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To be utterly fucked off with this incompetence?

(66 Posts)
VelvetSpoon Mon 12-Sep-16 14:29:18

Previous threadhere for background.

In brief, I have a water leak. So big that it cascades down what's left of my driveway (which has had 4 big holes dug in it), over the pavement and runs like a stream down the road. Apart from the holes, it's been like this for about 5 months.

I was told recently by Thames Water that if I dug a hole in my kitchen floor they would repair the leak. It's a solid concrete floor so not just lifting floor boards etc.

Today was meant to be a site visit to a) confirm that there was no alternative but to dig a hole and b) to mark out where the hole was. Except Thames don't know where the leak is, and have no way of finding out.

So where the fuck was the hole meant to be? No answer.

My insurers also don't know where the leak is. Chap from loss adjusters said it would require tracing to work out where it is but that I 'probably' haven't got cover for that.

So the water co want me to dig a hole except they don't know where the leak is or where to dig. My insurers will pay for the damage done by digging the hole, but won't dig it until they know where the leak is, the detection of which I'm not covered for.

Is this not utter madness? What on earth am I meant to do??!

I have to say, I'm an intelligent and articulate person and I am struggling against this tide of bullshit, fuck knows how other people would manage. I had to ask about alternatives to the digging, because pillock from my insurers didn't realise that was part of his brief...

Crackerdog Mon 12-Sep-16 14:40:42

Can't add any practical help but I feel your pain. Years ago we were with a phone called Home call. They changed our number randomly 89 times in a year and couldn't understand why. We paid line rental for years and never actually managed to have a working line. Eventually we moved abroad and left them. The stress of ringing them was so bad that we used to pay my drama student sister to do it, she used it as voice coaching. At one point they sent us a bill for about 800 grand for a telegraph pole and box. When we rang them they said we had to pay because we had "used up so many numbers" which is not even scientific. It sounds funny but actually it really got us down because it was impossible to sort out. I highly recommend packing up your books, getting the dog a pet passport and leaving the house to go abroad. It's the only thing that worked for us grin

Discobabe Mon 12-Sep-16 15:01:59

I often worry about this nightmare as it's not generally covered on insurance policies. I guess you'll have to pay someone privately to trace it? No idea who though!

Discobabe Mon 12-Sep-16 15:09:56

Anglian Water have a list of approved engineers for this sort of work on their website. Thames Water has a link too so maybe start by contacting on of those?

VelvetSpoon Mon 12-Sep-16 15:10:52

I don't see why I should have to pay someone to trace it though, it's nonsense. The pipework is below 12 inches of concrete. Nothing I have done can possibly have caused this leak. I'm a single parent, I don't have spare money lying around to spend £100s on 'leak detection' especially as the loss adjuster piped up 'oh sometimes they can't find it anyway' what the fuck happens then?!

How can Thames be saying 'dig up your floor we'll repair it' when they don't even know where the fucking leak is in the first place.

The entire thing is ridiculous.

EBearhug Mon 12-Sep-16 15:11:37

Have you tried dowsing?

90daychallenger Mon 12-Sep-16 15:13:19

OP, how do you feel about a Daily Mail sad face?

My ex-P used to work high up in leaks in the water board. The only thing that could bring him out in a sweat was a customer going to the papers about the company not fixing, or not being able to fix, a leak.

suchafuss Mon 12-Sep-16 15:14:17

Sorry but could the pipes have corroded? That would cause a leak and not be covered by insurance. (Hope not btw)

VelvetSpoon Mon 12-Sep-16 15:16:23

Thanks for the link but apparently rather than a plumber I need engineers with thermal imaging to try and trace the leak. Except they may not be able to find it.

Once the leak is found, allegedly my insurers will dig the hole, Thames will repair it and my insurers will reinstate it. Again, all allegedly. At present I don't believe anything any of them tell me. It seems to be one lie or misleading statement after the other. The whole thing feels like I'm being gaslighted.

Penfold007 Mon 12-Sep-16 15:16:59

My parents had something similar a couple of months ago and they are with Thames Water. We knew there was a leak outside so they dug a trench and replaced some large pipe work unfortunately it then be came apparent there was an internal leak somewhere in the kitchen or hall but no idea where. Thames Water eventually decided against digging up the floor and instead used a thermal imaging camera to locate the leak. They then shut off the supply, cut off the offending pipe and fitted a new one above the floor - problem solved. Maybe you could request similar?

DixieWishbone Mon 12-Sep-16 15:17:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RhiWrites Mon 12-Sep-16 15:17:30

Have you contacted your MP? Oh and try the industry regulator as well. And if neither of those helps, a lawyer. Thames Water are treating you appallingly.

Crackerdog Mon 12-Sep-16 15:18:40

Or that Martin whatsisname? He seemsaid to get good results. I agree about the publicity. Or write to the CEO or whoever detailing the way you have been treated. I once emailed the CEO of a hire company and he answered while he was on holiday abroad and gave me a free Audi for my whole stay to make up for anew issue that was their fault! And I only idly Googled CEO email and then wrote a stinker which of.course made me feel loads better and I got over it. Then an hour later he rang me!!!

VelvetSpoon Mon 12-Sep-16 15:20:58

All the pipes are under concrete, if they're damaged or corroded it can't be down to anything I or anyone has done as they're underground (opinion is divided as to whether they're in or below the concrete, but regardless, they're well away from the surface.

I've got the CCW involved. I may have to call the chap there tomorrow who was very nice and helpful previously (to get us to this point). I'd rather not go to the papers but if I have to, I will.

