Author Topic: City Blew Up Our Crapper!  (Read 5399 times)

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« on: November 06, 2016, 08:27:34 PM »
I received a text from our nanny on Friday that said "the toilet just exploded"! Not a pleasant text to receive when you're at work.

I raced home to find little shards of toilet paper and all the toilet water all over the walls and even some on the ceiling. I was so confused.  What happened? I Googled it because Google has all the answers and found that this is typically caused by the city cleaning the sewer main with a high powered hose.

I contacted our sanitation district and was directed to a civil engineering firm that apparently takes care of these complaints. I asked the engineer to send someone over to clean up the mess (it was 5 pm). She said typically they don't do that after 5 pm unless there is significant standing water that is going to cause damage.  I said no, there is not significant standing water but that my bathroom is unusable in its current condition and is also unsanitary. I spent 3 hours cleaning the water and shit paper up and sanitizing everything with bleach.

The engineer said that they will be putting the case in from of the city's board of directors to determine if any payment should be made to us. What do you think is fair? I took 2 hours away from work to deal with this issue plus signature time in my evening cleaning it up.

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 08:30:29 PM »
Also, I should add that the engineer agreed that the issue was caused by the contractor cleaning the sewer. They have admitted fault

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10845
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2016, 10:13:40 PM »
Did you by any stroke of luck take pictures? Document everything you can and prepare to be persistent. Good luck!

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28010
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2016, 11:24:26 PM »
That sucks, sorry.  I'm sure it was no fun.

As far as what to do, in the big picture, it seems like a minor annoyance that took a few hours and caused no injuries or permanent damage.  I'd try to get what you can via simple, friendly interaction with them, and then let it go beyond that.  You'll laugh about it soon, and it gives you a good story.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2016, 11:42:49 PM »
You can quote any number you want for damages - but my guess is they'll have a standard settlement amount that will get flushed out to anyone affected.

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2016, 09:01:02 AM »
Did you by any stroke of luck take pictures? Document everything you can and prepare to be persistent. Good luck!

I did take pictures and sent them all work my response to the engineer. 

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2016, 09:02:16 AM »
That sucks, sorry.  I'm sure it was no fun.

As far as what to do, in the big picture, it seems like a minor annoyance that took a few hours and caused no injuries or permanent damage.  I'd try to get what you can via simple, friendly interaction with them, and then let it go beyond that.  You'll laugh about it soon, and it gives you a good story.  :)

Yeah this is my plan.  See if they'll compensate me on some way and if they won't I'm not going to waste too much time since nothing was permanently damaged.

Mr. Green

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1974
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2016, 11:33:24 AM »
Couldn't resist!

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10845
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2016, 12:46:36 PM »
That sucks, sorry.  I'm sure it was no fun.

As far as what to do, in the big picture, it seems like a minor annoyance that took a few hours and caused no injuries or permanent damage.  I'd try to get what you can via simple, friendly interaction with them, and then let it go beyond that.  You'll laugh about it soon, and it gives you a good story.  :)

Yeah this is my plan.  See if they'll compensate me on some way and if they won't I'm not going to waste too much time since nothing was permanently damaged.
Sorry, from the headline, I assumed there was damage to the actual er, throne.

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1357
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2016, 02:43:15 PM »
That sucks, sorry.  I'm sure it was no fun.

As far as what to do, in the big picture, it seems like a minor annoyance that took a few hours and caused no injuries or permanent damage.  I'd try to get what you can via simple, friendly interaction with them, and then let it go beyond that.  You'll laugh about it soon, and it gives you a good story.  :)

Yeah this is my plan.  See if they'll compensate me on some way and if they won't I'm not going to waste too much time since nothing was permanently damaged.
Sorry, from the headline, I assumed there was damage to the actual er, throne.

Me too! Still, the story gave me something to add to my "worry list"

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28010
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2016, 05:48:25 PM »
Me too! Still, the story gave me something to add to my "worry list"

Let's up that worry: Imagine if you were using it at the time!



(Sitting on it, or if you're male, standing and using it.  Either one isn't pretty.)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

snshijuptr

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Southern California
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2016, 06:17:36 PM »
Next time call your home insurance and tell them what happened. They can send over "Emergency Services" which is the guys who specialize in cleaning out your house and drying up water damage when it occurs. My water heater leaked and I wish I had called the Emergency Services guys first. They coordinated everything from the basic clean up to the removal of the walls and drying out the house.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28010
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2016, 06:55:06 PM »
Next time call your home insurance and tell them what happened. They can send over "Emergency Services" which is the guys who specialize in cleaning out your house and drying up water damage when it occurs. My water heater leaked and I wish I had called the Emergency Services guys first. They coordinated everything from the basic clean up to the removal of the walls and drying out the house.

Insurance claims can affect your future rates.  For something like this, I probably wouldn't put a claim in, unless you have reason to think there's major damage, or will be an ongoing problem.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Tjat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 562
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2016, 07:07:17 PM »
Next time call your home insurance and tell them what happened. They can send over "Emergency Services" which is the guys who specialize in cleaning out your house and drying up water damage when it occurs. My water heater leaked and I wish I had called the Emergency Services guys first. They coordinated everything from the basic clean up to the removal of the walls and drying out the house.

Insurance claims can affect your future rates.  For something like this, I probably wouldn't put a claim in, unless you have reason to think there's major damage, or will be an ongoing problem.

Agreed. Insurance companies aren't there for convenience claims.

