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The Burst Pipe

It really didn’t look that bad when I left the house. Though truth be told someone, somewhere, would probably say that you should never actually leave the house when you are aware that there’s is water bubbling out of the ground and you’ve done nothing to stop it.

My bad.

But let’s be honest, it was a tiny little puddle when I left. And I’m a homeschooling mom who loves going to the gym. It kills so  many birds with one stone: I get the stress out, I get a small break from kids [a/k/a "me time"], I get to listen to all of my music with bad lyrics that I can’t listen to anymore [hello Rage, NIN, Metallica, and Ramstein!], I get to sit in a hot tub by myself and soak until my fingers are wrinkly and my muscles are like jelly, and if I have enough time I can even go to the cafe and have a smoothie before I go retrieve my [passel] children. If these don’t sound like good enough reasons, then:

Regardless of my [valid!] reasons, when I came home from the gym Wednesday I had quite a sight to behold.

That's a lot of water.

That’s a lot of water.

Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink. And it was STILL continuing to run down our little path into the driveway and into the street. After a quick phone call to mom and step-dad I fill up several containers of water and go out to the water meter ready to shut off the water to the house. I can always turn it back on later, right?

You that know me know that I HATE being the damsel in distress, so when I can’t get the cover off of the water meter I am immediately frustrated. A quick call to the water department lets me know that I need them to remove the cover and that someone is on their way to help.

While waiting outside [I had put A. down for a nap and the older girls were playing in the playroom] my man-neighbor coincidentally comes outside and asks me if I need help.

Yes! Says motherly intuition. No! Says pride. Motherly intuition wins. Man-neighbor quickly retrieves a screwdriver from the bed of his manly SUV and pops off the water meter cover. [Well if I'd known THAT'S how to get it off....] Then he uses the t-bar tool thing I have, specifically for shutting off water, and turns the water off breaks the t-bar tool thing. Great.

Literally at that that EXACT moment second man-neighbor drives by in his also-manly truck. He states that he has a t-bar tool thing that’s even bigger than mine [and I have to admit it - it IS bigger than mine] and that I can borrow it. He brings it over and turns the water off for me, then offers to dig a bit around the base of the spigot where the water is pouring out so I can judge whether or not I need to call the plumber.  He digs a bit, I appreciate it a lot, and then he goes home.

Then I start digging some more, and some more, and some more.

At some point I start internal cursing – both at the ground, and at myself for going to the stupid gym before taking care of this. It was a squat and deadlift day. I’m tiiiiiiiired.

That's a lot of muddy water.

That’s a lot of muddy water.

I finally dig down far enough to see a large crack in the pipe, but water is still pouring out so I’m like that guy who continually pushes the stone up the hill only to have it roll back down. I empty the water from the hole and it immediately fills back up. Another phone call to step-dad and he tells me to open up all faucets to help all the water drain out faster. I do that and wait. Then I go out and empty all the water out of the hole again, using a mason jar in 40 degree weather with  no gloves. Brrrrrrr. But the water is still coming out of the d@mn pipe.

I google [always a mistake] and see that part of the problem might be the water heater, so I go shut off the supply of the hot water heater. It doesn’t help.

Back inside S. tells me she has to go the bathroom. Fine, I say, just DON’T flush the toilet. Ok! She says, I will NOT flush the toilet! Then skips off. Two minutes later she comes back and proudly announces that she went to the bathroom in mommy and daddy’s room where it was okay to flush….and flushed. I turn into this:

Angry Momma

No really, I do. Then S. starts to cry and I feel horrible and have to apologize while all along in my head thinking “But I just TOLD YOU NOT TO FLUSH!!”

So I repair mother-daughter bond then head back outside. Water is still leaking, and while wiggling the spigot to figure out what exactly is wrong I do this [oops]:

Oh yes I did. But it was an accident.

Oh yes I did. But it was an accident.

Now, prior to this point I’ll be honest and let you in on a little secret: I really thought that I was going to be able to fix this problem. I know, I know…but I did. I thought that I would dig out the trench, find the problem, buy a small joint of pipe to re-screw on with that white plumbers tape stuff, and then fill the hole back up. At this point, however, I start to realize that my fixing the pipe isn’t really going to be an option. So I break down and call the plumber.

My pride is still pretty stung, though, so this is how I play the situation:

Me: “Hi Daniel, my name is Kelly _________, and I received your name from our neighbor. I was wondering if you’d be able to come by and look at a plumbing problem we’re having after you get off work tonight.”

Yes, that’s exactly what I said.

Nice Male Plumber: “You know, I just can’t do it tonight; I have to go down to University Park for a job after work. Could I come tomorrow?”

Me: “No that won’t work. I have a huge water leak in my yard and three small children and no water to my house. Thanks anyways, though.”

Nice Male Plumber Getting Nicer Every Minute: “Oh! Well if it’s an emergency I can rearrange and be there at 5:00.”

Nice Male Plumber comes EARLY [yay!] and then gives me the superhorribleterrible news. All the pipes from the street to the house are galvanized, not copper. I’m sure that this is bad, but I’m not sure why. Except perhaps my ability to peel apart metal pipes with my bare hands means that all my pipes are rusted and NOT that my gym workouts have turned me into Supergirl. Hmph.

Then Nice Male Plumber comes up with superfantasticbutunlikely plan! If he can unscrew the rusty pipe that I already severed in half withOUT bursing the rusty water main, we won’t have to stay in a hotel because we have no water OR pay $3K to have our yard trenched and the pipes replaced. I’m liking this guy better every minute. S. comes outside and acts very cute and I soooo appreciate it because I can use all the brownie points I can get right now.

Then VOILA! He fixes it. In like 10 minutes. And I seriously love this man I’ve never met before.

And because I dug the big hole where the pipe was replaced I ended up saving us some money. $95.00 easy-peasy. We can stay on our Dave Ramsey plan, my pride feels shiny because I dug a big hole in the yard that was useful, and I broke a steel pipe with my hands.

What, aren’t your Wednesdays as exciting as this???

Kelly
Homeschooler. Mother. Worker Bee. Wife. Christian. Chef. Allergy-expert extrordinaire. Dog lover. Soul-mate. (w)Riter. Reader. Runner.
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  • Dana Posival

    Goodness, its always something! lol

  • Goodenergyhealing

    This was by far your best adventure yet. LOVED this blog!!