ANOTHER HOME REPAIR SAGA – PART II

HomeSweet

So here’s the rest of the great kitchen water leak story that I am sure you’ve been waiting to read about…well maybe one or two of you are slightly curious.  To recap quickly: It was last Sunday night and I was attempting to install a $12 water filter in the water line that feeds the icemaker in my refrigerator.  In the process, a great flood occurred because I unassembled the water hose from the fridge and it wasn’t turned off at the wall valve as I thought.  But the wall valve was broken and it did not matter which way I turned the valve because the water kept on comin’.  Since there was no shutoff valve for the broken valve (something I learned at the moment), I ran outside to shut off the main valve for the entire house.  That done, I went back to the fridge and hooked the water line back up since the valve it attached to on the fridge worked and kept the water off.  Then upon my return outside I discovered that the main valve, now closed, would not reopen.  It too had broken.  Now I had not water coming into the house…it’s Sunday night around 6-7pm and most plumbers in the USA are watching football….here’s where we pick up Part II of our story….

I have a home maintenance policy so I dig it out and call the number.  The recording says normal service hours are closed unless I am having an emergency flood or a non-functioning toilet in a one-toilet residence.  I figure I HAD a flood and now I have no functioning toilets because I can’t turn the water back on, so that should qualify for me to stay on the line and wait for the special operator.  So that’s what I do.  Shortly, Jeremy says hello and says he will help me…but first we have to go through all the relative info twice.  Once as I feed it to him and twice as he feeds it all back to me to make sure he got it right—we’re talking a 50-digit account number, name, address, zip, nature of emergency in detail, blood type and urine sample…just kidding about the last two.  Eventually, Jeremy puts me on hold.  Dum-de-dum-dum-de-dum.  He comesback on to inform me that my policy indeed covers plumbing, but only INSIDE plumbing, not OUTSIDE plumbing.  The main valve that I need turned back on is OUTSIDE.  Jeremy informs me there will be a $105 “roll” charge IF they can find someone who will want to “roll” on over to my house.  I told him if he found someone, make sure they call me before they roll because there may be a simple solution and I won’t need someone coming to the house.  See, I’m on to these guys.  They come out for $105 and then tell you that the valve is broken which you already know, but they don’t have one on the truck that matches so it has to be ordered.  I know this from $105+ worth of experience.

Time marches on.  The phone rings.  It’s a plumber who, after hearing my story, says I need a new valve and it is unlikely he will have one until tomorrow.  I tell him “thanks” and I’ll get through the night and call the service back in the morning.  I keep my $105.

Meanwhile, my daughter learns about the great flood and tells me she has a good friend whose father is a plumber.  She called him and he will come over first thing in the morning.  Yippee.

We hunker down for the night on bottled water from our hurricane supply shelf and we flushed toilets with buckets of water from the neighbor’s swimming pool.  We make it through the night without having to wear life jackets.

It’s the next morning and here comes Ron the plumber right when he said he’s come.  He’s great.  Right away he says the valve must have broken.  I meanwhile have dug two graves in the front lawn attempting to locate the city’s shutoff valve to the house.  “Why don’t you use my metal detector?” Rosemarie asks after she sees me knee deep in a ditch.  Now she tells me.  I forgot all about the metal detector I got her for the beach.  Duh!

So “beep beep beep” goes the metal detector two feet from my grave sites.  I dig there and, ureka!, there’s the super shutoff valve ($500 fine if we touch it says the plumber….but he pulls out the special wrench and turns it off.)  Now he can fix the broke main valve at the house, which he does temporarily until he can order a new one.  We have water running.  All is well.

But he is puzzled as to why water would not run through the filter in the first place—the reason all this started.  Well, remember that “intake water valve” on the fridge we discussed in Part I?  Yep, it was busted too because it wasn’t supposed to stop the flow of water from the hose that came out of the busted valve in the wall.  So I ordered a new one over the Internet.  Of course, I find out later that my valve was probably OK because it does not automatically run water through willy nilly…the whole system is on a timer that is located on the icemaker.  Are you following all this?  Do you really care by now?

So for $12 that I spent on the filter so Rosemarie could have clear tasty ice cubes, here’s the damage:  three simultaneously broken and thought-broken water valves, new ones for which had to be ordered and installed (the intake valve for the fridge is $58); $75 for Ron the plumber (thank you Ron, a deal!) the first time he came out, a longer return trip by Ron several days later when all the new valves were available (another $75, still cheap) to install; a dug up front yard probably needing a run to the nursery for new sod; no icemaker until all the new valves were replaced and the filter is finally installed and not until then will we know if it’s the icemaker that’s messing up the ice.  Meanwhile, Pittsburgh quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, threw six touchdowns.   Who do you think had a better day.

Well, all’s well that end dry.  Ron returned, fixed all the valves that needed fixing and I completed hooking up the new filter for the icemaker which, within an hour, began loading up the ice trough in the freezer.

Sort of an anti-climatic ending but not an inexpensive one.  I shall never take an ice cube for granted again.

*****

Update 24 hours after above posting:

There is water.  It’s on the floor under the refrigerator.  The new icemaker filter is leaking.  Am I a bad person?

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About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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