She called the water company, who promptly sent a man out to inspect the situation and he left a copy of the report which said that the leak was between the house and the meter and her responsibility. She tried calling the emergency number but no one answered, that's when she enlisted my help.
We finally got through to someone at the emergency number at about 6pm Friday night, we were told we could contact risk management, who would send out an investigator and determine if their work caused the now bubbling water leak or we could attempt to go through her homeowners insurance. Of course, being it was after hours on Columbus Day Weekend the issue would not get fixed before the weekend.
For anyone who has missed it, we live in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, wasting water here is never a good idea!! So, at 6:30 we began digging out the water line. First problem we faced was there is a stucco covered, cinder block wall with wrought iron wall about 2 feet from the back of the meter. Yeah, you can probably guess where the leak was- smack dab under the middle of the wall.
Courtney and I then began digging on the back of the wall hoping that the line ran under the wall and not along the wall. While we were digging, we began to attract a crowd of neighbors. The one that kinda ticked us both off was her next door neighbor whom we shall call Pete. She didn't really know him all that well or talked to him that much before but as he stood there with his head on his hands, resting on the top of the fence he revealed that he was a plumber by trade and would be happy to look for parts for us to complete the job in the morning. Thanks, but we were working on it now.
By 9pm we had dug out the line both sides of the wall and fortunately, the line did not run along the wall. We also lucked out because the pipe was pvc and is much easier to work with than copper or the galvanized pipe. Courtney's boyfriend had joined us by this time found much humor in the fact that we were so covered in mud. So we set off to Lowes, unable to clean up as we had to shut the water off once the leak was exposed because we did not want the hole to fill with water. As we entered the store a worker greeted us and without even being asked, he pointed us toward the plumbing aisles. We grabbed some pvc and couplers and left the store.
We realized that we were all hungry and had finished the last of the beer before we left. So, we decided the fast food drive through would probably be our best bet if we wanted to get food. Fortunately, no one thought to take pics of Courtney or I. :) We then picked up some beer and headed back to the house.
We managed to get the old pipe cut out and a new section was installed with couplers and as luck would have it, we were about 2 inches short on the connection and being tired, covered in mud and now slightly impervious to the cold, mud caked clothes and the breeze that was picking up thanks to the beer we decided to pick it up in the morning.
One of Courtney's friends lives 2 blocks away and lent us shovels, a spotlight and offered us the use of her shower!! Thank you so much Tiffany!!
Saturday morning came with 2 more trips to Lowes for parts. For anyone who has not worked with pvc much, it is fairly flexible when you are working in lengths of 6 feet or more. However, when you are working in inches there is no flex! We wound up with a minor drip at one of the couplers and decided to remove that small piece and go with a compression coupler to make things easier to join up the two sections. It did the trick and we stopped the leak!!
Minutes after finishing the repairs, the sky got dark and we got pelted with hail as we gathered up the tools and the work light and ran for the house. I can't even begin to imagine having to deal with the rain, flooding and winds that some of you are on the East Coast. Just please be careful and stay safe!!!