Basement flooded - speakers soaked. - AVS Forum
Audio Theory, Setup, and Chat > Basement flooded - speakers soaked.
dooomi's Avatar dooomi 09:12 AM 10-09-2009
Well, our sump pump in our brand new house failed yesterday during a very heavy rain. I had pretty much all of my electronics that are not currently in use down in the sub basement where the water flooded. 16 in-wall/ceiling Paradigms, a Klipsch center channel, and a Sony subwoofer were all on the floor, and under about six inches of water. I immediately took them out of the area and drained as much of the water as I could, and now they are drying. Is there any chance any of them will be salvagable? And if so, how would I know which ones were still ok and which ones are goners?

Thanks in advance for any help!

bluesky636's Avatar bluesky636 11:35 AM 10-09-2009
File a homeowner's insurance claim if you can. Even if you could dry them out you will probably be faced with mold issues in the spots that didn't dry thoroughly. I think they are trashed.
Ratman's Avatar Ratman 12:09 PM 10-09-2009
Also...
Speaker cones (never meant to be soaked), foam surrounds, coils oxidizing, enclosures (MDF?) falling apart.

Not to be a Gloomy Gus, but depending on your insurance provider, you may not be covered by "flood insurance".
dooomi's Avatar dooomi 12:51 PM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

File a homeowner's insurance claim if you can. Even if you could dry them out you will probably be faced with mold issues in the spots that didn't dry thoroughly. I think they are trashed.

That's what I was afraid of. Unfornutately I was kind of stupid, and failed to add the sump pump failure rider to my policy... which only costs $40 per year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Also...
Speaker cones (never meant to be soaked), foam surrounds, coils oxidizing, enclosures (MDF?) falling apart.

Not to be a Gloomy Gus, but depending on your insurance provider, you may not be covered by "flood insurance".

I don't have flood insurance as I am not in a flood zone and it was not required by my lender. It wouldn't have helped anyways because I would not have met the requirements to call it an actual flood.

I think I'm just hosed.
bluesky636's Avatar bluesky636 12:53 PM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by dooomi View Post

That's what I was afraid of. Unfornutately I was kind of stupid, and failed to add the sump pump failure rider to my policy... which only costs $40 per year.

I don't have flood insurance as I am not in a flood zone and it was not required by my lender. It wouldn't have helped anyways because I would not have met the requirements to call it an actual flood.

I think I'm just hosed.

Ouch. Sorry to hear that.
Jim Hef's Avatar Jim Hef 12:54 PM 10-09-2009
If the power failed and that's why the pump didn't work, then you will be covered. If it was by builder's neglect to not install the pump correctly, then he will need to cover it via his insurance company.

Good luck with that, but I agree with others that stated they're trash at this point.
ChrisWiggles's Avatar ChrisWiggles 01:04 PM 10-09-2009
If the in-wall/in-ceiling speakers are all plastic which I suspect, and they dry off quickly enough so there isn't corrosion of crossover circuitry and the like, then they may well be just fine. A lot of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers though not expressly listed for out-door use, get installed outside on porches, boats etc and are exposed to a significant amount of weather and moisture and the like, and can often last for years.

The rest that is wood/MDF based, you'll have to judge for yourself whether they should go or not, I guess it depends how much water really soaked into them.

But I bet the inwalls/inceilings are probably okay.
dooomi's Avatar dooomi 01:08 PM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Hef View Post

If the power failed and that's why the pump didn't work, then you will be covered. If it was by builder's neglect to not install the pump correctly, then he will need to cover it via his insurance company.

Good luck with that, but I agree with others that stated they're trash at this point.

It was by builder's neglect. He installed an inadaquate pump, and he also installed in improperly. On top of that he had prior knowledge of the flooding issues and told me it was because the house had been without power for a week during heavy rains.

The old pump burned out, which should not happen in a three month old home... and when I pulled it out it wasn't hooked up right and the builders/subcontractors had put trash in the sump pit. A plastic bag that they had left in there had been sucked into the intake hole of the sump pump causing it to not draw in water and burn out the motor.

Now I just can't decide if I should talk to the builder again to let them try to take care of this, or if I should just go ahead and talk to my lawyer to file suit. I think I should probably try to let the builder remedy the situation, but I'm afraid he would just reimburse me for the pump I had to install last night and not be willing to pay for any of the damages. All said and done I lost almost $10,000 worth of stuff I had stored in the basement.

