There are many who know that back in October of 2010 one Sunday evening I went to get my nightgown to head to bed and upon entering the closet to get it water squished up between my toes. This was a new and unusual experience for a bedtime ritual. Pete was asleep on the sofa so I thought I would try and use my practical skills to find the source of the water before notifying him. My first option was a leak in the hot water heater which stands on the wall opposite where my feet were getting wet.
I am not one familiar with plumbing or its shortcomings but when I entered the garage where the hot water heater is located even my untrained eye could see water was pooling where water should not be pooling. I knew I should risk Pete’s good humor by letting him know. As predicted and probably most likely common, husbands do not care to be awakened with less than stellar news. We called a plumber out of the phone book who worked 24/7.
John, the plumber, arrived at nearly 11 p.m. and saw our problem. He is a young, single fellow who loves his work. He is also very good at it. He did ask if we were sure it was the hot water heater and inquired about its age, etc. It was not ancient but water in Chandler, AZ is very hard and not kind to plumbing. John did not have a water heater in his truck so off he went to get a new one. It was almost 2 a.m. when that got installed. He took us out to his truck and ripped off the bottom of the old water heater to see where the leak had been. No one could see a leak site.
The next a.m. I went out to the garage and sure enough more water was pooled. A slab leak was feared by both Pete and I and here came John back with another plumber. They explained our options to us. First the leak had to be found, stopped, and then a decision made on whether to just patch the leak or replumb the house.
We had talked of our options all summer for where to live out our days with no firm answer decided. Now we were in the corner and decided to repair the plumbing throughout the house so this would not happen again. The pin point hole in a thin walled copper pipe was located in the wall.
The fun began. Holes were cut in every room to access the new pipes resulting in plaster dust and one grand mess. The folks who dry out walls came and put blowers and dehumidifiers all around. I felt like we had lost control of our own house. The good news here is the electrical supply could not handle all the added load. Pete called Tim, our electrician, for advice. Tim came. He fixed that issue and then told us he was also a general contractor and possibly we might want to think of some remodel. That was last October. Now it is late March and with Tim as General Contractor our house has taken on competition with This Old House and Extreme Makeover. It will be simply wonderful when it is all over.
I wish I even knew the dimension of the little pin prick hole that started all this – it was just a little leak.