Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Well, I had an interesting weekend dealing with an elusive water leak. Saturday afternoon I discovered water seeping into the MBR closet. Luckily I have vinyl laminate flooring that I could pull up. Did that and found that the water was coming in under the outside wall. It wasn't coming in fast and once I took up the flooring it just stayed right under the wall. I went outside and looked and could see water coming down the wall under the siding, right where the water supply comes into the house.

I asked my neighbor across the street for his advice. He told me how to look inside the wall for the leak and loaned me the little knife you use to cut sheetrock. I cut in several places, found what I assumed was the water pipe and couldn't find the leak. I thought the water may be coming from the pipe the previous owner had added to take the water to a faucet in the back yard.

On Sunday I decided to eliminate the extra pipe and, in trying to take it all apart I accidentally split a copper pipe. (Lesson learned - always use two wrenches when dealing with copper pipe, one to turn the attachment and one to hold the main pipe since copper is so soft.) My neighbor said it would take soddering to fix it so I called the plumber. He was able to fix that so I could turn the water back on. I thought the original leak was taken care of since no water had leaked in Sunday afternoon. Well, later Sunday evening, after the water had been turned back on and the plumber was long gone, the seepage was back.

I called the plumber Monday morning (I should say plumbing company) and they send out someone very promptly. One thing I found was that I had been checking the wrong pipe! Water rarely leaks from the gas pipe. lol Anyway, he came in, cut away more sheetrock and found where the water was seeping from a soddered joint at the elbow where the pipe turned down to go through the slab. It was a tight space to use a blow torch, but he got it fixed without burning down the house. He did singe a bit of the inside of the siding, but nothing major. A couple of tries with the sodder and a good whack with the wrench resulted in a fix.

Now I will be learning how to patch drywall!! Since that is one of the things my across the street neighbor does for a living, I'm sure I'll be doing it right. For the duration I have a piece of plywood covering the opening to keep the cold air and bugs out and the cats in (they can crawl inside the wall).

I'm just so pleased that this was finally fixed. It was a tiny leak - it didn't even move the water meter - but it could have caused lots of damage. In fact, I was so energized that I sorted out and bagged up some shoes to go to the charity shop and then vacuumed and mopped the bedroom floor, wiped down the walls, windowsills, and furniture. All I need to do to finish is move the bed and clean behind and under it. Wow!!

Anyway, this has been a learning experience and now I know how to tell the difference between water and gas pipes! (Water is smaller copper, gas is bigger black pipe)


  1. If this keeps up you will be an expert at home repairs soon....lol

  2. Barbara, well you and I just can't keep the water in the pipes I guess. That is what my husband use to say when we had so much trouble with the plumbing in this place. I have a leaky toilet today. Ugh


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