Friday, January 10, 2014

One Broken Water Pipe, Coming Right Up

You know what the weather was like, heck you probably experienced it. I don’t think Tuesday got out of the negatives around here. And all that cold air finally got to our pipes.

Now, we’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t think things through when we had our house built (back in 1996). The master bath hangs over the front porch which means three walls, the floor and ceiling are exposed to the elements. Which also means, so are the pipes.

A couple of years after we moved in we got a cold snap and the pipes froze at the sink and shower (they share the same wall). Found out the builders failed to properly insulate that wall (or the floor). After we stuck in more insulation, we hadn’t really had any problems since.

Until Monday night.

Lost water to the sink. Lost water to the shower. But the real killer: lost water to the toilet (on the opposite wall). That had never happened before. Yes, we were stupid regarding the sink and shower (should have left them running--I really don’t know what we were thinking!). Wasn’t sure how we could have prevented the toilet from freezing (plumber later suggested flushing it every hour). Anyway, we opened all the cupboards and turned on our little heater, leaving it running all day (as long as someone was in the house, that is).

Wednesday morning we got water to the sink and shower - yay! The toilet? Nope. I wasn’t even sure where to aim the heater at!

I had some errands to run and met my husband for lunch, so I turned off the heater. When I got home and hung my coat, I heard water running upstairs. I thought: Oh good, the toilet is filling. Except when I went up to the bathroom, water was leaking out from the closet. I ran outside. Water was leaking onto the porch. I rushed downstairs. It was raining in the basement!


Now, I had NO IDEA where the shut off valve was located. I called my husband. No answer. I think I tried him ten times. Even tried his desk phone. No answer. I called a plumber. They can’t get anyone out. I called another, they can only promise to put me on a wait list. She tried to tell me how to find the water shut off valve, but we have a drop-down ceiling, so I can’t follow any pipes. And did I mention it was raining down there?

I finally got a hold of my son and he knew how to turn off the water. Now I know, too.

But dang, you would think with the bathroom hanging over the porch that all the water would end up outside. No such luck. And in case you were wondering, nothing important in the basement got wet (whew!).

I’m just glad I don’t work away from home. I can only IMAGINE the mess I would have come home to. The basement would have been flooded, no doubt. So would our bathroom, part of our bedroom, and the front entry (where we have hardwood floors).

You don’t really realize how much you use water until it’s not available. No water on Wednesday and no water on Thursday morning. Plumber was able to arrive by 10:30am. Yay!

$167.55 later the pipe is fixed and we have water, but now I have a hole in my closet wall. I can live with that. I’m just glad I was able to tell the guy where I noticed the water first. Who knows how many walls he would have had to check?

So that was my excitement for the week. I think I can live without experiencing that again!

Hey, in a lighter vein… I’ve been thinking about putting together a giveaway basket at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, but I was wondering what to put in it. Then I thought of my mad crochet skills (okay, semi-mad) and thought about crocheting some bookmarks. Or maybe some coasters. That would be unique, wouldn’t it? I certainly have enough crochet thread leftover in the house and they shouldn’t take all that long to make. It’s something I’m considering anyway. What do you think?

Have a good weekend!




B.E. Sanderson said...

Oh no! So sorry to hear about your pipes. Wow, it was lucky you were home. Thank goodness it didn't end up too horrendous. :hugs:

I think the idea of a giveaway basket is cool. Handmade things in it, even better. After you put it together, you'll have to post pics. =o)

Stacy McKitrick said...

B.E. - Not sure if I'll use an actual "basket" (since the lucky winner might not have room to haul it home), but I'll figure out something. I'll definitely post pictures, because I'm always looking for an excuse to do that! :)

Maria Zannini said...

I'm so sorry about the pipe. If you don't have any other damage, $167 is light compared to what it could've been.

Still, it's a pain in the keester to have to deal with it. I hope that'll be the end of your freeze troubles.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Ugh! Not having running water is awful! Glad it wasn't difficult or costly to fix.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Maria - I hope it's the end of our freeze troubles, too, but I have a feeling not. Winter's barely gotten started!

Jennette - The cost isn't technically finished. I just hope the water damage isn't bad. Hard to tell right now. If it starts stinking, then we're in trouble!!

JeffO said...

Watching water come through a ceiling/wall is one of the worst, most helpless feelings you can have as a homeowner. Glad it worked out with minimal damage (to home and wallet)!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Jeff - You ain't kidding!

Jen B said...

Yikes is right! When we were kids we lived in a really old farm house and during the winter we always had a portable heater pointed at the pipes under the kitchen sink. I don't think the farmhouse was insulated properly (or at all).

Stacy McKitrick said...

Jen - It didn't help that there was plastic between the pipe and the drywall. I think it kept it from getting heat. Well, it's not there any longer (of course, neither is the drywall - haha!).