A hole in the copper water pipe

The leak was finally fixed fairly late last night. Here it is:

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There’s a nail hole in the copper pipe which supplies hot water to our kitchen sink and dishwasher.

The plumbers never showed up yesterday morning; only the gas engineer who fixed the problem the first time but as you can see, he didn’t fix the problem the first time. The loose join in a waste water pipe must have been a red herring. He told us yesterday that he was pretty sure it was a leak in mains hot or cold and so he left without doing anything since it was a plumbing leak rather than a central heating leak.

But the plumbers did not show up. They didn’t want to come. We signed up and paid for British Home Care cover for the property on the 19th of September when the previous owner’s policy expired on the same day thinking it would be a good idea to continue the cover. The previous owners have had this cover for many consecutive years and apparently never had a problem like this before. The idea behind the policy is that if you have an emergency like water leaking into a downstairs flat you can ring them and they’ll send someone to sort it out. But we must have a mark next to our property saying “difficult problem” or something because no-one wanted to come and fix it.

I rang several times yesterday getting increasingly desperate on the phone because water was running continuously into the downstairs kitchen. Finally I got someone who said we’d have to rip up our linoleum floor before they’d come to fix it. How are we supposed to do that? We don’t have tools for ripping up a kitchen floor. That’s why we purchased the Home Care policy.

In the end I had to call my own plumber who was very good and did quite a bit of investigative work before narrowing it down to a pipe leaving the hot water cylinder. Then he started cutting with a circular saw and found the source of the leak. Once he had done all the hard work the plumbers from British Home Cover (Dyno Plumbing) came out and replaced the section with the hole. On the whole, Dyno Plumbing were completely useless and I intend to complain to British Home Cover about this. Why should we pay them for emergency repairs when we need to pay for our own plumber anyway?

Now there’s a hole in the ceiling downstairs and a hole in our kitchen floor. I couldn’t care less about our kitchen floor. I don’t even want to fix it. At the most I’d like to put down a board we can lift up at any time should this happen again. I’m also keen to draw on our linoleum with a heavy marker pen a map outlining all the pipes, where they go, and what they do.

No-one has any idea how the hole in the copper pipe got there. There were no nails anywhere nearby and the cold water pipe was nested right next to the hole. Possibly a nail has been wedged in there for years and years and was the only thing stopping water from seeping out. Two weeks ago it must have started to come loose producing the first water leak. For some reason it got wedged back in. Then two days ago, maybe with the workmen poking and prodding the ceiling, and then me turning on the dishwasher forcing hot water through the pipe which expanded it, the nail fell out completely. But this is all just speculation as none of us has any idea.

How much is it all going to cost? We don’t yet know. The first ceiling repair cost £1500 of which we have already paid £1000. The Polish workmen who did the work have yet to give us a new quote. Our insurance will probably pay to fix our kitchen floor, but as I said already, I’m not sure that I want to fix it.

I wonder what new surprises next week will bring?