Plumbing Nightmare, Chapter 6

This tale of plumbing woe is fraught with woulda- coulda- shouldas. Alas, it was not to be. And so I have a basement with soggy carpeting, soggy insulation and soggy not-so-drywall. This is yet another chapter in the saga of my hate-hate relationship with the plumbing in my house. Not familiar with the history? Curious? Follow the bread crumbs here.

Long story short: We had a well-publicized spell of unusually cold weather with temps dipping into the sub-zero teens and wind chills south of 30 below. I thought to leave my faucets on a slow drip overnight Monday but, oops, forgot.

Of course the pipes on my outer walls froze, meaning no water in the kitchen.

After a day of ventilating warm air behind the walls, I managed to get cold water restored to the kitchen sink, but hot water stayed stubbornly blocked.

So I was hopeful (delusional?) that the situation would resolve itself once things thawed out Wednesday.

I was wrong.

Stepped out briefly to get a newspaper (old habits die hard) and when I got back I heard an all-too-familiar sound of trickling water. Good thing I was around to shut off the water supply or the whole basement, which is finished, would have been flooded. Pool table and all. As it was, I still vacuumed up about 10 gallons of water.

Plumber is coming Friday a.m.  because, although I have some plumbing capability, installing and soldering pipe is not in my toolbox (yet). Today I tore out the drywall, guesstimating the source of the leak. It took two tries, but at least I didn’t have to tear out the entire wall. My drywall installation skills are rather limited as well. Repairs? Check. Spackle? Check. Paint? Check. Install entire walls? Eh, not so much.

The culprit was a pipe joint leading to the outside spigot. It simply came loose. Looks like it wasn’t even soldered! Well, having fixed plenty of other half-assed “upgrades” from previous occupants, I’m not surprised.

Anyway, below is the photographic evidence of my latest plumbing travail.

It can be truly said that this is a hole in the wall.

It can be truly said that this is a hole in the wall.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Drip. Drip. Drip.


This nearby waste line was the scene of a plumbing crime several years ago. They didn’t use PVC cement and of course it eventually came loose, leaving a stinking pool of kitchen wastewater in the same corner of the basement as my current situation. That occurred on a Christmas Eve. With company over. Naturally.


I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille

Oh, look! A shut-off valve one foot away from the damage. Hidden behind the drywall. Brilliant!

Oh, look! A shut-off valve one foot away from the damage. Hidden behind the drywall. Brilliant!


3 thoughts on “Plumbing Nightmare, Chapter 6

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