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Installing Kitchen Cabinets Caused a Flood of Water Damage

The owner of the European cupboards manufacturing company received the call that there was a leak after his worker finished installing the kitchen cabinets. Soon afterward a flood of water damage was caused by his (the owners) neglect.

Read on because there is a lesson to learn from his costly mistake. This is an installation tip to rember.

What happened after the contractor made the emergency call?

The cabinet shop owner/operator quickly responded to the call and went straight to the construction site where the new house was being erected. He had no way of knowing that he would soon be trying to hold back a rocket blast of H2O.

When the installer was installing the kitchen cabinets he accidentally sunk a screw into a cold water copper pipe. There was no way of him knowing what he had done because the screw was acting like a drain plug in the supply line. But some time afterward the job superintendent (contractor) noticed evidence of seeping water.

The call had come into the office just around quitting time; meaning that when the owner of the kitchen manufacturing company would arrive on the scene, no one would be on the job site but him.

When the owner got to the house, he went directly to the kitchen and found the cabinet that the contractor had described to him as having leaking water. He then proceeds to the Chevy Blazer and gets his Makita chordless drill out and on the high speed setting removed the square drive (quadrics) number two screw from the kitchen cabinet.

Immediately the jet blast of water hit him forcefully in the face, as the screw went flying into nowhere land. Turning to look for the screw, thinking he would plug the blast back up with it, to his disappointment it was nowhere in plain sight.

Frantically he looked for the screw as the puddles began the start of what would soon be considered minor flood damage to the kitchen cabinetry.

Once the screw was found, he ran and tried to screw it back in as the forceful water was still pouring out. The flood of liquid was too much for him to hold back and he could not get the screw back in, to plug the hole.

In utter disgust and frantic panic mode, he ran outside to look for the main water supply shut off. He found it but the amount of time it took to do so left a significant amount of water on and in the surrounding particle board cabinets.

To make matters even worse, there were no towels or any type of material to absorb the water with that was now sitting on and inside many of the cabinets.

By the time he left and returned with a supply of towels the press board on many of the kitchen cabinets had already started to swell.

I was the shops mill man at the time and the next morning was very surprised to see the pile of water soaked cabinets, drawers and doors that were sitting outside the shop in need of being replaced.

That happened close to twenty years ago. I certainly have never forgotten the lesson I learned from my bosses’ mistake. Many times when I have been installing a kitchen, I’ve referenced the event in my mind as I was screwing cabinets to the wall near plumbing water supply areas. The flood of water which caused a costly amount of damage to that kitchen taught me a valuable lesson about installing cabinets near supply lines.

Categories: Installation Tips
  1. March 13th, 2010 at 10:12 | #1

    That couldn’t have been fun. Particle board absorbs water like a sponge and cannot be dried properly because like you said it swells almost instantly.

  2. admin
    April 14th, 2010 at 05:55 | #2

    Hey Dan, you are right it was a very expensive mistake on my bosses part. We laughed about it several years later. It took a while for him to get over the whole ordeal. I have personally been very cautious when installing cabinetry ever since. If I’m not sure what it is that I’m screwing the cabinet into behind the wall, I investigate further. I always cut out a small section and take a look behind before screwing into anything that is creating uncertainty in me.

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