Showing posts with label Plumbing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Plumbing. Show all posts

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blood From a Stone - Another Slab Leak Post

I promise ya'll there is a reason I inundate you with my plumbing woes.  It's not exclusively to torture my one remaining reader.  (Because if I have to deal with it, why not bring you along for the ride?

One of the reasons I write these posts is because I want to document everything.  Just in case.

We might have reached just in case.

When I last wrote, we were looking at leak number 8.  I had a long talk with my husband and a few family members and was strongly advised to put my foot down and demand some other type of solution.  The plumbers have always been professional and seem to do good work so I have continued to trust them to keep their warranty. But seriously.  Eight holes being jack-hammered into my home is more than ENOUGH.

Do I sound angry?  I am.  I have reached the end of my rope.

The plumbers came out to locate leak number eight.  I had decided they could locate all they wanted but I wasn't going to allow another hole.  They always come out one day, do the leak locate and then schedule the repair for another day.  They weren't coming out until noon anyway so I knew they wouldn't do the work that day.  Which is why I told my husband to not worry about trying to be home.

They located the leak in the worst possible location.  My daughters room.

Right away they started bringing their equipment to dig it up.  I was thrown.  I was alone.  I was really missing having running water.

I decided to go ahead and allow them to fix this one.  AND THAT WOULD BE IT.  NO MORE HOLES.  If there was ever another leak (there will be) they would have to find another solution.

We frantically started shoving my daughter's things in a closet and doing our best to protect her stuff from all the mud since I didn't have adequate time to empty out the entire room.
The leak was under the patch from a previous repair.

When they dug it up the plumber doing the repair asked me if there had been another previous repair done in that same location.  I wasn't sure.  This is where documenting things on my blog comes in handy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Slab Leak Survival Tips

Now, I don't like to brag.  But after seven slab leaks, I am starting to consider myself somewhat of an expert.  So I thought I would share my expert knowledge with my readers.  Just in case you ever find yourself unfortunate enough to have to deal with a slab leak.  Or seven.
First of all, what exactly is a slab leak?

If your house is built on a concrete slab, then the plumbing is under the concrete.  First, all the plumbing was laid out, then the concrete was poured on, and then the house was built.  So if one of those pipes under the slab starts to leak, it isn't easily accessible for repair.

How will you know you have a slab leak?

If your living room starts to resemble a swimming pool, you might have a slab leak.  If you start to suspect a child or animal is frequently having accidents in the same spot on the carpet, but they only get wetter when you try to soak them up, you might have a slab leak.
If you notice a high water bill, you might have been especially thirsty that month, or your might have a slab leak.  If your water meter is spinning, it might be possessed, or you might have a slab leak.

How will you locate the leak?

Water is funny.  It can come up in your living room and you may suspect a leak in the kitchen because it is the adjoining room.  But you might find out the leak is actually in the bathroom located on the opposite corner of the house.  Water will come up at the lowest point.  It might come up in the house, the yard, or it may just drain away under the slab and you may never see it at all.

Plumbers will locate the leak by using equipment to listen for it under the slab.  Wherever the water sounds the loudest is where they will dig.  It's harder to locate if it's a slow leak.
How is it repaired?

Friday, November 30, 2012

7QT: The "To Do" List

Remember "Once Upon a Time" when I used to write funny posts?

Right.  Neither do I.

You are probably hoping I am about to write a funny post.  Sorry.

Instead it's going to be another one of my boring "my house is a mess and I don't want to clean it" posts.

Because that's what I do when I am looking for something to do other than the things I am supposed to do.

Today I bring you a list of 7 things I need to do today.  Exciting right?  You are totally on the edge of your seats.

1.  Clean the house.

Big surprise there.

Tomorrow is December 1st.  And I am under the deluded fantasy that I will somehow clear out an area big enough to put a Christmas tree up.

This is the corner we put the tree in every year.
But now I have a desk.  And a sewing machine table.  In that corner.  Yup, they're there.  Under all the clutter.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Breakdown


I realize I have not been the best at keeping up with the blog lately (or really ever.)  I blame my slow computer.  Five days now it has been trying to update Facebook (which is why all my Facebook followers have been missing out on all my witty banter and such) and it took almost two weeks to get this page open to write a new blog post then another two days to add links and a picture.  Yes, it's a bit slow at times.  It has also begun to make a strange noise from time to time...

