Does water pipe insurance cover my situation?

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-25-15, 05:38 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 271
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Does water pipe insurance cover my situation?

I live in a town where I am responsible for the water line from the street to my house.

I have a house built in 1920 and I am just about to have 40 feet of galvanized pipe INSIDE the basement replaced, that is from the point in which the water pipe enters the basement to the water heater and some more. Seems simple enough, right?

The plumber gave an estimate to do the work but advised that since he would be cutting the galvanized pipe coming in from the street at the entry point into my house, just in case that feed pipe is corroded, it might rupture or something once he cut it to start the process of replacing the inside galvanized pipe. So he recommended getting water pipe insurance first.

I ordered the water pipe insurance forms and read them. They have a 30 day wait period after signing before the insurance kicks in. But more troubling is that they say if the water pipe problem is caused by actions of the owner or a contractor, the insurance is void.

So when the plumber cuts the corroded water pipe just inside the basement and there is a problem with the pipe from that point to the street, am I still covered? If not, why would an experienced plumber in a town with lots of very old pipe recommend getting water pipe insurance before he started working in my basement if such a situation would not be covered?

I'd appreciate any guidance on this....

Best,

Dave
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-25-15, 05:55 AM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 4,297
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Never heard of such a thing.
He should have his own liability insurance.
I would have made you aware of the fact that when working on old plumbing one thing you can count on is work on one part and something else is going to cause trouble.
It's like playing whack a mole.
Sure hope your not having him replace the old steel with new steel pipes.
Should be replacing with PEX or copper instead.
Old steel plumbing is going to leak or is already leaking 100% of the time.
Make sure he removes the aerators on the faucets, drains some water out of the water heater, and starts flushing the system out by opening up an outside faucet when he's done.
All kinds of trash is going to get knocked loose inside those pipes.
Pretty common to have the shower anti scald valve mess up after working on old plumbing.
 
  #3  
Old 02-25-15, 06:34 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,748
Received 74 Votes on 70 Posts
If I'm not mistaken our local water company offers pipe insurance for a monthly fee. I don't have it but think it just covers leaks and such that come up over time, I don't think it covers problems arising from work being done. Is your meter before or after the pipe in question?
 
  #4  
Old 02-25-15, 07:52 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 271
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The pipe comes out of the wall, then the shut off valve, then the meter, then the piping in the basement. Dave
 
  #5  
Old 02-25-15, 08:26 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 51,457
Received 215 Votes on 204 Posts
That would mean his intentions are to turn off the water at the street and re-pipe for the water meter since he's cutting it off where it enters.

Maybe it would be better to just change the pipes on the house side of the meter at this time.
The pipe coming in from the street is most assuredly corroded and will be tough to mess with.

The homeowner is responsible for the water line to the street shutoff in most towns.
 
  #6  
Old 02-25-15, 09:16 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,296
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Those "insurance" contracts are worded so that they actually cover very few circumstances. Definitely not where the rupture is caused by the action of you or a plumber.
 
  #7  
Old 02-25-15, 09:46 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 750
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I agree all work inside the house should be done after the water meter. Anything beyond that should be done if/when the pipe to the street is replaced.

Your plumber is just covering himself by bringing up a very possible issue that would be no fault of his own.
 
  #8  
Old 02-25-15, 01:15 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,471
Received 16 Votes on 14 Posts
I agree with goldstar that "water pipe insurance" is mostly a legal scam. I do not understand the term "rupture" in regard to replacing the galvanized steel piping. The plumber has three options as far as replacing the galvanized piping in the house. The first is to do as the others have suggested and just replace from the existing inside shut-off valve, the second is to take out all the steel pipe back to the first threaded fitting inside the basement wall and the third is to cut and re-thread the pipe immediately inside the basement wall. The first option is the easiest and safest while the second has a slight risk of the pipe breaking at the threaded joint. The third option does have the risk of the pipe being so deteriorated that re-threading becomes impossible. NONE of these scenarios would be considered "rupture" in my book.

IF the existing piping is in such bad condition that removing a threaded fitting or re-threading will cause the pipe to be unusable then that piping is on the verge of total failure and needs to be replaced anyway. I have replaced galvanized steel piping that was more than fifty years old, (may have been more than eighty) and not had any trouble with the threaded joints although the interior of the pipe was severely plugged with corrosion.

Working after the inside shut-off valve is the safest if you are not in a position to replace the buried piping at this time. Since this is a DIY site have you considered doing the work yourself? It isn't open heart surgery and you could save quite a bit of money that could be put in reserve for doing the rest of the house and the incoming buried piping. I seriously doubt that replacing just forty feet of steel pipe will make any significant difference in your system as far as pressure of flow issues are concerned.
 
  #9  
Old 02-25-15, 03:13 PM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,451
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I just want to second Furd. These insurance programs are mostly just a way to get your money.
The program/sales pitch has shown up here only recently, past couple of years.

They might have something to offer, but the general consensus is that the program is useless. Many news channels and the like warn against them.
 
  #10  
Old 02-25-15, 06:21 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 271
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks and a picture

Hi, thanks for all of your advice regarding doing the job and the insurance. Here is a pix, sorry for the quality. Yep, pipe out of the wall, slowly dripping old shut off valve, meter and then the piping inside the house.

Yes, inside galvanized will be replaced with PEX!

Question. If they install a pressure reducing valve on this line inside the house, do they do it after (to the right of) the water meter?

Best,
Dave

Name:  FullSizeRender-(12).jpg
Views: 106
Size:  46.8 KB
 
  #11  
Old 02-26-15, 05:16 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,748
Received 74 Votes on 70 Posts
I've always seen the PRV installed after the meter ..... but our meters are typically at the street
 
  #12  
Old 02-26-15, 07:25 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,533
Upvotes: 0
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Pipes

If your galvanized pipes in the house are corroded, then most likely the pipes from the house to the street are corroded also.
 
  #13  
Old 02-26-15, 07:59 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 879
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Might be able to tighten the stem nut slightly on the old shut off valve before the meter to stop the slow leaking. Replace everything AFTER the meter.
 
  #14  
Old 02-26-15, 09:56 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,566
Received 9 Votes on 8 Posts
I'll agree with many of the others... don't touch anything before the meter. Disconnect at the meter, add a PRV (if required), a valve with bleed, and new piping from that point on. You have almost zero risk of damaging anything outside your house in that case.

I would definitely start saving up for a main replacement though. Your flow is likely limited by all the rust and such built up in the pipe, and it can start leaking any time. You can decide whether to be proactive and replace it now or wait until it starts leaking.


As for the insurance, I purchased it at my prior home after a $900 repair bill fixing a pinhole leak in a the copper service line. Reading the fine print, they don't pay to repair landscaping, driveways, sidewalks, etc etc etc that may be damaged while digging. No liability (if I recall) to cover flooding. But they would have (in theory) covered the plumber's costs. Granted, in 5 years, it didn't leak again - so I never got a chance to test it out.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes