Shower/dishwasher/washing machine/drains problems

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  • Shower/dishwasher/washing machine/drains problems

    Hi all

    We have just moved into a house
    Rented via a letting agent (major chain)
    We have the following issues can anyone advise if & what action we can take on each ?
    Thank you in anticipation


    1) Shower in ensuite water flow so poor barely washes the soap off your body (there is also a bath in the house but being on a water meter & three of us bathing daily is too expensive & not practical)

    2) Dishwasher on inventory & included works fine then after cycle finishes the bottom of machine backs up with the soiled water ?

    3) Washing machine has a constant nasty foul water smell,smells slighlty of burning in operation and is supposed to heat the water (cold feed only) but washes everything stone cold ?
    Suspect drainage prob may be cause of dishwasher & poss one of washing machine probs

    As we have newly moved in we wish to raise these issues quickly & in a correct manner to get them sorted asap
    Any advice on wording please

  • #2
    I think you are right to suspect a problem with the drains. If you think there is a blockage (which may only be partial, hence some water drains away but more hangs around; blocked solid material is smelling) first try to unblock it yourself using a plunger or a proprietary drain cleaning gel; if this makes no difference, ask the LL to have it checked. If the blockage is between the property and the mains drain in street, it's LL's repsponsibility (or yours, if it says that in your TA); otherwise, it's the utility provider's job to shift it.

    The water pressure in the shower is another issue and I don't think you can legally force the LL to do anything about that. If you're used to a power shower then revert to an ordinary one, it can be a disappointment. If you plan to stay there more than a year or so, it might be worth negotiating with LL about getting a better one installed or trying to improve the water pressure.

    If the washine machine is included on the inventory as being in working order, then inform the LL that it has developed a fault and ask for a repair.

    I would put your concerns politely in writing (if agent is managing, write to/email agent in first instance, otherwise, just write direct to LL). Perhaps start with a reassurance that you are generally happy with the property but that you would appreciate it if he could give his urgent attention to the follwing issues which have become apparent since you moved in on (date). the just describe concisely the problems you've experienced, as you have done here. Ask him to contact you to discuss them, or to let you know as soon as he has organised for the repairs to be carried out. Keep copies of all correspondance.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for your fast reply

      I have already tried 2 different sink unblocking products (not together I hasten to add)
      To no effect

      We cannot reach the drain as it has a cover on it that my husband cannot get to open

      As we have JUST moved in surely we would n't be responsible for the drain issue ? or am I being naive


      Shower we mentioned it verbally and landlord said to letting agent it never bothered him so tough !
      If for example we installed a pump to increase pressure at our cost & then took it with us making good the pipe work ?
      I assume we need landlord consent to do anything like that

      Or should we get it done by a plumber & reverted afterwards without mentioning ?
      Not wishing to be deceitful but but letting agent so far has been not very nice to me (sexist,patronising and rude)


      Had we of known many things we should never have rented this house

      If LL refuses to do anything re drains investigation were do we stand then ? and is there a reasonable time frame ?
      I am incurring laundrette costs now

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by house275 View Post
        Thank you for your fast reply

        I have already tried 2 different sink unblocking products (not together I hasten to add)
        To no effect

        We cannot reach the drain as it has a cover on it that my husband cannot get to open

        As we have JUST moved in surely we would n't be responsible for the drain issue ? or am I being naive


        Shower we mentioned it verbally and landlord said to letting agent it never bothered him so tough !
        If for example we installed a pump to increase pressure at our cost & then took it with us making good the pipe work ?
        I assume we need landlord consent to do anything like that

        Or should we get it done by a plumber & reverted afterwards without mentioning ?
        Not wishing to be deceitful but but letting agent so far has been not very nice to me (sexist,patronising and rude)


        Had we of known many things we should never have rented this house

        If LL refuses to do anything re drains investigation were do we stand then ? and is there a reasonable time frame ?
        I am incurring laundrette costs now
        Sounds as if no-one has properly checked the property before you moved in. Not good.

        I agree, you shouldn't be responsible for the unblocking of smelly drains so soon after moving in - that would be unreasonable even if TA normally requires you to keep drains clear (which it might).

        If Ll does not act soon, advise him you will contact the EHO at the council who may require him to act. That should be a last resort, really, although I have a sinking feeling about this LL - he doesn't seem to be that bothered, does he? Give him a chance to remedy the faults, then if no action taken within 7 days, tell him you intend to contact the council about the drains. He may be in breach of contract for allowing drains to remain blocked and dirty water to be backing up into d/washer - gross.

        If he does not repair dishwasher, arrange a repair or replacement yourself (if repair is uneconomic) and deduct cost from rent. Tell him you intend to do so.

        Re shower - sorry, I don't know where you stand on upgrading it yourself. Perhaps someone else does?
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you for your help
          So 7 days is acceptable time frame
          I wasn't sure what was reasonable


          The owner was in residence and left to go to Australia so is not bothered at all
          Sadly it appears that he did not mantain the property/white goods very well & we are left to live in a manner he felt acceptable rather than a fit for purpose state

          Big lesson learnt
          I though we had renting sussed but I really picked a turkey this time
          Still only 341 days and we can move out !

          (I am trying to be positive)

          Comment


          • #6
            If your tenancy agreement contains a break clause, you may be able to move out after 6months.

