Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.
Water Leaks the saga continues…
Our leaky kitchen sink was diagnosed and prescribed a new faucet—a very expensive customized faucet. We are exploring options. The fast fix has been wrapping it in a Pamper* and putting a pan under the sink.
The downstairs toilet problem is an ongoing mystery. Just when we think it’s fixed, water leaks again. Finally, in frustration, I snapped the lid down and duct-taped it closed. Until it we solve the leaking mystery, we’ll just dash to the upstairs bathroom, screaming, “Oo ah ee, I’ve gotta pee.” Excellent exercise.
The outside basement water leaks are more complicated. We have clean water leaking into our basement from an undetermined outside source. Our street is under construction while gas lines are being replaced. Repairs include digging huge holes into the sidewalk and parkways. During the work, a water line sprang a leak in front of my house. The water department came out to fix the water leak, but it appears there is still something amiss.
It rained buckets last night, and early this morning my frantic neighbor knocked on the front door to show me this.
My basement wasn’t as flooded I expected, but I needed more than Pampers and Depends to hold the water leak back. So we made a quick run to Home Depot for inflatable sandbags**. First, we put the sandbags against the walls in the basement to hold back the water. Next, we set up a pump and a hose to drain the water from the source, to the street. Who knew I knew how to do this? Not. I. Necessity is the mother of invention, I guess.
Next, we turned off the water to the house. Until last week, the main water valve location was another mystery. A phone call to my brother-in-law helped us locate the valve. Turning off our water helped, but water is still bubbling up from the ground. If only it were Texas gold.
What next. I call the city’s Water Management department and requested emergency service. I’m told water bubbling up from the ground from an undisclosed source is not an emergency. Later, I’m told it might be People’s Gas’ fault.
People’s Gas and Water Management are both playing the blame game. Each one is sure the other one is at fault before either one even knows what the problem is.
Now we wait. I’m trying to decide if I should turn my water back on or not while the utility companies decide if they will grace us with an appearance. With luck, it will rain again, and I can catch rainwater and boil it.
Managing water leaks has been a challenge. But I’ve learned a few things that I’ll share.
1) When life hands you a pool, replace panic with a list of options. I make an option list. No idea is too stupid. My option list for solving our water issues includes swim fins. I’ve solved a lot of problems this way over the summer.
2) It’s good to know how and where to turn the water off in your house. It’s usually as simple as turning a faucet off and on.
2) “Right now” rarely happens. Lots of people say, when hearing my predicament, “I can’t stand it when things don’t work. I want them fixed right away.” I think that’s true of everyone. Nobody likes broken. But if getting upset worked, trust me—I’d have a working downstairs toilet. Chill out, but remain persistent.
3) It’s not forever. I can’t take a shower, wash a dish or go to the bathroom right this minute because we’ve shut the water off. But it won’t be this way forever. At least, I’m pretty sure it won’t.
4) Prioritize. Come hell or high water, the toilet and faucet will work by Thanksgiving. It may be sooner, but it won’t be one minute later.
5) Money. It helps. A lot. But it doesn’t get Chicago Water Management out any quicker.
6) Yes … and. I use a little improv trick I learned from Tina Fey in her book, Bossypants: One of first rules of improv is to agree, and the second rule is to contribute. When my neighbor said, “Water Management might not come,” I responded, “Yes, and then we will have to buy snorkels.” If she knew how to play, she might have responded, “Yes, and matching goggles.” That would have been fun. But she just looked at me.
I’m off to find my puddle jumpers. Hopefully I’ll be adding the happy ever after ending to my story soon.
Odd Loves Company,
Water leakage is a serious problem and should be fixed by professional plumbing technicians. Visit https://marinesplumbing.com/piping/how-to-fix-frozen-pipes-in-your-home/ for details and pricing.
*If you have a leaky faucet, wrap a diaper or pup pee pad around it to absorb the water until you can have it fixed.
**Pampers and Depends make excellent short-term sandbags. They are also helpful if you have a big spill to clean up. Thrift stores sell them very inexpensively. Amazon has the best price for inflatable sandbags. Home Depot has the best price in a pinch.