Thursday, March 24, 2005

Oops and oops

The original work that our plumbers did was superb. The craftsmanship and speed of installation showed expertise and professionalism. Everything fell apart today. Today was the day the city's inspector came to check the plumbing and structural. Oh the stuff all passed without problem but a few mistakes were made.

We need to start from the beginning with some background info. The plumbing permit requires that any drainage system goes through a rigorous test. The test works like this. Cap off every the bottom and any connected drain and then fill the whole system with water and wait 4 hours. If nothing leaks then you pass. Easy enough right. Your plumber is who loads up the system with water until it pours out of the vent on the roof and then comes back after the inspection has taken place. Then they uncap what they capped. OK, clear on this...good.

Now the system was getting filled with water and soon would be spilling out of the roof vent. The one problem is that there was an open T fitting about three feet below in the attic. Well water started pouring out of this for about 30 seconds before Amy's panicked "WATER!!! WATER!!!" commentary could be reacted to. I shut off the fill valve probably at the same time as the plumber did at a different point.

The saturated blown in insulation and the roof below were soaked. I poked a hole with a pin into a crack and water came out...hmmm. The plumbers will sort me out for the damages and it's really not such a huge deal but a good morning it did not make.

Oh and then there was the 2nd thing. Again Amy noticed, although much more calmly, an encroaching puddle in the basement. On the phone with the plumber, he was confident that it couldn't be growing. I assumed that he was right and the existing puddle simply was spreading slightly due to the normal effects of a puddle sitting. It's a nasty basement so as long as it dries, I'm not going to worry about it. I continue about my day and go into the basement to visit the chickens when I notice that the puddle is MUCH bigger. Perplexed I investigate to find that the pipe connected to the existing bathroom lavatory is resting gently on a rubber cap. It's supposed to be connected to the pipe below. One bucket, one screwdriver, and ten minutes later I have it all sorted out and everything's fab.

The funny thing is that I can see how both mistakes could have been easily made. The existing workmanship and professionalism was so good prior to today's mayhem that I have a hard time reconciling the two. I still think these guys are good plumbers but really got it wrong today.

And Amy truly saved the day. If the water had run into the attic for three or four minutes then the damage would have been drastically different. The ceiling would have likely burst sending dirty water atop the very absorbent futon and likely taken out the computer and other furniture in the room. More importantly, my bikes in the basement might have gotten wet. Then I would have been really mad.

1 comment:

Sherm said...


Please reassure us that the chickens are all right. We haven't seen pictures in, well, hours...