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Old 07-20-2012, 09:20 AM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,215,541 times
Reputation: 3176

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Okay so I live in this older condo building that has a lot of outdated piping. One of the main issues we've had there is our kitchen sink gets backed up with water from time to time, causing the p-trap drain to crack, damage to our cabinets and flooding our floors. In addition to that prior to moving to our place we noticed that some of the floors near where the water leaks are weak (wood floors) and some of the drywall was removed. We were willing to do what we could to fix these issues but were unaware of what caused them because it was a foreclosure, so we weren't able to talk to the previous owner. Three plumbers have come out during various times of this occurring and none of them have found anything back up in our line or the main plumbing line to cause a back up. We've long suspected that our neighbor above us has a washer machine (illegal in our buildings). I'm about 99% sure she does because she has never gone out to do laundry, never been in the building's laundry room and we have heard noises (dryer & washer) that we hear late at night. We mentioned this to the last plumber and he mentioned that it's very possible that we had an excess of water in the main line of our building, which could ultimately be caused by a washer machine.

With all this said, I am currently in the process of getting property management to investigate her place. The property manager has been reluctant to do it and suspects that there may be something wrong with my place. The issue here is though, my neighbor is on the Board of Directors and has a long standing relationship with the Property Manager. Somehow, some way I am determined to prove that she does indeed have a washer machine. In the event that she does, would it be unreasonable for me to request that she pay for the damage done to my floors and to the dry wall in addition to the other things even though that damage was there before I came there? (By the way she's been living there for decades, I've only been living there close to 3 years, so we believe that she may have been doing this damage before we brought this place) Also, should I take any action against the Property Manager/Condo Association? What would you do in this situation if you were in my shoes and you discovered that your neighbor had a washer machine?
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:31 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,855 posts, read 57,874,473 times
Reputation: 29278
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtitans View Post
...live in this older condo building that has a lot of outdated piping.
With all this said... What would you do.. you discovered that your neighbor had a washer machine?
I'd start by learning what happened the last twenty times this was discovered.
Based on that "past practices" I'd be left with the choice to either act
(act within whatever limits the condo agreement provides for) or to sell.

But I'd probably sell anyway. I couldn't stand living within a condo or HOA...
even a well run new place with no mechanical issues.

hth
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,947 posts, read 18,689,984 times
Reputation: 7187
Have you made an insurance claim for the damage? If you made an insurance claim perhaps the claims adjuster would determine the cause in his efforts to deny coverage......
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Barrington
41,862 posts, read 31,734,681 times
Reputation: 14080
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtitans View Post

Three plumbers have come out during various times of this occurring and none of them have found anything back up in our line or the main plumbing line to cause a back up.

We've long suspected that our neighbor above us has a washer machine (illegal in our buildings). I'm about 99% sure she does because she has never gone out to do laundry, never been in the building's laundry room and we have heard noises (dryer & washer) that we hear late at night. We mentioned this to the last plumber and he mentioned that it's very possible that we had an excess of water in the main line of our building, which could ultimately be caused by a washer machine.
Sounds like the source of the problem remains unknown.

Unless you are stalking your neighbor 24/7 you really don't know how she's doing her laundry. She could be hand washing or even sending it out.

You could complain about noise late at night and ask the PM to investigate it and get back to you. Heck, invite the PM in to hear it for herself or get neighbors to bear wittness.

Given you don't know the source of the problem, there is no basis to take action against anyone. While she might have a washer/dryer, it remains speculation that this is the source of your problem.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,215,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by middle-aged mom View Post
Sounds like the source of the problem remains unknown.

Unless you are stalking your neighbor 24/7 you really don't know how she's doing her laundry. She could be hand washing or even sending it out.

You could complain about noise late at night and ask the PM to investigate it and get back to you. Heck, invite the PM in to hear it for herself or get neighbors to bear wittness.

Given you don't know the source of the problem, there is no basis to take action against anyone. While she might have a washer/dryer, it remains speculation that this is the source of your problem.
You missed a key portion of the question I asked:

Quote:
In the event that she does, would it be unreasonable for me to request that she pay for the damage....
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:06 PM
 
Location: El Dorado Hills, CA
3,670 posts, read 7,976,512 times
Reputation: 3748
Only if you could prove that it caused the back-up. Not likely. Have you filed an insurance claim?
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:45 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,142,160 times
Reputation: 5398
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtitans View Post
You missed a key portion of the question I asked:
She is almost certainly liable but you have to prove it. And that may be hard even if you do show she has a washing machine.

YOu might install a diverter after your P trap and and route to a big container. If it fills up with soapy water you probably got a real strong case. Have it analyzed if you have to. The soap will give it away.
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,289,034 times
Reputation: 3700
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtitans View Post
Okay so I live in this older condo building that has a lot of outdated piping. One of the main issues we've had there is our kitchen sink gets backed up with water from time to time, causing the p-trap drain to crack, damage to our cabinets and flooding our floors. In addition to that prior to moving to our place we noticed that some of the floors near where the water leaks are weak (wood floors) and some of the drywall was removed. We were willing to do what we could to fix these issues but were unaware of what caused them because it was a foreclosure, so we weren't able to talk to the previous owner. Three plumbers have come out during various times of this occurring and none of them have found anything back up in our line or the main plumbing line to cause a back up. We've long suspected that our neighbor above us has a washer machine (illegal in our buildings). I'm about 99% sure she does because she has never gone out to do laundry, never been in the building's laundry room and we have heard noises (dryer & washer) that we hear late at night. We mentioned this to the last plumber and he mentioned that it's very possible that we had an excess of water in the main line of our building, which could ultimately be caused by a washer machine.

With all this said, I am currently in the process of getting property management to investigate her place. The property manager has been reluctant to do it and suspects that there may be something wrong with my place. The issue here is though, my neighbor is on the Board of Directors and has a long standing relationship with the Property Manager. Somehow, some way I am determined to prove that she does indeed have a washer machine. In the event that she does, would it be unreasonable for me to request that she pay for the damage done to my floors and to the dry wall in addition to the other things even though that damage was there before I came there? (By the way she's been living there for decades, I've only been living there close to 3 years, so we believe that she may have been doing this damage before we brought this place) Also, should I take any action against the Property Manager/Condo Association? What would you do in this situation if you were in my shoes and you discovered that your neighbor had a washer machine?
I can understand the sink backing do to large a volume of water trying to go down a drain pipe (as in will not fit and has to go somewhere), but I do not understand the P-trap cracking.

Are there units below yours and are they having the same issues?
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:04 PM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,215,541 times
Reputation: 3176
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinaN View Post
Only if you could prove that it caused the back-up. Not likely. Have you filed an insurance claim?
I don't see a purpose in doing that. If I file a claim, it's not going to solve the problem. Contractors have already checked my piping and found nothing. What would I file a claim for? It's property management responsibility to find out if she has a washer. If she does, then wouldn't it be her insurance responsibility, possibly?
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:11 PM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,215,541 times
Reputation: 3176
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
She is almost certainly liable but you have to prove it. And that may be hard even if you do show she has a washing machine.

YOu might install a diverter after your P trap and and route to a big container. If it fills up with soapy water you probably got a real strong case. Have it analyzed if you have to. The soap will give it away.
I have pictures and a sample of the water. So I'm half way there.

Look at my attachment.
Attached Thumbnails
Sticky Condo Situation, Need some serious advice-imagejpeg_2.jpg  
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