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Old 08-29-2010, 07:39 PM   #1
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Neighbors water goes through my house


Hey All,

I have a weird situation I just discovered about 15 minutes ago.

There is this odd pipe that comes in the basement, up under the finished ceiling, and from what I could tell looked like it exited the other side of the basement. But because of the finished ceiling, had no idea what it was.

Well, for the past few days I've been hearing water turn on and off, and after initial investigation determined no leaks anywhere in my place.

But I keep hearing it, and finally do a little bit more thorough investigation. I turn my main water valve off and go look at the water meters in the ROW. Mine is stopped, but the neighbors house behind mine is spinning like crazy. By the way, the house is vacant. I go over there, and someone has been using the outside faucet. I turn the faucet on, their meter is spinning, I can hear the water in the pipe in MY BASEMENT.

Turns out there is some kid in the neighborhood borrowing water from the house for sale for for some reason.

Anyhow, I'm going to call the City water department tomorrow. I'm sure I'll love talking to those bastards. It just seems something like this, that utility lines would run in the ROW. Because there were NO utility easements that came up in the sales procedure.

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Old 08-29-2010, 09:24 PM   #2
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Neighbors water goes through my house


Antoine, Welcome to the Forum

Good detective work on your part

Please let us know the outcome & what happens when you call the City,
and include your location as some of your neighbors may be reading this Post
Thanks,
.

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Old 08-30-2010, 02:26 AM   #3
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Neighbors water goes through my house


Interestng. Let us know the outcome.
Sounds like you may have a French drain around the uphill base of your house that collects and drains away ground water to keep your basement dry.
The "ground water" may also be water from your neighbor's property and your French drain is working well like it should. That drain line across your basement ceiling may just be sending it to the city storm drain system.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Swearingen View Post
Interestng. Let us know the outcome.
Sounds like you may have a French drain around the uphill base of your house that collects and drains away ground water to keep your basement dry.
The "ground water" may also be water from your neighbor's property and your French drain is working well like it should. That drain line across your basement ceiling may just be sending it to the city storm drain system.
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You might want to re-read the OP.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:55 PM   #5
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Neighbors water goes through my house


Ha ha. This is definitely not a french drain situation.

Anyhow, spoke with the City and they've never heard of anything like this. Started off with the water department, they did not know what to say. Had me call Public Works who does the issuance of permits. Started to think I might be getting somewhere with them... But first would have to have a city inspector verify that the pipe in question indeed goes to the neighbors house.

Apparently, PU cannot send an inspector into the house as they only do work outside. So it would have to be a different inspector... Anyhow. They gave me a # of this other inspector who could come into the house, so I could speak with him to see if there would be any legal requirement forcing me to fix this, before anyone comes out and writes a code violation. So I talk to this guy, and this is pretty much where my luck ran out. He didn't know anything, couldn't tell me a thing, had no answers other than, "Hey man, I'm just a plumbing inspector"

Soooo, my plan is to see if I can pull a permit to get the pipe routed legally and be able to put a lien against the house for sale so whoever decides to buy it in the sour housing market now, will have to pay the lien (me) and the world will be right again.

I'll need to be looking into getting a lawyer, and more communicating with the city.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:39 AM   #6
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Neighbors water goes through my house


Are you saying this is a drain pipe versus a water pipe?

I would be tempted to make a small alteration, such as disconnecting such a pipe from any external origin, without telling anyone. Now such a drain should not be re-used for gutter water unless you know it leads to a sump pump pit or directly to the outside (surface aka daylight) via a gentle downslope of the pipe together with a steeper downslope of the terrain.

But really, I would not spend money re-routing the pipe. If you were to cap it off in your basement without telling anyone, no one would be the wiser and the owner of the next house would have to address the situation which would be the same as putting in a brand new service.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:59 PM   #7
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Neighbors water goes through my house


yup, cut and cap!

let them rerun thier water if they want water.

I a bit surprized that a dormant house wouldn't have its water shut off. a leaking pipe can be a huge problem in no time at all.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:02 PM   #8
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It is a fresh water pipe.

Cut and cap is the new plan now. I sort of wish I would not have said anything to the City, but I wanted to make sure that there were no permits pulled for this making it legal and the whatnot.

My only concern now is, that if I cut and cap the pipe I am impeding an implied easement.
There are tons of case law examples of this, with regards to rivers or streams that flow through peoples property, etc. So my concern is because this has been functioning as an easement for all these years, that i cut it, I'll be liable to fix it eventually.

I just don't want to get myself in a situation that could prove spendy instead of leaving well enough alone.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:44 PM   #9
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Neighbors water goes through my house


My understanding of your problem statement was that your basement has a pressurized water line feeding the neighbor. If this is true then cut & cap would not be possible.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:42 PM   #10
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Go over to the meter bank; there should be shut off valves there. Then cut and cap the pipe. You can leave the pipe in a condition that it can be hooked up again if legally required but you can just wait and see if the new owner just runs a new pipe.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:18 PM   #11
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Hmm. If I cut it at the meter, then they would probably just hook it back up to the pipe that is there that runs through my basement.

I'm going to cap the pipe running in the basement.
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Old 09-06-2010, 12:20 AM   #12
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Neighbors water goes through my house


Quote:
Originally Posted by antoine View Post
I'm going to cap the pipe running in the basement.
Thanks. I meant to say "come back home and cut/cap the pipe where no one can see it".

Oops, need to add a reminder. Cap both loose ends. Preferably nearly flush with the respective basement walls just as they enter. Just in case the new owners hook it up on their own but forget to sever the other half of the pipe at their house and water comes back the wrong way and floods your basement.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-06-2010 at 12:33 AM.
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