Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

plumbing, drainage and waste water questions here please

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l00ey
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Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

Post by l00ey »

Please see above, I don't have the money to rectify all the problems old owner created and worried I will be out on street. Insurance wont pay as it is classed as a defect, checked with them.
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Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

Post by ahfix »

Are you sure you are not going a bit OOT? I can't see where the pipes are going and coming from but that plumbing doesn't look that bad in my humble view.

You have an old property, stuff gets broken. Stuff get's fixed. I have bits of 40 year old plumbing that could have been neater but works fine and doesn't cause me issues.

3rd pic looks like surface mold on an exterior cold wall, my guess it is nothing to do with plumbing.

You can check this, if the mold cleans off with neat bleach and the plaster under is dry (after leaving it a day to dry from cleaning) then it is just from condensation due to poor ventilation in the bathroom.

Just my 2p. I'm sure the others will comment soon.

ah
l00ey
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Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

Post by l00ey »

ahfix wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:44 pm
Are you sure you are not going a bit OOT? I can't see where the pipes are going and coming from but that plumbing doesn't look that bad in my humble view.

You have an old property, stuff gets broken. Stuff get's fixed. I have bits of 40 year old plumbing that could have been neater but works fine and doesn't cause me issues.

3rd pic looks like surface mold on an exterior cold wall, my guess it is nothing to do with plumbing.

You can check this, if the mold cleans off with neat bleach and the plaster under is dry (after leaving it a day to dry from cleaning) then it is just from condensation due to poor ventilation in the bathroom.

Just my 2p. I'm sure the others will comment soon.

ah
ahfix wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:44 pm
Are you sure you are not going a bit OOT? I can't see where the pipes are going and coming from but that plumbing doesn't look that bad in my humble view.

You have an old property, stuff gets broken. Stuff get's fixed. I have bits of 40 year old plumbing that could have been neater but works fine and doesn't cause me issues.

3rd pic looks like surface mold on an exterior cold wall, my guess it is nothing to do with plumbing.

You can check this, if the mold cleans off with neat bleach and the plaster under is dry (after leaving it a day to dry from cleaning) then it is just from condensation due to poor ventilation in the bathroom.

Just my 2p. I'm sure the others will comment soon.

ah
Hi
The picture of the yellow bathroom is my neighbours below.
It was after talking to the leak detection expert that I got worried as he is used to leaks and is from a good company.
The grey and white pipes that disappear into the floor are the old owners bodge jobs and the leak detection guy said the sewer smell comes from leaks in waste pipes.
He could not detect any leaks in my property but said the smell could be coming from the joins under the concrete, that is why I am really worried. It's the leaks I cannot see and the leaks the leak detector couldn't detect that are worrying me.
The pipes that disappear into the concrete could be leaking below the concrete and are directly above the mould in the neighbours bathroom downstairs.
They ventilate well, they always have their window open.
The leak detector said it seems logical that as there were no leaks in my flat, this must be where the strong sewerage smell comes from. It is definitely not in the bathroom, I closed the bathroom door and the smell definitely comes from that area.
He said it doesn't matter if the smell is intermittent or not.
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Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

Post by fin »

ok...... now we are possibly getting somewhere.

those are all waste pipes. when you were on about plumbing i was assuming pipes carying mains water or hot water to appliances (sink, basin, bath, toilet etc etc)

also the waste soil pipe is plastic so it might not be as disastrous as your assuming.

does the soil pipe (the big grey pipe) finish outside at the top of the building? or does it end in your roof space? i was working on a job once and the bloke who put the soil pipe in didnt put an aav (air admitance valve) on the top of the stack. that ended up with smells in the coustomers bathroom. and much annoyance when we discovered what the problem was.

also all of those pipes. do they have a fall away from whatever they are connected too? or do they fall back toward where they are connected too? do you frequently get blocked drains or intermittent gurgling or glugging sounds from the drains?
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l00ey (Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:04 pm)
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l00ey
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Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

