Serving Minnesota and Wisconsin Since 1977

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An Unpleasant Task

A while back we tried to help a homeowner with a big problem. Their home, built on a slab, had significant water issues, the under slab heating ducts were filling with water. Our standard fix for this problem is to dig up the heat ducts, install a draintile system and install new, water tight, heat ducts. This is an expensive job — made even more expensive by the fact the homeowner would have to move out while the job was being done and then have to remodel. Understandably, the homeowner wanted a less expensive solution which we provided. The catch with this solution is it rely’s on the original contractor installing the heat pipes at a downward slope to the furnace area of the home … and we can’t be responsible for their work. You can guess where this is going and we’ve decided to post the whole story here as a cautionary tale.

By clicking the links below you can read the homeowners original complaint on Angie’s List, then view the section of the contract where we plainly wrote “no warranty”. Below the links you can read our response to the Angie’s List complaint.

Things like this aren’t easy on anyone involved. We feel for the homeowner, but at this point our hands are tied.



When our salesperson, Todd, was out to the home he found the members heat ducts were filling with water. He went over the options with included an entire drain tile system and new heat ducts that would cost in excess of $20,000. As this is a finished home the owner would also have to move out during installation and deal with remodeling costs afterward that could run another $30,000.

Understandably the member wanted less expensive options, so our salesperson suggested a double deep basin next to the furnace in an attempt to drain water from the ducts. He informed the member this procedure would not stop water from entering the heat pipes but should drain them if the heat pipes were installed properly.

Code requires heat pipes slant down toward the furnace. Unfortunately, not all contractors ensure they are installed correctly. Our salesperson explained there would be no guarantee or warranty whatsoever as Standard Water could not be responsible for the way the heat pipes were installed by the original contractor. This was also written plainly on the front of the contract which can be viewed on our website blog.

Apparently, the ducts were not installed correctly by the original contractor; the member observed standing water and asked Standard Water to come out and do something. While I sympathized with the homeowners plight, I explained there was nothing left to do but remove the heat ducts, install drain tile under them and replace the current ducts with water tight heat pipes.

The member became very upset saying he wouldn’t spend that kind of money and demanded we do something. I apologized again, explained there could be no warranty on a job like the one we did for him and reminded him we offered a solution with a warranty good for the life of the foundation … which he rejected. The member then threatened me, to which I replied it was his right to sue us if he feels he’s been wronged.

In the end, we did the job the member requested after fully informing him of all the options and limitations. Even now the member rejects the only option Standard Water can provide that would both solve his problem once and for all and offer a warranty good for the life of the foundation. This being the case there is nothing more we can do.