Often times when you have a plumbing emergency, you can’t actually get a plumber to come quickly unless you have visual proof that your house has turned into an ark and is floating away. Fortunately for us, when an outside faucet broke and started spraying water into the yard, we determined that it could probably wait until the plumber got through his other appointments to come over and shut it off.
This seemed like a good decision at the time and I didn’t give it any further thought until several hours later when my daughter went down to the basement to play video games and then reappeared in the kitchen two minutes later.
“Mom, the downstairs rug is squishy,” she commented.
I’d heard our basement rug described as soft, cushy, and comfy before, but never squishy. Squishy didn’t exactly sound like a good thing. Squishy sounded suspiciously… wet.
Not really putting together the outside pipe issue with the inside squishy issue, I redirected her to the family room and got distracted making dinner. It wasn’t until I heard an actual splash come from the basement that I remembered that I needed to investigate the squishy carpet.
This time I put down the food and ran downstairs. I didn’t need to test the carpet to see if there was water in the basement. Things were actually floating around the room. The good news was, the plumber arrived just as I discovered the swimming pool in the basement. The bad news was, the splash sound appeared to be a mouse doing the backstroke.
The plumber immediately determined that the faucet we thought was broken on the outside was actually attached to an entire pipe that had burst on the inside. He also determined that the pipe that was broken was sealed behind a cement wall and could not be accessed without a sledgehammer and a big guy named Bubba.
Outside: little leak.
Inside: big leak.
Plumber: Mostly calm.
Me: Mostly hysterical.
The plumber looked around for a shut off valve, but apparently whoever had sealed the pipes behind the wall had also hidden the shut off valve, as well. After ten minutes of searching, he finally found it and was able to stop the flow of water. While he checked around for any other related issues, I ran around trying to rescue our saturated belongings. Then I got on the phone and called in a sump pump company to suck the water out of the basement and dry the whole mess out.
With workmen coming in and out, hoses pumping out water, and fans churning to dry it all up, it all became too much for the dog. As I came up from the basement with more wet stuff, I saw the dog squat and pee all over the family room floor.
I just looked at the plumber and sighed.
“Looks like we need a shut off valve for the dog, too.”
©2013, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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