Today was a special day. It was the kind of holiday homeowners truly appreciate. It was the day that I got a handyman to come to my house! This is better than Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny at the same time.
I had selected a couple very simple projects, things that could get done and show obvious improvement in my losing war against entropy. Low hanging fruit. Nothing big like remodeling a kitchen! I’m not ready for that war yet. It was just a simple little electrical project.
The guy was perfectly happy just assuming I would kill the power. I operate under the assumption that I might be a dumbass and I don’t want anybody dead on my watch. So I carefully led him down to the electrical panel so that he could switch the circuits himself and know for sure. That’s how I think; so I assume that’s how anyone else would think.
It went like this:
“Okay the main panel box is down here. All you have to do is…… AAAUUUGGGHHHHHH There’s half a foot of water down here! And I can hear water spraying out of somewhere! Shit shit shit shit shit shit shit!”
That’s how fate can turn your world around on a dime. I reached over the water and killed the main circuit panel before he stepped into the water and got fried. Then I splashed around until I found the leaking pipe and… No good! When I moved into this house there were no off valves anywhere. I installed several valves and every one has been worth its weight in gold. But I never put a valve between the wellhead and the pressure tank. The wellhead had built up pretty decent pressure and, even though I had killed the pump’s power, there was nothing I could do but watch more water spray until the pressure receded. Not that it mattered, once the place is several inches deep a few more gallons is irrelevant.
Of course my rubber boots leaked. I should’ve taken better care of them. Plus it was raining cats and dogs outside while I got tools from the garage.
What a fun afternoon: waving around a flashlight in a gloomy basement, water still spewing all over the place, barefoot and ankle deep in cold water, shit floating past your feet, is that a dead mouse, will the 50# bag of rock salt turn into a giant crystal, why don’t I live in a condo…
In for a dime, in for a dollar. Go big or go home. Tomorrow I bring out the jackhammer.
You have my empathy and sympathy. It was moments like you have described that I would get out our copy of The Money Pit, just to see someone in worse shape than us.
Sing a song of expense,
A pocket full of bills.
The garden’s full of rosebugs
Termites in the sills
The Mrs. in the kitchen
Counting ration points
The Mr. in the doldrums with rhumatic joints.
The fuel tank is empty,
The cook’s an alcoholic
Along come the taxes,
This is Country Colic.
Lawson is best known as the author of RABBIT HILL, BEN AND ME, and numerous other children’ books. COUNTRY COLIC is an oddity; an alphabetical listing of some of the trials and features of living in the country (by which Lawson mean rural Connecticut). It’s clearly dated to the Second World War; there are multiple references to rationing. Worth looking up.
Uncle Murphy must have been out of town. The worst possible time would have been when you and Mrs. Curmudgeon were out of town in January and the basement temp was below freezing. Then you could have had ice everywhere the water sprayed, plus a rink on the floor.
Try to get it right next time. We depend on you for these things.
The spirit of our freedom duck must have pulled strings on my behalf.
You’re right that the timing could be worse. I reminded myself how “lucky” I was while standing ankle deep in slimy water and cutting checks for parts and equipment.
If you have galvanized pipe, have you looked at Dresser style couplings?
They work and make repairs much easier than threading pipe(s) to the exact length.
Many times all you have to do is cut a (long enough) nipple in half, put the threaded ends into a valve and then place a coupling on each cut end and install. Although most of the time it is easier to put the couplings on the pipe and then fit them onto the cut ends of the nipple.
Copper, PVC and PEX pipe and their compression fittings are a even easier repair.
My go-to chicken out solution is “Shark Bite” fittings. In this case it was too late.
Huh? Have you never heard “If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it’????
That was tempting fate big style.
Installing a dryer vent is tempting the Gods of plumbing? Did I mess the memo?
Tut tut! I mean the entire house, of course. Have you never played Kerplunk? Same difference – touch one part and the whole lot comes crashing down.
I need it!