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I think mice ate through my dishwasher supply line ...

by Evie / March 3, 2006 6:37 AM PST

... while we were out Sad Hubby came home to a steamed house and soaked kitchen and family room floor Sad We'll have to wait for Monday to call the insurance company as they were closed by the time we discovered this. It could have been worse I suppose, but we probably ate through many gallons of heating oil as it was a hot water line and apparently it was going for at least a couple of hours. The stove is all blinking and whatnot and has condensation inside the digital controls so it's a goner. Used a wooden pole to turn off the breaker as that box was a bit "dewey" as well! There is, thankfully, only a small puddle in the basement, but the floor is pretty darned soaked through the subfloor, so I'm not sure what that will mean. It didn't go into any other room besides the two, thankfully, but the walls in the entranceway are wet with condensation and we have icicles on the window! Lots of water appears to be under the cabinets as well Sad The entire basement was a sauna and is still dripping slightly with condensation.

*Sigh* ... never a dull moment!

Evie Happy

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Can't be a pretty site on a Friday
by Steven Haninger / March 3, 2006 6:59 AM PST

I have to imagine your dishwasher is the freestanding type rather than a built in and your hoses are the flexible type...some sort of rubber compound. These tend to weaken with age, heating and cooling. I know we had a washer hose go some years back and I wondered why I was hearing running water while lying in bed. I thought it might be a stuck toilet float but turned out to be the hot water supply of the washing machine. It was in the basement near a floor drain so damage was very minor...just sprayed onto the ceiling area and soaked the laundry pile. Yours sounds like a bum deal. I doubt it was mice, however, but who knows. Sounds like you folks have a weekend project in store. Sad

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This is a built in ...
by Evie / March 3, 2006 7:06 AM PST

... and the hose is no more than 5 years old so doubtful it "went" without help! Since it's a hot water line, also doubtful it froze to burst. It was a replacement flexi-hose (intended for dishwashers). I haven't gotten around yet to looking at it with the help of a flashlight!

Evie Happy

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Well it's official! Mice!!
by Evie / March 6, 2006 12:29 AM PST

I finally got the stomach up to remove the dishwasher kickplate and look underneath. I guess the offending mouse made a clean escape (or he made it behind the cabinets :() but there's lots of evidence of them being there (no surprise, lots of evidence had already washed out from under there-- yuck!!). But there it was -- the silver/gray sheathing of the hose knawed away!

Spoke to the insurance rep today. We have the replacement insurance so that's a good thing. Had a scare because she said they don't cover rodent damage. But she called to double check that the resulting damage WAS covered -- phew! So I guess the $7 hose isn't covered, but all the rest will be.

This is the first time I've ever done a claim on a homeowner's policy. I'm hoping it goes smoothly but not counting on it!

Evie Happy

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I installed our current (old) dishwasher...
by EdH / March 6, 2006 12:38 AM PST

if memory serves, the supply line is a small copper pipe. One thing the mice can't get I think.

We've had pinholes in copper tubing in the bathroom though.

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I installed this dishwasher ...
by Evie / March 6, 2006 1:03 AM PST

... the original hole in the floor/copper pipe didn't line up with the valve on the new one, so the flex hose seemed like a good idea. I never in a million years thought mice would chew through something like this! I'm glad I bought the shut-off valve and put it in at the time though!

Evie Happy

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by grimgraphix / March 6, 2006 1:34 AM PST

I believe you can get flex hose with a metal braid over it for the next time.


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(NT) (NT) That's what I thought the covering was!
by Evie / March 6, 2006 1:41 AM PST
In reply to: FYI
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Saw some short stainless still flex lines
by Roger NC / March 6, 2006 7:35 AM PST
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(NT) (NT) Good to hear!
by grimgraphix / March 6, 2006 12:41 AM PST
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Ouch Evie!
by Tony Holmes / March 3, 2006 7:05 AM PST

A burst hose like that can discharge up to 500 gal per hr! Had a burst hose on a washer a few years ago and that was a lesson to remember.After that I had flood valves installed so it could never happen again.