Crackerdog Mon 12-Sep-16 15:27:39

I for one am rooting for you flowers

TollgateDebs Mon 12-Sep-16 15:39:12

Don't fix the leak! Stop the water and reroute pipes, making old pipes redundant, as it is very difficult to find the exact leak and, if corrosion, it will probably be going in a number of places and continue to do so.

I had a similar scenario, albeit outside and under the property, but not in the floors and it took me two years to sort properly and cost insurers a great deal. In the end, I insisted that they did not try to find the constant leaks (all the pipe was failing) but replace it, to get me to a leak free scenario, ie the position I was in before insurance and should be after it.

It is very difficult to find a small leak, so don't find the leak, find where the water comes in and cap off and re-route to stop the water causing any more grief and damage. It might involve digging up concrete to embed new pipes or other options depending on where you need the water to run to. Pipes do not last for ever, whether outside or inside and concrete can and does corrode pipes and plastic breaks down and fails on a regular basis, especially some of the materials used in the 70's, which only have a certain shelf life. Your insurance is about putting you back into the position you were in before a leak, so how they do it can vary, but they have to stop the leak and quickly and that means they need to get it done. They should also check the leak has not affected the fabric of the building (it undermined our drive, paving and garden walls) and the best way to do that is stop the water and re-route it, so the old pipework is made redundant. Even if you find the immediate leak once it starts to corrode it could keep on doing so and a small fix is simply a sticking plaster exercise.

TrickyD Mon 12-Sep-16 15:50:35

Count yourself lucky that Thames Water will at least do something. We are with Anglia Water, and, like Dixie we are not covered for anything our side of the meter.

We had a leak just before we went in holiday somewhere in our drive, luckily where it is gravel, further up there is concrete and a leak under that would have been an expensive nightmare. Our lovely plumber said it would be much cheaper if DH could dig down to it, which, poor old boy, he did with some help from DS2. The hole in the pipe was the size of a pin prick, and after a complicated mend, involving plastic to lead, it leaked again beyond the repair. Everyone dismayed, plumber going on holiday himself the next day, mad dash to get extra kit before the shop closed, finally fixed, bill including a new stopcock in the utility room and a new outside tap, all materials supplied, £242, made up to £250, He really is the nicest plumber ever.

But, unlike you OP, we could see where the leak was likely to be. Good luck.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Mon 12-Sep-16 15:52:07

contact the daily mail its the ONLY way

OR email their CEO< keep it punchy (really concise and very high level) and say you are desperate and if cannot help- you are going to the papers!

Steve Robertson, Chief Executive Officer

Isitjustmeorisiteveryoneelse Mon 12-Sep-16 15:55:10

Sorry you're living a nightmare. I don't mean to add to your woes but if the leak is your side of the boundary (and if it is under your kitchen I guess it is) aren't you responsible for fixing it (whatever has caused it) according the terms of your ac with Thames? I get reminder letters from SE Water every few months reminding me that if there's ever a leak on my property I will be responsible for fixing it - or else - they're trying to sell me their own insurance policy obvs. Thames may have told you they'll fix it (if you find it) but that doesn't mean they'll pay for it does it? Or have they specifically said they will pay too? If they haven't they may be planning on billing you or your insurer. Be careful. Hope it's resolved soon. Btw just looked at Thames website apparently one way of spotting you have a leak is 'wet/damp patches in your garden during a dry spell' - no shit. They don't mention cascading torrents.

Aftershock15 Mon 12-Sep-16 16:02:53

Thames water website says like Anglia that you are responsible for pipes once past the property line. The additional free engineers and fixing seems to be something they might do (from the website). As it's likely to be pipes failing due to age, and therefore happen again, I suspect as a previous poster has suggested, you just need to water pipes and abandon those under your kitchen floor.

Mummyoflittledragon Mon 12-Sep-16 16:05:33

In general, this leak is your responsibility as it is way past your boundary. Most water companies only repair up to the water inlet at the side of the road. I am really surprised Thames Water is doing anything - are they charging you?

The cheapest option would be to get a new pipe fitted and make the old pipe redundant. If you want one put below ground, they can use a thing, which ploughs a hole through the earth. I think it's actually called a mole. Then if you don't want to dig up the floor, just create an inlet through the wall if you are able - assuming your stop cock is on an outside wall or inside the garage.

You want someone, who has one and does this sort of groundwork. Not an internal plumber.

Mummyoflittledragon Mon 12-Sep-16 16:07:28

Contact the CEO/papers. It's not the companies responsibility. Yeh do that if you want to look like a twat.

Discobabe Mon 12-Sep-16 16:11:21

It's because it's on your private property so it's your responsibility unfortunately.

VelvetSpoon Mon 12-Sep-16 16:20:32

I'm fully aware it would normally be for me to pay as it's under my house (allegedly, let's not forget they still don't actually know where the leak is).

However as Thames have made such a fuck up, they've agreed to bear the cost of actually fixing the leak, albeit the cost of digging, putting it right etc is my insurers...

I've asked about rerouting the pipework. Apparently this is not an option as they can't reroute it under the house and they can't dig deep enough (allegedly) to go along the side of the house.

This is all what I'm told and for all I know could be utter bullshit.

The situation is complicated further by the fact it is a shared supply. Somewhere under my house is a 'join' linking the pipes for my 4 neighbours. So technically it might be one of their pipes which is leaking it just happens to be under my house.


VelvetSpoon Mon 12-Sep-16 16:23:33

My stopcock is not on an internal wall, no garage. They can't use a mole as it would damage the foundations. Allegedly.

Technically as the supply affects all 5 houses my insurers aren't able to repair it without the authority of all other houses and their insurers, which is another reason why Thames are doing the work.

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