As a homeowner, there are certain sounds that you don’t ever want to hear.
For me at the top of that list is the sound of water running in a room that no one has been in for at least 12 hours.
Like many families, we keep a second refrigerator in our basement near the family room area for things like beverages and snacks. As refrigerators go it has been a workhorse, and was one of the first major purchases Kim and I made when we got married 24 years ago. It has survived three moves and years of use by my less than careful children. Overall, it has held up well, and better than most other appliances I have owned.
On Sunday, I had gone grocery shopping like normal and come home and handed some items to my son Alex to take downstairs to put away.
I was in the kitchen putting away other groceries when I heard him yell “There is water everywhere.”
I quickly ran down the stairs to find that while water was not “everywhere” there was a large amount of it covering the linoleum portion of my basement. The beading on the edge of the carpet had kept it from going into that area except for by the basement steps. My basement has a slight grade leading toward the sump pump that is in the far corner of the house and the water was following that grade.
I could hear the hiss of water running but could not tell where it was coming from so I quickly turned off the water to the entire house and went hunting. After checking to see that the bathroom hadn’t suspiciously exploded in the middle of the night, I pulled out the refrigerator to check the valve connecting it to a water supply.
What I found was that the valve works just fine, but the tubing leading to the ice maker had disconnected itself from a doohickey where the tubing from the shut off valve connected. I am almost certain there is a more technical name for it than doohickey but I haven’t gotten around to searching for a replacement part yet. Instead, I firmly turned off the shut off valve and had my son turn the water back on while I was doing it so that I could check to make sure the water truly did stop flowing.
I will point out that this is one of those times that a portable battery operated transfer pump would have come in handy. I note this because I have pointed it out to my wonderful wife every time I have gone into Klingbeil’s Lumber and she has repeatedly said I would not use it enough to make it worthwhile.
Alex and I spent the rest of the day on Sunday and into Sunday night vacuuming up the water with a shop vacuum and dumping buckets of it down the bathroom drain. Shop vacuums are a must have for any homeowner, but there is always a balance between making it large enough to be efficient, yet not too large to make it impossibly heavy to empty when full. At about eight pounds a gallon, dead lifting a 16-gallon shop vacuum more than once is hard work, I don’t care how buff you are. I know, yet another time a battery-powered transfer pump would come in handy.
I am noticing a theme here.
Several hours later, the linoleum was dry, wet carpet pulled up and we had fans blowing to dry everything out. By past experience with a sump pump failure a few years back, I am guessing the drying out process to take several days and until then will have to deal with the steady hum of blowing fans providing background noise to our home.
As white noise goes, the sound of fans blowing beats the heck out of the hiss of water spraying any day.
Brian Wilson is News Editor at The Star News.