So, last time I told you about my doctor's appointment of awesomeness.  It was so incredibly awesome that I felt a great weight lifted.

Which is why you might have been very surprised to see me the following morning, driving back home after dropping my husband off for work, having a bit of a mental breakdown.

Let's back up a couple of days.  The day before my amazing doctor's appointment of all amazing amazingness, two things happened.

First I was doing dishes.  (I know, I should really learn my lesson!)  And I made a huge watery mess on the floor.  My husband stepped in the puddle and commented on it.  I waved him off and told him I always made a mess doing dishes and it's just water so it will dry.  He brought in a towel and dried it up.  Then I stepped in the puddle that was leaking out of the towel.

Wait, what?

Yes, a giant puddle over and above the water that had now saturated a full size bath towel.  There is no way I made that much of a mess!  We pulled out the contents of under the sink cabinet.  They are currently still scattered across my kitchen counters and floor.  After some investigation we discovered that the garbage disposal is leaking.  Well you probably know by now how much we enjoy plumbing problems around here.  So we decided simply not to use that side of the sink.

During all this craziness the Princess came running in crying.  She was holding her mouth.  Correction, she was holding her tooth.

No one saw her injure herself and the best she can tell me is that it was the rocking chair.  What do you want to bet she wasn't just sitting properly in it?

Ya'll know how I love a good mouth injury!  (Yes, I spell it ya"ll and spell checker has no problem with it so it must be correct.)  So, I calmed her down and hubby washed her mouth out and got the bleeding to stop.  Yes, there is always blood isn't there?  We checked her tooth to see if the gum looked swollen or red and it looked ok.  But I was rather worried about it.  She has caps on her teeth (chalk teeth) and so we have to watch carefully because if she injures the tooth we might not be able to tell under the cap.  Yup, queen of mouth injuries and we have to take her into the dentist any time she injures a tooth.  This is amazingly only the second time in the year since she got the caps put on.  The first time was one week after she had the caps put on.

So, all that craziness happened and then the next day we pretty much put it all out of our minds because we had the doctor's appointment and at first we were all nervous and then we were all relieved and it was all emotional and stuff so I honestly didn't think about any of the other stuff all that day.

Then that night I remembered her tooth and took a look at it to see if there was any redness or swelling.  I didn't see any redness and maybe a tiny bit of swelling but it was hard to tell.  Still, it didn't look quite right...

It took me a minute and suddenly I realized one tooth looked lower than the other.  Now this might not be that big a deal except that I knew for a fact that the caps had been perfectly even.  I reached out and touched her tooth.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Water Water Everywhere...

If you know me or have read my blog you probably are aware of our continuing struggle with the creatures I call the Pipe Gremlins.

In case you are not I'll give you a brief summary.

February 2010 we had our first slab leak.


October 2010, 2nd slab leak.  This is when we had the pipes coated with Ace DuraFlo to prevent future leaks.  This process came with a lifetime warranty.


November 2010, 3rd slab leak.  Covered under warranty.

October 2011, 4th slab leak.  Covered under warranty.

July 2012, 5th slab leak.  Coverage to be determined.

August 2012, it appears we have our 6th slab leak.  The epic battle continues.

And now I will inundate you with pictures of our latest round of pipe repair.

Our dear friend Jackhammer.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

When It Rains, It Floods

Now, before I embark on my little pity party I just want to express a few things.

First is that it is really hard for me to share at times like these.  Don't get me wrong.  I can complain with the best of them.  About all the little annoyances and inconveniences.  I don't like to clean.  I can't cook.  My kids keep making messes.  Wah!  But when something major happens?  I fold inward.  I cave.  Just hide away from the world until it all goes away.  I have a really hard time sharing the difficult times.  I feel bad calling out for everyone to feel sorry for poor little me.  Then I feel totally overwhelmed when everyone steps forward with offers of help or support.  How will I ever begin to repay them?

This time I am pushing myself out.  I know hiding away won't change anything.  I would have to say something eventually.  Unless I just quit blogging all together and I'm not really ready to do that.  It will only get harder the longer I wait.  And if I really am going to be open and honest then I need to be able to share the lows as well as the highs.

So I will start by sharing some of the highs.  That way you will know that there is some brightness in our world right now.  When I talk about my busy schedule, it's not all doctors appointments.

It's also...

Friday, April 6, 2012

For the Love of Laundry

Last year I told you how much I hate doing dishes.

