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Guy tries replacing faucet in Allston apartment; floods out neighbors, suffers scald burns

Residents evacuate Allston building due to flooding

Evacuating residents. Photo by BFD.

The city opened the Jackson-Mann School as an emergency shelter after the Boston Fire Department evacuated residents of the ten-story building at 15 N. Beacon St. due to "major" flooding that started on the fifth floor around midnight.

The water has been shut down, but because of the damages caused by the leak the building is being evacuated.

WFXT reports a resident was trying to replace a faucet when he burst a high-pressure hot-water line, sending water cascading down through the building - and giving him burns on his hands

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Comments

I had an upstairs neighbor who thought that since his washing machine wasn't running, he could disconnect the water supply without shutting off the valve. It seems ridiculous, but it took the guy more than 10 minutes to figure out he could just move the lever and shut off the rapidly flowing water, but not before sending lots of it cascading through my ceiling and light fixtures.

Just because you watch This Old House doesn't mean you're a plumber. Hope this do-it-yourselfer is properly insured....

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Another possibility is that the shut-off valve broke. Older ones have a bad habit of snapping apart or the solder joints failing. If there isn't another shut-off valve for the entire unit then the only way to stop the water is a shut-off for the entire unit stack in the basement. The real fun is when ALL OF THESE VALVES break and the water meter valve has to be closed and that breaks. Then it's a shut off in the street.

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have a tendency to freeze up, even if they're relatively new. The usual reaction to a valve that won't close or open is to apply more force. That is normally what causes the pipe to then fracture. Of course, there's a simple way to avoid this problem - it's called WD-40.

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Who won't be invited to the next resident barbecue ...

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He's a victim of soicumstance! Nyuk...nyuk...nyuk

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Vernacular? That's a doiby!

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Well, we had to forget something or we wouldn't be plumbers.

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The thing that stuck out in this story for me was that this happened in the middle of the night. Maybe don't try replacing your faucet at midnight? Maybe some beers and a marathon of This Old House inspired him to tackle a project early.

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This Old House . Now I've heard everything.

Or perhaps the guy ate too much Welsh rarebit.

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This Old House and no chill.

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I worked this incident last night as part of a utilities crew. The tenant shut off the proper valves and disconnected his water lines to the faucet. He failed to disconnect the sprayer attachment which came after the faucet shutoffs. When he attempted to remove the faucet, the sprayer connection held, causing him to believe the disconnected lines were snagged under the cabinet. He yanked on it, and a piece of corroded pipe (pex>copper), located before the shutoff, gave way.

Because of the height of the building, the hot water line is a high pressure line, so a large volume of extremely hot water rushed into his apartment at a high velocity. He burned his hands rather severely trying to stop the flow of water. Unbeknownst to him, first responders, and on scene facilities, the only shutoff for this line was tucked away in a barely marked access panel on the 10th floor.

The water ran for a couple of hours, interacting with electrical equipment and entirely disabling the fire alarm system. This made an evacuation unavoidable.

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