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?
Standard Galvanized Steel Pre-Cut Pipe (10622)
Friday I had a knock at the door.   It was a gas company employee letting me know she was getting ready to test the line so she could get our gas turned back on.  It was off?  That was fast!  A minute later she was back.  She had preformed the test and she had bad news.  She was detecting a leak.  This meant that we have a leak on "our side."  Basically the gas company can't turn the gas back on until we fix the leak.  She tried shutting off all the appliances that use gas and had no luck.  Now we will have to have a plumber out to find and repair the leak.  What do you want to bet it's an expensive fix?  Like having to replace all the pipes.

I am really trying to look on the bright side of this.  After all this leak could have gone undetected and we could have been killed.  House explosions are not anything to take a chance on.  It's one of the reasons I am a little terrified of gas to begin with.  I know electricity can be deadly too.  Usually it doesn't sneak up on you like gas can.  The other bright side is that, because I am so terrified of gas, I have refused to own a gas dryer or oven.  So the only things affected by not having gas will be the furnace and the hot water heater.  The pool heater is apparently gas as well but it was broken when we moved in.  Furnace shouldn't be a problem thanks to warmer weather.  If we could just hold out until next winter . . . I'm really not a fan of cold showers.

The thing that really stings is that we are really still reeling financially from all the plumbing issues we have been dealing with since we moved in.  We are sinking further into debt with all these repairs.  We haven't been able to do any of the cosmetic work on the house because all these major issues keep surfacing.  What choice do we really have though?  We have to make the repairs.  We can't go without water.  We could possibly take cold showers for awhile but eventually winter will come again and we will need the heater.  We can't really just ignore the problem.  Selling the house isn't an option either.  Partly because of the market and the fact that we would take a loss, which would just put us further in debt.  Partly because no one is going to buy a house without us first making the repairs.  Not that I would want to sell.  It may sound crazy during all of this but I do LOVE my house.  It is my dream house.  We just have to get it working first.  I guess before I get so stressed out I need to find out what this is going to end up costing.  I keep replaying in my head a conversation I had with a plumber one day.  He was talking about a woman who had wanted a tankless water heater.  She wanted it badly enough that she paid to have her gas lines replaced.  It had cost her $8000 to replace the gas lines.  So this is the # that keeps flashing in my head.  Hopefully it isn't that bad.

This week I had been doing really well with working out everyday, eating right and not snacking.  I bought a scale on Wednesday so I can actually hold myself accountable.  Ever since that knock on the door I have been stress eating.  I am eating us out of house and home.  All that hard work this week.  Pppppttttt.

Why, why, why?  Pipe Gremlins, what did I ever do to you?  I know I was tempting fate when I said we had fixed everything and nothing else could go wrong.  I TAKE IT BACK!!!!

Just to recap.  We moved into this house three years ago.  Since we have been here we have had:
Two sewer line clear outs, $400 each.
We then found out the line was so broken it could not be cleared so we (bust out) replaced it, $4000.
AC repaired, $600.
Summit Zillions Deluxe ATM - Colors May Vary
In the past year:
Slab leak #1 $3000.
Slab leak #2, (DuraFlo) $8000.
Slab leak #3, thankfully covered by warranty.
Replace fresh water pipe to house, $1000.
Gas line repair, price yet to be determined.

Those numbers are all estimated based on my memory.  I have actually rounded down on most of them to the nearest thousand.