This year I am going to let you in on a shocking secret.

I love doing laundry!
Laundry
I know!  I know!  I don't deserve to call myself Non-Domestic.

But hear me out.

I started doing my own laundry when I was about ten years old.  Not because I was forced or even encouraged to.  I'm sure my mom made the casual comment, "Why don't you do your own laundry."  In response to some complaint of mine that this shirt wasn't clean or that skirt or whatever.  I doubt she actually expected me to take her seriously.  But I did.

And so it began.

I soon discovered the joy of laundry.

Maybe it's a bit strange but I used to love standing in the laundry room and listening to the sound of the washing machine.  It was always so soothing.  It was quiet.  I had peace and solitude in that room.  In the spring birds would lay eggs in the laundry room vent so the sound of baby chicks would mix with the swoosh of the washer and the smell of clean.

Heaven!!

Now in case you are getting too freaked out by my confession, I'll let you know the entire truth.  Yes, I love to wash the laundry.

However...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Non-Domestic Thanksgiving

True to form I am writing about Thanksgiving almost a week late.  Would you expect anything less?

Despite the fact that I do not clean and can not cook, we always host holidays at our house.  Because it wouldn't be a holiday without all the running around shoving things into boxes and trying to cram those boxes under tables that are already overflowing with boxes crammed with stuff from the last holiday, all while screaming at each other to clean up this or move that and swearing that it will never get this bad again.  Right?

It also wouldn't be a holiday without a visit from our friends the Pipe Gremlins now would it?

Less than a week before Thanksgiving day the kid's bedroom flooded.  Again.
I called my husband to give him the bad news and then I ran outside expecting to see the spinning of the dial on the water meter.  No spinning.  What?  No spinning?  This is new.  Where did all this water come from?  If it's not another slab leak what could it be?

My husband came home and we took most of the furniture back out of the kid's room
and pulled the floor up to let the concrete dry.
Then we attempted to solve the mystery of the source of all the water.

I had just given my daughter a bath.  So we decided to test the bath tub.  We filled a bucket with water and dumped it down the drain.  No leak while we were filling the bucket but the minute we dumped it we had water.  So, this time it is the drain from the bathtub.  You know, one of the very few pipes left in this whole house that hasn't been replaced (drain line from house to street and fresh water leading from street to house) or recoated (all fresh water pipes inside house) or capped off (gas line) or something.  Good thing our house has two bathrooms.  I guess we will just have to redo the other half of the bathroom...

With all this going on and all the furniture scattered about the house, kids camping out in the living room on their mattress on the floor, pieces of floor everywhere, and the rest of the mess in the house,
I was tempted to cancel Thanksgiving.  Not the actual holiday because I don't have that kind of power or anything, just our own little celebration.

Then I found out that several of our guests would be unable to make it because seasonal illnesses.  I came very close to opting for all going out to eat somewhere.

Instead I decided to cheat.

Now I am not going to pretend I haven't cheated in the past.  In fact I have always cheated at least a little bit.  I have only ever cooked one Turkey.  It was a very interesting process involving many various kitchen instruments (I don't touch raw meat) and took about 11 hours in the oven waiting for the thermometer to pop before we gave up and ate it anyway.  It looked and tasted cooked!

Here is my guide to having a very 
Non-Domestic Thanksgiving
or 
How to Cheat on Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 21, 2011

When it Rains...

You are all probably still envisioning me floating in my indoor swimming pool, hanging out with the Gremlins.
Flooding

Wet floor
So I thought I would give you a little bit of an update.

Wednesday of last week... Yes, I know I really should have written this last week...

The plumbers came out to fix the pipes.  Where have I heard that line before?

They brought in a leak locate expert who found the leak, in the bathroom floor, right in front of the door to our bedroom.

They brought in their equipment, 

jackhammer included,

Friday, October 7, 2011

Calling a Truce

One year ago exactly (Oct 6th-8th) our pipes were coated with epoxy to prevent any future leaks.  When I saw the dates on the paperwork... well lets just say my reaction wasn't pretty.

One month later we had another leak.

One year later we had another leak.

Today the plumbers came over to check out our Pipe Gremlins.  The first words out of their mouths when they saw the pond in the kid's bedroom were, "Oh wow!"  So obviously we were off to a promising start.

A few minutes later they confirmed that we do in fact have a leak.  Which is a relief because that totally rules out the theory of my daughter peeing a couple of gallons of liquid onto the floor.

