DIY · Life

Joe vs. the Leaking Pipe

Let me paint a picture for you.  It’s Sunday night (which means the alarm will be going off at 4:30 the next morning).  The time is 8:30 pm, and we are trying to finish up a project outside the house before it gets dark.  We haven’t eaten dinner yet, and it’s been a long day already.  Joe suddenly pauses to listen to something and says he hears water running under the house.  Upon closer examination, there is a pipe under the house that is broken and leaking.  A lot.  The valve on the pipe does nothing to stop the flowing water, so our next option is to shut off the main water valve to the house….which is BURIED under dirt.  Why?  Beats us.  Joe digs and scoops dirt while I hold a flashlight, and he finally uncovers the valve and is able to shut the water off.

See that pile of dirt on the left?  That was all on top of the main shut-off valve!
Ahh, there it is!

Remember when I said it was Sunday night at 8:30?  Now it is Sunday night at approximately 9:30, and therefore no hardware stores are open.

Someday we’ll look back on all this and laugh, right?  Maybe.  But right now, the idea of this whole escapade being funny is the only thing that is, in fact, laughable.

After some more poking around, accompanied by a phone call to Joe’s dad for advice, it is determined that the broken pipe takes cold water from the house to the stand-alone laundry room.  We briefly turn the water back on to fill up a container for use the next day, and back off it goes until Joe gets home from work on Monday to fix it….well, other than being turned back on to water the animals Monday morning.

Ah, home ownership.  So much fun.  Especially when your home was built in 1911, the foundation is essentially crumbling, and every “improvement” that has been made in the last hundred years was constructed in a way that looks like something you might see in a Dr. Seuss book.

Mr. Fix-It at work


Repair in process
The culprit – cracked where it meets the pipe, plus the valve was broken making it impossible to only close this line to stop the leak.

Anyway, back to the water pipe saga.  It was finally fixed by Tuesday night, after multiple trips to the hardware store for different pieces, variations of sizes, etc.  Nothing makes you appreciate running water like going without the luxury of having it at your fingertips for a couple days!  Especially when you’re experiencing summer weather and have lots of animals in need of drinking and bathing water.

The dogs were very interested in what was going on
Boone watching intently
Timber got a little bored


All fixed up and ready for insulation!

The now fixed pipe (and its twin…one is hot water and the other is cold) got a brand new application of insulation so as to avoid another break during the next freeze.  The crack in the valve looked like it was due to the pipe freezing…..and the last time we had freezing weather was months ago….so it’s very likely that this major leak had been going on for months!  Ack.

What’s strange though is that there was a noticeable difference in our water bill for this past month.  I had chalked it up to the extra water usage because of the warm weather, but perhaps it was actually the gallons upon gallons of water that have been pooling in the soil underneath our house.  I guess next month’s water bill will help shed some light on what’s really been going on.



We’re ready for you, winter.

Actually, don’t quote me on that.  Knowing this house, that may not be true.  But this here pipe?  It’s ready for winter.


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