Case study The Hill Family – Romsey, Hampshire

Case study
The Hill Family – Romsey, Hampshire

Less than a month after moving into their new home in Romsey in Hampshire, the Hill family realised they had serious drain problems.  The toilets in the house were constantly getting blocked and sinks were slow to drain.  After numerous attempts at plunging the drains, Stephen Hill (35) contacted a local contractor to come and assess the drains. 

Wessex Drainage Solutions Ltd attended the house and reported that as it was built in the 1960s it had pitch fibre pipe work which was severely damaged.  Introduced in the 1940s and used extensively until the 1970s, pitch fibre pipes were a cheaper alternative to fired clay pipes that were also lightweight and easy to use.  Over the years pitch fibre drains have been found to react badly when subjected to large quantities of hot water, oils and fats, which can soften the tar and cause deformation and leaks. The design life of pitch fibre pipes was recently estimated to be about 40 years and some fifty years since their home was constructed, the Hill’s were in need of extensive repairs.

Estimating a cost of around £7,000 to repair the drains, Wessex Drainage Solutions Ltd recommended that Stephen contacted Happy Drains to see if the work could be covered under his home insurance policy.  Having moved into the home less than a month previously, Stephen was extremely doubtful that his insurer would cover the cost of repairs which had also not been declared by the previous home owner when he purchased the property.  However, his concerns were eased after a quick call to Happy Drains:

“The Happy Drains team were extremely friendly and supportive when I first called them,” commented Stephen. “They took the details of my problem and my insurer and asked me to leave the claim entirely in their hands.  Having just had the expense of moving house we were extremely worried as to how we could afford to pay over £7000 for the drain repairs and Happy Drains were very sympathetic to our concerns.  I couldn’t see anything in my insurance policy that clarified if existing drain problems would be covered but two weeks later Happy Drains called to say my insurer had agreed to cover all costs.  The news was a complete relief to us and we were absolutely delighted.”

The Hill’s repairs were subsequently fixed in just three days by Wessex Drainage Solutions Ltd, who the Hills were pleased to see return to complete the job as they were local contractors who they knew and trusted.  In total the Hills did not pay anything for their claim as Stephen explains:

“Happy Drains sorted the entire claim process for us and it didn’t cost us a penny.  Had we not called Happy Drains we would probably have ended up paying the full £7,000 without realising the damage was covered under our home insurance policy.  The service and support that we received from Happy Drains was fantastic.  I still don’t know how they managed to settle our claim so quickly for us but it was great to have the professionals on our side and not be landed with paying for a pre-existing problem in our home. 

“With three young children in the house we needed the problem resolved quickly and could not be more pleased with the service that we received from Happy Drains.  I spoke to the same person at Happy Drains throughout the claim process and had complete confidence that they would do everything they could to support me.  I am already recommending Happy Drains to other people with drain problems as they are fast, efficient and expert in their field.”