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Thread: can soft clog cause a flood

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member abkindness's Avatar
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    Default can soft clog cause a flood

    I rent a condo and have a dispute with my property management company. On May 5, there was soft clog in my toilet. I did not know there was a soft clog until I woke up to a flood all over the house and downstairs. When the plumber came out he plunged and said that parts inside the toilet needed to fixed. He returned two days later and replaced the ballcock and flapper. He then told my landlord that the replacement of parts had nothing to do with the flood, that is was all the soft clog. It is my understanding that only the water from the bowl would have made a mess, but since the interior components were not working properly, that is what caused the flood. I need a second opinion because they are sticking me with the over $10,000 bill.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If the toilet bowl is clogged, stopped up, and the flapper is leaking, then the water will continue to overfill the bowl and flood the home.

    If the plumber didn't think there was a problem with the flapper, why did he replace it?
    Do you have renters insurance?

    I mean really, it's someones fault.
    If the toilet is clogged, why didn't someone unclog it?

    I wouldn't leave a clogged bow running in my home, that would cost me thousands in damage.
    You take a plunger and fix it, or if you don't have that at the moment, you at least turn off the water.

    What happens when your car runs out of gas? Do you just abandon it?
    I've had to walk miles sometimes to get to a gas station to find a can of gas so I can walk back and get the car started again.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member abkindness's Avatar
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    I flushed the toilet and went to bed in another part of the house. I did not know that there was a soft clog, thus, I did not know about the flood until I woke up in the morning. They are trying to stick me with all bills. Yes, I have renter's insurance but it doesn't cover my condo - only damage to other property.
    The plumber said that he replaced the flapper and ball cock but says that there was no correlation between it's malfunction and the flood. This is what I am disputing. I needed a second opinion for the insurance. They want to deny because they agree with me...that the clog may have caused the toilet to overflow, but the flapper being broken caused the flood. I need help!

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    A proper working 1.6 GPF toilet will not overflow on a single flush if clogged.

    An older toilet that uses more water may but the flooding will be limited to the contents of the tank and the water from the fill valve refilling the bowl.

    Throw a leaking flapper or fill valve into the mix and you have a huge mess.

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    DIY Junior Member abkindness's Avatar
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    Default can soft clog cause a flood

    Can I submit your comment to my insurance and the property management company? If so, can I have all your info?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    IF the replacement parts had "nothing to do with the flood", then what did, because just flushing a toilet, even if there is enough water in the tank to overflow a plugged bowl, does NOT cause $10,000.00 in damages. In fact the amount of water that could have overflowed could be picked up with a towel. The 'soft plug' was WHY it overflowed, but it was not the primary cause of the damage. IF there were not some reason why the toilet's water flow did not turn off, then the flood would not have occurred regardless of whether it was a "soft plug", a "hard plug", or a stopped up sewer line.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abkindness View Post
    Can I submit your comment to my insurance and the property management company? If so, can I have all your info?
    If you are willing to pay my witness fee, all expenses including exotic car rental, all meals. lodging at the Hotel Del Coronado, and round trip first class air fare we can talk.

    If not this material is common knowledge and can be obtained and printed out from a variety of internet sources.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=why+does+my+toilet+overflow

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Whether the toilet was clogged or not, normal maintenance and attention to the state of repair on the toilet should have alerted you that the thing was not working properly. The fact that the toilet must have been turning on to refill the tank periodically when not being used should be a red flag that the thing needed maintenance. The fact that you missed that is the reason it overflowed and caused damage. When the toilet became clogged, that leaking flapper allowed water to continue to flow into the toilet. Since it couldn't go down the drain, it ran out onto the floor. Now, it is also possible that the flapper was fine, and the ballcock, or flush valve was not shutting off. this would allow the water to flow down the overflow tube. It would result in the same thing if the toilet was clogged. Either one is a maintenance issue. Typically, it is the landlord's responsibility to fix it, but you are the one that has to tell him there's a problem. If he fails to fix it, and you have a problem, then it is his responsibility for the results.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member abkindness's Avatar
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    Default Jim's reply

    JIM,

    Thanks for your reply, but the plumber replaced the flapper and ball cock. They wouldn't have replaced it unless it was broken, so your reply is not accurate.

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    DIY Junior Member abkindness's Avatar
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    Jim,
    The flapper and ball cock were replaced 2 days after the flood. Why would they have replaced it if it wasn't broken? Additionally, my lease states that they are responsible for ALL MAINTANENCE and in the 2 1/2 years I have lived here, they have done NONE. Thanks, but your message is not accurate to the circumstances.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    They are responsible for repairs as they are pointed out to them, but the one living in the home has responsibility too to make sure things are working, and if not, to notify the landlord.
    Being a renter doesn't mean you don't have basic responsibilities.
    And the landlord isn't a mind reader. He can't possibly know that you've plugged the bowl and then gone to bed with the water rising in the bowl and overflowing.
    It seems to me, the one that plugged the bowl and then went to bed should have looked for a plunger.
    What happens when the light bulbs burn out? Do you just live in the dark?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You're missing the point...if it was broken, it is your responsibility to notify the landlord. Then, if he fails to fix it, it's his problem. But, until you notify him there's a problem and you let it stand, if it causes damage, it's on your head.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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