£30k damage after plumbing nightmare

£30k damage after plumbing nightmare

Sarah Humphrey

Some of the damage to the house

First published in News

A FAMILY'S dream move to their first home turned into a nightmare after a fault with the plumbing system left them with £30,000 worth of water damage and no home for 10 weeks.

Sarah Humphrey, 38, contacted the Wiltshire Times after reading our previous story about a faulty boiler at a Persimmon home in Bowerhill.

Mrs Humphrey, her partner Martin Dorsett, 44, and her two children Ross, 13 and Esme, 10, moved into their Persimmon home in Sandalwood Road in Leigh Park, Westbury, last summer.

But on October 16 Mr Dorsett returned from work to discover water gushing into the kitchen after the ceiling collapsed.

The family were forced to live in a 15ft caravan parked in their drive while repairs were made.

After the incident the family unearthed faults in the plumbing system. The hot water feed-pipe became disconnected due to incorrect installation while the Polypiping used throughout the house and the positioning of the pipes to the water tank were not as recommended by the manufacturer Gledhill.

They also discovered the original owners of the house had a flood on the day they were due to move in.

Mrs Humphrey said: "Southern Electric couldn't believe the state of the pipes. They said the installation was not as it should have been and an independent plumber said the same. In the end we had to have the whole lot taken out and reinstalled."

Persimmon Homes refused to give the family help or compensation because the house was four years old and no longer under their two-year guarantee.

Mrs Humphreys said: "Persimmon literally said sort it out yourself, it's not our problem.' Yet a house two doors away had a leak in their shower recently and Persimmon rectified their problem.

"We lived in a hotel for a week but the insurance company didn't cover the cost of food so we had to move into a caravan. My son couldn't bear to live in the cramped conditions and went to stay with his dad, which devastated me.

"Nearly everybody in our rank of houses has had problems with their hot water. It's all plumbing related."

Steve Roche managing director at Persimmon Homes Wessex said they were aware of the family's complaint but the two-year warranty period applied.

He said: "If the cause of the leak was found to be a latent defect or that of poor workmanship then their insurers could pursue any claim from Persimmon Homes via our own insurance company.

"To date we have received no formal notification or reports from either the homeowner or their insurers and as such are unable to comment further.

"We are happy to review any correspondence or reports should the homeowner or their insurers wish to provide us with any relevant paperwork."

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