Watch your Whirlpool washers, condo owners warned
Darcy Wintonyk and Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Wednesday, October 10, 2012 9:46AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 10, 2012 7:13PM PDT
Residents of a new East Vancouver condo complex are being warned about their brand new washing machines following a series of costly floods after the units malfunctioned.
Elspeth Sage, who owns two units in the District South Main building on East 7th Ave., discovered the first flood in April, just two months after the building was completed. She noticed bubbles coming out from under the door of a neighbouring suite and quickly called building maintenance.
"They just did what they could to stem the tide in front of the door, which was now probably 30 feet down the hallway. And the water kept coming -- like it just kept spewing out,” she told CTV’s Steele on Your Side.
The flood travelled down four or five floors, and multiple suites suffered water damage. Sage said three of the washing machines in the building have flooded.
Following the incidents, the strata manager warned all residents not to leave the Whirlpool washers’ unattended while in use.
“There are outstanding concerns about the Whirlpool washers that the strata council is addressing,” a sign posted in the elevator read.
Sage said Whirlpool sent out technicians who inspected all 251 machines in the building. The model number is Y WET 3300XQO.
"It's not just the machines, it's the damage,” she said. “We're talking hundreds of thousands of damage in a brand new building. It’s so frustrating."
The exact same top-loading Whirlpool washing machine flooded the brand new East Vancouver townhouse of Jamie Clerkson and Shannon McCrae, causing between $40,000 and $50,000 in damage.
Read story: $50,000 damage after new washer floods home
Whirlpool wouldn’t cover their costs but it did allow the couple to pick out an upgraded washer and dryer set at no charge.
That's not good enough for Clerkson, who feels someone needs to be “held accountable for faulty products."
Elspeth Sage agrees.
“I’ve heard rumours that it's happening in a couple of other buildings,” she said.
Whirlpool Canada said it has no record of claims filed at the District South Main apartment building.
“At this time, we have no information that would indicate a trend or a problem. We take any potential issues with our products very seriously and encourage consumers to contact us directly so that we may evaluate individual circumstances and find resolutions,” said spokesperson Kristine Vernier.
Whirlpool Canada declined an on-camera interview with CTV News.
Residents like Sage want a full recall of the machines they say is responsible for the flooding in her building.
"Ideally I’d like to see those machines replaced in every single suite,” she said.
Under recently introduced legislation in B.C., strata corporations can hold condo owners responsible to pay huge building deductibles -- as high as $250,000 in Metro Vancouver.
Watch CTV News at Six Thursday to find out if you’re affected, and how to protect yourself…
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