We recently received the following email from our property manager which advised of the damage caused by a simple water leak and outlined how this incident might have been simply and inexpensively avoided.

. . .  A tenant's hot water system burst and a significant water leak followed – causing damage not only throughout their tenancy but to common property (lifts, lights, walls, ceilings and fire panel) and to all the tenants below; this was exacerbated by happening over the weekend when no one was in the premises. Current estimates of the damage are in excess of $50,000 – excluding loss to trade and inconvenience.

If taps supplying water to appliances/equipment are not turned off when not in use, the hoses connecting your water supply will remain under constant water pressure. This constant water pressure can cause hoses to burst or slip off your tap. A burst hose can loose 10,000 litres of water in just 6 hours.

In this case the tenant's hot water system was not maintained and did not have a water shut-off valve installed. The tenant is responsible for all damages resulting from equipment or fitout within the premises or belonging to them. Had a shut-off valve been installed water would not have been fed constantly for hours/days, damage would have been minor and contained.

The purpose of this memo is to bring to your attention the importance of ensuring your premises have shut-off valves installed – and not only to hot water systems but also dishwashers, fridges, fresh water filters, washing machines and any other appliances that may be connected to your plumbing.

Water-stop valves are relatively inexpensive and can be fitted by your plumber. If you have not already done so, we strongly encourage you to do so without delay. You can organise this yourself or we can put you in contact with the building plumber to carry out this simple task on your behalf. The following links highlight the simplicity of Water-stop valves:

http://www.enter-shop.com.au/catalogue/c36/c52/p166

http://www.waterwizzproducts.com.au/index.html

We echo the warning – if you are not sure that you have water stop valves, contact your plumber and have them installed as soon as possible. Insurances may well cover the losses – but best to avoid the potential that they will not.