Mum's fears over pipe risks to her children
A WORRIED mum feared her children could be scalded at any moment by a bulging hot water pipe that was left exposed above their kitchen.
The potentially dangerous pipe was found after Tabitha Hunt noticed water leaking through the ground-floor ceiling of her home in The Groves, Hartcliffe.
She called Knightstone Housing and when a workman came out one night he cut open the ceiling and uncovered the distorted and over-sized plastic pipe.
No repairs were done that night and when another workman came out the following afternoon, Miss Hunt said he was in no doubt how dangerous it could have been.
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The 35-year-old, who has four children under ten, said: "He looked at it and said he had never seen anything like it in his life. He said if that pipe had burst and one of us had been underneath it, it could have killed someone.
"The first guy cut open the ceiling to see where the water was coming from, found the pipe, and said there's nothing he could do at that time.
"He told me to turn the heating off until someone else came the next day.
"I think it's disgusting that they left us like that overnight. The pipes are right above where we eat and where we spend most of our time.
"My one-year-old girl is also was in her walker going round the kitchen."
Knightstone has said that after the heating was turned off, there was "no immediate risk or danger".
It has pledged to check all the relatively new 60-or-so houses in The Groves to ensure there are no other pipe faults.
Miss Hunt said the second workman drained the bulging pipe and replaced it, but within a day another pipe had started to bulge and Miss Hunt had to call Knightstone again to get it repaired.
She was also "angry" that she and children Keegan, 10; Cady, five; Masie, two; and Lexi, one, were left without central heating for four days.
"It's absolutely freezing in these houses," she added. "Knightstone sent me one small electric heater to heat a three-storey house. It was ridiculous."
A week on from the initial works, the kitchen ceiling was still scarred with holes, but Knightstone's contractors began repair work to the ceiling yesterday.
Miss Hunt moved into the house 13 months ago.
Mike Day, Knightstone's director of development and home ownership, said: "We're really sorry for any distress caused to Miss Hunt and her family.
"As soon as we became aware of the problems in Miss Hunt's home, we took immediate action.
"There was no immediate risk or danger posed to Miss Hunt and her family as a result of the issues with her hot water pipes. The heating system in her home was switched off within an hour, to isolate the problem. We then issued her with temporary heating on the same day, along with funding to cover this."
"This is a very unusual problem. We build over 300 new homes a year and we haven't come across this particular problem before.
"All our new homes including those at the Groves, have gas safety certificates at hand-over and we service the heating systems every year.
"We'll now check all the properties on the estate to make sure this problem doesn't happen again.
"We are committed to responding to repairs quickly and efficiently, and we work closely with our contractors to ensure that we achieve this."