Post by l00ey »

fin wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:42 pm
ok...... now we are possibly getting somewhere.

those are all waste pipes. when you were on about plumbing i was assuming pipes carying mains water or hot water to appliances (sink, basin, bath, toilet etc etc)

also the waste soil pipe is plastic so it might not be as disastrous as your assuming.

does the soil pipe (the big grey pipe) finish outside at the top of the building? or does it end in your roof space? i was working on a job once and the bloke who put the soil pipe in didnt put an aav (air admitance valve) on the top of the stack. that ended up with smells in the coustomers bathroom. and much annoyance when we discovered what the problem was.

also all of those pipes. do they have a fall away from whatever they are connected too? or do they fall back toward where they are connected too? do you frequently get blocked drains or intermittent gurgling or glugging sounds from the drains?
Hi thanks for your answer.
Yeah they are all waste pipes which is why I am so worried. I will do my best to answer your questions.
I know that the bathroom downstairs has a horizontal soil pipe behind their loo but I cannot work out where the old owner has routed the waste and soil pipe under the concrete in the crawl space and how or even if he has joined it to the pipe belonging to the people downstairs.
The big grey soil pipe is definitely in the cavity. you can see how close to the eaves it is and there is a corbel on the wall outside as illustrated in the photo below, which contains the pipes.
The band of mould is exactly in line with the bottom of the inside of the space where the corbel or ridge whatever you call it. The thing that sticks out under the roof. I know the pipes are in there cos the cavitiy is wider.
coping stones..jpg
coping stones..jpg (56.48 KiB) Viewed 227 times
To be honest I do not know where they finish. I do know that they disappear into my concrete floor and are in the cavity between the building envelope and the inner leaf.
There is a corbel. I have a photo where I have marked where the pipes are.
I don't think I have an air admittance valve on top of the stink pipe the old owner installed.
Here is a photo of the vent on the roof, but it is not clear to see, the old owners vent is on the right hand side with a red ring around it, there is nothing under it in the loft space.
view of my roof from outside.jpg
view of my roof from outside.jpg (82.82 KiB) Viewed 227 times
[quote[also all of those pipes. do they have a fall away from whatever they are connected too? or do they fall back toward where they are connected too?[\quote]
I'm sorry I don't know what a fallaway is, dunno where they are connected to, all I know is they start at the back of my loo and dissappear down the concrete in the crawlspace in my pic in my last post.
I don't get gurgling sounds from the drains but the bath makes a funny noise when emptied, not like a gurgle, it only started making this when a plumber disconnected the pipe from the shower, and capped it off, as that was attached to the soil pipe, as a damp surveyor said to have the shower decommissioned as it was a bodge.
Here is a picture of all the waste pipes attached to the soil pipe
too many pipes going into foul water pipe.jpg
too many pipes going into foul water pipe.jpg (89.64 KiB) Viewed 227 times
I'm worried cos the leak detection expert has seen lots of bodge jobs and is very experienced and I explained all of what I have explained to you and he seems to think that it makes sense that as the waste pipes have been put in the cavity by the old owner and the band of mould in the bathroom is inline with the corbel (containing the pipes) that there is a leak in the waste pipes which is causing the intermittent sewer smell.
When I asked him why the smell had only just begun a few weeks ago he said the leak is getting worse. He said it doesn't matter if the sewer smell is intermittent.
The outside wall is also stained.
Last edited by l00ey on Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Grumps
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Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

Post by Grumps »

It may not be relevant but the area marked as where damp is evident is in a location that is close to where there is a joiner in the guttering.
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l00ey (Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:21 pm)
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Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

Post by l00ey »