            If not, and LL does not sort out the water supply to the property he is failing under his statutory duty under the Landlord and Tenant Act and can be prosecuted. The threat of this may make him more willing to agree an early surrender of the tenancy with you (just to get rid of you!). With luck it won't come to that, but keep the pressure up on the agent.

            Rememebr the agent is working for the LL; nohe's not an impartial go-between so don't expect him always to be pulling in the same direction as you.

            So :
            Washing machine and drains/plumbing : you can, if nec, get these sorted yourself, if he does nothing, and deduct the cost from rent
            Shower : see what others on the forum think is reasonable.

            Don't despair!
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

            Comment


            • #7
              dishwasher

              Hi I cant help you much with the legal stuff but on the plumbing front I might be able to help.

              I'm guessing dishwasher, washing machine and sink are in reasonable proximity
              I don't know the specifics of your drainage but it sounds a lot like a problem I had recently.

              Dishwashers and washing machines have a pump to remove water from inside the machine. But this only gets it out of the drum or the resevoir, not down the drain, gravity does that bit. Both machines will have a flexy tube coming out of the back through which the 'grey' water drains. This will either go to its own trap(u-bend thing) or be spliced into the trap for the sink with a T- piece or possibly diswasher and washing machine share a trap and sink has its own whatever the setup it sounds like waste water is re- entering the washing machine. Despite what common sense might dictate, there is not a no-return valve.

              Anyway to cut a long and boring story short the flexy pipe should be threaded through a u shaped bracket(every machine comes with one) and that should sit upright (creating a hump so the 'grey' water wont flow back up)and must be higher up than the point that the flexy hose enters the drainage system which must be above the trap.

              It might just be a matter of flexy hose needing to be a bit higher up- easy fix. Or if someone has done a bodge job there might not be enough 'drop' in your drainage system. There must be enough height difference for gravity to remove the water It doesn't have to be much but it has to be enough- I have seen 'professional' plumbers get this wrong.

              Also if flexy hose is spliced into sink trap with a T-piece, check it is the right way up i.e directs water from the flexy hose down the drain. Not from the sink down the flexy hose!


              If you are having trouble picturing this try a bit of googling on fitting a dishwasher or a washing machine, that should bring up some diagrams.

              I wouldn't have thought this would solve the problem of the washing machine not heating water, but if the drainage isn't right you could put a new machine in and it would have the same smelly water problem.

              IMO it is the landlords responsibility to put any of this right.

              good luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                Zogg - that's great - many thanks. So perhaps it's not as bad as we thought (ie blocked drains)? This is definitely something LL/agent should have sorted out when preparing the house for being tenanted.

                Don't suppose you've any thoughts on the shower problem as well, have you?
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just a few non technical housewife thoughts on the shower -
                  1. It could be a cheap, rubbish shower.
                  2. Take the shower head off - it should unscrew - and check if it's blocked up with limescale or something gungy.
                  3. If it's an electric shower, turn the heat down and the flow should increase.
                  4. Ask your Agents to send a plumber!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re drains: see s.11(1)(b) of LTA 1985, as follows:

                    SECTION 11
                    (1) Repairing obligations in short leases
                    In a lease to which this section applies (as to which, see sections 13 and 14) there is implied a covenant by the lessor
                    (a) to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),

                    (b) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and

                    (c) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      WOW thank you much for taking the time to share all the plumbing advice
                      I shall check that out tomorrow morning it sure makes sense

                      Am getting really fed up with re washing things
                      Can't believe the landlord was happy to live like it


                      Showers
                      I have descaled head
                      I have taken new shower head from friends house & tried it
                      No difference
                      Asked for a plumber who arrived scratched his head said your showers c*rap he suggested to LA installing a power shower for £750 ! obviously landlord said no
                      He made no others suggestions except installing new ?

                      It is water pressure it is a tank fed mixer shower doomed to be pant's I suspect

                      A friend has suggested either have the feed coming from the rising main ?
                      Does this make sense ?
                      Would this work ?
                      Or install a pump & take it out when we leave ?

                      We have a meeting with LA next Monday at the house so hoping to get it sorted then
                      They seem to feel I am creating things as I don't like the house but it's not true it's simply got lots wrong with it
                      I guess your LA is as much your friend as your bank manager !


                      This is such a helpful forum i'm so glad I found it
                      Thanks again will let you know if it's the pipes

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thank you for the clearer thread title

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Have checked both machines
                          No standpipes

                          Have emailed letter to letting agent giving 7 days to provide a plumber to sort out
                          Hope this solves it
                          Look forward to washing/dishes that do not smell rank
                          Will let you know
                          Thanks again Zogg you are fantastic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                            Don't suppose you've any thoughts on the shower problem as well, have you?
                            Only to agree with you that if you go from a power shower or even a non power shower that is fed by a modern combi boiler, back to a one that is fed from a hot water cylinder, it can feel quite lacklustre.

                            that said there may still be a problem.

                            http://www.diynot.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=70976

                            This topic seems to cover off most things you can do to investigate the problem.
                            once again, good luck! to OP's

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Zoggthefantastic View Post
                              non power shower that is fed by a modern combi boiler
                              when I had a combi boiler fitted, an "equaliser" had to be fitted so I could use a shower - it was brilliant - just like a power shower!
                              Mrs Jones
                              I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

                              Comment

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