Wednesday, July 22

Part 4: The Catch. And Splash.

If you are ever in need of a plumber, you need to email me first. I will do something muy importante for you: I will call the bank who owned our house and find out if they would use that plumber. If they would? RUN AWAY. Everybody has a super power and that bank's super power is the ability to find really, really bad plumbers.

Plumber #1 was the one who was sent out to turn on the water to the house a week after we went under contract. It was a minor little thing that we requested be done for our inspection. Cause, you know, it's kind of hard for an inspector to thoroughly scope out a place if the utilities aren't on. So, Plumber #1 showed up, knowing full well that it was a foreclosure, and yet walked straight to the water valve and straight back out the door.

Um, I wasn't kidding when I said the kitchen faucets were hacked. Literally, somebody cut them out and didn't cap the pipes.

Once some genius figured out why there was a geyser in the kitchen, the geysers were tamed, the water was left on, and everybody figured all was well.

It wasn't.

When the selling agent stopped by four days later, she walked straight into a swimming pool in the kitchen. We later learned that there were four leaks total, and they had managed to slowly destroy a whole bunch of hardwood flooring.


So, those leaks got fixed and we finally made arrangements for the inspection. When our inspector made his way to the master bathroom, he discovered a minor little detail had been missed--there was a separate valve for that part of the house. He found that valve and turned on the water to that portion of the upstairs for the first time in probably two years.

It wasn't pretty.

The whirlpool tub was making like a certain Havanese and started peeing all over the floor. The master shower was leakier than Britney Spears off her meds. The hall bathroom started bawling because it felt left out. Before long, there was water POURING from the ceiling in the family room, one story below. Seam tape bubbled and drywall bulged as our inspector feverishly tried to identify each and every leak source.

At the exact moment that the family room reached maximum pond impersonation, the appraiser walked in. I have greatly enjoyed telling our new neighbors what our house was appraised at, but have thus far left out the part where the appraiser was standing in the middle of Western PA's version of the Niagra Falls when she came up with that number. It's fun to watch people sweat, and hearing that a house may not be worth as much as imagined is a definite cause of stinky armpits.

After that round of leaking, the bank got smart and fired their plumber. Enter, Plumber #2. While Plumber #2 never did something as gooberish as to not notice entire faucets were missing, he too committed more than a few errors.

At last count, we still have three leaks. I have named them Larry, Curly, and Moe. Say, "Hi," to them because they will not live to see the weekend. I hope.


  1. Oh my gosh, I think I would do some serious yelling!

  2. We've just had to re-plumb the bathroom a bit. Our plumber? Left a leak for THREE days when he knew it was leaking. Ringing the on-call guys got us approximately nothing. We had worse mud puddles inside than out.

    And all that? Still pales in comparison to your issues.

  3. I have a leak somewhere in my condo. I think it's under the tub, though I have noticed an interesting correlation. The neighbors below us have water pouring into their ceiling at the same time that we mysteriously no longer have a leak under our tub. Coincidence? I think not ... Our landlord, on the other hand, is sure that I'm imagining the leak and thinks the people beneath us are just making trouble for him when they tell him water is pouring out of their ceiling. Whatever. Not my place, not my problem. As for your debacle? Le suck.

  4. BTW, I probably should have mentioned that since it was the bank's incompetent plumbers who caused all the damage, the bank ended up being the ones to pay to repair all the damage. It was an uphill battle of epic proportions, but the ceilings are pretty, the hardwood floor shows no evidence of a swimming pool, and the existing leaks are faucets that don't quite shut off all the way. All in all, not bad. Right now.

  5. Ha ha. Ha ha. Hahahahahaha!!

    Not laughing at you, by the way.

    Quick but frustrating note/question: does Washington County require plumbers to be licensed in the way Allegheny County does? We learned THAT the hard way. No license = no passed inspection = drains in the wrong place = no legal rights to make Plumber #1 fix it or refund cash paid under the table by FIL. ::headdesk::

  6. I find the amount of incompetent laborers in this town staggering! How do they keep their jobs?

  7. This is getting to be as interesting as the fish tank of horror!

  8. Oh wow.
    This is like a commercial for NOT hiring a plumber, just doing the work yourself, and making sure you have inspections by the most anal-retentive city inspector they have to offer.

  9. I have to say, I would have gone running from the house after all that drama! You are brave :) It's phenomenally scary how many bad contractors and plumbers there are out there. It's sad because there are good ones, but the bad ones get all the glory (and not in a good way! heh)

  10. What's with all the layered and mismatched pajamas?

  11. Holy Ouch! I would so have been rethinking buying that house. I admire your tenacity and patience. This is a story of nightmarish proportions. So glad the bank repaired it. I agree with never hiring a plumber that a bank has contracted. We too had a foreclosed house, had some issues as well, but NOTHING like your version.

  12. This is fun reading about your crazy house! Tell me more!!

  13. I will trade you my feral ants for your leaks. Except, um, no maybe not. :)

    At least you will get your fridge and stove today, right? Let's hope the fridge doesn't have a water hookup because THAT might be too much.

  14. That's awful! I hope they get fixed soon. Aren't plumbers just great? The one we work with came over one day, jiggled a toilet handle, left and charged us $65. It could have been worse I guess, but I think I'm in the wrong biz....$65 for less than two minutes of work? Which required no degree? I need that job.