for actual ball valve and fitting. I've got that done so can turn water back on.
     
  5. doitall

    doitall

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    One gotcha you may want to consider.

    Any damage becomes the property of the insurance company, do not get rid of anything untill you have the cheque in your hand.

    If they come back to check on something and it's gone it gets crossed off the list.
     
  6. JayJay1978

    JayJay1978

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    Hi elcaro sorrk to hear about the disaster, typical it should happen when you're away!

    I'm interested about the condition of the overflow, as a diy'er I'm no expert but can a plumber confirm that an overflow (if fitted) should actually carry away all the water and not just alert you to the problem.

    If the overflow had become unattached could the insurance company argue the water damage was caused by you not maintaining your plumbing?

    I don't know.
     
  7. doitall

    doitall

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    In large domestic and commercial we used to fit a 20mm warning pipe, and a 40mm discharge pipe.

    You can also find drip trays in lead or plastic in some older properties, with a drain to atmosphere.

    Most unlikely to ever find it on a normal domestic though.
     
  8. elcaro

    elcaro

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    Thanks everybody. DoitAll - good point. I'll make sure I hang on to everything.
     
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  10. elcaro

    elcaro

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    Hi all, thanks for replies. Just one point a neighbour mentioned - read leccy meter because 10 fans and 4 de-humidifiers will use a lot of leccy. Insurance man has said this can be claimed.
    I suggest calling this query closed as far as plumbing & ch is concerned. Next phase will be repairs to floors and ceilings, which would be in other parts of the forum if I need to ask for further advice, which I probably will!
    Again, many thanks - Terry.
     
  11. Agile

    Agile

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    The danger is that it sounds as if the overflow pipe was defective and not draining to the outside. You have not explained why.

    I am surprised the insurance companies do usually pay out when the installation is defective.

    However, all those I have been called to do seem to have paid out and dont even chase the plumber who did the faulty work.

    Its good practice for anyone to inspect the loft installion annually. Either the house holder if competent or a professional, perhaps when servicing the boiler.

    Tony
     
  12. flutterbye

    flutterbye

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    I know this is an old thread but the context help explain my question far better than a new one.

    If that ball valve had been fitted by the householder DIY then would the insurance company still have to pay for the damage?

    If it had been fitted correctly would they have to pay?
    If it hadn't been fitted correctly would they still have to pay?

    I'm assuming no extra DIY options taking out on the insurance?

    If the answer is "NO", then would a reasonably compentent DIY person be better off paying someone less compentent because then they could say "...well I paid this fly by night plumber and so its not my fault etc..."
     
  13. Nige F

    Nige F

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    You`re thinking of gas :idea: any fool can do plumbing - I still do :mrgreen:
     
  14. D_Hailsham

    D_Hailsham

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    That's correct; the "loss adjuster" works for the insurance company and tries to minimize their costs. If you have any problems, i.e they do not offer sufficient to put you back in the position you were in before the incident occurred, you need the services of a "loss assessor" Some companies provide both services - it just depends who is paying them!
     
  15. Whitespirit66

    Whitespirit66

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    Wouldn't matter either way. Wasn't a fitting fault. The OP stated that the ball valve was 'defective' as the rod holding the float had corroded.

    I don't think that an insurance company can reasonably expect non safety critical tasks to always be carried out by tradesmen. That ball valve could have been in place and working correctly for 20 years. If the house had passed through several different owners in that time, who could say when it was fitted or by whom.
     
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