Water, water everywhere, causing problems for homeowners

July 31 2011 by Ellen Roseman

Quite by accident, not deliberately, I wrote three columns in a row about water and its potential to create headaches for homeowners.

The first was about how a household’s water bill can jump from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for mysterious reasons. The city water department washes its hands of the problem, so to speak, and leaves it up to the homeowner to find the leak and plug it up.

The second was about how a home inspection firm can miss water damage if it’s hidden behind a wall and has no visible signs. I spoke to a home buyer who had to spend $5,000 to replace mould damage in a bathroom after his home inspector gave it a clean bill of health. He got a refund of the fee, but nothing else to help with the repair cost.

The third was about how door to door sellers can scare homeowners into replacing their water heaters by saying they’re unsafe or inefficient, while pretending to work for an energy supplier. These new water heaters come with long-term contracts, which can trap later owners of a house into paying hefty fees to buy their way out.

All three columns, as usual, sparked some discussion among readers. I’m attaching a few comments below.

Apologies to readers for not posting anything new here for a long time. A combination of hard work and hot weather kept me away from the keyboard. I’m still committed to keeping this blog going and hoping to write more frequently in future.