How not to spend a relaxing Saturday

We discovered onThursday that we had a water leak.  I stayed home from work on Friday to meet with people from the locating company. I called in a ticket to have utilities marked before we started repairs (as required). Of the seven companies with utilities running into our yard only three called back with messages saying that we didn’t need them to mark anything for us. The others didn’t even bother with the automated phone calls.  When all was said and done, nobody came out to mark their pipes, wires, etc. What a waste of a day off. 

Saturday morning my sister, Jackie,  and my  brother-in-law, Mike, drove for an hour and a half to come help us dig up the pipe, find the leak and fix the problem.  Mike works laying pipe and doing site preparation for a living so he knows his stuff when it comes to this kind of thing.  Based solely on the location of the meter, the layout of the yard, etc. he was able to pinpoint to location of the leak  very quickly.

The pipes were only about 3 feet down, so only hand digging was needed.  This was a good thing too, because without the missing utility markings we would have been risking major repair bills had we dug up anything.  Ironically, the cable/telephone company was one of the places who left a message for us saying we would be clear to dig. They had cable crossing the water pipe very near the leak.  Luckily it was seen before it was accidentally severed. My DH would be at loss without his internet

Without dirt around the pipe to keep pressure on it, the leak quickly turned the hole into a pond.

The leak wasn’t due to a break in the pipe, but rather to some completely whacked joins.  There are some definite code violations with this. The connections looked like Dr. Seuss designed them, but without all of the pretty pink and turquoise fluff.

After hours of work and several trips to a plumbing supply store Mike and my DH were able to temporarily fix the leak.  Unfortunately, to correctly fix the problem, we’ll need to dig up part of the yard, replace a large section of pipe and possibly replace the “T” join above.  This means  probably hiring someone to come repair it professionally. Someone who is insured (the cable is visible in the above photo) and willing to let us pay him/her for the work.  In the meantime the front yard looks like this. Mike and Jackie really saved our butts.  If they hadn’t have come down then my DH and I would still be out there digging a long trench trying to find the leak.   I tried to feed them before they left, but they refused because they just wanted to get back home.  I owe them a kidney or something.  Wonder if they’d like a daughter?

Now off for a hot bath. My back is a little sore.



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4 responses to “How not to spend a relaxing Saturday

  1. Karen O

    Wow! We’ve found a few things like that in the old house–things that were built by people who thought they knew what they were doing…but didn’t. Hugs, K

  2. Roxie

    Pamper that sore back. You might look 18, but your joints and muscles know better. Mike is clearly a godsend in your time of need!

    I’m astounded that the utilities companies blew you off like that. How totally incompetant!

  3. knitwonpurltoo

    No surprise on the digging experience. Our company has found fiber optics 6″ below the surface after being told there wasn’t any in the area. Fiber optic cables are really expensive to fix. I am so impressed with your can-do spirit. I waffle something awful when it comes to do-it-yourself repairs on plumbing and electricity. You guys are my heros.

  4. omg. You have my complete admiration for handling this “in house” and so quickly! Between the gardening, knitting, general running around, working, etc., I’m constantly amazed at your energy level. Hats off to you and yours!

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