The other issue that I found out about recently, completely unrelated but you can see how he operates. He never filed for a final occupancy permit on my home, but told me he had. I was living there illegally for two months before I found out about this from my mortgage company.

Any thoughts on where I should go from here?

Thanks again for all the help!
dooomi's Avatar dooomi 01:10 PM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

If the in-wall/in-ceiling speakers are all plastic which I suspect, and they dry off quickly enough so there isn't corrosion of crossover circuitry and the like, then they may well be just fine. A lot of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers though not expressly listed for out-door use, get installed outside on porches, boats etc and are exposed to a significant amount of weather and moisture and the like, and can often last for years.

The rest that is wood/MDF based, you'll have to judge for yourself whether they should go or not, I guess it depends how much water really soaked into them.

But I bet the inwalls/inceilings are probably okay.

Well that's good to hear at least. They are all plastic besides the electronics and the cones, and there is no enclosure. I put them in front of a high velocity fan to dry them off as quickly as possible. How will I be able to tell if any of them did survive, just listen for crackeling?
bluesky636's Avatar bluesky636 02:49 PM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by dooomi View Post

Any thoughts on where I should go from here?

Pay your attorney for an hour of his time and see what he recommends. He is the only one qualified to advise you on those issues.
bluesky636's Avatar bluesky636 02:50 PM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by dooomi View Post

Well that's good to hear at least. They are all plastic besides the electronics and the cones, and there is no enclosure. I put them in front of a high velocity fan to dry them off as quickly as possible. How will I be able to tell if any of them did survive, just listen for crackeling?

Hook them up to your system, crank them up to normal listening levels and see if any of them explode.
dooomi's Avatar dooomi 04:00 PM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

Pay your attorney for an hour of his time and see what he recommends. He is the only one qualified to advise you on those issues.

I talked to my attorney today (had to anyways because my girlfriend got a speeding ticket), he does not do real estate law but advised that these cases can be difficult to win. I will talk to the builder next and if he is not willing to work with me I'll check with a real estate lawyer in the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

Hook them up to your system, crank them up to normal listening levels and see if any of them explode.

At this point I may just do that. At least I'll get to enjoy destroying something.
J_Palmer_Cass's Avatar J_Palmer_Cass 04:23 PM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by dooomi View Post

It was by builder's neglect. He installed an inadaquate pump, and he also installed in improperly. On top of that he had prior knowledge of the flooding issues and told me it was because the house had been without power for a week during heavy rains.

The old pump burned out, which should not happen in a three month old home... and when I pulled it out it wasn't hooked up right and the builders/subcontractors had put trash in the sump pit. A plastic bag that they had left in there had been sucked into the intake hole of the sump pump causing it to not draw in water and burn out the motor.

Now I just can't decide if I should talk to the builder again to let them try to take care of this, or if I should just go ahead and talk to my lawyer to file suit. I think I should probably try to let the builder remedy the situation, but I'm afraid he would just reimburse me for the pump I had to install last night and not be willing to pay for any of the damages. All said and done I lost almost $10,000 worth of stuff I had stored in the basement.

The other issue that I found out about recently, completely unrelated but you can see how he operates. He never filed for a final occupancy permit on my home, but told me he had. I was living there illegally for two months before I found out about this from my mortgage company.

Any thoughts on where I should go from here?

Thanks again for all the help!



You own the house, so it it probably your financial problem.

Buy some of these units or similar. Also install a battery operated backup sump pump, and perhaps buy the sump pump failure insurance.


http://www.backwater-valves.com/Flood-Alarm.asp


I probably should get an alarm for my own home. I am building a HT setup in my basement, and I don't have a sump pump!!!
dooomi's Avatar dooomi 05:05 PM 10-09-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass View Post

You own the house, so it it probably your financial problem.

Buy some of these units or similar. Also install a battery operated backup sump pump, and perhaps buy the sump pump failure insurance.


http://www.backwater-valves.com/Flood-Alarm.asp


I probably should get an alarm for my own home. I am building a HT setup in my basement, and I don't have a sump pump!!!

