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  • Jun 26, 2008, 05:00 PM
    Mud in pipe, slab foundation, insurance denies claim
    Washing machine drain backed up, also backed up into kitchen sink prior to being completely stopped up, called plumber, used snake (through roof pipe), went approx. 20 ft. & hit mud, pulled snake out (showed my husband it was mud, not grease), said call insurance, insurance sent out plumbing/slab foundation specialist to scope the lines, they said dirty water in lines,couldn't see anything, they ran a snake and pushed the mud blockage through clearing the line, did static test approx. 10 minutes, indicated leak, water dropped. They fixed 2 leaks (1 right under each commode), they fixed both leaks and did another static test (watched it for 20 minutes) and it didn't drop (we live in Greenville, Texas and the soil is called "blackland" and turns to hard clay when wet). The specialist never fixed any pipe in the location (under the slab) the first plumber indicated as the blockage. Plumbing specialist said there wasn't a leak, insurance won't fix. I asked where the mud came from? No answer, why did the specialist not run the scope to the blockage point, find out what the issues were and THEN run the snake and push the blockage through, then bust the concrete and look at the pipe. Note the house was built in 1963 and has the old metal pipes. Was 20 minutes long enough for the static test to be watched for the water level to drop to show a leak or because of the clay, hard blackland soil should they have waited longer?
  • Jun 26, 2008, 06:22 PM
    Home maintenance insurance companies and warranty outfits are not your friends. They are not in the business to give you money or service like you thought, they try to dodge every bullet they can. Call them back and ask for that guys supervisor and be tough with him. Do not accept a no answer for any of your questions. Worst case, hire the other plumber to fix the broken drain pipe, that is what you have, and then sue the warranty guy. Take lots of pictures. Tell the warranty supervisor this is your plan, bet he buckles.
  • Jun 27, 2008, 01:45 PM
    This isn't a home maintenance policy, it's through State Farm. I still need to kow what the average time a static test should set to allow a "good" reading when the ground is black mud/clay. Thank you.
  • Jun 27, 2008, 05:21 PM
    OK I thought it was a home warranty company but what makes you think State Farm is above denying a claim to see if you'll go away? Sorry but I am confused by your description of a static test on a drain line. I must be missing something but when you test a drain the water doesn't stand at all.
  • Jun 27, 2008, 09:15 PM
    Milo Dolezal
    Look around the house. Make sure you don't have site drain connected into your house sewer system. That could explain the mud. Have seen this happen several times...
  • Jun 29, 2008, 01:23 PM
    They call it a "static" test where they fill the line with water and I think put pressure or something and see if the water level drops (they did this at the toilet) took off toilet and filled up line, watched it for 20 minutes and the water level didn't drop so they said there wasn't a leak...

    What is a site drain and what am I looking for? The first plumber that located the mud blockage didn't say anything about a site drain.

    I have tried to do as much investigating on this as possible. Am told that in this area the black land that we have around here when it gets wet turns to a hard clay like mud and can very easily fill cracks with a "hard mud" that will take longer for a busted pipe to actually leak through. So far the plumbers I have contacted in Greenville all say the same thing, you should check the water level approximately 2 hours to a 1/2 day later.

    Your opinions?
  • Jun 29, 2008, 01:55 PM
    Milo Dolezal
    "Site" drain is a drain that is designed to carry your rain water away from your property, usually to the curb, like from patio, sides of your house, gutters and downspouts, flower beds, etc. Site drain should not be connected to the sewer system.

    Otherwise, "mud" in the sewer drain would indicate to me that there is a breakage somewhere in the sewer line. That break should be identifiable with sewer video inspection.
  • Jun 29, 2008, 03:04 PM
    Something just dawned on me. Didn't the insurance specialist say the drain was full of muddy water and he could not see? If the drain line is full of water it should be telling him something. Drain lines should be 100% empty except when sometnig is actively draining.
  • Jun 29, 2008, 03:32 PM
    Milo Dolezal
    Quote: They call it a "static" test where they fill the line with water and I think put pressure or something and see if the water level drops (they did this at the toilet) took off toilet and filled up line, watched it for 20 minutes and the water level didn;t drop so they said there wasn't a leak......

    It is extremely difficult to do that kind of test on existing sewer system. To actually find out whether your drain don't leak, they would have to disconnect every drain in the house, plug all of them, and then fill entire house sewer system at least 10' high to achieve required water column pressure on the system.

    Did they plug every drain (toilet, sinks, showers, tubs, etc.) in your house ?
  • Jun 29, 2008, 04:25 PM
    No, they put a balloon in the line just outside in the front yard that the sewer lines in the house run to (clean out line) I think... then they filled up the line with water and watched the level at the toilet (actual toilet was removed) and after approximately 20 minutes (they said) I didn't think it was that long, the water level had not dropped therefore they say there is not a leak.
  • Jun 29, 2008, 04:39 PM
    I asked the insurance agent why the Plumbing slab specialist cleared the blockage before he ran the scope, he said the specialist said they put the scope in but there was dirty water in the line & they can't see anything so they pulled out the scope and put the snake in & pushed the blockage through and then put the scope back in and said there wasn't any breaks or leaks in the pipe or line... I told the insurance agent that obviously IF there was dirty water filling the line there had to be an obstruction and a busted pipe... no not according to this plumbing/slab.specialist...

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