I don't see why one of these valves couldn't be adapted to a dishwasher too.In fact,I'd do the washer and dishwasher at the same time.
Have hubby talk to the counter man at the local plumbing supply.

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Thanks Tony!
by Evie / March 3, 2006 7:16 AM PST
In reply to: Ouch Evie!

Sounds like a must do for when we fix it. Luckily when I put the new dishwasher in I installed a shut-off valve for just the dishwasher. Originally it didn't have one, and we would have had to shut off the water to the whole house -- that would have been even more of a nightmare! So on the bright side, we still have water for other uses. We're somewhat blessed in that it couldn't have been going on for too too long judging from the amount of water. 500 gal/hour you say? Well, at least that would also be a benefit of having a ''slow recovery'' well! Would have run dry first Wink The oil tank is down to about 1/16th, so I'm crossing my fingers it lasts until tomorrow's delivery.

Evie Happy

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Well yeah,depending on what kind of ...
by Tony Holmes / March 3, 2006 7:32 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks Tony!

pressure the house has.Stick a gal jug under a basement faucet or garden hose and crank it full on and see how long it takes to fill.A little work with a calculator and you know how many gal per hr you're pushing,crude but effective method Happy

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(NT) (NT) Heartfelt commiserations, Evie. -- Rob
by Ziks511 / March 3, 2006 7:13 AM PST
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With that much water damage...
by grimgraphix / March 3, 2006 8:39 AM PST

it might be best to contact a fire and water damage repair company. They would be best equipped to deal with drying out every last bit of the house to avoid mold and mildew infestations. Check and see if your home owners coverts the cost of such a company!

Sorry about your troubles. Hope the new TV stayed dry!


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Thankfully it did!
by Evie / March 3, 2006 9:13 AM PST

Amazingly, as steamy as some areas got (kitchen window is still fogged, the TV room only has a soggy rug on the other end of the room. No evidence of any "steaming" going on in there. I am a bit surprised about the stove, but the dishwasher seems fine (at least the electrical controls -- shur off anyway!), kinda surprised the stove is all freaked out but didn't trip the breaker either!

We'll deal with the insurance company on Monday. Been doing some going through of stuff, so, of course, I have no idea where the policy is LOL!

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(NT) (NT) You should fire your cat(s)
by Rick S / March 3, 2006 11:44 AM PST
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They do such a good job ...
by Evie / March 4, 2006 12:32 AM PST

... that if it turns out mice knawed through that line, it will be because of the cats! The ''boys'' routinely hold vigil in that corner of the kitchen. It is impossible to get rid of all the field mice in this area. For a while the measures I put in to block mice worked, but apparently now they have been getting under there. Sad

The more I assess the damage, the more I'm inclined to think it was some sort of pinhole somewhere because the actual amount of water seems small compared to all the condensation/steam in the basement. I guess since we don't heat the upstairs and the entrance is open to the 2nd floor, that cold area ''sucked'' all the steam in. Better there than the other 1st floor rooms we live in!

We have the basic laminate countertop which is now swelled by the dishwashwer from all the moisture. That will need to be replaced. The dw has now also ''let loose'' as the screws came out of the wet particle crap.

Evie Happy

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Bummer, Evie...
by EdH / March 3, 2006 1:23 PM PST

ohne day I'll tell you about a similar disaster that happened to me a few years ago. It won't make you feel any better now, but maybe worth a chuckle.

You do get past these things. Good luck.

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(NT) (NT) Enjoy the free sauna?
by Kiddpeat / March 3, 2006 3:01 PM PST
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I hope you have the kind of insurance that will restore
by Kiddpeat / March 3, 2006 3:06 PM PST

things to the condition they were in before the pipe broke. That saved our bacon a few years back when a carpet installer used our oak floors as a cutting board. The insurance company wound up sanding and refinishing the entire first floor.

I think it's called replacement insurance.

