T.P. from Cook County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Hey there, first time homeowner/condo owner and we had an EVENT just occur. We just bought a condo and our ejector pump leaked poopy water everywhere. I’m going to paint the timeline for you. Wednesday morning, we conduct final walk through of our Condo and everything works. Lights are still on so everything is working and our realtor uses the restroom. All is well. We close later that afternoon. That night I sit down and arrange all utilities. Despite closing that Wednesday, I set up my utilities for my move-in day, which is Monday. Thursday afternoon I come over to drop a couple of things and there is no power in the condo. I make three trips, straight in and straight out. MAYBE I use the bathroom to pee. I cannot remember. Sunday, we go to drop things off and the entire apartment smells like sewage. There is EXTENSIVE water all over the floors, behind and around our appliances and even out into the building hallway. Who knows how bad this gets? We call an emergency plumber and he says that in the 72 hours that the power was off and not powering our ejector pump that someone MUST have been using the bathroom or toilets for my ejector pump to just dump all that water out into the floor. He claimed that it must’ve been 10-20 flushes at the minimum OR that someone showered. None of this happened after our purchase from our end so he says the only other possibility is the ejector pump is clogged/backed up and the one flush was enough to do the damage. There is extensive damage to our counters, kitchen island, and to the carpet outside our front door! Am I liable for this??
Mister Condo replies:
T.P., what a horrific first-time homeowner story. The long and short of it is that what happens inside your unit is typically your responsibility. You didn’t mention if you had homeowner’s insurance in place when you took possession. I hope you did as you likely have a claim that should help pay for remediation. It is possible that your sewage line is connected to others in your building and that a neighbor or neighbors’ sewage is the actual culprit for your damage but they did nothing improper. If power was interrupted to the ejection pump and that is the only way the sewage is removed without backing up like it did, you may be vulnerable for future occurrences as well. I would learn all there is to know about the system and make sure it is properly maintained and replaced regularly. I am sorry for your problems with your first home. I am sure it gets better from here. Good luck!