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Water supply pipe connections

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by DeusXM, 23 Oct 2020.

  1. DeusXM

    DeusXM

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    tl;dr bit is in bold....

    After a shocker of a water bill, it's become apparent there is a massive leak in the pipework underneath my house which has begun to erode away the foundations.

    During the investigation work, the contractor sent by my insurance company discovered that my MDPE supply pipe had been installed 'horrifically', about 6 inches under the surface, and it's been decided the easiest fix is to simply install a new supply pipe that connects to different pipework in the house, and cap off the defective pipe under the house.

    I only moved into the property a year ago and haven't done any pipework, so now I'm trying to find out who did such a bodge job in the first place. I may well need to get underpinning done now to stop the house collapsing and I'm keen to avoid as much of the bill as possible.

    The house is old so would originally have had a lead supply pipe, which is now, as I say, MDPE. I've asked the water company if they ever did a lead pipe replacement job on the property, which is drawing a blank from them, so I suspect it was done privately by one of the previous owners.

    If you lay a new supply pipe, is it a legal requirement for the water company to inspect it first before permitting connection? Or if it's carried out by a Watersafe contractor, do they have to provide a certificate to the water company signing off the work?

    Basically I'm trying to find out who's at fault here - whether the water company signed off illegal pipework, or if a contractor falsely signed off the work, or if a previous owner simply didn't do things properly.
     
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  3. denso13

    denso13

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    Basically, yes.

    More than likely this. Registered contractors would not install a pipe 150mm below the surface, they have too much to lose.
     
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  4. DeusXM

    DeusXM

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    Thanks, that's what I thought. Wondering how much to push the issue with the water company, as if they were at fault then there's grounds for redress. And if it was just a previous owner doing things on the cheap, there's no way to prove it and pulling that thread might start bringing some unintended consequences from either the water company or insurance...
     
  5. denso13

    denso13

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    Just from experience, they only inspect if you do it yourself or don't inspect if you use a registered contractor. They have nothing to gain by accepting something so wrong and could have been in trouble themselves for doing such a thing. Even if they were somehow at fault, which again I think is highly unlikely, I don't know how you would even go about proving it.

    Will your insurance cover the replacement of the pipe or do they just fix the leak?
     
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  6. CBW

    CBW

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    Water companies enforce the regulations, so might be worth going back to them as you weren't to know about the leak until the bill. Maybe speak with Wras, very helpful. https://www.wras.co.uk/contacts/ Spoken to them myself on numerous occasions, or speak to your water companies regulations department. Who’s the supplier?
     
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  8. cdbe

    cdbe

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    Possibly joined to old lead your side of stop tap - a repair rather than replacement.
     
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  9. DeusXM

    DeusXM

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    So far, no-one's indicated they're going to charge me for it. Fingers crossed. The contractor is Auger and when I started this process they said the excess covered investigation and pipe repair. I'm not entirely convinced this is true but I'm not questioning it and either way, the work needs doing.

    SES Water. There's been a real mess-up on their part in terms of notifications (e-billing not working, no postal bills etc.) and it was only after my DD went up from £40 to £180 a month with no notice that I managed to login and see this has been going on for a year (around 1600 litres of water a day, when we should be using 80!). I've argued the point that if I'm not notified, it's a bit hard for me to know my buried, out of sight pipes are leaking and with the quantity going out, there should have been a more proactive effort on their part to notify me. They've agreed to cover 100% of the leakage even though it's on my pipes rather than their's.

    My house is on a concrete plinth (it's on a slope) and they're certain the leak is in pipework under the foundation - so they've decided it's actually quicker and easier to lay a new supply pipe to a different entry point in the house, and then cap off the rogue pipe.
     
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  10. Ian H

    Ian H

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    I work for a company similar to Auger.

    Sometimes a reroute to bypass the leak is more economical than finding the leak so chances are they have approved the reroute and forgotten about the actual cause of the leak.
     
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  11. phatboy

    phatboy

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    I'd leave it entirely in the hands of your home insurer, they will go after whoever they think is responsible, or who will pay out.

    At least they have agreed to cover all costs!!
     
  12. DIYnot Local

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