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Old 06-21-2013, 05:27 PM
9 posts, read 28,397 times
Reputation: 18


I bought a home in February this year that came without a fridge. I bought a new refrigerator from Best Buy (a model without an icemaker) and paid for delivery and installation. There was a preexisting flexible water line in the kitchen meant to be attached to the fridge, but since our model didn't need that, they just stuffed in back into the wall.

Just yesterday, I discovered that the floor on the kitchen side in the adjacent bedroom was moist. Called a plumber, and he found that the water line had been leaking water into the drywall. This must have been going on for the last 4 month. Called insurance, they called in a restoration contractor that found that the necessary work would come to about $4500. I received an oral agreement from the insurance that this work would be covered, but I'm still going to have to pay a $1000 deductible out of my own pocket.

I'm hoping that someone who reads this has experience with this kind of situation and knows whether there is any chance of recovering that money from Best Buy. It was clearly their botched installation that caused the water drip, but proving that is of course a different matter. They could reasonably claim that the installation was performed correctly, and that someone or something else had caused the water line to leak in the meantime.

On top of that, I - of course - signed a standard form after the fridge was installed and delivered where I agreed that the delivery had been completed to my satisfaction and that the delivery service had not caused damage to my property, and that I release Best Buy and their agents from all liability for damage to my residence or property.

So legal action seems unlikely to succeed. Are there any options here? Ask Best Buy very nicely and hope they'll give me a gift card? Pursue a dispute through BBB?

Thanks for your opinions.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:23 PM
Location: Phoenix AZ
6,223 posts, read 12,282,158 times
Reputation: 10149
If best buy didnt connect the water line to the fridge, how did they "botch" the installation?
At the end of the water line is a valve - usually a $3 part that would have to be bad (or left open) to allow water into that line. Not seeing how they would have any responsibility at all for that valve. Be glad your insurance stepped up.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:13 PM
1,489 posts, read 3,099,168 times
Reputation: 2819
It sucks that this happened to you but I'll have to agree with Zippyman. Best buy didn't work or connect your water line to the fridge. They had absolutely no reason to check to see if the shut-off valve was leaking or not.
It's unfortunate so you'll just have to be thankful it didn't do more damage and your insurance is picking up most of the tab.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:37 AM
Location: LEAVING CD
22,959 posts, read 23,880,023 times
Reputation: 15569
To add to the answers you've already received, how can you be sure the line wasn't leaking prior to Best Buy sliding the unit into place? Was the water to the house shut off prior to you buying the house and then turned on when you closed? How long was the house empty?
I'd almost bet the previous owners caused the leak when they disconnected their fridge and you just happened to be the recipient of their poor plumbing skills.
Pay the deductible and look at it as just an added cost to the purchase price. It sucks but it happens.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:35 AM
50 posts, read 59,472 times
Reputation: 49
Look in the mirror and you will see who was responsible. Enjoy explaining that to your homeowner's insurance companies for the next 10-20 years. Sounds like a stuck gate valve, that wouldn't close all the way, because if it was simply coming off the cold water kitchen valve, you would be living in a houseboat by now.
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:36 PM
Location: In the Deem Hills of NW Phoenix
800 posts, read 1,689,212 times
Reputation: 887
I agree with most of the above posts. How can you prove the water line wasn't leaking before Best Buy delivered the fridge?

Be glad your insurance is covering it. We had this happen in a vacant rental property and had to eat $14,000 to clean it up when insurance wouldn't pay.
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:40 PM
1 posts, read 3,137 times
Reputation: 10
What would you say to this scenario? We had nice vinyl installed in our kitchen/dining area. Long story short, floor was laid improperly (over cut) next to the cupboard beside the refrigerator. We paid them to do the floors and reconnect the fridge and waterlines to the ice maker. My ins., plumber, and clean up contractor all stated that the damage clearly began at last hookup due to where the water was and the water buildup on the pipe. All three said when valves sit and dry out, the washers dry out causing leaks. They all said it should have been clear upon hook up. It leaked down and inside the wall as well as under the carpet on the other side of the wall (newly installed too), and under the vinyl. It went under the counter next to the fridge and into the pantry walls and floor. We didn't know it was leaking (4 months) until my carpet was wet since the water went under the vinyl flooring instead of over it. The installation company said it wasn't their fault, but the installer (they claim now is only a contractor) has insurance. His insurance guy came out and told me that they were collecting data to take the valve makers to court due to faulty designs. He proceeded to tell me that my entire floor needs to be redone. Months later, I finally got a hold of him to find out what was going on. He told me they aren't covering anything because the installer said he never touched anything in the wall behind the fridge. He had to! For the two days it sat in my living room the waterline was coiled up behind my fridge. It had to hook back up to the wall to have any water connection. I'm baffled! The company we bought the materials and labor from basically said, sorry sukkka! Bad things happen. We put our money into quality materials and installation. We don't have money to replace the flooring again and make all of the necessary repairs. Any ideas? My husband wants to make a large sign and camp out at the store to warn potential customers. I'm really close to agreeing.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:11 AM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
1,350 posts, read 1,028,039 times
Reputation: 1925
That sort of passing the buck is normal I would think...no one wants to pay the bill.

Fridge water lines are a huge liability, my realtor advised me that in all his rentals that had an existing water line to the refrigerator area, he has the lines capped off so the tenant can't hook up an icemaker even if they want to.

I guess this shows the advantage of knowing where your water lines are. I've had a leaking water line in my own house within the last year, we noticed wetness in one of the kitchen drawers, sure enough, it was leaking slightly where the line was run. So in a sense I'm quite fortunate that the line was run in a place where I would eventually notice the leak. It was a cheap repair and the damage was slight/hidden so I didn't really have to remediate it.

That said, we use a ton of ice because both my wife and I are huge water drinkers and ice users, so I am willing to deal with the risks in order to have a fridge with an ice maker.
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Old 11-03-2015, 03:28 PM
Location: Southern Arizona
9,496 posts, read 27,951,719 times
Reputation: 11302
Unfortunately, Bender . . . some accidents are just that: ACCIDENTS.

If in your position, I would very calmly and politely explain the facts (preferably in a letter, not a phone call or an e-mail) to a Manager or Executive at Best Buy. Hopefully, you will receive a positive response, however, if negative or less than positive . . . ACCEPT IT AND MOVE ON.
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:05 PM
Location: LEAVING CD
22,959 posts, read 23,880,023 times
Reputation: 15569
Exclamation One BIG thing to look at that could save thousands!

Those feed lines to your toilets! If they have those plastic connectors "nuts" on them I HIGHLY suggest you replace them with metal ASAP.

I'm currently doing water damage rehab on a place that had one of those lines bust off and it ran all weekend. $20k in damage. I had the SAME thing happen on another house I was working on last month, thank god I was there when it happened. Still caused some damage before I could get the water shut off not to mention getting cut myself while the line was whipping back and forth.

According to plumbers I've spoken to AZ is hard on the plastics and they get brittle over time. Common occurrence, who knew? I sure didn't until last month.

REPLACE 'EM PEOPLE before you have the fun of replacing lots of sheetrock,cabinets and floors.
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