Leak in basement from broken outdoor faucet


Old 03-28-07, 08:30 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9
Question Leak in basement from broken outdoor faucet

I turned on the outdoor faucet the other day for the first time this season. Shortly thereafter I noticed that the carpet was wet in the basement, directly beneath and against the same wall where the faucet is on the outside. My house is 10 months old and is still under builder's warranty. The plumber is coming to assess the problem today.

I can see the pex line running from the water main in the utility room. They think that the water line/faucet burst somewhere during the freezing water. I imagine that they will replace the faucet/line. My questions are:

1. The wet area of carpet is approx 5-7 sq ft, along one wall. The dry wall is still dry. The carpet is almost dry. If they replace they faucet/line, should I insist that they take apart the dry wall and dry everything out? I think there would be a high chance of developing mold if they did not.

2. There is no separate valve to shut off the outside faucets alone. Should I have them install one while they are here?

3. The house warranty will be up in June. Should/can I get any additonal warranty for the work done for repairing the outdoor faucet, etc?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-28-07, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
I'm assuming that you are located in an area that sees freezing temps. Check to see if a freeze protected hose bib was installed. If not make sure that the plumber installs one as a replacement. He'll probably recommend that anyway.

I don't think that a separate shut off for a freeze protected hose bib is necessary but I'm sure it wouldn't cost much to install.

As a minimum I would have them remove the baseboard and open the drywall (where it will be covered when the baseboard is reinstalled) a bit to see if any water got into the stud bay. make sure they look at the bottom of the insulation behind the vapor barrier.
Old 03-28-07, 12:34 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9
Wayne: Thanks for the advice. The plumber came and replaced the faucet (broken silcox). He of course said he had nothing to do with drying out the space behind the wall, etc.

I am waiting to hear back from the builder about repairing the hole in the ceiling the plumber had to cut and about drying. I had run the broken faucet very briefly, and after seeing the size of the crack in the silcox, I would roughly estimate that maybe 12-15oz of water might have leaked (I know this is a very rough estimate).

I don't know how high the potential for mold and mildew is in this situation. I predict that it might be difficult to get the builder to commit to making the necessary repairs (I'm hoping they'll prove me wrong).

Thanks again.
Old 03-28-07, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 450
A tiny crack in the valve can flood your basement if you don't notice it. How long was the crack? I doubt it was under 15oz, unless you turned it on for a few seconds then back off. I wouldn't be surprised if the builder makes you pay for the work since it was your fault for having the pipe freeze. Warrantys "usually" cover work mistakes caused by the worker who made them, not the owner mistake.
Old 03-29-07, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
"I wouldn't be surprised if the builder makes you pay for the work since it was your fault for having the pipe freeze.'

I agree. That's why I asked if the hose bib was freeze protected. If it wasn't the OP might be able to argue that if the builder had installed the correct type then there would not have been a leak.

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