Water is crazy. Water is formidable. Water is life-giving. Water in your house where you don’t want it to be is a pain in the ass.
Our first Spring in 2015, we had a bad leak from a pipe that feed the backyard hose. Sorry, not a leak — it was water spraying an entire basement room. Later in the summer of 2015, the bottom of our hot water heater sprung a leak and flooded our basement. This month, Lily walked into a basement room and found a small flood and water dripping from the ceiling. It was a team effort for us to catch the water, turn off the water, and clean up the mess. We caught the water in buckets and bowls, and I raced to the garage to grab the big ladder, and sprinted with it from the garage, into the house, down the basement stairs, and into this room. There were hot and cold water valves and I turned them off to stop the water.
Why would this pipe start leaking like this? Where did the hole come from?
The prevailing hypothesis is that when the contractors were nailing in the baseboard in the bathroom back in August, a nail shot through and punctured this pipe. The nail acted as a plug with maybe minimal leaking, but there’s no way to know. In the following months, the nail may have slowly rusted until it finally fell out from the pressure, resulting in all that water dripping out this week.
It’s a crazy story, but that’s all we can figure out. I’m glad we caught it in time. This is the 3rd leak in the basement since we’ve moved in, and we don’t go into the basement every day. Now I’m considering setting up water sensors all around the basement so that we have more of an early warning system.
We had some minor damage from the water, but nothing too terrible. I guess we lucked out a bit. The plumbers ended up charging me $500 to cut a whole in the powder room closet, cut the section of pipe, and replace it with a new section with a better quarter-turn valve.