Oh crap, we bought a fixer-upper.....

Adventures in Plumbing

In the first 8 days in the house, we had 4 visits from 3 plumbers.

The first plumber visit was totally expected: we knew that the kitchen sink plumbing was disintegrating before we bought the house, so we had a plumber out for the quick and easy job of replacing the pipes.  While he was at it, we pointed out to him that our washing machine (which we brought with us from Seattle) didn’t have a discharge hose long enough to reach the discharge spout.  He told us we need to raise the washing machine up instead of asking it to pump the water higher than it is meant to.  So we ran to the hardware store and bought some cinder blocks to put the washing machine on.

We thought that was going to be the end of our plumbing woes, but we did some much-needed laundry and took some much-needed showers, and discovered that the washer hose valves leak, and that somehow the wall next to the bathtub seeps water when you shower.  We knew that there was water damage next to the bathtub, but we were hoping that it was from poor shower curtain usage, not from broken plumbing.

So the plumber came back out and replaced the washing machine hose valves.  He also tore out the wall in the closet on the other side of the wall from the bathtub, and eventually discovered that the hot water knob in the bathtub had a deteriorated seal, and was leaking water into the wall.  This has probably been going on for years.  So we ended up having him do a bigger plumbing project than we had anticipated: he took out the hot and cold knobs and replaced them with a single knob, and replaced some old pipes.

We thought our plumbing problems were over.  We showered, and water all stayed where it was supposed to be.  Then we did laundry, and discovered that the new valve was leaking.  A lot.  In fact, there was a big puddle in the laundry room, and the water had seeped under the wall into the adjacent bedroom, where it soaked the carpet.  So we spent our Saturday evening cleaning that up (instead of finishing painting the living room).

Monday a plumber fixed that valve, so we thought our plumbing problems were over.  Monday evening, Jonathan went outside and saw water gushing out of the cottage.  Lots of water.  Gushing.

So after a visit from an emergency plumber, we learned that the water heater had failed catastrophically.  It was an old water heater, and it was spewing water everywhere, and the drain that was installed to prevent disaster in that situation was filled with sediment and wasn’t draining.  So instead, we had a cottage full of water.  This was extra awful because we were storing all of our unpacked boxes in the cottage while we painted the house, so lots of boxes of books and other things got wet.

The good news is that our insurance company, Nationwide, is taking good care of us.  They sent a water mitigation crew out to tear out the new vinyl plank flooring that had been installed a week beforehand, and they’re going to replace the flooring, paint the cottage, and replace all the furniture and other items that were damaged by the water.  So even though this is all going to be a big hassle, we’ll be just fine.

1 Comment

  1. Margaret

    Boy, that was awful. I’m impressed with your insurance company. I hope this is the worse that ever happens there.

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