Burnt Out

This weekend I was looking forward to putting the finishing touches on my office, and getting it ready for the final step of new carpeting. The last part was to be putting up new baseboard covers. Got the first screw secured in the stud, no problem. The second one went in no problem too, except when I stopped the drill I heard the sound of hissing water. That was no stud. Shutoff didn’t stop it. Uh oh. Turns out my water main for the house comes in about 8 feet from where the main shutoff is and runs behind that wall, and right behind the drywall, with little room to spare.

The water company was out quickly, to shut the water off from the street, but no shutoff was to be found. Turns out it had been buried under the driveway, which I just had resurfaced (it was a previous resurfacing that had buried, and apparently bent the shutoff). They had to hack through my driveway to get to the shutoff, which fortunately had not been so bent by a previous resurfacing that it wouldn’t turn. It turned. This morning I ran to the Home Despot as soon as it opened at 6AM. The water company guy gave me a nice shutoff valve to put right where it comes into the house. I’ll have to make a little access door when I replace all the freshly painted drywall I had to pull out to get to the pipes behind. So now I’m not really all that close to being done, since I have to redo a good part of what was already done.

20 thoughts on “Burnt Out”

  1. Way worst than what I thought. So sorry this happen, I know it was a major disappointment. Here’s to hoping that things start going uphill for you and [Bitter]. Stay strong.

  2. Not a sound you want to hear when drilling into a wall…

    Hope your luck is much better from now on though.

  3. I think you’re beginning to understand why, after about another thirty years, you’ll always be perfectly satisfied with your house exactly as it is; and will seek ways to block HGTV without your spouse being able to figure it out.

    1. I don’t know, I remember clicking through one time to one of those turn-around shows just as the guy using the concrete saw paused and said “Uh, should water be coming up here guys?”

      Turns out the floor had the pipes about a half inch down, and so they got about 2 inches of water before they could get it shutoff.

      1. I just want to repeat my idea for a real men’s home improvement show: The guys come over with their tools, look around a bit and decide everything is just fine, as-is. Then they go have some beers. Or go shooting. Or fishing. Or play golf. . .

        1. Or play golf. . .

          Uhm, doesn’t that contradict the “real men’s” theme??? Play some football, go bowling, go mountain climbing, all sound more manly than golf….

          1. Well, I have never played golf myself, but I try not to be judgmental. ;-)

  4. Wow! So sorry. It’s always such a blow to morale when so much work is ruined so quickly. Had a smaller scale problem myself a few years back. After “fixing” what we thought was a minor sealing issue around a basement toilet, we found the toilet was merely masking a more serious sewer main problem. Had to jackhammer a new sewer main trench and put in a 2nd sump in 48 hours. I feel your pain there.

  5. Oh! The joys of home ownership. I would like to relate my tales of woe as a warning to you, but I believe that you are rapidly catching up to me and will probably pass my joy in the near future. Plumbing is the worst. The second worst in electrical or maybe a leaking roof. It’s hard to decide between those two.

    1. Electrical really isn’t all that bad, especially if you have some idea of what you’re doing.

      With a modicum of knowledge and mechanical skill, residential electrical work is generally fairly straightforward. It may not always be simple, but you can generally figure out what you’ll need to buy before you start so that you don’t have to keep running out to the hardware store.

      Plumbing is the absolute worst. Jobs often seem easier than they are, and you only realize the true scope of the job at 3 in the morning, after having been working on it all day including half a dozen trips to the hardware store. We had one of those jobs here with our shower recently, and it was a gigantic pain in the ass.

  6. Wanna see a real horror? Come over and see my plumbing! What a friggin mess!

    Don’t you have a shutoff key? Everyone should have one for their water main shutoff as far as I’m concerned, you can buy them at a good hardware store.

  7. This sounds like how a lot of my projects go. “All you have to do is…..”

  8. I did that once, but got lucky. I was able to stop the leak with a sheet metal screw in the hole in the pipe until I could get the water company out to do the main shutoff. It only took them 2 days to show up, then 2 more to replace the valve and part of the main when the original valve broke off.

  9. Oh wow, what a weekend. But hey, on the plus side you’ve probably used up a year’s supply of bad luck before May.
    Hope the rest of the job goes easier!

  10. OUCH! While you have my sympathy a shot of something extremely alcoholic would better serve the purpose.


  11. I always like the line in the show “Top Gear”. “What could possibly go wrong”.

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