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  • Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

    How many have been involved in plumbing leak caused by a nail or screw in a plumbing pipe?

    A carpenter friend shot a nail into a plumbing pipe while installing base board trim. Nail went through stud guard. Leak started months after home owner moved in. $150,000.00 in damage.
    Last edited by ibuild1; 03-28-2011, 01:49 PM. Reason: clarification

  • #2
    Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

    In nearly 30 years of home building, I would estimate that I have witnessed a drywall screw or trim nail in a water pipe about 50 times.

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    • #3
      Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

      Is this about to turn into advertising for your product?
      Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
      Website - Facebook

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      • #4
        Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

        No...I am aware of a product that is not available yet. I have been asked to test on my new homes...I will update those interested after testing.

        In the mean time...just wondered how often problem occurs with others in construction.

        Thanks,
        Patrick

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        • #5
          Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

          Originally posted by ibuild1 View Post
          How many have been involved in plumbing leak caused by a nail or screw in a plumbing pipe?

          A carpenter friend shot a nail into a plumbing pipe while installing base board trim. Nail went through stud guard. Leak started months after home owner moved in. $150,000.00 in damage.

          I find it nearly impossible to believe the nail went through the steel plate?? I've seen guys drill a pilot hole through the plate and run a screw into the pipe. You need to be clueless to do so. A trim friend of mine did gun nail into a pipe about 10 or so years ago. This was before the code required the steel plates. The nail will not leak until it rusts through. In his situation the home owners where on vacation...it trashed the basement and first floor of a couple million dollor home.

          I love to have pictures of all bathroom/kitchen plumbing situations before insulation. If not I usually use pl poly in these areas and won't nail.
          Last edited by Kent Brobeck; 03-28-2011, 06:40 PM.
          ~Kent~

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          • #6
            Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

            Believe it or not, sometimes a nail will penetrate the stud guard if shot straight on...I do not think it is frequent, but it does happen. I mark the subfloor with paint to locate the pipes for drywall, however after the finished floors or underlayment goes in, the trim carpenter does not know where the pipes are...

            Thanks for your comment.

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            • #7
              Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

              I've heard of guys shooting 15ga finish nails thru nail plates. I've never done that, to my knowledge, but the whole problem is that you wouldn't know until the nail rusted out and the leak started. I have a clause I use in my contract if I trim out anything I didn't build, that (hopefully) relieves me of liability for shooting pipes that I can't see, whether there are plates or not. It lists the lengths of the nails to be used, etc.
              Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
              Website - Facebook

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              • #8
                Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

                Thanks for the comment David. In most cases I have helped with clean-up and repaired the damage for free along with my vendors, to try to preserve my relationship with my client.

                Patrick

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                • #9
                  Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

                  agree totally with fixing at your own cost

                  about 2 years ago i was working in a set of flats (condo?) i was on the second floor in a 1920s property replacing old floorboards

                  my pasolde nail bounced off an old cut clasp and returned into a 22mm copper pipe (3/4 inch) heating flow pipe.

                  PAINFUL back pocket......... 2 hours work on the day and 300 quid in ceiling reapir and repainting the ceiling below..... well beyond the price of the work i was doing

                  the guy in the flat below was was impressed that id murdered his ceiling and fixed it at my own cost

                  .................... three weeks later i was installing a 10,000 quid kitchen for him
                  Limey Carpenter

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                  • #10
                    Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

                    Originally posted by Tom Bainbridge View Post
                    agree totally with fixing at your own cost
                    Seriously? I've done a few jobs where I was asked to go in and trim out something that was already completely drywalled, painted, etc., and I had never seen it before it was closed up. There is just no way of knowing what was run inside the wall, whether it was run halfway back or right at the front, whether nail plates were used, etc. Why would I want the responsibility for stuff that might get hit? In my remodeling, I'd say that at least half the stuff I open up has pipe or wire installed in vulnerable spots. Obviously, I go to great lengths to nail where there could not reasonably be anything to hit. I find all the studs and I shoot the trim into them, but I have seen cases where a plumber ran pipe right behind the drywall exactly at the level where screws for base cabinets would go, 32-34" off the subfloor, and never plated them. You guys must charge a lot more than I do in order to cover that risk, if you're offering to fix damage that occurs years later.

                    On jobs that I build from scratch or at least open up, I take photos of every wall area and tape them right to the drywall so that we can see what's in there when we're trimming out. That much I can take responsibility for...
                    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
                    Website - Facebook

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                    • #11
                      Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

                      This type of problem is not that common, so although I go through great lengths to prevent the problem, when it happens I feel obligated to help. I have a great relationship with my vendors and they take care of the plumbing repair, drywall and painting for free. I will usually pay for water removal and clean-up, and help the owner with the cost of flooring if needed. The major damage mentioned in my original question($150,000) was covered by the owners insurance. As with Tom, I seem to get more work from a client even after a disaster, because we go above and beyond what is required.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

                        In 26 years I have put one nail through a hydronic heat pipe.
                        New house I worked on 10 years ago, production trimmer used 2 1/2" 16ga to set thin profile panel molding on walls. Hit same pipe twice that was running vertically in stud bay. Leak started 3 months later, nowhere near 6 figure damage.
                        SteveC
                        The improbable takes time, the impossible takes a little longer.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

                          ...the six figure was the worst I have seen. Was a very high end home. I built production homes for many years in the 80's - 90's...approximately 100 per year. Due to the fast pace and the inexperience of many of the carpenters and drywallers, pipes were hit more often but the damage cost was minimal. Now it is rare that a pipe is hit, however the cost is greater because the cost of the homes is much more @ 5mil +...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

                            Originally posted by Kent Brobeck View Post
                            I find it nearly impossible to believe the nail went through the steel plate??
                            Yup, 16 gauge will go through the guard plates, at least the ones they use around here. Not sure why they don't make thicker ones, or maybe they do.
                            "If you only have a hammer, all problems look like nails"

                            Vintage wood window repair and restoration in Chicago
                            Wood storm windows in Chicago
                            Weatherizing vintage buildings in Chicago

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                            • #15
                              Re: Nail or screw in plumbing pipe? How many?

                              Originally posted by David Meiland View Post
                              Seriously? I've done a few jobs where I was asked to go in and trim out something that was already completely drywalled, painted, etc., and I had never seen it before it was closed up. There is just no way of knowing what was run inside the wall, whether it was run halfway back or right at the front, whether nail plates were used, etc. Why would I want the responsibility for stuff that might get hit? In my remodeling, I'd say that at least half the stuff I open up has pipe or wire installed in vulnerable spots. Obviously, I go to great lengths to nail where there could not reasonably be anything to hit. I find all the studs and I shoot the trim into them, but I have seen cases where a plumber ran pipe right behind the drywall exactly at the level where screws for base cabinets would go, 32-34" off the subfloor, and never plated them. You guys must charge a lot more than I do in order to cover that risk, if you're offering to fix damage that occurs years later.

                              On jobs that I build from scratch or at least open up, I take photos of every wall area and tape them right to the drywall so that we can see what's in there when we're trimming out. That much I can take responsibility for...

                              Dave, you hit it out of the park here....I couldn't agree more. I get tight around plumbing so like I said I'll glue my base to the plaster/drywall. Pictures are the ticket though, I do my best to get to the site if I know I have the project. If the pipes not protected it should go back on the inspector or the plumber. It also makes a good case for using an 18 or 16 guage nail gun on everything you can. I usually only use 15 guage on doors.
                              ~Kent~

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