Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Illegal Plumbing Set Up in the 3rd Floor Toilet that caused Our Flood

There are lessons in all of this, so that is why I am sharing. This is the attic toilet ( yes, the little tiny toilet on the 3rd floor, in the Radical Attic), and no one ever believe that this little tiny tubing could and did cause so much damage. A little after MN, I had gone upstairs to wash my hands, go to the bathroom, and get ready for bed. I was falling asleep watching TV with 6-6, I had had a very nice quiet Mothers Day. I turned to go down the stairs and I heard this Giant WHOOOSH...then I went in the bathroom and that little tubing was shooting massive amounts of water all over, it was like a fire hose gone wild. I could not hold on to it , or direct the water out the window or to the tub ( it was too short). And I was slipping and sliding and falling all of over the tiny bathroom battling it. I was soaked and the room was filling with water, so I did what any woman would do. I slammed the door and barricaded it with a bunch of packed moving boxes and blankets etc. But by then the bedroom was filling and the storage area and water was rushing down the stairs. So I really quickly ran downstairs told 6-6 to go to the Living room, threw the cat in a crate ( poor thing) and leashed up Lillydog for 6-6 to hold on to. Within Minutes it was raining down on all floors. Room by room I was trying to set up barricades or cover things or gather what we treasured. The whole time banging on wall next door trying to wake up neighbors, because Shut Off for the Water is in their basement-not mine. And I tried to call landlord- it rang and rang. I called PD, they said to call plumber or landlord. Finally 40 minutes into this fiasco I called the Fire Dept, and they arrived within 7 minutes. They tried to save what they could with huge tarps, sadly most of what I owned was already wet and ruined by then. I am grateful they tried to save my art. I am grateful that I have had Renters Insurance since I was 17 and never used it...ever until now. The Fire Dept did crimp the line with Pliers ( I wish I had thought of that), and then banged next door and finally accessed basement shut off of all water, and they did call Landlord and speak to him. The Huge Tarps did collect the rain that fell all night and the falling plaster. The Next Day I alone dragged those huge heavy tarps outside to get what water I could out of the house. I did call Renters Insurance that night and did also call SERVE PRO and get a claim Number to come to home and assist with Water Clean Up. Landlord arrived at Noon., and refused to allow me to call SERVE PRO. He said he would have "His People" come. They never did. At 3PM he arrived worried about his "floors" and even left me phone messages about cleaning his floors. He brought no people, he brought one bucket, one dirty old fan, one dirty old wet mop, and three towels and one hefty garbage bag. I will blog separately about what he said to me at Noon, as it is unbelievable. At 4PM Monday he brought his Plumbers in and they replaced the Illegal Faulty Toilet Set up. ( They left stickers on the new set up that was purchased at my local ACE hardward. For Less than 10 Dollars much damage to Home and My belongings could have been prevented.). None of his "people" ever arrived to the home to help with the Water Clean Up or removal, I alone cleaned up ALL the Debris while ceilings and water were still falling. I put it all on the Curb. For five days I did all of this by myself, with no help from Landlord or his people. He did leave me messages expressing concern re. the Condition of the Floors. 6PM he tried to get me to Mop said Floors. I left Mop on backporch where he placed it. I removed all the water and wet debris in an effort to prevent mold. SERVE PRO would have come and dealth with it better than me- it's absurd that he refused this service that would have helped so much. IF you have insurance and a claim number, let them come, they are the PROS.
The Main Plumbing lesson in this for all of us Renters is that ALL Toilets must have a Shut Off Valve. And that all Renters need to have access to Water Shut Off for house or access to Someone who will come shut off water. Landlord Refused to come to house, and even refused when Fire Dept asked him to come.
NOTE TO ALL FUTURE Landlords : Don't EVER hand me a MOP to clean your floors after your negligence flooded my home and my belongings. I am an Excellent Tenant, but cleaning Flood Damage is not my responsibility.


D.B. Echo said...

My GOD, this is horrible. I am so sorry this happened to you - and just as you were almost out the door from there. Good thing you got photo documentation of the old setup before the landlord had it all changed.

This nearly happened to me in my own home. It was the first year I had owned the place, the first Winter there, and I noticed a leak coming from an upstairs toilet, I knew what the problem was, and had done the repair before at my mother's house, so I simply closed the shutoff valve and got the replacement parts.

Not that easy. In a very old house, the shutoff valves have likely decayed a bit. So closing the shutoff valve all the way didn't do a thing. Once I began to disassemble the connection, I was faced with full-volume water. Luckily I was able to locate the shutoff in my basement (I had never used it before) and stop the flood before it started. But what happened to you was a clear-cut case of negligence on the part of your landlord.

Enigma4ever said...

you were wise to address such a problem ...and work on it....I really wonder if water leaking in the house all seems like it started to fall apart so quickly....but i don't know enough...I just know within 2 hours we were pretty much flooded out of the home...