March 31, 2006

Water Leak

The water leak came back two nights ago. After showering, I noticed a dripping sound downstairs beneath the upstairs bathroom. The entire closet had been soaked. It looks like water had been gathering in there for a long time, with some of the non-reactive insulation absorbing it, along with cloth and cardboard boxes I had in the closet. I managed to clear out the closet and start mopping it up, and also found the leak location as the part right behind the shower knob. I called my mom and she was able to tell me where to find the water main in the garage to turn off water to the entire house. Then I called a plumber.

I called P.H.A.T. Crack because the owners live down the street from me. Their web site explains how they've been in business for almost eighty years, and recently changed their name. I gave them a call that night and Jim returned my call very quickly to schedule two of his guys to come out the next morning.

Since I was all dirty from water falling on me and clearing out the closet, I didn't want to sleep in my bed. I couldn't shower because the water main was turned off. So I slept downstairs on one of the recliners. It wasn't the most comfortable sleep, and I was tired the next day.

Anyway, the two guys Ruben and his son Santiago showed up the next morning at 8:30am. Ruben has been working for Jim for twenty years, and Santiago for seven years. They were both extremely polite, dedicated to their work, and genuinely wanted to do a good job. They even took their shoes off before coming into the house.

The leak turned out to be quite complicated. Instead of the 90° connector between the valve and the hot water main leaking, it was actually the valve itself. So they had to open an even bigger hole in the wall and replace the valve. A two hour job suddenly turned into a five hour job. Replacing the valve required disconnecting the showerhead pipe as well, and when they managed to rotate that, the 90° on top of that pipe fell off. So they had to cut a small hole into the drywall above the showerhead hole to attach a new 90° onto it. Then they finally got the valve replaced, and that was no longer leaking, but a union in the hot water pipe a little below it started leaking. Probably from all the rotations going on. So they had to detach the valve and retighten that union. So much work, and the two of them did such a good and thorough job.

Anyway, I just finished cleaning everything else up tonight, and putting everything back into the closet. Things are good again although my cardboard boxes are a bit ruined. And there's a kind of ugly face plate behind the new shower/bath knob to cover the hole they had to make. But at least the leak is fixed.

Posted by josuah at March 31, 2006 3:41 AM UTC+00:00

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