Burst Radiator Heating Pipe Leads To Extensive Property Damage

At about 10 am yesterday, a pipe burst flooding the 01 tier and the east stairwell. I live on the second floor where the east stairwell, unlike the west stairwell, ends on the second floor. I saw giant waterfalls coming down to my floor. I wanted to run back to my unit and get my inner tube duck but knew it still wouldn’t be safe. Anyway, obviously a pipe had burst. I went up the stairs in the west stairwell to the eighth floor because maintenance had told me the leak was in unit 701. The good news by the time I got up there the building engineer, Al, was already up there. This was around 11:15 am. Other State Parkway maintenance and janitorial personnel arrived later in the day. And the property manager also arrived later in the day but much later in the afternoon.

However, there was pandemonium. Unit owners in the 01 tier below the seventh floor were already reporting extensive damage within their units.

All three elevators were shut down for more than several hours yesterday. Apparently, the steam from the burst pipe forced the automatic recall of all three elevators. I had thought they were shut off because the elevator pits had accumulated too much water.

So, whose fault is it? Maintenance said the person living in 701 was in Minnesota for the week and “forgot to leave the heat on.” The problem is unit owners are not able to turn off their heat or lower it below 55 degrees. Leaving a unit at 55 to 60 degrees is sufficient if someone is away. But this was during the deep freeze that tied an 80-year record of 12 consecutive days with a high of under 20 degrees.

Prior to or during the deep freeze, the board and/or management did not give us any instructions as to preventing pipe burst. The 01 tier is the coldest tier at State Parkway and have long incurred extensive property damage within the units as a result of cold weather temperatures.

On Friday January 6, 2018, I sent an email to management about not enough heat in unit 205. Prior to informing management, we learned that many other units also reported receiving insufficient heat. In any event, management dismissed our concern, saying the building’s heat is running at full capacity without any problems. Less than 48 hours after I sent the email to management, the radiator pipe in unit 701 burst.

Right before my wife and I took our daughter to the airport early yesterday afternoon, we noticed outside the units between 201 and 701 had large and icicles formed on the north and east exterior walls. My wife, daughter and I all took pictures with our phones. Right before we left for the airport, my wife and I sent an email to management, chastising the fact that board and/or management had yet to communicate with residents, especially since all three elevators were still out of service.

Heat was finally restored around 5 pm but would take time to ramp up the temperatures. Then at 5:15 pm, maintenance gave my wife a copy of the flyer that was being distributed to residents. This flyer did not have “Lieberman Management Services, Inc.” along the top. So my guess is a board member drafted the official response and told the property manager to sign it.

But lets talk about the response:

It took LMS more than 7 hours to communicate with State Parkway’s residents during yesterday’s pipe burst. I witnessed a Helper C bang his head on the gated stair frame in the second floor west stairwell that is never locked. Needless to say, with all three elevators down and units in the lower east tier being damaged, not hearing anything from board and/or management for more than 7 hours is unacceptable. When my family and I left for the airport at about 1:15 pm yesterday, we saw President Cleavenger’s car in the garage, parked on the main level. So he had to have been home by the time we left the garage for the airport.

During an extended deep freeze, which rarely happens, management should have advised residents to keep their units at least a certain temperature, especially since all radiators are located along windows that are exposed to the cold weather. Meanwhile, the unmaintained tower windows are nearing the end of their useful lives. (The reserve study notes they were installed in 1980.) I wonder how Lieberman advised its other buildings’ residents during the deep freeze?

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