By KENNETH WEST | The Washington Post | December 24, 2018 at 10:15am EST”The water heater is broken,” says Steve M. Cupp, a mechanic in Washington, D.C. “It won’t start.”
It was a Friday afternoon in late December and he was cleaning out his garage when he heard a popping noise and saw a water heater that had been broken in half.
It looked like someone had dropped a rock on it, Cupp says.
“I went outside, and there was a big piece of the water heater stuck to my garage door.
It was like someone dropped a brick on my door.”
The owner, a local contractor, had used a hammer to break off the top part of the heater and was trying to repair it.
The water heater had a leaking valve.
Coughing and spitting, Caddies car was totaled and he couldn’t find his insurance.
The next day, the contractor’s name, date of birth and the address of his home were listed in the city’s water-heating database.
Caddys car was towed away and the contractor was charged with reckless endangerment and violating city codes.
The city attorney said he had received more than 1,000 complaints against the contractor in the past two years.
Cuddles with a friend in the garage, C.J., as he searches for his water heater.
“The water was so hot, it was leaking out of my car,” Cupp said.
“They had me in the car, and they were pulling me out of the car.
I was trying not to panic because they were saying, ‘You have to go to the hospital.'”
Cupp filed a complaint with the city.
It didn’t take long for city officials to send a letter to the contractor, saying he could have avoided paying a fine and could have repaired the problem himself.
C.D.C., the city health department and the Washington state Department of Health said they’d be investigating.
The contractor’s attorney declined to comment.
He also told Cupp he was not responsible for the damage to the water system, which had been damaged by the rock fall and had been repaired.
Cattems water heater and car are now totaled and his house has been repossessed by the contractor.
Crippled cars, broken windows and broken doors are common occurrences in the D.T.C.’s water-heaters.
Some of the problems are easily fixable, Copp says, like replacing the valve that seals the water pipes in the unit and replacing the water tank.
But most of the time, it’s not until someone has a vehicle or a home that they realize what’s going on.
The problem is compounded by the fact that the contractors home is often less than a block away from a water-treatment plant.
Cattle graze outside a home damaged by a water heater that broke in half in August.
Cuffing and spit, Coggys car is now totaled.
He is a registered sex offender.
A water heater in a car is a big deal.
“You’re trying to find your vehicle and you’re trying not even knowing if the water’s coming in,” Caddises mother, Jocelyn, said.
Joceyn said she is worried about her son’s safety.
“He is an electrician.
He has a lot of work to do.
He could be dead.
He might have no idea,” she said.
Caddy, Cuddle and Cuddle with their friends outside their home.
Cuddle sipping on water.
CADDIES car is parked next to a water tank, which is the only thing keeping the heat from freezing in Caddie’s garage.
Caddle’s car is totaled and a tow truck is pulling him out of his driveway.
Coving’s car was not damaged in the fall.
But a leaky water heater has ruined Cadds garage.
“If they had been careful with their wiring, they could have kept it that way,” Caddy said.
He says the contractor should have been more careful.
“This is an opportunity for us to make sure we’re not going to do this again,” he said.
The D.P.C.-certified Water Heater Association says it has received nearly 3,000 reports of water-temperature problems since 2013.
Many of these complaints involve people who didn’t know what to do if they found a broken water heater or other water heater problems in their garage.
spokesman Jeff Jones said the D-WASH Water Heaters Association has sent dozens of complaints to the DPU.
Jones said in most cases, the owners had been advised of the problem and had installed a water system.
“These are people who don’t know how to use their appliances properly and that is a problem,” he added.
In addition, DPU inspectors found water leaks in water heat and