When it Rains … Under the House

At the end of my lunch break yesterday, I thought a toilet was running, but they were each silent. Wait. It sounded more like someone was taking a shower. Uh-oh! My thought went to an outdoor pipe that busted one winter when we were out of town and came home to an ice rink on the side of our house. So I put on my boots and went out back. Yep! The small section of PVC pipe that goes from the main one to connect a hose to cracked. A tiny piece of pipe along with the knob attached to it was lying on the ground. Water was pouring out. I shut that one off with the main valve, but it was still “raining” from under that back corner of the house. I couldn’t get my head low enough to look under it to see where it was coming from.

I grabbed my phone and called my husband. No answer. Left message for him. Left Skype message for boss informing of house emergency and my inability to clock back in. Crawled way back in the crawl space but didn’t see water there. However, I didn’t take a flashlight with me. At least it wasn’t pouring into the interior of the house. I found out later that it was a little wet over there.

Back to phone; called Greg again; found out where to turn off the water to the house. I turned that knob all the way to the left while on the phone with Greg. Water still on! WHAT? Back to the right then left again. Water still on! How does that happen?! Half frustrated with the situation and half probably thinking I was doing something wrong (how many ways are there to turn a freakin’ knob?), Greg was on his way home.

I wasn’t downstairs when he shut the water off and don’t know if he encountered the same problem, but he did get it to shut off. Problem! Now the knob spun loosely and wouldn’t turn back on. Busted knob. Now there were two things to be fixed and I was freaking out over how much this was going to cost. My first thought was that we would have to call someone to do it. Not in the budget! Panic. But Greg rattled off a few items he’d need to buy and how cheap they were. OK. Feeling a little better but still like another pile of elephant poo just fell on us.

Several hours, a few trips to the local DIY home store, and many attempt to turn the water back on from the main in the front yard later, and we had water again! DIY may take longer, but you put your own time into it. The value of a person’s time is hard to put a price on, but at least we didn’t have to pay a professional $75-$150/hour to do it. I can’t imagine how much that would have cost! It sounds like a convenient answer for those who have that kind of money to spare or those who have the option of whipping out a credit card to pay for it. We have neither of those. So yes, this scared the hell out of me!

You know when people try to make you feel better by saying things like “At least you have running water in the first place”? That didn’t happen, but you know what I mean. Those things never help because you’re in the heat of the moment and just pissed, panicked, and upset. But I woke up this morning thinking that very thing! There are people who live without running water or electricity. As fortunate (spoiled) as we are with these luxuries, we take them for granted.

A huge thank you to my husband for working non-stop through dinner to fix the problems! He rocks!

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