A Plumbing Disaster Story

by Guest

Broken PipeAnyone in doubt about the devastation that burst pipes can cause need only listen to the tale of one retiree’s home heating howler, which has left his home in a “terrible state”. Michael McCooe, 77, who is profoundly deaf and suffers heart problems, has been unable to live in his bungalow for the past six weeks after his heating broken down over the Christmas period. This led to his pipes freezing over and subsequently bursting, sending water flooding through his home.

According to the Portadown Times, the Housing Executive sent workmen to deal with the problem, but there are concerns over the quality of the work. Relatives have reported visiting the property to find water leaking into rooms, flowing down walls and even coming into contact with live electrical socket.

Gerard McAtarsney, Mr McCooe’s nephew, said that the house is in a “terrible state”. “I knew someone had been working at the house on Monday so I went down to see what was going on. I couldn’t believe it when I opened the door,” he remarked.

The concerned relative added that there has been major damage to the property – the water has pulled plaster from the walls, destroyed many of the ceilings and damaged many of Mr McCooe’s personal possessions.

He is not the only person to have been shocked by the scenes in the bungalow – Councillor Michael McGoldrick also visited the home and was taken aback by what he saw. “I phoned Alex Attwood, the Minister with responsibility for housing, straight away to tell him how serious the situation was. He asked me for the details and assured me he would get it sorted,” he said. According to the report, the Housing Executive is now carrying out a full investigation into the blunders and has set to work on putting things right.

It’s an incident that only serves to highlight how important plumbing insurance can be – this type of cover could have undoubtedly come in really handy for unfortunate Mr McCooe. People with this type of cover in place are able to call on the help they need with plumbing problems as soon as they occur, whether they’re burst pipes or issues with the supply pipe. The case of this poor pensioner only serves to underline that the worst really can happen – and the peace of mind that the right insurance brings can be a real asset in a time of crisis.

This post is sponsored by HomeServe.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle February 9, 2011 at 6:16 am

One tip that I have heard (but thankfully never had to use) is that if your heat does go out, to turn your water in your sinks on. You don’t have to turn it on full blast but enough to where the water is going to move in your pipes. Keeping water coming in from the outside should help prevent the water from settling and freezing and could avoid burst pipes.

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krantcents February 9, 2011 at 9:49 am

Asa homeowner, we are expected to know everything! Well at least be prepared for everything. Even insurance has a deductible, this will not be free. A home is an asset, even in these times! As a homeowner, you should protect it. You should maintain it, which requires you have some savings to pay for a repair. With a broken heater, he should protected his home.

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Invest It Wisely February 9, 2011 at 11:35 am

Is it possible to drain the pipes? Well, I suppose it can always freeze at the point where it comes into the home. I feel bad for that poor pensioner… what an unfortunate thing to have happen.

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Lisa @ Cents To Save February 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Poor guy! He has such a mess on his hands. Hopefully the Housing Executive can find him a temporary place to stay.

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ricky February 11, 2011 at 1:57 am

These things always seem to hit the people that will suffer the most. Really feel for this poor guy!

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101 Centavos February 11, 2011 at 3:58 am

We recently had to repair burst water pipes in the well house, at our little weekend cabin. We had left on a light bulb for heat, but it burned out, resulting in split cold water pipes. The pipes needed to be replaced anyway, just that now we had to do it sooner rather than later (budget hit).
Lesson one: have a spare – two is one, and one is none. We now have *two* halogen heat lamps plugged in, one right over the well casing.
Lesson two: turn all the water off, and drain the pipes leading to the cabin.
Lesson three: in case the power goes out (like in an ice storm) plan to have a thermostat controlled propane heater.

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