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Yes we do, thankfully!
by Evie / March 6, 2006 12:35 AM PST

Now I just hope things go smoothly. It almost looks like not much happened at this point. I can still see the condensation in the stove panel, but worry that by the time the adjuster comes out it will somehow have cleared enough for the stove to work! I don't want THAT!!! I did take pictures so that should be a help. It's just that so many things are attached. The counter over the dishwasher is roached -- all puffed up substrate. It doesn't look like the end of the world, but they should pay to replace the whole thing which is a rather large piece with two corner L's. I foresee fighting over stuff like this Sad

Evie Happy

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My insurance company didn't fight. The agent even explained
by Kiddpeat / March 6, 2006 4:32 AM PST
In reply to: Yes we do, thankfully!

that replacement meant that they had to put it back in its original condition. The only delay was them trying to get the carpet company to take responsibility and/or correct the damage. Once they got past that, they covered everything including moving, storage, refinishing, and hotel. Our floors were refinished, so the furniture had to be moved out and stored while it was done. Also, moved back in when complete. We stayed in a hotel during that period.

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Yikes -- so sorry, Evie.

I hope you don't develop a mold problem as well.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Since it is cold ...
by Evie / March 4, 2006 3:12 AM PST

... and except for the rug and the puddle in the basement, the rest of the house is already dried back out (seems a LOT more steam than water in the end, although the amount absorbed into the rug is probably significant), I'm not too worried about mold at this point. We'll have it evaluated by professionals no matter what. I'm most worried about the subfloor integrity. That steam did a job ''blowing up'' the particle board substrate of the countertop. Parts of the OSB subfloor look pretty saturated through from the underside -- no telling what the steam did to the glue in it. That would be a royal PITA to have replaced! I'm afraid to take the kickplate off from under the dishwasher and look under there LOL. Clearly we had a critter or two making a home under there Sad

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Of course you know...
by EdH / March 4, 2006 2:46 AM PST

Bush is to blame.

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(NT) (NT) Yep ... FEMA hasn't sent out a rep yet ;-)
by Evie / March 4, 2006 2:48 AM PST
In reply to: Of course you know...
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Do you have an Association?
by Angeline Booher / March 6, 2006 1:31 AM PST

One day the power went off in my mother's house. Of course, it was during a weekend. No way to wait for Monday due to her advanced age.

The call to an electrician was expensive. What he found was squirrels had entered her attic, and chewed through electric wiring. Thank goodness the breaker worked in the elctric panel! Given her physical condition, her getting out of a house on fire would have been iffy.

Of course, her problem was solved more easily than yours. I see TV ads here for a company that specializes in "Like It Never Happened" re: cleaning up water and fire damages.

Seems to me that when your condo asociation could do something about treating for mice. Wouldn't do much good for you to treat only your place.

If it's like the associations here, they are mighty quick to criticize anything a person does to their places. I sure would ask!

Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email

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This is a house Angeline ...
by Evie / March 6, 2006 7:33 AM PST

... I disposed of the condo a few years back now. Luckily never had any problems there.

We live on old farmland, hence the occasional field mouse is a given. Cats keep them out of the living areas for the most part, but they get in and around and there's not much to do about it.

We wanted to evac the cats and exterminate once, but apparently they won't do that. Paying someone to set a bunch of glue traps seemed a ridiculous waste when you just know they will eventually come back sometime. I use traps, but we've had problems with them as well. Don't want to use poison because of the cats.

The insurance co is to get back to me soon, etc. It's not an emergency, just no dishwasher, a soggy rug, and no working stove (have a toaster oven we finally took out of the box!), but otherwise liveable.

Evie Happy

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My to do list
by Willy / March 6, 2006 7:20 AM PST

My well tank is leaky but I'm letting it go until warmer weather. It was that time I suppose so I know the feeling too. The well motor pump needs replacement too. So, all in all the damage is cost and time plus the minor floor daMage all that collected water does if I don't mop-up. But heck, its cold that's my reasoning to delay any repairs until of course it fails entirely. -----Willy Happy

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Well pump died a few years back ...
by Evie / March 6, 2006 7:34 AM PST
In reply to: My to do list

... that's not a cheap replacement!

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