March 06, 2004

D-Day Minus Two

When you're scheduled to have a new baby in the house in two days, one of the last things you want to hear your wife say is, "Honey, I think we have a plumbing problem."

I came rattling downstairs with visions of the kitchen sink backing up, or perhaps water covering the floor, and was quite relieved when Jane led me outside; I figured it was some problem with the sprinkler system. We've had a lot of rain recently; I'd just turn off the water to the yard, and we'd get the plumber in some time in the next week. No big deal.

Once we were outside, Jane pointed at some water running down the steps from the back yard; the water proved to be coming out from under the doors of a storage wall we've got under an overhang back there. Not, oddly enough, from under the door of the cupboard that contains the hot water heater, but from under the door next to that.

The problem turned out to be a big old one-inch galvanized pipe that runs the full length of the storage wall up under the roof. It had developed a couple of pinhole leaks and was spraying water all over the gardening tools and bags of fertilizer and assorted scraps of plywood. Joy! Something would clearly have to be done, and soon.

I called up my dad and asked him to come over and show me where the nearest shutoff was (Jane and I about our house from my parents about seven years ago; they'd lived there for the previous thirty-five years). I had fond hopes that we might not have to shut off the water to the house to fix the problem.

No such luck--that big old one-inch galvanized pipe, which had been there since at least 1965 and possibly longer, is the line that feeds all of the indoor plumbing. Double-joy!

Fortunately our plumber was available this morning, and was able to stop the leaking with a couple of pipe-clamps. But we're looking at a complete repiping (and a new water heater), and it needs to be done sooner rather than later.


I can only imagine what wonders tomorrow will bring.

Posted by Will Duquette at March 6, 2004 11:48 AM

Deb said:

My husband visibly blanches when I say stuff like that. "Honey, why is it so cold in the house" at 9pm on a January Sunday night will just about give him vapors. And I'm not even expecting! At least it's fixable, even if it is expensive and a hassle.

Will Duquette said:

Oh, it's true, it could be much worse.