Grumps wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:11 pm
It may not be relevant but the area marked as where damp is evident is in a location that is close to where there is a joiner in the guttering.
While I can see why you would say that, they are gutter clips (no join) and were only put on recently, before sewer smell but long after I discovered band of mould in bathroom of neighbour downstairs.
I'm worried cos I cant afford to rectify it, its not my flat, but lease advice say I inherited old owners problems.
Can't explain sewer smell, only explanation I have is those pipes, definitely not bathroom, as that door was closed when I smelt it. Relieved to find no leaks in my flat, but terrified that old owner has caused leaks below the concrete in my crawlspace and I am responsible.
PS Neighbour (tenant) says mould been there all 6 years they lived there, dunno about previous owners, I suspect they were scared of the old owner of my house as they didn't dare complain, the owners association didn't even complain to the freeholder, they were told to mind their own business when he installed a velux window directly into the roof, which also caused a leak.
fin
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Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

Post by fin »

an escape of water is covered by insurance surely...

ive got to go and quote for an insurance job on a kitchen i installed 3 years ago. the water supply pipe on the dishwasher has becomme faulty over time. this leak has damaged the kitchen cabinet and the flooring.

my client does not have to pay nor do i because this is an accident.

you really should speak to your insurance again or whoever owns the building... this sounds like a cop out to me personally like. not your fault if there is leaks.

if your soil pipe is not vented outside and terminates inside the roof space it needs an aav on the top of it.

whoever the old owner is.... it sounds like he needs someone to tell him hes a bit of a helmet.
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Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

Post by fin »

and if you are renting then get environmental health on the case
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l00ey (Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:01 pm)
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Post by l00ey »

fin wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:52 pm
an escape of water is covered by insurance surely...

ive got to go and quote for an insurance job on a kitchen i installed 3 years ago. the water supply pipe on the dishwasher has becomme faulty over time. this leak has damaged the kitchen cabinet and the flooring.

my client does not have to pay nor do i because this is an accident.

you really should speak to your insurance again or whoever owns the building... this sounds like a cop out to me personally like. not your fault if there is leaks.

if your soil pipe is not vented outside and terminates inside the roof space it needs an aav on the top of it.

whoever the old owner is.... it sounds like he needs someone to tell him hes a bit of a helmet.
Hi
Sorry I thought I put about insurance earlier. I spoke to them, old owners alterations are classed as defects and my insurer won't cover defects. If it was a leak under my concrete floor from a pipe of one of my radiators they would as that is not classed as defect and they cannot expect me to see under my floor :) but old owners alterations are defects so no cover if I claimed.
They cover for accidental damage. They expect you to maintain the property, I cant afford to.
They would cover for leaks caused by faults that weren't mine or old owners fault.
The leasehold advisory service said I am responsible for old owners bodge ups.
Soil pipe vent is on the roof, no aav in loft, is that a problem?
I posted a pic of the vent the old owner put in, I put a red ring around it. One of them leaks as he messed about with them when installing the velux.
I dunno what possessed the old owner to do what he did. His wife inherited the flat, and he took it upon himself to do alterations despite knowing the rules on the lease.
I'm really worried as I cannot afford to get the leaky waste pipes and possibly damaged masonry repaired (leaky wastepaper being going on for years I think as mould in neighbours flat been there years)
Masonry wetted for long term crumbles, my shed is crumbly cos downpipe fell away from wall casing rain to hit masonry for years crumbling mortar, none of neighbours sheds are crumbling like mine.
l00ey
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Urgent work needs doing but can't get plumber

Post by l00ey »

