What a fun day this has been.
This morning I turned on the hot water and raced upstairs to take a shower. There was no hot water pressure in my bathroom shower, so I tried the guest bathroom. It was better than nothing, so I used it. But the water went from lukewarm to cold in about 3 minutes.
Then I called First American Home Buyers Protection (FAHBP from here on out) to explain the problem and get help. I spoke with Mary. She called me back and said someone could have a look in a few days. I explained the problem in more detail and she said, "oh, so this is an emergency!" and found someone more quickly.
Before long, Robert from AC Plumbing called. I described the problem symptoms and he said "you've got a slab leak." That means the there's a problem in the pipes that run through the cement slab upon which my house sits. I asked him what's involved in repairing such a problem and he began to speak of jackhammers!
Meanwhile, I decided to call back FAHBP and ask how much of this they cover. The answer: $1000. Good to know.
Realizing that, I called my insurance agent to find out what my home owner's policy covers. If this was a sudden accidental problem, as opposed to a long-standing leak, I'm covered. That's good... I hope.
They suggested that I re-confirm with my Home Owner's Association (HOA) that they're not liable for any of this. I was pretty sure that'd be the case, but I called anyway. And I was right.
Robert came by around 12:30p and I gave him the tour. He did a bit of experimentation and became further convinced of the exact problem. He said that since I can't find a hot spot on the floor, we need to bring in someone with fancy electronic equipment to listen for leaks.
It was clear to me that Robert has been in this business a long time and he knew way more than the guy who came out last night.
We went to find the water meter while he made a phone call or two. It turns out that his guy was available later today but FAHBP wanted to get a second opinion.
Meanwhile, we found the water meter (buried out behind the garage in a little box) and confirmed that it ran like mad when I re-enabled the hot water. But more interestingly, it also ran (more slowly, of course) when the hot water was off. That means there's a cold water leak somewhere as well.
"Fantastic," I thought in a sarcastic tone. Two leaks.
Anyway, he left and I called FAHBP to find out who would be giving me my second opinion. I spoke with Joanna (sp?) who had some wrong information. (Uh oh. That's never a good sign.) She thought that two companies had already seen the problem and that it had been referred to a third (Sub-Dynamic something or other) to come out and find the leak.
I corrected her and asked for the contact info at the sub-dynmaic place. She gave me their number and re-confirmed that FAHBP had already faxed them the appropriated details.
So I called that company to find out about setting up a visit ASAP and found the following:
- they had no faxed documents (yet?)
- they were completely booked for the next two weeks
I asked her to make sure to tell that to FAHBP when (if?) my paperwork arrived. I hung up and called FAHBP back. This time I spoke with Janice. I explained the situation to her. She was surprised and concerned, and said she'd send my info to the dispatch department. They'd contact someone else locally who could get here sooner and that technician (not FAHBP) would call me.
I asked, but apparently FAHBP can't be bothered to call me when they've found a new company to handle my problem. So I'm at the mercy of their speed and how busy the next place is.
I asked when would be a good time to call back if I hadn't heard anything. "Noon tomorrow, I'd guess." That's all well and good, but I have no hot water until then. I reminded her that AC Plumbing already had someone they could get out here, but she said they didn't think AC could do that kind of work.
After I hung up, I thought about it for a bit while eating a late lunch and decided to call AC back myself. I talked with Robert and he verified that his guy (Victor) could be out at 5pm tonight with the fancy leak-finding gear.
"What's that cost?" I asked. $275.
So they're both coming back out at 5pm to locate the leak. If need be, I'll fight with FAHBP about this crap later. As far as my insurance agent is concerned, I should get it fixed and then deal with them. If FAHBP doesn't get that this matters, that's their problem. I'll find another way to point that out to them.
Keeping track of this shit is a full-time job all of the sudden. Isn't FAHBP supposed to be doing this?
Posted by jzawodn at January 20, 2005 02:19 PM