Today the plumber came to fix the valves behind the washing machine. He seemed pretty competent so I asked him about the "closet o' doom" which adjoins the foobar-installed washing machine drain into the main vent stack for our house.
The answer was even less pleasant than I had expected.
In order to repair the mess (see previous posts -- hole cut in main stack, pipe stuffed in hole, possible gases leaking into closet) it would also have to be brought up to code. It's nowhere near code. Bringing it to code would be ugly indeed.
According to the plumber, code requires that the trap in the drain pipe be no more than six inches off the floor, and the the drain have it's own individual vent stack. The drain cannot be run into the main vent like it is. Since our house is built on a concrete slab, in order to fix this the wall would have to be torn out and the floor jackhammered up. The the plumber would install a new drain line under the floor, and run a new vent stack up through the roof. This is in addition to cutting out a section of the existing vent stack where the hole is cut in it, to put in a new unbroken section in it's place.
The cost estimate to have this done was $2850 and did not include the cost of a carpenter to rebuild the walls that would have to be torn out for the floor to be broken loose with a jackhammer. It did include putting in new concrete at least.
Are we going to rush right out and do this? Nooooooooooooooooo...
What are we going to do? Talk to our realtor. Find out what our options are. (A lawyer?) The plumber suggested going after the home inspector who didn't see this. The home inspector said he couldn't inspect the main drain because it was behind the washing machine... it's not, as I mentioned. It's in the closet. As I recall he just pointed at the board in the closet and said, "that's your plumbing access" because it was on the other side of the wall from the toilet.
Well, nooo... it was the main drain access. And if he'd looked behind the board he would have seen that. But in order to get the home inspection done we had to sign a paper saying that we would only hold him responsible up to the amount of his fee, which was $300. I think we at least want that back.
July 23, 2004 10:47 PM PDT
I agree...get every cent back that you possibly can. Find a loop hole in whatever paper you signed, even. Good luck !!
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