An adventure in leaky pipes


This may be difficult to believe, but it appears I have proven my worth as a plumber. Because according to journalist and humorist Arthur “Bugs” Baer, “A plumber is an adventurer who traces leaky pipes to their source.”

And that folks, is exactly what I have done this week. If I have done nothing else of importance this week, I have indeed traced a leaky pipe to its source and wonder of wonders, I have conquered the leaky pipe…at least temporarily.

I really can’t take all the credit for this. After all, I wasn’t even aware that we had a leaking pipe until “Little-Miss-I’m-Trying-to-Avoid-Course-Planning” went on a reorganization/cleaning spree of our kitchen and laundry room during her Christmas break. It was she who discovered the leak.

Here’s how the conversation went:

Daughter number 1: “Mom, did you know that there is a leak in the laundry room?
Me: “Of course, I knew it. Cold air has been sneaking through the window seals since we bought the house.”
Daughter number 1: (Eye roll) “No, mom, not an air leak. There’s water on the floor.”

Oh. That. Well. Yes, I guess that would indicate a leak. Naturally, I did what any other homeowner would do: called in the big guns. As in THE PLUMBER. Unfortunately, since I couldn’t honestly classify it as an emergency, I had to settle for an appointment sometime in the next millenium. Actually, that’s an exaggeration. But a week away might as well be in the next millenium.

So as daughter number 1 headed off to her real world of researching her dissertation, she reminded me that we should probably find a temporary fix for the dreaded leaky pipe.

I tried to forget the problem but when my husband made the comment that “At least we know why the water bill is so high”, I realized it was time to do something. My Dick-Pannabecker-do-it-yourself genes kicked into full gear. Peering behind the washing machine, I found one hose dripping at the point where it connects to the washer. That was the easy part.

Armed with duct tape, a heavy strength two-gallon freezer bag, I went to work. The hubs cut strips of duct tape as I fit the freezer bag under and around the hoses and then taped them into place. (I may have to buy stock in duct tape after this week.)

Then I folded the  bag into a cone shape and added more duct tape. I placed a large wastebasket underneath the tip of the bag. Finally, I snipped a small hole at the point of the bag and water began streaming into the wastebasket.

Amazing what a little duct tape and ingenuity can do. Nine hours later, the wastebasket was half full of water. Too bad it isn’t gardening season — it would have been useful for watering the garden.

I’m trying to decide whether to make myself scarce or hang around when the plumber arrives. Maybe he’ll offer me a job. Probably not. I probably shouldn’t give up my day job…yet.

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2 responses to “An adventure in leaky pipes

  1. you should probably replace the hose. those hoses don’t last forever, though people try to make them do so. Or at least replace the washer in it if there is one.

    • Pannabecker Steiner Mary

      Of course, big brother…that’s why the plumber was on the schedule. He replaced and repositioned them and all is well. I mucked out the whole laundry room yesterday. It looks beautiful. I keep going back to look at it. Silly.

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