3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Richmond American homeowner says house is 'sinking into a cesspool'

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The plumber who fixed the problem on his cell phone. (Source: 3TV) The plumber who fixed the problem on his cell phone. (Source: 3TV)
(Source: 3TV) (Source: 3TV)
Adam and Shannon Wilson, who recently moved in with their twins, say Richmond American should reimburse them for repairs. (Source: 3TV) Adam and Shannon Wilson, who recently moved in with their twins, say Richmond American should reimburse them for repairs. (Source: 3TV)
Richmond American says it is not responsible because the Wilsons had the repairs done before the company could see the issue for itself. (Source: 3TV) Richmond American says it is not responsible because the Wilsons had the repairs done before the company could see the issue for itself. (Source: 3TV)
Gary Harper went to the corporate headquarters of Richmond American Homes, sure someone would be willing to discuss this stinking problem. Nobody was and the company never got back to 3 On Your side. (Source: 3TV) Gary Harper went to the corporate headquarters of Richmond American Homes, sure someone would be willing to discuss this stinking problem. Nobody was and the company never got back to 3 On Your side. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A young Valley couple with a new set of twins was pretty excited to be moving into a home that they recently purchased.

But not long after settling in, they discovered their house had a major problem, and they claim the builder is turning a blind eye. We're talking about Richmond American Homes; they built the house back in 2007.

As you're about to see, it's taken all these years to discover what appears to be a major construction flaw. 3 On Your Side went to the corporate office of Richmond American Homes to try and get some answers.

3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper made an unannounced visit to Richmond American Homes' Scottsdale headquarters after being brushed off by the home builder and tried to explain to employees why we were there.

"I've written several, a lot of emails and phone calls and no one ever returns my phone calls," he said. "That's the reason I showed up."

Adam and Shannon Wilson say they've been brushed off by Richmond American Homes, as well.

"They don't want to look into it, nonetheless try and cover it," Shannon Wilson said. "We're just out thousands of dollars. They don't care about that. They don't care about fixing it. They don't care about apologizing."

According to the couple, they recently woke up to a disgusting odor in their house. It was emanating from raw sewage spilling on to their floor.

"We came in here, into this bathroom, and saw it was overflowing the toilet, coming in through the bathtub drain and overflowing onto the floor," Wilson said, still grossed out by the ordeal. "This is where the girls take their bath every night."

Wilson immediately called a plumber to fix the problem and discovered something nobody was expecting.

“When he dug it up, there was no pipe," she explained. "The sewer from our home was actually running into the ground underneath our home."

In fact, the plumber shot cell phone video as he was digging; you can clearly see raw sewage and water everywhere.

"It was never connected; there was a 6-foot section missing, no pipe," Robert Weeks of Crystal Clear Plumbing said.

No pipe, meaning the builder apparently never connected the Wilsons' home to the outside sewage system. 

The couple had to pay about $5,000 to connect that sewer line and they feel Richmond American should be responsible, not they.

In an email, Richmond American Homes blames the Wilsons for repairing the problem too soon before it could have a chance to inspect the issue.

"…All evidence of the problem has been removed and there is no further action that will be taken on the part of Richmond American," Wilson read a portion of the email they received to 3 On Your Side.

Harper went to Richmond American, sure someone would be willing to discuss this stinking problem.

"The Wilsons, they live in Maricopa. They have a Richmond American Home and the sewer was never connected to the city so they're living in a cesspool," he explained to an employee.

"OK, someone will contact you," the employee replied.

"I've been told that before and that's why I showed up because no one actually does anything," Harper said.

The company could not wait to get Harper and his crew out the door. After all, it had potential home buyers inside the office. By the way, Richmond American Homes never did contact 3 On Your Side after our visit.

The Wilsons are disappointed and never thought they would be in this situation.    

"We were excited to be in this new home, and now I’m gonna be honest, I'm a little disgusted," Wilson said.

The Wilsons maintain Richmond American Homes is burying its head and wants nothing to do with this issue.

And, unfortunately, the home builder doesn't want anything to do with 3 On Your Side.

To have a company this large not even want to talk about the problem is pretty disappointing.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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