Inspected a house with a slab the other day. Seller’s disclosed that the floor in the master bedroom had a crack and was uneven.
During the walk through with the buyer we walked around the master (which had a bed and dressers in it) and could not notice any uneven spots. I told the buyer that it might be under the bed or the carpet padding may be making it so it is not noticeable. She said okay and was very nice about it.
We go into the laundry room and see that the cut out part of the drywall where the pipes enter the slab. They had a capped off PEX line and a copper stub sticking up at the concrete. I saw no signs of current water leaking or damage and told the buyer she could probably just have the wall closed back up. I also noted that there was a little instant hot water unit under the kitchen sink.
Later on that day she asked the seller’s about it. They responded:
"There is no active leak on the property. A leak was detected in the latter half of December 2013 because the water heater was seemingly not producing hot water. An analysis by the plumbers revealed that the hot water tank was discharging its contents before the water could be heated. This was traced to a leak in the hot water line that feeds the kitchen.
The water line is under the concrete slab. We did not want to disturb the slab, and the finished flooring, in order to address the leak. We elected to use the cold water supply to the kitchen exclusively going forward. The hot water line from the water heater to the kitchen was terminated and capped. The electric hot water heater was installed in the kitchen to service the hot water needs at the sink area (the dishwasher has its own heating element). The work was done by professional plumbers and an electrician so there is no question of its compliance with applicable codes."
She asked my opinion on this and I replied that it seemed like an acceptable solution and there did not appear to be any leaks.
She emails me this:
“I’m concerned about the water having leaked out under the house. What are the chances that did damage?”
“There is probably no more damage since they fixed the leaking line and there are no wooden structural components below the slab. It would have only gotten the concrete wet and then it would have dried.”
She then asked if there were other lines in the slab to which I replied yes.
Today I got this email:
"I wanted to put in writing that I was not satisfied with the home inspection process we went through the last couple of days. Though you were good at taking us around the house and pointing out minor things, the major plumbing issue of all those pipes below the slab wasn’t brought up at all. Then when the agent and I did bring it up to you, your only response was that it was probably ok and you “wouldn’t worry”. A couple of calls to plumbers, talking with the sellers and online searches to double check what you were saying showed that it was not ok. If there was a leak already, there were very likely to be more in the near future and it would have cost me thousands to fix. I ended up walking away from the house because of this. Had I gone on your advice and not done a lot of follow up work, I would have either been stuck at least going through the floor to fix leaks, if not having to repipe the house (which is what the plumber recommended would need to happen).
As a second note, when I brought up the crack in the foundation you did not really pursue what that issue was. We just stood in the bedroom and you said something like “well, I can’t feel any unevenness. Must be ok.” There was no effort to actually check or measure the evenness of the floor. I could have done, and I guess did, just as much to figure this out with zero training in home building/inspection as you did as a professional in the field.
You have on your website a guarantee, which I would like to invoke for a refund. This was not the level of service I expected or paid for."
SO, apparently the water lines COULD leak and cost her thousands. Her house COULD burn down tomorrow and she could die. And the world COULD end tomorrow so why bother? Also, what did she expect me to move the king size bed and rip up the carpet to find the unevenness in the flooring? Outrageous!