The horror stories I’m going to talk about aren’t fun, but hopefully we can prevent the same thing from happening to anyone else. The first one that comes to mind is an individual who had a water heater put in by a less than qualified installer. The installer had left a pipe unhooked because they didn’t know what to do with it. It was a hot water recirculation pipe, and they didn’t understand that it needed to be connected to the system. (Most water heaters are only hooked to two pipes, so they would have been fine if this was a standard installation.)
When the water recirculation turned on during the first night, a large amount of water poured out of the disconnected pipe and completely flooded the crawlspace. Water saturated the brand new water heater, too. The homeowner called us out because they weren’t able to have the original installer come back to fix the issue. It was an unfortunate situation because the brand new water heater was ruined and there was no applicable warranty. I think the takeaway lesson here is to make sure that whoever is installing anything in your home is a competent person.
Another horror story happened in an unoccupied vacation home in our area. The owner hadn’t taken the necessary precautions to protect the pipes from freezing, and they hadn’t shut off the water. When someone checked on the house, they found that water had been running through a small supply line on the second floor bathroom for several months. The entire house was just completely ruined—it had become flooded to the point that it looked like a literal house of horror. It was springtime and the weather had warmed up, everything had fallen apart, parts of the house had buckled, and there was mold and mildew everywhere. The lesson here is if you have an unoccupied second home, make sure you’ve taken care to ensure that the water can’t stay running for long periods of time.
The final story that comes to mind is when a sewage line had become disconnected under a crawlspace, unbeknownst to the homeowner. They started to see and smell something wrong, and at that point there had already been a lot of sewage and feces building up under their home. Unfortunately, this particular client had known that they had sewer problems but they had chosen to just use a Band-Aid solution. It led to this much bigger problem right under their noses. The lesson to take away here is that the best time to take care of something is right when you find out about it. Don’t procrastinate or use a Band-Aid fix because it’s going to come back, probably much worse than before.
Hopefully you can learn from these experiences so you don’t ever have to deal with a similar nightmare. If you ever happen to notice a problem, get it addressed by a professional right away. For more information, reach out to the team at Wisler Plumbing by contacting us online or giving us a call at 540-483-9382.