HOT WATER HEATER PIPE BURST

8 Replies

hired a local contractor to install new Rheem hot water heater. Plumber started the job and broke a pipe. Water flooded the dining area, living room, kitchen, laundry room of my ground floor condo. Tenants were forced to vacate. There is no Water Main inside the condo. Cops came. Somehow the plumber capped the pipe after 45minutes. The water main is in the front lawn manhole! A hot water heater installation became a nightmare. What winter clause Can I put in the lease so tenants shut off water main, gas main and electrical main on their vacation?

@Monica C. you lost me a bit.

Sounds like the tenants were home & you were having a plumber install a new water heater which caused the breakage. It also sounds as though the tenants do not have access to a water main shutoff?

If you don't provide them access to shut off the water when they leave it doesn't matter whats in the lease? 

Am I missing something? Perhaps a rephrase of the question for some more clarity.

Regardless of what happened, I would have a plumber in and add a main shutoff valve in the house. For the $100-200 this might cost, it would be way less aggravating than something like this happening again.

Thanks guys for the response. This condo association does not give access to water main. Only water company can come and shut it off. So what can Tenant do if they go on vacation? The hot water heater pipe burst was a eye opener for me. Thanks.

Originally posted by @Monica C.:

Thanks guys for the response. This condo association does not give access to water main. Only water company can come and shut it off. So what can Tenant do if they go on vacation? The hot water heater pipe burst was a eye opener for me. Thanks.

 You should be able to have a plumber add a shutoff to your unit. Now actually getting a tenant to shut the water off when they go on vacation is a whole different story. I wouldn't hold your breath that that's actually going to happen on any regular basis.

Yeah, there should be no issue with you installing your own shutoff where the pipe enters the house.

I doubt anyone would use it - but nice to have it in case something does break.

This seems impossible to me, there's always a shutoff at least at the meter, and I doubt the meter is in the manhole!  I had a recent "water incident" where the basement WH was leaking and a tenant trying to shut the water to it opened the fill valve to the steam boiler and several upper floor radiators leaked water through 4 apartments. Lesson learned: I bought red tags with string attached and put them on every relevant valve saying what they did.