Burst Household Water Pipes: Who's responsible?

Burst Household Water Pipes: Who's responsible?

Burst Household Water Pipes: Who's responsible?The recent freeze affected hundreds of properties where pipes froze and ruptured during three weeks of sub-zero temperatures. Last year, the bill for damage caused by the cold spell in Ireland was in the region of €300m but assessors have warned that homeowners could have claims for damage from the recent cold snap rejected.

The Department of the Environment recommends that pipes should be buried at least 600mm (two feet) underground. At this depth, the soil acts as a natural insulator and prevents them freezing. However, Environment spokesman Phil Hogan indicated that pipes of boom time properties were not laid properly “damage in the recent cold snap could have been avoided had the pipes been properly laid…it is clear that some builders and developers ignored building regulations”.  Not only that but it is said that the pipes, even at the recommended depth have never experienced such cold conditions and are not insulated enough to withstand the low temperatures.

While another round of Arctic weather is forecast the Irish Insurance Federation (IIF) advised householders to keep their homes well-heated, leave the loft or hatch door open and insulate exposed pipes to avoid water pipes and tanks freezing.

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  • Burst Household Water Pipes: Who’s responsible?
There are 12 comments for this article
  1. Joanna Wall at 11:21 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MyHome.ie, IIA MemberBlogs. IIA MemberBlogs said: IIA Member Blogs: Burst Household Water Pipes: Who’s responsible? http://j.mp/gnjFXS […]

  2. Morgan Mccarthy at 11:27 pm

    The Government

  3. Marisol Perry at 12:57 am

    Last year I had no water from Christmas Eve until New Years Day, not because of burst pipes but frozen ones. I discovered that the mains tap was only some nine inches below ground. The council wouldn’t do anything. It was a case of tough luck. I wasn’t on my own. Apparently this was a problem all over Carlow, but especially the newer estates. These pipes could easly have burst and probabily will at some time. The council ask you not to run your taps to prevent freezing but when you do have a problem you are offered no help. So my answer to your question is, 1.Developers 2. Government. 3. Council in no particular order. But definitely not the home owner (unless you have built your own). And if they are thinking of putting a meter in my house then they can have the pipes relaid properly first!!!!

  4. Anne Nolan at 11:46 am

    The builder definitely they have gotten away with murder by not doing things properly, this country has gone to the dogs nobody cares anymore its time we all started to take pride in our jobs instead of just passing the buck!

  5. paul mc guinness at 6:00 pm

    ref to water meters, this is just a new way to milk the irish people again, the amount of free water you will get before your charged will be 55,000 gallons
    you would not use this in two years never mind one year, the scam is for the meter they will fit it will cost you 70 euro a year and thats how there making there money, what next a air meter in your house , it gone beyond a joke in this county

  6. Billy at 4:43 pm

    Last year I had no water from Christmas Eve until New Years Day, not because of burst pipes but frozen ones. I discovered that the mains tap was only some nine inches below ground. The council wouldn’t do anything. It was a case of tough luck. I wasn’t on my own. Apparently this was a problem all over Carlow, but especially the newer estates. These pipes could easly have burst and probabily will at some time. The council ask you not to run your taps to prevent freezing but when you do have a problem you are offered no help. So my answer to your question is, 1.Developers 2. Government. 3. Council in no particular order. But definitely not the home owner (unless you have built your own). And if they are thinking of putting a meter in my house then they can have the pipes relaid properly first!!!!

  7. Sarah mc Eneaney at 4:31 pm

    Oh course if they are not laid properly its the developers problem but with most ghost estates it’s on the end of a very long list. And with the developers gone to ground, banks taking over who do u point the finger at as I have discovered with my ghost estate!

  8. R Kiwan at 2:05 pm

    Why leave the loft door open if the pipes are insulated in the loft, and what about the cost?

  9. Peter O’Connor at 1:48 pm

    Take responsibility for what’s yours. Then try help others.
    Oh .. get a life.

  10. H2O-Consult at 1:45 pm

    Clearly, if water supply pipes have not been constructed at the recommended depth then it is the responsibility of the builder.

    However, with the decline in the construction industry in Ireland, I would suggest that there would not be many left around that would rectify the problem free of charge.

    Another issue to note is that if and when water charges are implemented in Ireland, if there is a leak on the supply pipe between the meter and the house, the water that has leaked will be charged for by the local authority and the householder will have to pay even though the water has not been consumed by the occupants. This can significantly increase the cost to the householder.

    Another point I’d like to make is that of leaving the attic door open, the cumulative effect on this is increased energy consumption, leading to larger electricity and gas bills. It is more economic to ensure that the attic space is adequately insulated along with all exposed pipework.

    Pipe lagging costs approx 75c per metre and takes minutes to install and is a quick DIY job. Alternatively there are also grants available from SEAI to improve the insulation in your home, should you wish to call in the professionals to do the water pipe and attic insulation for you.

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  12. Eamon at 1:19 pm

    The Government

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