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canuck the pro
canuck the pro, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2919
Experience:  Plumber and Handyman
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I had to have a water main replaced 4 years ago after the

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HI, I had to have a water main replaced 4 years ago after the steel pipe rotted and was leaking, this was completed by my insurer via there agent. The new main was laid but the plumbers suggested entering the property in an easier location so not to break up the concrete floor.
Recently we suddenly had a large escape of water which caused a lot of damage, turns out the plumbers hadn’t capped off the old stop tap and had only turned it off.
My insurers agent is saying this is acceptable in the industry and they’re not liable, surely a tap is not a failsafe long term?
Your advice please… thank you in advance.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I have been in the plumbing field for 20 years. I will be glad to help you today. Was the pipe that is leaking left underground and uncapped? It sounds like the stop valve was likely above ground and the pipe continued underground then left uncapped? Did they replace the entire pipe or only repair a portion of it? It seems to me that if the pipe were replaced that the old pipe would no longer be connected. Are some of my assumptions here correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mike, thank you for your reply.
They replaced the whole water mains pipe entering the house in a new location adding in a new stop tap too but rather than removing and capping off the pipework they just turned the old orginial stop tap off, so when the stop tap failed water then flowed down the old mains pipe which was also uncapped as it was a perforated pipe due to rust.
hopefully that makes more sense to you, my question is, would this be normal practice within the industry as my insurers agent is saying it is.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Regards, Phil

The pipe underground must be completely disconnected. It would be fine to leave the old stop valve but the line after that must be capped. Leaving a deteriorating pipe connected to an existing system is poor judgment on the plumber and should be expected to repair this issue with no additional cost. Leaving an open pipe underground is absolutely wrong. Open pipes would be for water access and must be above ground. Laws and regulations will be slightly different from region to region but they all will state, in no uncertain terms that a stop valve is not a permanent cap, a deleted pipe shall not be left connected and an open pipe must be accessible for water access.

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