Insurance adjusters are often faced with a large loss caused by water leakage from plumbing systems. In- vestigating the cause is an integral
part of the claims adjustment process
since it bears on insurance coverage as
well as potential subrogation. The first
step is finding the source and determining the nature of the leak. Was this a
result of some manipulation of valves,
either intentional or unintentional, or
perhaps a failure of the pipe system?
Photographing the leakage source and
documenting the circumstances of the
leakage is helpful for those performing
a more detailed analysis of the problem.
The following case study serves to illustrate a water leakage loss as a result of a
Figure 1 shows a water valve that became detached from a 2. 5 inch pipe, causing flooding of lower floors of a high-rise
building and a multi-million dollar loss.
The pipe failed in the threaded section as
shown in Figure 2 (arrow).
Since there is potential subrogation
against the plumbing contractor, they
should be placed on notice in order to have
a chance to inspect the scene prior to re-
pair. After the inspection by the plumbing
contractor and other potential litigants,
the evidence should be removed for future
detailed examination of the components.
Examination of the threaded section
of the failed pipe resulted in the photo of
Figure 3 (left pipe section). The threads
on the failed pipe appear very deep, almost penetrating the pipe cross section.
The lines as indicated by the thread root
Water Pipe Failure: Improper