Friday, November 21, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere....

I'm a Pisces, so I should naturally love water.......and for the most part, I do.

But the past two weeks have me realizing how annoying and yet necessary water can be.
The most recent event was the giant water main that broke and caused me to have no water for a day.

Just my luck that I'd try to take a shower and have the water completely stop half way through.

Oh well...

So here's the first and big story that got me feeling all this aqua annoyance......

Last weekend, I was putting in new molding in the spare room.
I'm renovating it to make it an office/guest room.

So Sunday I finish the last piece of the main baseboard and started - but didn't finish - the quarter-round.

Monday & Tuesday pass with no problem........

Wednesday morning my neighbor from downstairs comes ringing my doorbell asking if I have a leak or something in my place because he has water coming down through his ceiling!
I'm a little perplexed because I'm pretty sure I would've known if I had any leaks, but I check anyway and sure enough, all my sinks and toilets, etc. are dry. So I tell him to call the Home Owner's Association because maybe a sprinkler pipe burst or something.

SO I try to go back to sleep but I hear them downstairs making noise and cutting into the ceiling, etc., and the 30 mins later the HOA guy and a contractor come ringing my doorbell asking to check my place out. They look around a little and the guys asks, "Is this baseboard new?"

"Yeah, I was just putting it in this past weekend."

He goes into the spare room and looks at a sprinkler head up near the ceiling and follows it down to the floor and sure enough -- right in line with it is a nail I had used to put the baseboard in.

"Look. Yup. That's gotta be it. Your neighbor downstairs has a leak, so it's gotta be that nail. Why don't you come downstairs with us so you can see."

So I go down with them and sure enough, you can see the bottom part of that sprinkler pipe with a slow trickle of water coming down it. But what was worse was that the nail not only punctured the pipe but sealed the hole at the same time - resulting in a very slow leak that took 2 days for anyone to notice. This is actually worse because now the water has soaked into the beams and base flooring on my level and through the guy downstair's ceiling.

In my head I'm like "MOTHERFUCKER! You gotta be kidding me!!"

I admit that my first reaction is one of slight perplexity and annoyance, but also a few gripes.

I hadn't done anything wrong!
I was using standard nails of standard length AND it wasn't like I was blindly nailing into the wall, I was using a stud-finder and it beeped over the damn pipe - which is why I nailed there!!

The damn pipe is PVC!!

Now, this isn't just a pipe for your sink or toilet, this is a FIRE SAFETY system!!
It would seem common sense for a vital system who's sole purpose is SAFETY, to be made of something more durable than PVC plastic.

I asked the contractor if that's normal and he said it was common because PVC can expand slightly if the water inside freezes.
Makes sense, I suppose.........but C'MON!!!! REALLY??!!??
ALL the buildings I've ever been in that have sprinklers have metal pipes!
Most stores, office buildings, dorms........... my work office that I'm in right now has metal pipes!!

There is NO space between the drywall and the pipe.
Anyone even putting up a painting with a 1-inch nail could've hit that pipe.
Again - doesn't something about that seem idiotic?

So continue my story......
The guy tells me that they will be contacting the Fire Safety company to come out and repair the pipe. At this time, I get a call from my boss that I need to come into work ASAP because of some serious "stuff" going down right now...........(that is a whole 'nother post)......

Fast forward about 2 hours and the guys are there to repair the pipe.
They shut off and drain the sprinkler pipes from the ENTIRE building.
BTW - law requires them to have a Fire & Rescue truck on standby in the parking lot since now the sprinklers are turned off. (doesn't THAT reflect the vital importance of a fire safety system???)

So they bust a hole in my wall and cut and replace the pipe and the whole process takes about 3 hours since they have to put on this sealant/epoxy-type stuff and wait an hour for it to dry.

By the next day, I'm dealing with my neighbor who is actually pretty cool about it.
He knows it was a pure accident and not really due to any mistakes or negligence on my part.
Unfortunately, he couldn't stay at his place for two nights while giant fans dried everything out.

A day after that, and my insurance company sends a guy over to assess the damages.
He's really cool and says stuff like this happens all the time and to just let insurance deal with it.
But, when I ask him about building codes and some other stuff, he does say that there is a minimum distance of 5/8inch that the hole for the pipe is supposed to be from the edge of the base stud. This one was obviously less - around 1/4inch.
This gives me a good starting point and some pertinent info should I need to contest this whole debacle later....

So skip a few days and it turns out that minus my $500 deductible, my insurance comp is cutting me a check for $445.
Also, I find out that my neighbor's claim is covered by my liability, which has $100k coverage, so at this point I'm thinking everything is good. I can do the repair work on my place myself and end up MAKING a few hundred bucks after all is said and done.........

.......NOT SO FAST............

Yesterday I have a note stuck in my door from the HOA.
Basically, they're stating the damage to the sprinkler pipes - being caused by MY renovation work - is MY responsibility to pay.
The attached invoice = $811.


I should've known this wouldn't go away so easily.

I'm starting to really hate community housing..................


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