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Freezing drain pipe - should HOA pay for repair?


washer-drain-freezing.jpgMy daughter recently bought her first condo. About 12 years old. Nice place.

Now that winter is on us, she has had a problem with the drain pipe on her clothes washer freezing shut, causing the water to spill onto the floor and run into the garage of the condo below.

It only happens when it is really cold (-10) and windy. But it has happened twice. Insurance already has a $2500+ bill for the first time, she caught it before it caused as much damage the second time.

We called a plumber, who opened the wall. but the ice had melted by then. you can see that the problem has been there in the past, the vapor barrier plastic had been cut and not replaced, and extra insulation had been packed around the water feed pipes and the drain pipe. But it obviously isn't working.

It is an exterior wall, but the condo association has taken the stance that because it is her drain pipe, it is her problem, even though it is an exterior wall outside of her drywall.

The real question here is how can the freezing of a drain pipe be the responsibility of the individual condo owner. Heat has been on the whole time. And repairs are probably going to be in areas not accessible from the condo unit, probably in the exterior wall.

Her insurance is covering all but the $500 deductible, but we want to get this fixed permanently. Nothing was revealed in the original purchase documents, and the downstairs owner says it had happened in the past.

How do you go about getting this fixed? The area that needs to be addressed is in a space that can't be addressed from the unit.

Answers (9)

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