Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If it kills me

So, imagine you have to fix a plumbing leak under your bed, for 5 hours. Yes, that was my Sunday/Monday. Here's the story.

Sunday, Cheri asks me for help in moving the cable connection in the spare bedroom. No problem, just jump under the home, disconnect the cable and move it to the new hole. I don't mind getting under houses and our is a relatively nice crawlspace. So, I crawl over to the bedroom and on the way over I notice water running down the wall between the kitchen and the laundry room, under the house mind you. Things that make you go Hmmm. Well, the cable gets reconnected and I turn to investigate the leak. I find that the leak is actually on the other side of the wall in the crawlspace under the laundry room. A little relief that its not running down the wall from the 2nd floor, which would have been yucky.

Let me interject here that the crawlspace under the laundry room is much smaller than the one under the main house. When this house was built in 1938 the laundry room was a room you stepped down into from the kitchen. At some point during the renovations the floor in this room was raised to be level with the kitchen floor. The space under this room is like crawling under a bed. Tiny.

I am not tiny.

To enter the space under the laundry room I have to exhale to get my chest in and then inhale to get my hips in. Sound like fun? Oh, also, in order to get to the pipe that was leaking, I had to go in on my back.

I make it over to the leak and because of the size of this space, I can only use my right hand to take the pipes apart. The left hand is useless in this drill. I determine that the best course of action is to take out the bad part and go to the Home Depot and get new parts. Nice idea. Home Depot had the right parts, wrong sizes. This will come back to bite us later. So, I get the parts I can work with, reducers and all. Go back to the house determined to make this work. Did I mention you have to slide on your back and only use your right hand in this drill?

I get back under and go to work. OK, looks good, lets turn the water back on. Cheri is in charge of the water turning off and on. So she goes out and turns it on. Please turn it off. Please. Hmmm, that didn't work. Lets try again, redo this, reconnect that. Still leaks. Hmmmm. After a couple more tries, the leaks are gone, calgon take me away.

I go up to shower all the crawlspace off me and about 5 minutes into the shower, the water completely shuts off! Oh no you didn't! I run downstairs and Cheri again runs out and turns the water off. Great. I go back and put on my dirty clothes again and take a gander under the house. Oh good. 40 gallons of hot water is now under the home. Yes, you know what's coming.

Back I go into the crawlspace. Snorkel and mask optional. You know that whole "wrong size" thing I talked about, this was it. The pressure from the water heater blew out the fitting. Just blew it out. OK, readjust this, tighten that, tweak those. Leak test? All good. Yeah!

Shower with no problems, dishwashing with no problems, problems solved. Until about 10PM that night. Cheri was walking through and heard water spraying under the home. Joy Joy. Again the water goes off.

Monday morning bright and early I am at the plumbing supply store to get the right stuff, having the right stuff is so underrated. Back to the house, dryfit everything, looks good, here we go. Hook all of the new stuff up and it still leaks. You may think this is rocket science, but it really is not. All of this plumbing screws together. Problem is I only have my right hand and its super hard to tighten fittings with one hand. Long story short, on this morning, another 40 gallons was deposited into the crawlspace. Really?

You may have called a plumber at this point, heck, you may have called one yesterday, Sunday rates be damned! Not me. I'm the guy that circles the restaurant to get the prime parking spot on the street. I'm the guy that does not flinch in this situation.

We finally got to leak free status around 8ish on Monday morning. I took a shower and yes, you guessed it, leak city. Again the water goes off. We decide to reconvene the water stop loss program after work.

So, finally, all connections are tight, retight and re-retightened. Cheri turns the water on and we run it all over the house for 5 minutes. No leaks. Whats that? No leaks. Say again? No leaks. Thank you very much.

So, yes after 5 hours and $25 worth of parts, the problem is fixed. The people said yeah!

Oh, Sam was so cute. He sang to me through the floor when I was under there.

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