Sunday, September 10, 2017

Stop the Madness

It turns out that the new water trough I bought had a leak.  We lost 100 gallons of water in a couple of days, and I knew the horses couldn't have slurped it all up.  When I bought the trough, I found an O-ring washer and a few other parts lying on the ground next to it.  I thought, "I hope these didn't come from the water tank I'm about to buy."

Just in case, I scooped them up and put them in my pocket.  It's starting to look like the O-ring, at the very least, never got included in the plug assembly, and whoever installed the plug didn't tighten it down.  So, I had to drag the empty trough out of my barn before the horses destroyed it, and repair and tighten the plug when I had a spare moment.  Also, the horses have figured out how to lift the new feed trough up off the railing.  I found it lying on the ground this morning.  Thankfully, no horse managed to injure itself on it.  That's a low priority problem at the moment.

I had this upcoming week off from appointments, and I was hoping to get caught up on actually doing something on my To-Do List, but of course, all hell had to break loose again.  A couple of weeks ago we started hearing water running through the pipes in our house at times when no water should have been running.  We thought it was odd.  I looked around to see if the drip system had broken again and was running 24/7, but it was not running when I checked it.  I checked the well water, and it was full.  Then our well motor started making a racket through the pipes.  We can hear it accelerating and decelerating.  It's kind of like someone sitting outside your house revving their engine over and over.  In fact, that's what I thought it was at first, but when I'd step outside, I'd hear nothing.

We called the well repairman, he came out and said there was nothing he could do until the motor on the pump actually broke.  We thought the worst of it was that we'd have to listen to that noise until that happened.

Then this Saturday morning I walked into the guest bathroom, which rarely gets used, and the bath mat was soaking wet.  No one had bathed or showered in there.  My first thought was that the toilet was leaking again, but there was no water anywhere near the toilet.  Then I thought a pipe under the sink had burst, but it wasn't wet under the pipe, and when I ran the sink faucet, I didn't see any water dripping from the pipe.  Then we realized that the water was coming up out of the floorboards underneath the tile.

My husband pulled a bunch of stuff out of the bedroom closet on the other side of the wall from the tub, and the carpet in one corner of the closet was wet.  I said there had to be leak in the drip system, because of the location, but my husband turned off the drip system and water kept coming up from the floorboards.  We thought we were going to have to cancel our plans for the day and pay for a weekend emergency plumbing service, but as we sopped up the water, the floors started to dry out.

My husband concluded that there might be a leak in the roof, and water ran down the inside of the wall, and then the ground got saturated with rain water and the water had nowhere to go but up into our floorboards.  Now that it wasn't raining anymore and the sun was out, everything should dry out.  We went to our social engagement, and when we returned home, the water had returned, so we knew that theory was off the mark.

My husband shut off the water to the house, and he could still hear water running in the pipes.

I started thinking about what would have been running while we were away, and all I could come up with was the air conditioner, which was on the other side of the wall.  I noticed the other night that one room it serves wasn't cooling down.  I thought perhaps it could be leaking water, but we couldn't find any evidence of that.

We also thought that the plumber who changed out some broken parts in our bathtub faucet a few weeks ago must have broken something in the process.  The guy had a really bad attitude and didn't want to do the job.  I heard him crashing around in there and cursing, and when he was all done, he said he was going to retire that day because he was sick of Moen faucets.  My husband took apart the bathtub faucet to check that plumber's work, but didn't find any problems or any evidence of leaks in the pipes behind the bathtub wall.

Unfortunately, all this troubleshooting is leaving us with only one more possibility:  A pipe in the foundation of our house has broken.  That probably means tearing out the bathtub and ripping up the floors.  We did want new floors, but after the dogs pass away.  There's no point in getting new floors now while they are still doing their business on them all throughout the day and night.  Bad timing.

When we moved in, the wall just above the bathtub unit was damaged.  We tried to repair it ourselves, putting in a lot of work between the two of us, but it was dismal failure, so we decided to hire someone to put in new drywall and some tiles.  That's one of the items on my To Do List that I haven't been able to get around to doing over the past couple of years.  I've actually been waiting for Midge and Scrappy to pass away before doing that job, because every time a repairman comes to the house, the dogs destroy everything in their path.  Now I'm glad I procrastinated on that, because had we gotten new drywall and tiles installed, we'd just have to have them ripped right out with this latest problem.

Water damage is something you want to treat immediately before mold can set in, but I suspect we've had this leak for at least two weeks now, so we are already past the point of hope.  We'll probably wait until Monday to call a leak detection business to save on weekend emergency fees.  I can kiss this week goodbye.  Since this is the third time that this house has had serious plumbing problems that resulted in water damage, I'll be buying flood insurance as soon as we can afford it after this current fiasco.

I specifically bought a newer house to avoid having to do repairs all the time, but I guess it really doesn't matter.  If you own any house at all, you may as well become a full-time handyman.


Grey Horse Matters said...

That doesn't sound good. Maybe it will turn out to be a simple fix and not cost a fortune to fix. Fingers crossed for you.

Linda said...

Very true. Our "new" house has been a lot of work, too. Water, especially, is destructive. Heartbreaking when you don't know how to stop it from coming in.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Well, day one is down the drain. I set up an appointment in a 9 - 11 AM window, and got a call saying that they had a bigger emergency and wouldn't make it over to my place until 1 - 2 PM. It got to be 3 PM and they didn't show, so I called them. They said they were dealing with a flooded kitchen and couldn't come until 6 PM, which is my absolute busiest time of the day, so I said NO. Now they are swearing they will come by at 9 AM tomorrow. I feel very uneasy about it all, wondering if they caused the flood in someone's kitchen. I found one bad review amongst a dozen 5 star reviews in which they actually broke someone's AC by putting in the wrong part. That person found out that they are not licensed, and is in the process of suing them. Not a promising start.