Thursday, January 16

Basement Waterfall

Last October I mentioned that we had bees in the attic and a waterfall in the basement. The bees have since done whatever bees do in the winter and I do not have a problem with them as I am putting away the Christmas decorations. Come spring, we will see what waits for me in the rafters.

But until then, I have the basement waterfall to keep me busy. Late one October night I was up fixing the little girl a late night bottle and I heard this noise of something running. You know, when you are inside and someone is running a tractor or lawnmower or some sort of motor outside and you notice the constant rumbling. But it was very late at night and I assumed me neighbors were all sleeping, so I went on a hunt around the house to figure out which appliance was running when it was not supposed to be.

It was definitely coming from the kitchen, but then again, it wasn't. What was that noise??!!

The basement. Right under the kitchen.

A pipe had burst and cold water was pouring out and running along the pipe creating a wall of water in my basement. The sump pump was not working so not only did I have a waterfall in the basement but the beginnings of a pond as well.

Roy was not thrilled that I woke him up and hauled him down to the basement but once down there he quickly turned some knobs and the water stopped.

Note to self - learn about the plumbing in the house.

The next day we discovered that the "T" section of pipe had just been too old and had rusted through right at the joint. It was the water that supplied the outside faucet and the cold water to the first floor bathroom.

Repairing it was a very large and irritating problem in that given that the "T" was the problem, every pipe that connected to the "T" was either loosened or tightened while removing the "T" and, given that murphy's law reigns supreme in our home, every connection from one end of that plumbing fiasco to the other had to be removed, recut, reinstalled and re-soldered. It was as if when a section saw the wrench coming, all the other connections decided to spring a leak.

Of course by this time I was no where near the basement and I let Roy handle the problem. Numerous trips to the hardware store and a few weekends later, we finally got our cold water running again in the bathroom and to the outside faucet.

It was then that I read an article in Backwoods Home Magazine about a family working on an old house that that they had a very similar plumbing problem involving the "T". They used a product called Sharkbite Fittings which they report worked very well for them. I was hesitant to show this article to Roy in that he had invested countless hours and frustration into our plumbing project and showing him a product that may have been able to save all those hours and frustration would not have earned me points in the household.

Whether this product would have worked in our particular situation, I do not know. But next time we are at the hardware store, I will casually pick up a Sharkbite "T" and hie it away in the storage cabinet.

You never know........

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