Saturday, January 23, 2010


I'm not quite sure which # "CRUD" post this is. The Blogger has stopped keeping count of them due to overuse. So, I'll guess that it's about #thirty trillion.

About 2 weeks ago, I began to hear the sound of water running in the hallway bathroom at Andy's Place. I didn't think too much about it, and figured that it was just time to change out the flapper in the commode again. I do that about every other year.

But, I got busy with more important stuff, and kinda shoved it back to #72 on The Top 10 Things To Do At Andy's Place list.

Well, over the last couple of weeks the sound of running water has gotten louder, and louder. It had spread finally back to the room where we had a plumber install connections for a Washing Machine. But, I didn't think too much of it. I just figured that vibrations throughout the plumbing in the house were reverberating, and sharing the love.

Well, a few days ago, we began to hear the sound of running water underneath the kitchen sink cabinet. I thought...oh well...that's just more "baby love" from the flapper in the hall bathroom toilet.

Truth is...I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG. BAD WRONG!!! But, I also knew what had to be done to find out just what, and I did not want to do it. Actually, I was HOPING for a CHANGE! I was HOPING that the plumbing would CHANGE itself all up, FIX ITSELF, and I would not have to do what I truly did not want to do.

Then along comes The Mrs. today... "Andy, you know that there is something very wrong with this." And, she was right. I knew it all along.

Just as background info, Andy's Place does not seem to be all that large. From the outside, you would think that it is a house that is about 60 feet deep, and 35 feet wide. But you would be wrong. Beneath the house, it is approximately 60 feet deep, and five million feet wide...with about 6 inches of clearance.

Andy's Place was built in 1948. Back in those days the builders put the access to underneath the house approximately four million feet away from the plumbing (roughly). Sure, just looking at it from the outside, it's not such a big deal. But, when your wife FINALLY decides it's time for you to DO SOMETHING, it gets a lot wider.

So, "in I go," flashlight in hand. Did I mention that there is only 6" of clearance? Thank God I'm not very large, nor claustrophobic.

So, after about three days of crawling through God knows what, creeping over Romex, thermostat control wires, rat skeletons, busting through spider webs, and skinnying under support beams, I finally reach my destination.

Yep! There is water pouring through the floor where the washing machine is. SUCCESS! Eureka, and all that! I have found the trouble! So, three days later, I crawl back out from under the house...still alive...kinda...

Sure enough, I hinge the washing machine up while it's running, and there is a hole in the pump! HA! Now I know the problem. So, I disconnect the washing machine, haul it outside, and will wait for Monday to get the part I need to fix it. Problem solved!


Even with the washing machine disconnected...water shut off to the connections...the sound of running water persists. This is fabulous news! Not only does my washing machine have a leaking pump...there is still a leak under Andy's Place somewhere! Crud! DOUBLE CRUD!

So, I know what must be done...

Back into the abyss...

The second journey into homeowner hell will give me more info. So, I bellycrawl the four million feet back across the underside of Andy's Place. While I'm under there I figure that I should crawl the two football fields further west to the bathroom plumbing...

About 45 minutes later, I arrive. With trusty flashlight in hand, I see no problems...none of the exposed pipes are leaking, and there is not one hint of water coming from the floor (it's above me, but it's still the floor...ya' gotta this point my whole world is upside down).

But I can hear that sound...water is running. It's getting louder and louder the further I venture in to hell. So, there is only one more place to go. The plumbing that feeds the kitchen is about three miles to the west. I figure, "what the hell...I'm already this close." So, after digging out some river sand in order to shinny my way under a beam I finally learn the true definition of "quagmire."

Beneath the kitchen at Andy's Place is something akin to an Olympic Swimming Pool. The only difference is that it is full of mud, it stinks like an 11-year-old's armpits, and nobody could swim in it because it's 6" from the ground to the stinkin' subfloor!

I've got my trusty flashlight (the batteries are getting weary now), and I inspect the subfloor. Not a sign of water coming from above! I inspect all of the exposed pipes between the ground and the floor. Not a sign of a leak!

That's good news, right? Right?

Man, I'm screwed! And Big! There must be a pipe burst underneath the ground between the kitchen and the hallway bathroom. That's all I can figure. I mean, there is an artesian well springing underneath Andy's Place.

Some of the foundation footings are completely submerged in agua. I'm just praying that the dude that built this place set the footings deep, and that the middle of my house won't sustain any permanent damage. But it's gonna take some really skinny dudes with really high priced shovels to scoop through the quagmire, and find the leak.

But, I'll be fine. I had a nice work-out under Andy's Place this afternoon. I'm sure that tomorrow morning my shoulders, back, legs, and neck will be as good as new.

Heh! When I discovered that Pam was taking pictures of this whole fiasco I got a little ticked at her. I said, "Baby, let me at least get my hair combed before you go to taking pictures!"

Well, the water is cut off at the street now. By tomorrow morning it should be drying up underneath the house, and much easier to find exactly where that leak is.

But there is even MORE good news! It's raining like the second coming of Noah's deluge right now! It's gonna be a "golden day" tomorrow. I can just feel it...


  1. Man.

    What a great weekend.....

    I feel really bad about the whining I was doing to myself about how much laundry there was to do.

  2. Staci, fortunately Pam got all the laundry done, and everybody got a shower before I cut the water off.

    I'm a little disappointed that you didn't note how good I look in dirt. Sigh...

    It's gonna be okay. Heck, we could be in Haiti...

  3. Oh man, this was fun to read. I think that you might have seen my post on crawling the entire length of the Jackson Airport in mud? At least that is about three and a half feet. The Mrs. should have just hosed you off on the patio, and took some more photos, too.

  4. Paul, I'm terribly happy that you found this amusing.

    I remember a post not too long back where I saw you covered in mud, but I didn't remember that it was the Jackson Airport. I'm not sure if that's the one you're talking about.

    Do they REALLY have an airport in Jackson? Just curious...

    And, you can trust me on this one, buddy. Pam has hosed me down more than once on that patio. But you would not want to view any pictures of it.

    Some folks just look better with clothes ON. JUST! SAYIN'!

  5. Plumbing!

    It is the good Lord's test of anyone!

    Plumbing is never fun, never good, always, somehow, expensive, and generally a pain in the butt.

    My axiom on plumbing doesn't help you much here, but it may in the future...

    Plumbing Axiom: Never, ever, start a plumbing project when the stores will be closed during any part of the project!

    Man, do I feel your pain!

  6. You fit in that tunnel to muck better than I would...I'd still be down there, wrestling with ghost rat skeletons that have somehow been animated, and learned to fight with swords...ow..ow...stop ittttttttttttttttt...ow...dagnabbit...

  7. Walt, Heh! No doubt! Fortunately, my True Value store is closed today. A good excuse to give it a rest.

    Skunks, Bwahahahahahaha!

  8. Wow...NOT good, and I feel yore pain. I'm sitting here trying to remember any plumbing episode I ever had that couldn't be cured by Roto-Rooter and I can't. I was blessed, doubly so because one house I owned was built in 1927 or 1928; all the houses in that neighborhood were built in between 1925 and 1930.

    Which brings up a story I heard at a block party one year... I forget the gory details on this, but one of my neighbors up the street had his entire basement flooded with raw sewage - we're talking three to five feet deep. He went through about five or six plumbers before he found one willing to fix the problem at any price and told us the first two said "there are just some things money won't buy." Moral: it could be worse.


Don't cuss nobody out, okay?