It was a normal Sunday morning. We prepared to depart for church – Sparky in his car and me in mine a little after his departure. (He sings in the choir and had to be there early for a practice). As I put the finishing touches on my outfit (trying to find a matching mask), I realized that I had a bit of static cling going on. An easy fix, I headed to the basement laundry to grab a dryer sheet to tame the cling. I turned on the light to a disaster. The floor and rug were wet, the wall was wet, there was standing water on the dryer, the water softener was streaming water, and there was a fine mist spraying from a water pipe. I was very calm. My first thought was, I need to turn off the water supply. My second thought was, where the heck is the shut off valve? After looking around unsuccessfully I decided that my best bet was to mitigate the damage as quickly as possible.
I pulled the trash from my 5 gal. plastic bucket, and positioned the bucket under the drip by placing it on top the water softener. Then I grabbed a stack of old towels (kept in the past for wet dogs and car drying and the specter of basement floods). I sopped up the water on the new dryer as it was running over my electronic control panel. I wiped down the water softener, moved the wet hangers, sweater drying rack, and the laundry baskets (empty). Using all my “MacGyver” mojo, I cut plastic bags to cover electrical outlets. I used plastic bags and clothespins to funnel the mist and drips into the bucket.
Then I went to church. Yep. I literally threw in the towel and left. After church I gave Sparky the message and urgently asked him to “GO HOME NOW”. With all due speed he managed to get home and after a quick inspection, decided to change clothes and have lunch. There was some serious hand wringing on my part. I guess my temporary efforts to contain the problem contained it too well and he thought it wasn’t much of an emergency.
After some further inspection we (I was still in MacGyver mode and I’m pretty handy with a hot glue gun) made a temporary fix to the pinhole leak in the water pipe but the leak in the pipe that drains from the kitchen sink was not in our ability to staunch. The water was turned off. The plumber was contacted. Then another plumber was called. Finally on Wednesday professional help arrived. He replaced the PVC Y-piece that drains from the kitchen (which had cracked) and put in a new section of copper pipe between the water softener and the ceiling. We wrote a check for more money than I made last week and he left.
You would think the story was over but you’d be wrong. When it rains it pours. Sparky went into the basement the next day to do a little work at his desk when he heard a “drip, drip, drip”. We had another leak. This time it was from the pipe coming into the water meter in the basement from the street. The plumber was contacted. All the toys and games in the basement closet were removed and laid out to dry. The floor was dried, the ceiling panels removed, and a bucket positioned to contain the water dripping. The last “fix” failed and we didn’t call the previous plumber (aka King of the shark bites) to make the repair. It took a little time and a lot of effort but we have shiny new copper piping and all 7 shark bites were removed. (BTW a shark bite is a valid fix but 7 in a 5 foot span is a little lazy not to mention they were doomed to fail because of the high pressure in the pipe.)
Perhaps by the time you read this we will have things back to normal. Well except for the slight mustiness of wet cardboard being air dried. I just hope my plumbing issues are done!