Bathtub problems
Posted by anne on September 09, 19100 at 18:51:13:
A problem has recently arisen in the townhouse I share with two people who work at the same company that I do. Previously, the primary renter and I shared a bathroom, then a new housemate moved in and now he and I share a bathroom. The problem was not occurring until this new housemate moved in, which is why I am hesitant to say that it is a plumbing problem.

After I take a shower, the bathroom carpet is not wet. The bathroom carpet stays dry well after I take a shower. After this new housemate takes a shower, and hours later (when I return from work) I find that the carpet is saturated with water.

When I started the dialog on this with the housemates, the new one claimed that the water was leaking through small cracks between the tiles. I have a hard time believing this because: 1) The bathroom is not soaked when I am the only one having taken a shower and 2) I know for a fact that if the shower curtain is positioned a certain way and the shower head is set to a hard stream (which he uses; I use a different setting), the water will bounce off the tiles and spill onto the floor.

The primary renter cannot contact the landlord, because she is out of the country.

My housemates are Chinese, and have had some adjustment problems -- for example, one flooded the kitchen because he put dishwashing liquid in the dishwasher. I am concerned that this new housemate is ignorant to the proper way to prevent problems like this. He has mentioned, recently, that he had a similiar problem at his last residence -- which just makes me doubt his theory that the issue is due to plumbing problems even more (especially since I have NEVER had this problem.)

My questions are:

1. Does this problem seem more likely due to negligence or plumbing problems?

2. What should I do to eliminate my risk, e.g. what steps can I take to protect myself financially and legally?

3. Are there any tests that I can perform by visual inspection and/or with supplies I can purchase (like from Home Depot) to determine the cause, or should I take the initiative to get a plumber ASAP? the primary renter has said that he has contacted the landlord's daughter and arranged a plumber's visit, but I have not yet heard of the results.

4. Can anyone recommend any resources available that would list "symptoms" of plumbing problems versus situations caused by negligence?

Please advise at your earliest convenience. I have been asked to not use that bathroom until the floor has dried completely, and the primary renter has not provided any alternatives in the meantime (like allowing me to use his bathroom). I am in the process of starting a renter's insurance policy, but it is not currently in effect and I am very concerned about this.

Thank you. :)


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