As for the city, I think having your neighbors crap splattered all over your bathroom (hope the door was shut) is worth a reimbursement demand in the thousands. Forget your salary and time spent cleaning, ask for $5K. This is biohazardous waste that could carry any number of diseases.

hoping2retire35

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Location: UPCOUNTRY CAROLINA
  • just want to see where this appears
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2016, 08:43:11 PM »
Tell the real estate agents in the area you will be sure to spread the word that the city has sewe issues. Get those people motivated and the will pester the politicians until something happens.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28010
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2016, 09:15:37 PM »
Tell the real estate agents in the area you will be sure to spread the word that the city has sewe issues. Get those people motivated and the will pester the politicians until something happens.

If that worked, wouldn't it just potentially hurt your own home value?  I guess that's good if you're planning on staying forever and want lower valuations for property taxes.

I doubt RE agents would go for it though, as they want sales, not making people not want to buy.  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2016, 10:03:46 PM »
Next time call your home insurance and tell them what happened. They can send over "Emergency Services" which is the guys who specialize in cleaning out your house and drying up water damage when it occurs. My water heater leaked and I wish I had called the Emergency Services guys first. They coordinated everything from the basic clean up to the removal of the walls and drying out the house.

Insurance claims can affect your future rates.  For something like this, I probably wouldn't put a claim in, unless you have reason to think there's major damage, or will be an ongoing problem.

Agreed. Insurance companies aren't there for convenience claims.

As for the city, I think having your neighbors crap splattered all over your bathroom (hope the door was shut) is worth a reimbursement demand in the thousands. Forget your salary and time spent cleaning, ask for $5K. This is biohazardous waste that could carry any number of diseases.

$5k seems s littlet extreme. Gray water was not ejected back into our home. Yes, it was unsanitary water but it's not like I had brown crap all over my walls. Just water and toilet paper. I'm thinking about calling servpro to see what they would charge for cleanup and then request that amount. I'm thinking around $500. Any input???

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28010
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2016, 10:15:45 PM »
I keep hearing about cities paying out multi-million dollar settlements.  That could be YOU!

Anything less than full FI numbers is a failure.



(I'm just kidding.. $500 seems fair.)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2016, 12:15:29 AM »
Did you by any stroke of luck take pictures? Document everything you can and prepare to be persistent. Good luck!

I did take pictures and sent them all work my response to the engineer.

I'd love to be the secretary that had to open that file first thing in the morning. :D

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14031
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2016, 04:44:27 AM »
As far as what to do, in the big picture, it seems like a minor annoyance that took a few hours and caused no injuries or permanent damage.  I'd try to get what you can via simple, friendly interaction with them, and then let it go beyond that.

I mostly agree with this, but if the pressure going up the pipes was high enough to blow stuff all over your bathroom I'd be a little concerned about possible damage done to the drain pipes.  A tiny leak hidden in the wall could become a big problem a couple years from now.  Is there any way that you can inspect them for damage?

MandyM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 544
  • Location: Lexington, KY
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2016, 07:45:12 AM »
Is there any way that you can inspect them for damage?

Likely, they can send a video camera through at least some of the pipes - although I doubt that the water jet damaged anything. It could make an existing problem worse though.

OP - when you speak to the engineer, ask if there is anything you can do to prevent this happening in the future. Was the pipe being cleaned because of a problem or as part of a preventative maintenance program? Were they doing main line cleaning or cleaning your lateral?

I work as in engineer in the sewer industry - PM me if you would like to discuss further.

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2016, 07:55:28 AM »
Is there any way that you can inspect them for damage?

Likely, they can send a video camera through at least some of the pipes - although I doubt that the water jet damaged anything. It could make an existing problem worse though.

OP - when you speak to the engineer, ask if there is anything you can do to prevent this happening in the future. Was the pipe being cleaned because of a problem or as part of a preventative maintenance program? Were they doing main line cleaning or cleaning your lateral?

I work as in engineer in the sewer industry - PM me if you would like to discuss further.

Thanks for the response. They said they were doing maintenence and that they made a note in their files to use less pressure in front of our house in the future. We had our sewer line replaced 5 years ago because it was clay and had roots growing through it (we joke now that our toilets flush like they do bc we paid $10k for a new sewer line). Do you think there is a risk of damage to our lines? Should I make them pay for a scope?

As far as compensation,  I asked for $500 based on two estimates I got from sewage cleanup companies in town.  I think that's reasonable and I hope they don't fight me.

COlady

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 382
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2016, 07:58:25 AM »
Me too! Still, the story gave me something to add to my "worry list"

Let's up that worry: Imagine if you were using it at the time!



(Sitting on it, or if you're male, standing and using it.  Either one isn't pretty.)

If you Google it there are some lawsuits regarding this exact thing. Good thing I was at work...if I wasn't I probably would have been on the potty or atleast in the shower. It happened dieing my kids' nap time which is when I typically shower on my days off.

MandyM

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 544
  • Location: Lexington, KY
Re: City Blew Up Our Crapper!
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2016, 08:26:12 AM »
Is there any way that you can inspect them for damage?

Likely, they can send a video camera through at least some of the pipes - although I doubt that the water jet damaged anything. It could make an existing problem worse though.

OP - when you speak to the engineer, ask if there is anything you can do to prevent this happening in the future. Was the pipe being cleaned because of a problem or as part of a preventative maintenance program? Were they doing main line cleaning or cleaning your lateral?

I work as in engineer in the sewer industry - PM me if you would like to discuss further.

Thanks for the response. They said they were doing maintenence and that they made a note in their files to use less pressure in front of our house in the future. We had our sewer line replaced 5 years ago because it was clay and had roots growing through it (we joke now that our toilets flush like they do bc we paid $10k for a new sewer line). Do you think there is a risk of damage to our lines? Should I make them pay for a scope?

As far as compensation,  I asked for $500 based on two estimates I got from sewage cleanup companies in town.  I think that's reasonable and I hope they don't fight me.

If your sewer line is PVC and 5 years old, I doubt there is damage.