Then the leak detect process began.  This process is never good in my house.  It always involves plumbers running up and down stairs, in and out of the house, back and forth between rooms and exclaiming things like, "why would the pipe run that way?" or "where are the pipes?" or a whole lot of "WHAT?"  Let's just say, if they weren't professionals, they would probably be throwing out some colorful words.

Pretty quickly they realized the leak seems to be in the bathroom.  From the kid's room it seemed to be coming from the bathroom.  From the bathroom it seemed to be coming from the kid's room.  Which led to the initial conclusion the leak must be in the shower wall.  It just so happens that when the epoxy coating was applied it had sealed a valve shut in that same shower wall.  The wall was cut out and the valve was replaced.  Easy.  If that is where the current leak is it will be an easy fix.  No jackhammer.

I did my dance of joy.

Perhaps prematurely.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How to Attract a Pipe Gremlin

Step one:  Start with a habitat that is familiar to the Gremlin.  Somewhere it has lived before.  The more frequent it's previous infestations the better.  Three or more previous visits is best.

Step two:  Make sure no expense has been spared in eliminating the previous Pipe Gremlins.  They like a challenge.  The more "impossible" it is for them to return, the better the chances.

Step three:  After you have managed to exterminate a Pipe Gremlin, wait.  Chances are he will be back.  Again and again.  And again.

Step four:  It is helpful if another Pipe Gremlin has already established itself nearby.  For example, if you have one living in the drain of your washing machine.  Despite the fact that you have cleverly subverted him with the hose out the window trick... (Yes, our neighbors love us! I do have some hope that they are too distracted by the house down the street painted like a clown tent to notice us.)  Despite that clever trick, you know he is still there lurking.  He is wishing for a friend.  Because once you get two Pipe Gremlins you will have many more Pipe Gremlins.  Think of this habitat as their nesting ground.

Step five:  After you have waited a ridiculously overcautious length of time with dressers in hallways and children sleeping crammed into your bedroom finally begin the process of reclaiming your space.  Do this cautiously at first.  Begin by taking boxes of toys back into the room and allowing your children to sleep on the floor.  Do not get over excited.  Keep items light so that they can be easily moved back out at the slightest sign of a Pipe Gremlin attack.

Step six:  Wait some more.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Stuff I Did: My Less Ugly Bathroom

Remember my ugly bathroom?
Ugly!
Ugly counter top!

Ugly dated cabinets.
More specifically, do you remember what was under the sink in my ugly bathroom?
Yuck!
Well for obvious reasons something had to be done about that.

So, while I was waiting for Vanilla Ice to swing by and fix my bathroom . . .

I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Pipe Gremlins Are Mocking Me

You know how when the mirror in your bathroom falls right off the wall and shatters into a million pieces, the only logical plan of action is to clean that same bathroom from top to bottom with a toothbrush?  Especially if you are Non-Domestic and avoid cleaning at all costs.
Shattered Mirror
It only makes sense right?
Yes, I was totally serious about the toothbrush.
What?

Then while you are scrubbing baseboards with that toothbrush you happen to decide to open the cabinet under the sink.  That same cabinet that never gets opened because there is already a ridiculous amount of storage in the bathroom and the door sticks really badly so it is just a pain to open anyway.  I mean why would you want to put anything down there if it's going to be hard to get out?  Also it has a musty smell that you would rather avoid smelling.

I opened that cabinet.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Random Act of Kindness

Remember how I told you the gas company is replacing all the gas pipes in the area?  Well in related news the gas company has been hard at work tearing up our street and sidewalks.

I believe I mentioned before that I woke up one morning and heard the sounds of a jackhammer in my driveway.  A temporary patch was put in place and a few days later that was dug back up and some nice pretty smooth concrete was put in it's place.  Seriously it kinda stands out like a sore thumb with the rest of our broken cracked bumpy driveway.  Anyway they even fixed the part of the curb that was missing because our driveway is all curvy and so everyone always ends up driving over the curb.

Nice right?

Pretty spiffy!

About a week ago, I had the car for the day and so I took my kids over to a friends house to visit with her kids.  We had to drive up over the other curb because of the cones and orange netting stuff at the end of our driveway.

After a lovely visit we arrived home around 1:00pm driving back up over the same opposite curb to avoid the same cones and netting surrounding almost dry brand new smooth concrete.