I figured it was my responsibility, I was just hoping since most homes come with a one year warranty it may be covered; plus the fact that the pump was installed incorrectly and the builder had prior knowledge but misled me on the cause. I have already installed a much better sump pump that will rid 5400 gallons per hour, a secondary sump pump with a battery backup (the battery backup wouldn't have helped in this situation as I had power, but the pump itself failed) added a sump failure rider to my home owners insurance, and an IP camera that I can monitor from my cell phone or any computer during heavy rain. My next purchase will most certainly be a flood alarm that can send alerts to my cell phone/email address.

My HT setup is fortunately in the finished part of my basement, and the sub-basement is six steps down from that... so hopefully the finished HT part will never be touched. My equipment rack is in the sub basement, but fortunately it is off the ground so it was unharmed. It would take about five feet of water to reach that area.

I will also be investing in a bunch of the rubbermaid storage bins, as that's what we had all our clothes down there in, and they came out dry.

I checked the Paradigm in-walls after work and do not see any corrosion, so I'm just hoping the cones and foam surrounds will come out ok.
dknightd's Avatar dknightd 06:15 PM 10-09-2009
Read the contract that came with your house. Then talk to the builder.
Jim Hef's Avatar Jim Hef 06:53 AM 10-10-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass View Post

You own the house, so it it probably your financial problem....

That is not the case here. He was sold the home with the understanding that all installations were completed in a "workmanlike" manner. An incorrect installation should be covered by that one year warranty, however, more than likely the home contents are not within that coverage. That's why builders carry additional insurances against such claims.
J_Palmer_Cass's Avatar J_Palmer_Cass 09:13 AM 10-10-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Hef View Post

That is not the case here. He was sold the home with the understanding that all installations were completed in a "workmanlike" manner. An incorrect installation should be covered by that one year warranty, however, more than likely the home contents are not within that coverage. That's why builders carry additional insurances against such claims.




Damaged contents is the finacial issue. Insurance coverage for the property and contents is the owner's responsibility. The builder is no longer the owner.

The cost to replace a bad sump pump is not a big deal one way or the other. Does a "one year warranty" exist in this case? You just can not make up things even though that is the AVS forum way of doing things!
Raymond Leggs's Avatar Raymond Leggs 02:40 PM 10-12-2009
That sucks, I Hope that When I get a House or an basement apartment that nothing like that happens, I would kill myself if my subwoofer got drowned it has a paper cone so it would get all moldy, and if My TV gets submerged I'd go into a hissy fit, I have had the tv for over 5 years and I love it!.
dooomi's Avatar dooomi 11:34 PM 10-12-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Hef View Post

That is not the case here. He was sold the home with the understanding that all installations were completed in a "workmanlike" manner. An incorrect installation should be covered by that one year warranty, however, more than likely the home contents are not within that coverage. That's why builders carry additional insurances against such claims.

Yeah, I really doubt I would get anything for what was lost. But that's ok, I feel like it's my fault for not adding the sump pump failure rider to my insurance. I'm going to call again tomorrow to ask if it is covered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass View Post

Damaged contents is the finacial issue. Insurance coverage for the property and contents is the owner's responsibility. The builder is no longer the owner.

The cost to replace a bad sump pump is not a big deal one way or the other. Does a "one year warranty" exist in this case? You just can not make up things even though that is the AVS forum way of doing things!

It's not really the cost of the new sump pump, it was only $200... it's just the principal that I bought a brand new home and things should be installed right, especially since it had flooded before they should have looked into it like they told me they had. There is a one year warranty on the home, but I'm not sure if things like the sump pump will be covered. I should know the answer by tomorrow. I'm not going to burn any bridges though as a couple hundred bucks is minor considering the things that could go wrong in a house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs View Post

That sucks, I Hope that When I get a House or an basement apartment that nothing like that happens, I would kill myself if my subwoofer got drowned it has a paper cone so it would get all moldy, and if My TV gets submerged I'd go into a hissy fit, I have had the tv for over 5 years and I love it!.

It sucks pretty bad, but it happens. I now have a lot of measures to ensure I know about a flood if it ever happens again, and I have everything in plastic rubbermaid bins if it does happen. I think the in-wall speakers made it out ok, so that's good. I don't think the center channel or sub made it out though.
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