Plumbing emergency

May 25, 2004

Ahhh, now I’m really a homeowner — because I’ve had my first plumbing emergency!

I was having a washer-dryer delivered this afternoon; and when they went to hook up the cold water pipe, it started spewing water. The delivery guys said that the piece where the faucet meets the pipe — which I later found out is called the “nipple” — was all corroded. Although it wasn’t their fault, they slunk out of there as quickly as they could.

So now water is spraying all over the drywall in my garage — not a floodworthy amount, but more than a trickle. Would you know what to do about this kind of problem? I did not. With help from a couple of friends — one of whom found me a picture of the shutoff valve on the web, and another who suggested that they are usually located near the place where you’d wash your car — I managed to find the main and turn it off. Eventually a plumber came out and fixed the whole thing without any permanent damage (thereby proving the value of a home warranty, by the way).

But on my way home from the bank where I was getting money to pay the plumber, my neighbor informed me that I had a bad flat tire. There was a big old sharp screw clearly visible in the tire, sunk in flush with the tread. And by now it’s past 7PM, so there’s no hope of getting a new tire before morning. But the plumber very generously put on my spare for me. The whole plumbing emergency ended OK — I have a working washer-dryer, running water, a driveable car, and a new sense of the kindness of strangers — but it was a pretty draining day.

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