So very close to being dry.

So close . . .

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stuff I Want: Kohler Toilet

I know you have all been wondering what ever happened to my "Stuff I Want " series.  Everyday you check in and find to your dismay no "stuff."  You haven't given up hope though.  You keep checking back with baited breath.  Is today the day?  Will your patience be rewarded?

My friends . . . today is that day!

You ask yourself, does she want another shelf?

Yes, of course I do.

But that is not what I am going to talk about today.

Today I am going to talk about something else I want.

A new toilet!!!!

Um, really?  Yes, I know.  Of all the things I could wish for a toilet is what I pick?!

You haven't seen it yet.  It's not just any toilet.

It's a . . .
KOHLER K-3564-0 Saile Elongated One-Piece Toilet with Dual Flush Technology, White
Kohler Saile Toilet

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Take a Glorious Shower and Other Exciting News

Sting Ray ll Brushed Nickel Shower HeadToday I took a hot shower for the first time in over a week.

It was pure gloriousness!

I took my sweet sweet time.  I turned it as hot as I could bear.

You may have figured it out by now but just in case you haven't.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Do You Think I Could Pull Off Dreadlocks?

Gremlins Poker Player Gremlin Action FigureI believe I have mentioned once or twice that we have Pipe Gremlins.  

You might recall how they recently ate a hole in our gas line.

Also the gas company was kind enough to shut of our gas . . . so that our house doesn't explode or anything . . . while we look into getting it fixed.

On Wednesday the plumber came by to charge me $255.

This was the $60 for the service call and $195 to get a permit to turn the gas back on so it could be tested.

He told me his office would call me to set up an appointment for him to return.  Thursday they did not call.  Friday I waited, and waited, and waited.  Finally the phone rang.  It was the service contractors calling me to tell me the plumber was on his way to the house.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Swear I Don't Beat My Children

Adventure Medical Kits Adventure First Aid 1.0Yesterday morning I actually folded laundry and took it into my room to put it away.  No sooner had I entered my bedroom than I heard the sound of a wailing child.  My son came running in to inform me that my daughter had hurt herself.  She came to me with tears streaming.  I checked her out to find a large scratch across her leg.  The whole leg in fact was scraped.  The most information I could get from her 2 year old self was "falled down."  My son was equally clueless.  Fearing a repeat, I searched around and tried to get the information out of my daughter.  What had caused such an injury?  It was still to no avail.  So I patched her up, gave her some magic kisses and we went on with our day.

It even crossed my mind as I was cleaning her injury, shuddering at the sight of the raw, red scratch, that it was a good thing she didn't injure her mouth.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

They're Back! The Return of the Pipe Gremlins

Gremlins Mohawk Gremlin Action Figure
 The Pipe Gremlins are at it again.  For the past week the gas company has been working on our street.  They are replacing all the steel gas lines in the entire city.  Actually this is just the beginning.  They are going to be replacing all the steel gas lines in the entire DFW area.  The reason?  Well as it turns out similar to copper water pipes, steel gas pipes have an expiration date.  There have been several house explosions in the area.  The gas company was ordered to replace all the steel lines.  They have been given a 2 year deadline.  It is estimated that it will actually take 20 years.  Our city was one of the first on the list.  Our neighborhood was one of the first in the city.  Highest priority.  Reassuring isn't it?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Attack of the Pipe Gremlins

Gremlins Stripe figureMy husband and I bought our house three years ago.  The house was built in 1960.  We knew we were going to be doing some work on the house but we really liked the layout, space, close proximity to his grandmother, and most importantly the price tag.  I was not looking for a "starter house."  I wanted our first house to be our last house.  I never want to move again.  I also know that many people end up living in their "starter house" for the rest of their lives.  That will suit me just fine.


Copper C122 Round Tubing, 3/8" OD, 0.305" ID, 0.035" Wall, 24" LengthNow on to what we did not know.  Copper pipes have an expiration date.

Specifically a 50 year expiration date.  Right on cue ours began to give out.

In February we had our first slab leak.  One evening we noticed a wet patch on our living room floor.  We toweled it up and went to bed.  The next morning I discovered a flood that spread faster than 3 people with shop vacs could vacuum it up.  We had to take every piece of furniture out of the room to keep it from being destroyed.

The culprit turned out to be a "pinhole" leak in the slab under the bathroom floor.  Thanks to a sunken living room the water showed up there first.