Why would anyone cut off water service pipe??

This house is a foreclosure property where it seems that the bank had it remodeled. It has been on the market for 2 1/2 years, and the furnace and A/C are 2 years old models. The basement had a previous bathroom with shower, which were both ripped out along with all drywall. There is evidence that there was about an inch of water in basement and all was torn out because it was messed up. Finished floor was ripped out, etc.

On my first visit, a plumber came by turn on the water and to try to fix some fixtures before my inspection was finished. He showed me that the bathroom and kitchen faucets worked, and that the fixtures in the basement where the bathroom was ripped out would be plugged. He then turned off the water. I returned to complete inspection because the gas was off the first time. I found that a section of the water service pipe had been sawed off right above the meter (picture). Why would they do that? Would it be to hide water leak problems throughout the house? What do you think? In picture, the cut off pipe is leaning against the wall. Why???

Spite !

I agree

Who would cut it out of spite? If someone has something against me, it’s not my house. I don’t know, I haven’t ran into that before. I am wondering whether it may be an attempt to hide some serious plumbing problems, since now the water can’t be turned on to test it. What do you think? Wanted to verify that it is not some standard way to winterize property. It would seem extreme to me.


Leon, all you mentioned is a possibility. Document, inform, go to the next…


Perhaps the plumber is in the middle of repairs, and wanted to make sure someone didn’t turn on the water. Removing the meter, like is common, does not prevent someone from hooking it back up.

Write what you see. Takes pics to document. Move on.

Thanks everyone. Great help

Between vindictive renters and people who’ve lost their homes to foreclosure, there are people out there who make it their mission to destroy a home.
Friend of mine sold a home and carried a bunch of paper. The buyers lost their jobs, couldn’t make their payments and when my friend was forced to foreclose, the buyers did $20,000 in damage before they moved out and left town. Dogs ruined the floor coverings, holes in doors and walls, broken glass, big long list.

I have done a lot of inspections up here is the cold region and when the house was empty the gas and e; electric company shut off service but the water was left on.
Guess what it froze and flooded the homes, so the plumbers come in in the spring shut off the water and cut the pipe to drain the home system

I have seen a significant amount of copper theft in vacant rural homes in western Kentucky over the past several years; perhaps this is the case.

Plumbing was working before the plumber arrived.
I am assuming that the property was locked to prevent entry.
Call the plumber and inquire if he cut the piping and why…