Sunday, November 13, 2011

Breaking News

fWell, we had a leak in the water main, alright. In fact, it was a major break. The previous occupant had used a backhoe to dig down to the line, install a T connection, and run a water line into the middle of the field (presumably for his pumpkin patch business that never came to fruition). So we had a compromised soft spot in the ground with a sloppy plumbing job centered in a pasture that gets mowed with a heavy tractor. All the makings of a major blowout!

You'd think 46,000 gallons would look
like more than just a puddle in the pasture!

And blowout it did, with about three breaks and one disconnect in an 18" span. I'm absolutely amazed that we had any water pressure in the house (though we had noticed a small decreased in flow and chalked it up to old galvanized lines, which get easily occluded). I guess that's a credit to our very clay-based soils here that so much water made it past the break and continued on to the house. But I really wish it had disrupted water flow to our taps; then we would have realized there was a problem before 46,000 gallons of water disappeared into the dirt!

The T connection between the three legs came apart at all three places

All in all, it could have been far worse. Jeff dug up the line with the help of a handyman on our painter's crew and repaired the break with new pipe and couplings. Our friend and neighbor, who owns the pasture through which our water main runs, wanted the spigot out anyway, so now the T connection is gone and we have a simple straight shot to the house. Maybe Jeff should bill him at $125 for the plumbing work so we can pay our water bill!

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