Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Day 2156

We've got water! The broken pipe was exactly where the plumber said it would be, which kind of amazed me. The leak was located right on schedule too, which amazed me even more. I was afraid it might take weeks to resolve this problem. If you're wondering what actually caused the leak, it turns out that a section of the copper pipe that supplies water to the house was located right next to a larger cast iron pipe that carries waste water away. There were places where the two pipes touched and over the years, the rusting cast iron caused the copper to corrode and fail. That's what the plumber said anyway. He showed me a small hole in the damaged pipe about half the diameter of a pencil. It's still hard to believe that such a small hole could have caused so much damage.

I asked the plumber if there might be other places under the house where the copper supply lines could be touching the cast iron drainage lines. "Sure," said the plumber. "There could be lots of places like this." "Is there anything you can do to prevent this from happening again," I asked. "Nope," said the plumber, "You could have another leak like this tomorrow, or it might never happen again." That wasn't the kind of reassurance I was looking for, but I guess I'll have to live with it. Even though there's a huge hole under the house, it only exposed a tiny fraction of what the builders had put there over sixty years ago. Lord knows what still lurks under the dirt.

In the grand scheme of things, the problems we've experienced this week are tiny compared to the disasters some people have to deal with. The house wasn't hit by a tornado. It didn't catch on fire. A tree didn't crash through the roof. Life was a little inconvenient, but it could have been so much worse. You always see these stories on TV about people rebuilding their lives from scratch after a major disaster has destroyed their home. I don't know how they find the strength to put the pieces back together. Just having no toilets or running water for a week just about drove me over the edge.

There is still a lot of cleanup to do, but life is already starting to return to normal. I ran the dishwasher today and will do a big load of laundry tomorrow. The tunneling company is supposed to come out in the morning and fill in the big hole they created. It's too bad they can't just add concrete walls to the sides and put a door on top. It would be the tornado shelter I've always wanted. They could just keep digging and we could put in a full basement, but it would be much cheaper to just buy a new house.

The environmental cleanup company is supposed to clean our vents before they haul away their big dehumidification machines and leave. When the water was off, I used the opportunity to re-grout the shower stall, so maybe we'll see some improvements there as well. We'll have a lot of bottled water left over when this is all finished with. I was anticipating a long siege and bought too much.

If there's a silver lining to all this, it would be that being trapped here at the house forced me to buckle down and finish the complicated mobile ready website I've been working on. I'm actually caught up with all my work now. Tomorrow I get to see whether the tunneling crew can make the huge mountain of dirt in our back yard disappear. I bet they can't. They'll probably leave us with a smaller pile of dirt and tell us to plant a garden. I'm going to miss taking showers at the hotel. Their shower was so much nicer than ours.

Puppies are today's Dalmatians of the Day
Watch of the Day