Actually not Sewage leak into wall and floor behind toilet

We have just discovered that there is a sewage leak from the toilet of our bathroom that is in the wall and the floor of the room behind the bathroom.
We are waiting for the owner of the company who did the installation to come round. In the meantime, I’d be grateful if anyone has had any experience of something like this and can give us advice/warning as to what we are facing.
The builder has a strong rural French accent and so is not the easiest of people to understand and so it’s helpful to have some thoughts / questions for him so I can make sure we understand.
It may well have been happening for sometime so my concern is that the sewage has been leaking into the channel in which the sewage pipe lies. It also is, without doubt, in the wall itself.
You may ask why we haven’t noticed this before and I can only offer the thought that it’s been a bit “whiffy” for sometime and so I thought the problem was with the fosse and it’s only today that it’s suddenly got worse.
Our initial thoughts are that it’ll have to be an insurance job.
We are assuming that the contaminated wall and floor will have to be hacked away, but then there’s a question does it have to be left to dry out? Will they need special equipment to clear the sewage?
For the moment, we can move out and into our gite.

IIRC even if it’s covered by the builder’s 10 year Decennial Liability insurance I think your first port of call is your own insurer who will counter claim the builder (assuming that the work was done with such insurance in place and less than 10 years ago).
It will probably mean that the work can be done more speedily and you should seek advice from your insurer as to who should be invited to do the work.
Maybe @fabien has some useful advice?


Hi Graham, thanks. OH on his way to our insurance agent now. Just had the builder round. B**** man! Who is looking for any excuse to put the blame back on us. We need to have our fosse emptied - no, we’ve just had an all clear from SPANC. It’s our shower cabinet leaking - no, the wet on the ground in the room behind is sewage. It’s just a smell from the fosse - no, the clothes that were hanging on the wall are damp and contaminated. AGGGGHHHHH! He of course doesn’t want to have to do this.
So of course I finish up being “the hysterical wife” and OH the calm unfazed one. However, he finally agreed one of his men would come back tomorrow with a drill to break up the concrete and see what’s there.
Rant over!

Sue… just a thought… keep notes and photos of what is going on… might come in handy … who knows. :slightly_smiling_face: :relaxed: :relaxed:

essential IMO. Does your camera have smell-a-vision :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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Ha ha… definitely photos of any work being done… while it is being done.

Photos before… during… and after…

also, presenting someone (who is struggling to get off the hook)… with a carefully detailed resumé of what they said… when they said it… and who else (if possible) was there and the time/date etc… can halt them in their tracks…

been there done that and (almost) hit them with the camera…

edit: if there are stains etc anywhere… floor, walls etc… do take detailed photos… heaven knows what will be on the go when the builders start drilling and a “before” situation might come in handy when arguing the toss…

and should your own Insurers have to intervene, they should be grateful for any info…

Oh Lord!!! Feeling VERY VERY foolish. Anyone reading this now can have a good laugh.
Just been sorting out the stinky clothing prior to going in the washing machine and discovered a plastic shopping bag with a VERY VERY manky something rotting and dripping onto the clothing. Probably a white cabbage I bought at the beginning of lockdown, wouldn’t fit in the fridge and then forgot about.
Serious apologies are in order to OH when he’s back and then I’ll go round to grumpy builder who will no doubt be thrilled in his assessment that I am a completely batty Englishwoman. Sometimes old age is useful - allows you to get away with a lot!
Thank you to everyone who’s been taking my distress seriously. I need to go and lie in a darkened room.


Frankly… I reckon we are due a detailed photo of said stinky cabbage… :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :roll_eyes: :rofl: :joy: :joy: :joy:

By the way - our builder is the only one in Lot-et-Garonne with no sense of smell!!! So he couldn’t understand what the fuss/my fussing was about.

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:grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

Isn’t it a wonderful relief when something awful… turns out not to be so bad after all…

pour yourself a glass of something… relax… and have a really good laugh…

Don’t beat yourself up @SuePJ
It’s a good timely reminder for SFers to be aware of the need for vigilance in their homes and to investigate anything odd.
Not only that, but to get the ducks all lined up and in place before destroying vital evidence required for a possible subsequent claim :wink:

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funnily enough… I’ve had a thing through about the perils of " legionnaires ??" disease occuring in gîtes and houses where drains/waterworks etc have been left unused for a long time… seems now the time is ripe for havoc… :roll_eyes: :crazy_face:

so perhaps everyone should check and flush drains and pipes…

Good advice Graham.

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Be careful Sue, a lack of sense of smell (and/or taste) is the “latest” Covid symptom.

Though, some of the houses I viewed around here before buying would indicate a lack of taste is endemic.


Carpet on the ceiling and walls, photo walls, tiles in odd places etc? Amazing! I saw a few gems helping out people househunting who couldn’t speak French :fearful::fearful::fearful::fearful::fearful:

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Yup and (of course) he arrived not wearing a mask. We both were. And he asked me if I was taking medication and “hiding” - heavens, where’s he been these last two months???
Anyway, my abject apologies have been a resounding success and confirmed him in his sense of superiority.
As an aside, pleased to say round here getting on for 80% now wearing masks.

So many folk still think that wearing a mask will protect them… thus by NOT wearing one… they are showing “they are not afraid”… aaargh stupid lot… :crazy_face: :crazy_face:

We’ve had the plumber round eight times in the last month…

Pressure regulator in our Veolia box went, one visit to diagnose and one to repair.
Water pump sprang a leak, one visit to diagnose and one to repair.
Pressure vessel started to misbehave, three trips to try and fix it, one to replace and repair.

Mask and gloves everytime. People around here seem to be taking it seriously.

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If it’s good enough for President Trump, it’s good enough for me. Many think he was stupid to visit a mask factory and not wear mask. But what if it had been a bra factory, Eh? Nobody would have complained about hm not wearing a bra. Or what about a false leg factory? Fake nudes again.

I must fish out that expired Chloroquine from the medicine chest.