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 Shutting water main at condo
Author: GnrPink (MN)

I was curious how you guys deal with shutting down an apartment or condo with no individual shutoffs to each unit. When shutting off the main to a house, and turning it back on there is the issue of loose debris that gets caught in the aerator or cartridges. My concern is that when I turn the water back on this will happen to all the other units. Do you just say your not responsible for what happens to the other units?

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: hj (AZ)

That's about it.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: packy (MA)

if that is the way the building is set up then of course we are responsible for any debris that clogs other condo's piping. BUT, we are not responsible for clearing the debris.
so if you don't have individual shut offs for each unit then it must be written into the condo agreements how this situation is handled.
someone has to pay the plumber to clear the debris. perhaps the condo fees cover this ?

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: hj (AZ)

I nEVER had the situation come up so I never worried about it.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: GnrPink (MN)

Got it. Thanks guys

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: bsipps (PA)

Whether apartment or condo usually there is some type of maintenance person who’s job it would be to clear aerators or replace cartridges and flex lines

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: hj (AZ)

Condos are usually owner occupied so the association only maintains the "common" areas, not items inside the units.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: sum (FL)

I have a condo that I rent out and the condo governing documents actually defined "common areas" and the common areas vs individual owner's areas. The common areas includes the shared wall cavities. So technically speaking one cannot install a recessed mount medicine cabinet or open the wall to reconfigure plumbing or electrical without violating common areas.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: vic (CA)

GnrPink,
Every year I rent from condo owners for a week or two in lots of areas of our country and so I have spoken to condo owners, maintenance people and numerous managers of condos.
I go at least twice per year renting in different high rise condos in Hawaii on the different islands and there it seems that virtually everyone of them have different general rules .... therefor I don't believe we can answer your question. I suggest that you ask or look at your specific condo rules.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: bernabeu (SC)

Vic,

It is very easy to confuse rules and regulations (made by the Board of Directors) governing commonly owned areas with Covenants and Restrictions (between the actual members/owners and RECORDED with the registrar of deeds) which govern privately owned property WITHIN the condo 'association'.

Said Covenants and Restrictions confer powers to the BOD to make rules governing the common elements.

Said Covenants and Restrictions also DEFINE private and COMMON boundaries.

The BOD has NO AUTHORITY over private dwellings within the condo other than controlling/enforcing/maintaining the COMMON elements.

eg. preventing an owner from modifying or encroaching upon a common element

There are:

HOAs

CONDOs

CO-OPs

Each 'class' of associations' purpose is ONLY to maintain the commonly owned elements





..... end of 101

- - - -

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: hj (AZ)

I think you would find that a "dividing wall" common area could NOT be penetrated by a medicine cabinet, because that wall, by definition, should be a completely unpenetrated fire resistant/fireproof structure, unless it is by a fireproof item, such as metal.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: Plumber Cameron (ID)

To my mind I would think that whoever manages these condos would want to change a few things.

I would have an individual condo shut off in each condo. I would also have a filter for sediment installed on the main line. The filter alone would save condo owners a lot in maintenance. As owners of each unit you may be able to modify your plumbing via your agreement within certain boundaries. You may be able with approval to add your own sediment filter and individual apartment shut off. Also if nothing else a convenient blow out location might help, a hose Bibb or outdoor faucet opened up where water could push debris while everything else is closed.
A decent individual condo sediment filter can be as little as 50 to 100 dollars. So we are not talking thousands of dollars per unit, we are talking about a fairly efficient solution to make everybody’s life easier and extend the life of your fixtures.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: bernabeu (SC)

The 'manager' is the Association of Owners (or whatever title the corporation adapted) which is SOLEY comprised of the 'unit' owners.

Said Association may, or may not, hire a management company to 'do the paperwork' and 'book-keeping' BUT the Association (not the 'manager') is in charge and responsible and represents the 'unit' owners.

Said Association is TOTALLY governed by the FILED and RECORDED Covenants and Restrictions.

