I know you heard from me only a few days ago, but I must tell this story.
Last Friday, the security guard who checks our property over night called me around 6pm. He held out his phone so I could hear the torrent of water, that he said was happening inside our basement. I called the site manager but no answer. I called the contractor, but no answer (it was Friday evening after all), so there was nothing for it but to put on the layers of clothing necessary to head out into the New York winter. I could hear the sound even before entering the property, and when I opened the front door and turned off the alarm, it sounded as tho it was coming from the first floor. I went down to the basement and saw the waterfall spraying from a pipe along the ceiling. With the light from my phone, I went hunting thru the waterfall to find the stop tap. Fortunately the stop tap wasnt seized, and I was able to turn the water off to just a slow drip. It was then that I could see that the trenches for installing the new drains were full to floor level, and the water was flowing over into the inspection pit. Knowing there was nothing else I could do, I locked up again and went back to tell Lorna of the drama, fearing that, by the morning, the water in those trenches would be frozen solid.
Our site manager went in on Saturday morning and sent me a photo showing a patch of wet floor and empty trenches. What a relief. He put a bucket under the drip, cleared up a bit and also went home.
On Monday he called the plumbers in to cut off the pipe that we didnt need anyway, and install a new bib tap for use during construction. We will actually be removing all the existing plumbing and bringing in a whole new supply, all we need is a temporary supply. When I arrived, he showed me the consequences of our burst pipe, which werent too bad, at this stage of the work, but he also showed me water running down the wall with our neighbor. Tracing it upwards, it was clearly not coming in from outside, so we could only imagine it was coming from inside the neighbor. This is the neighbor who has moved away and the house has been empty for many months.
Later in the day I saw the tenant in the basement of the neighbors place, and yes, there had been a burst pipe there too. Unfortunately for them, it had occurred up on the fourth floor, and had been cascading down thru the building for many hours, until the tenant arrived on the Monday morning. Again, because of the stage of work, the damage to us is negligible, but I cannot imagine the internal damage to their place.
So you are waiting for an explanation as to why we had a burst pipe, when the contractor has years of experience of New York winters. Well actually, the site manager had installed a pipe heater along the pipe. The problem was when the subcontractors workmen unplugged it to get power for their saw, and forgot to plug it back in!
So yet another lucky escape, thanks to a combination of our security guard, me living close enough to the house, and the stop tap working immediately.