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liability question

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  • liability question

    Got called out to this last week.

    Hotel with restaraunts.

    hotel lobby had a wood floor, floor buckled up almost a foot next to a wall backing to a restaraunt bar. Do some invetigating and find floor sink in bar with 2" cinh p-trap empty, hole in trap.

    Break out concrete to get to trap, find that it is 4" of concrete poured onto framed floor. lake of bar drain filth under (1st) plywood subfloor. camera line, find it backed up. Attempt to clear it, suspect it is broken below the lower, second framed floor. This bar has a framed floor, then a second framed floor above that with concrete poured on that (go figure). no access to any of it w/o breaking through the floor(s) somewhere.

    Come to find out they had the drains in the bar backed up about a month ago. Called someone else. Worked and worked and finally got them to drain, presumably by breaking the hole in the trap and everything else backing up to that trap and pouring out there.

    This is going to be 5 digits, and the first one won't be a one. Massive damage, no easy way to make the things drain again, probably an even bigger lake below the second floor (it's been draining out there for a month+), mold issues, a true nightmare and right in the front lobby.

    Guy who broke out the trap and walked away own this or not?
    This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

  • #2
    Re: liability question

    Don't actually think I would want to walk into OTHER peoples problems you didn't do it and who is to say 3 guys before didn't do it.
    Seattle Drain Service


    • #3
      Re: liability question

      no no no....I'm not about to point any fingers...

      I just speak what I find;

      "Your trap has a hole in it (and your other trap has a hole in it as well by the bye, but that at least is down in the dirt). The line is clogged below the traps, and likely broken there also. The hole in the higher trap has been letting the wastewater from the drains out under the floor, and that's what exploded you lobby floor. You need a prfessional restoration/remediation company in here for cleanup, and I need a hole through both these floors or possibly to install a lift station if you want the drains to work again. Let me know if you want an estimate."

      But I sure know what happened. And I'm just wondering if I was that guy and got the call if I would be able to suck it up and buy it. I'd feel like I had to.
      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.


      • #4
        Re: liability question

        Thats what a hold harmless is for. The guy before you may not know he made a hole in the trap he may think he cleared the blockage. Could the condition of the pipe been compromised before he started. Due to age, the possible prior use of drain cleaner, and other unforseen factors if we can't see the piping we are working on we have the customer sign the hold harmless. There are to many lawyers out there today looking for work. You have to cover yourself. Remember you didn't cause the problem(blockage) you are only trying to fix it.


        • #5
          Re: liability question

          One other thing is who can prove he made the hole? The hole may have been there from someone in the hotel, or some other contractor, and it got plugged up. Or he did get the line open and it plugged a short time later and someone at the hotel thought he made it look easy and tried themselves and put the hole in the trap.

          If someone did come to me months later telling me I was the last to work on the drain and there is a hole in it now, I just hand them my insurance agents card. He will deal with them.
          Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
          Ron's Facebook
          A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
          Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
          Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing


          • #6
            Re: liability question

            It seems pretty obvious the guy broke the trap or there would not have been a stoppage to begin with. The question is was it his fault the trap was in such bad shape he would be able to punch a hole in it. Either way even if it is not his fault it will cost his insurance company a bunch to prove it.

            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!


            • #7
              Re: liability question

              We all can guess , playing Cop can be a disservice to another Man's family.
              Who knows Eddie,the owners brother in Law .may have rented a Maxi rooter and blew out a
              rusted old trap
              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .


              • #8
                Re: liability question

                I wouldn't blame him. They might go to the previous guy and he tells them his side of the story and then you'd look like an ***. You don't know if he knew whether or not he broke through the trap and maybe he didn't.

                Either way I doubt he knew and it's not his fault their plumbing is falling apart.


                • #9
                  Re: liability question

                  I don't play the blame game or go on jobs that may have been messed up by another company or DIY Hack. Less headache.
                  MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
                  Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas

                  Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.