- - - -

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: hj (AZ)

Yo are assuming that each unit has a single point where a valve can be installed. Such may not be the case, especially if it an apartment complex converted to condos.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: Plumber Cameron (ID)

Apologies, I will admit my knowledge of the power structure of condo governance is limited. I believe there is some one in charge of such things, but it is a faith thing not a hard fact thing. Could be Santa and the Easter Bunny, but my point has been and is whoever or whatever is in charge of what can and can’t happen in this persons condo should be consulted so that whatever they have to do is completed as painlessly as possible.

To my way of thinking having to shut off all of my neighbors water to resolve an issue as well as clog their fixtures with sediment when I turn it back on sounds like the worst way to get to know your neighbors. I don’t know if a condo shut off could be put in for each individual condo, maybe every wall is common, maybe the condos are run from manifolds, maybe every water pipe is encased in concrete. Ok those are dumb, but my point isn’t “this will solve the problem” my point is this is what I would like to do if it were me.

I would like it if my condo was protected from sediment and I had an shut off I could turn off especially if it was unoccupied for long periods of time. If I was in this persons position and this legally could be done I would want to do it.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: packy (MA)

i think my code says that as long as there are individual shut off for all fixtures than an apartment converted to a condo is OK.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: sum (FL)

I am pretty sure the are many rules governing what can or cannot be done in a condo. The delineation of what an owner can do (or hire someone to do) and what must go through the condo association and be approved, debated, assigned, scheduled, noticed, executed, paid is typically spelled out clearly in governing documents and are very detailed.

The HOAs also typically have a maintenance company on contract, said maintenance company will deal with requests from occupants, like common washing machine broken, monthly landscape clearing and mowing, and other daily/weekly tasks. If something big breaks, then he/she informs the HOA and get permission to resolve. Often times this involves a scheduled and noticed meeting. Down here we have lots of retired people, and a lot of decisions made at HOA meetings. The rules are very strict. Owners can't talk to each other in advance of the meeting about an issue "informally" to influence others, and a meeting cannot make decisions unless there is a quorum met (like over 50% attendance). It's really complicated and why many do not like to buy an HOA governed home.

Individual shutoffs are nice. Most times they will hire someone to provide an estimate. Like a project total of $50,000 to do it, then it will be split amongst the existing owners, like $5000 a unit, as a special assessment to the HOA fees, and most owners would just vote no because no one wants to pay for it. In my condo rental unit we do have individual shutoff to each unit, but in 2012 when I bought it I had to change from a rusted broken gate valve to a ball valve to the unit shutoff and I need to turn water off at the meter. It requires a 48 hour notice to each unit on precise date/time and duration not exceeding 2 hours. More than 2 hours require a special meeting. On the day of the repair it was pouring rain, the curb meter was submerged. I turned it off with a plier by feel. Then the pipe kept seeping water even with meter closed. I had to use a compression ball valve instead of soldering, and it's no fun soldering when you have to have an umbrella between the neck and shoulder to keep the rain from dropping on the pipes you are trying to solder.

HOAs are a real pain.

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 Re: Shutting water main at condo
Author: bernabeu (SC)

COMMONLY OWNED PROPERTY is a real pain.


CO-OPs on the other hand can be pleasant.


A co-operative is where one owns a % of the actual multiple dwelling building which entitles one to occupy a unit of x square feet (different % will entitle different unit size).


One 'generally' can never independantly make ANY change beyond the 'paint line' of the unit wall(s).


One 'owns' the unit from the paint in.


The overwhelming (virtually 100%) majority of HOAs, CONDOs, and CO-OPs are incorporated in order to shield individual members from personal liability for any common area liabilty claims/judgements.

a/k/a: The Corporate Shield


else: one's personal assets may be lost in a big $$$$$$ lawsuit regarding a common area asset (which one ALSO owns) - if Inc., the Co. owns the common asset and one may lose said asset BUT one's privately held property is safe


eg. re; HOA - someone drowns in a negligently maintained community pool - judgement awarded against the HOA for $ millions - pool (and possibly other elements) lost to judgement (corporate asset), one's home is safe

- - - -

Retired U.A. Local 1 & 638
"Measure Twice & Cut Once"

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