Help! Am I doomed?
Can't afford to pay for leaky pipes caused by old owner.
Leasehold advisory service provide as good legal advice as solicitor.
Do I believe leak detection guy who says sewer smell can only be caused by leaky pipes beneath concrete?
Where do I go from here, it's been on my mind all day since he said it.
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Post by fin »

where is this concrete you keep mentioning?
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Post by l00ey »

fin wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:20 pm
where is this concrete you keep mentioning?
Thanks for your reply.
In the crawlspace, dug up by the old owner to reroute soil and water pipes. Here is a pic to save you scrolling back through thread.
I also include a pic of mould directly below pipes in neighbours bathroom and a pic of where the pipes are located marked by X's o the roof, my flat is in the roof. But X shows where mould is from the outside although outside wall not mouldy only inside, red x shows where pipes are situated that the old owner rerouted.
The pipes are in the cavity between the two leaves.
a previous occupant dug up floor (see right side of grey pipe) and tampered with pipes, soil pipe disconnected from original sewer gas vent, and wood in the eaves cut..jpg
a previous occupant dug up floor (see right side of grey pipe) and tampered with pipes, soil pipe disconnected from original sewer gas vent, and wood in the eaves cut..jpg (78.91 KiB) Viewed 171 times
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fin
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Post by fin »

if you cant get access to the pipe to check where it is leaking and even if it is leaking then there is not a lot you can do now.

those types of pipe rarely leak.

those type of pipes if internal in my experience (20 years as a carpenter/joiner) are in boxing inside of rooms. if they are inaccesible then what can you do.

not entirely sure on the floor construction but if as you say its a concrete screed then id assume block and beam construction.

you basically need to come up with a way to sort this with your neighbour or the building owners because its not gonna fix itself. maybe ask a reputable local builder to take a look. plumbers normally dont like messing about with stuff like that.

just someone who is a general builder. not a leak detection expert coz it seems that all theyve told you is what you already knew anyway.

more likely than not itll be something simple like a broken seal retaining ring on a joint.

couple of years ago we got called back to a loft conversion we did about 15 years back. exactly that problem on a fairly well hidden soil pipe.
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Post by l00ey »

fin wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:44 pm
if you cant get access to the pipe to check where it is leaking and even if it is leaking then there is not a lot you can do now.

those types of pipe rarely leak.

those type of pipes if internal in my experience (20 years as a carpenter/joiner) are in boxing inside of rooms. if they are inaccesible then what can you do.

not entirely sure on the floor construction but if as you say its a concrete screed then id assume block and beam construction.

you basically need to come up with a way to sort this with your neighbour or the building owners because its not gonna fix itself. maybe ask a reputable local builder to take a look. plumbers normally dont like messing about with stuff like that.

just someone who is a general builder. not a leak detection expert coz it seems that all theyve told you is what you already knew anyway.

more likely than not itll be something simple like a broken seal retaining ring on a joint.

couple of years ago we got called back to a loft conversion we did about 15 years back. exactly that problem on a fairly well hidden soil pipe.
Thanks for your reply.
Hi Regarding access to the grey and white leaking soil pipes, I can see that the concrete is thin, about 1.5 ins thick, there is a hole near the grey pipe in my last picture. The old owner got access to them, so surely someone else can?

I thought also those types of pipes rarely leak, but dunno how old owner attached the pipes below the concrete, whatever he had to hand, judging by the other alterations in the flat.
I can't just leave it because it if is a broken seal then it will just get worse, however I cannot contact the owner of the flat below because he is abroad most of the time, tenants live there.
The building owner has been notified by me, but they say the the owner needs the owner to complain. The tenants have repeatedly complained to the owner about the mould, (Their landlord) but he won't complain to the building owner. They lived here 7 but are moving, his previous tenants only lasted 6 months each.

The building owner have said they will not allow me to get a tradesman to look at this.

I hear you when you say plumbers don't like messing with stuff like that, but won't it take a plumber to fix the leak in the pipe which is causing the mould down below and possibly damaging the masonry, with it going on so long?

So, I am still terrified, as I am responsible for the old owners botch ups, but the building owner won't let me get anyone, insurance wont pay as its a defect, and owner of the flat below is uncontactable, however as it will just get worse, and sewer smells dangerous I fear I am in it up to my neck.
You have been really helpful so far. I put my questions in bold not to be rude, but for convenience.
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