Making Lemonade

From Lemons.

Last week the City's Water Department came by to investigate the growing chunk of ice on the street in front of our property. When I saw the flashing red and blue lights of the truck at the end of our driveway, I went out to ask what was going on... "a water leak" I was told. There were two possible causes: a break in the line either on the City side - in which case they would arrange and pay for all repairs, or a break on OUR side of the property line - in which case WE would have to arrange and pay for all repairs.

Within 10 calendar days.

Guess which side it was on? Yup. Lucky us.


The safe zone is marked off

So if we failed to repair it within 10 calendar days, our water would be turned off... the estimate? Around $ 5,000.


The underground power and utility lines were marked off and work began two days later. Of course I had to take a vacation day to be home. And of course they had to turn off the water to work. So the night before, washing and drinking water was stored. Laundry and dishes were done and we filled up the tub to scoop water for the toilet.

(Holy crap... you never realize how much water you use until you don't have it...)

Early Friday morning the digging in the front yard began in an attempt to locate the leak's location.

Oh this is going to look so great come Spring...

A cage is lifted off a flatbed and pushed down the street by the loader.

I have to say the guy operating that huge machine maneuvered it with expert precision.

Lowering the cage.

Then a vacuum truck was called to drain the water filling up the hole. When a neighbor called to ask "what are you building?" I was sorely tempting to reply "An in-ground pool...."

After hours and hours of searching... no leak was found.


That meant it was somewhere under the house.

It also meant more permits.

And more money.

Oh joy.

At least they could turn the water back on over the weekend while I moved everything from the side of the basement they would need to work in. Good thing I had a few days... the storage room was packed. Packed full. I always meant to clean out that room...

Then while emptying it, I noticed a wet spot on the carpet in the room I have my Star Wars collection in.

The collection I have been meaning to cull for a long time.

The collection on the walls, on tables and hanging from the ceiling... Gah!

So I boxed up my collectibles, moved out the tables and shelves, ripped out the carpet, the underlay, washed up the floor and took down the posters and displays from the walls.

Monday morning the tub was refilled, water set aside and the Zoo sequestered into the bedroom and studio. With the crew in and out of the house and the sound of jack hammers breaking concrete, I had to ensure the dog and three cats would be safe and sound.

After turning off the water supply again, a hole was drilled near the foundation and surprise, surprise.

No leak was found.

But a LOT of water was...

After pumping it dry again, a valve was placed on the line and they pinned down the location of the leak somewhere between the front of the house and our meter about twenty feet away in the middle of the basement. So, instead of digging out the entire room's floor, a copper bypass line was recommended.

Tuesday the bypass was done, a new meter installed and some fresh concrete patched. Our water was turned on once more. Hooray!

Yes. That's right.

I drew in the wet concrete...

I was happy it was finally all over...

The only good thing about the whole ordeal?

It finally MADE me clean out two rooms I had been avoiding for years.

Yup. That's some expensive lemonade to be sure...

8 People would rather be commenting:

Katherine Krige said...

yikes. Very sucky lemons, but nice of you to half-heartedly sip at that lemonade

Babs-beetle said...

Oh my word! Now I know why we have insurance cover for drains and water pipes outside our home!

That must have been some ordeal!

JoJo said...

Oh wow that SUCKS! I am so sorry that happened!!!!! That would completely financially cripple me to come up with that much money, that fast.

Heather said...

Oh, wow! That really stinks!! I'm glad they got it fixed, but that was an expensive problem. Kudos to you for looking at the bright side! :)

The Asian Pear said...

wow. That's horrible. But I'm glad it's found. And no more digging. And the rooms are cleaned!

Msadaku said...

Your blog have me in stitches! Glad this was over. :)

Jay said...

Oooohhhhh ... nasty!!! So glad you got it sorted out, but how disheartening. Not only the cost because it was on your property, but having to dig in two places and still not find it. Good thing they found a way NOT to dig up any more basement!

Star Wars collection? I hate to say it, but you could probably pay for that leak if you sold it!

Nah. Didn't think so!

Daisy said...

Wowie, that sounds like a disaster! Sorry it was on your side :(

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