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Late night disasters.Follow

#1 Jan 21 2012 at 12:15 AM Rating: Good
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I have half of my house currently unfinished, including the master bedroom and bath. Unfortunately tonight I went into my kitchen and noticed a puddle of water coming out of under the door to the master bedroom. Open the door and see from the master bedroom, along the wall, around the corner, all wet.

I look around and nothing is actively leaking, it doesn't smell, so it's not septic backup, but the area around the will-be-toilet is soaked. I wake up my brother and tell him to grab some towels and start drying things. I notice the shutoff valve for the toilet looks like it's turned about 1/8 turn open. I grab on to the valve, but as soon as I just barely touch it BAM! the valve busts off and water starts spraying up to the ceiling. I press my hand against the pipe and stop the flow, but my brother doesn't know where the shutoffs are. I switch places with him and run downstairs to the basement. Turns out this particular pipe is the very first branch from the tank/pump, and the valve to turn off just that branch is the one that broke. I have to turn off the water at the tank, and now am without water and a small mess in my unfinished master bathroom/bedroom.

I have no 1/2" cpvc caps in my house, a bunch of elbows, but no caps. Not even any T's to make a loop and use it as a cap. It's 1AM so nothing is open and I can't get supplies, it'll have to wait til the morning. I have to work, but luckily my dad is willing to come over in the morning and fix it.

I can't imagine the mess if I had not seen it and went to bed. That bathroom's been unfinished for years and never had any problems. I have no idea why that valve started leaking when it did. I ran out of dry towels, but luckily I had a huge tub of cat litter. I spread that around to absorb the water. Luckily the water didn't spread too far, there was a slight dip in the floor that it seemed to follow. It was right in line with the heating vent too, so I cranked up the heat a bit and it seemed to dry very fast. 30 minutes later much of the area was dry.
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#2 Jan 21 2012 at 8:26 AM Rating: Good
LOL! I just pictured that because it's happened to me as a Plumbers helper. I hope you dont have to use the bathroom.
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#3 Jan 21 2012 at 11:13 AM Rating: Good
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Shortly after we moved into our house, we had a nasty thunderstorm that caused a power surge that blew the circuit breakers, etc. We were without power for a few hours. Once it came back on, we figured everything was okay - surge suppressors did their jobs, lights were still green and whatnot.

That night, around 1AM, all the fire alarms in the house went off. All of them. We realized we had no way of reaching them because we hadn't bought a ladder yet. So we had to drive to 24 hour walmart, buy a ladder, and manually unscrew each and every fire alarm from its socket. There were four of them...

It turns out that they are hard wired directly into the electrical system, and didn't run through the circuit breaker. So unlike every other electrical thing in the house, they had no protection against a power surge. All it took was one good storm to blow their circuits out.

We threw them away and some time later installed battery powered ones instead.

Edited, Jan 21st 2012 12:14pm by catwho
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#4 Jan 23 2012 at 10:39 AM Rating: Good
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Homeownership: The American dream and nightmare all rolled into one.

We've had a plumbing issue that a good patch job was able to repair, but we have to replace the mainline soon.
#5 Jan 24 2012 at 4:52 PM Rating: Good
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If there was enough water to drain out into another room, you probably want to blow a fan on the area for a day or so as well. Doubly so if there is any carpet involved. Also check any place that the water may have hit wall and check *behind* that wall (and dry it out completely). I had a nasty surprise where a similarly leaking pipe/valve under the toilet spilled what appeared to be a smallish amount of water. I dried it out, but didn't think to check the closet that was on the other side of the wall right next to the bathroom. Apparently, that was a low spot and water had seeped through the wall and settled in said low spot on the other side, which proceeded to mold and mildew in the closet carpeting under a stack of boxes (comic book boxes. Grrr...). Since that was a side of that closet that I never opened (it was storing a stack of boxes after all), it went unnoticed for nearly a year. Yeah. Not fun.

Edited, Jan 24th 2012 2:52pm by gbaji
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#6 Jan 24 2012 at 7:35 PM Rating: Good
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Luckily for me, the wall touched was the one between the master bed and bath. Both are completely unfinished. Just the subfloor, walls, and drywall. The water actually poured down into the basement through the seams in the subflooring (The basement is all pressure treated lumber rated for direct burial in ground). I put a small heater fan along the wall to dry out the baseboard after it was all cleaned up and then once it was all clean I sprayed it down with a diluted bleach/water mixture to prevent anything from growing in the wood.

The fact that it's unfinished kind of helped a bit, since there was nothing to damage. But if it had been finished with tile, grouted, baseboard, etc. the water likely would not have spread and would have just pooled in the bathroom floor.

The only thing left for me to do clean up all the mess of boxes that had to get moved out of the area (since it was being used as storage while I was working on finishing the basement).
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#7 Jan 24 2012 at 9:33 PM Rating: Good
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Ok, so it's not exactly a late night disaster, but it's a disaster nonetheless:

Not too long ago, we had a huge hailstorm come through Knoxville. None of the car windows were broken, but all the vehicles came out looking like golf balls and the roof of the condo took quite a bit of damage. Luckily, insurance covered the damage to the roof. (I wish I could say the same about my car) When the roofing crew came 'round, there was a sever weather alert on TV, but they showed up and started working anyways. At first, I chalked this up to good work ethic and a strong company, but I learned my lesson about assuming such things. I noticed they were still hammering well past the start of an enormous downpour... and then the sounds started. What began as a few dripping noises turned into flowing water from the air vents in the ceiling, which eventually gave way to our own mini-downpours coming through the ceiling. The damage was so thorough that we all had to move out of the house for a month and a half while the company did repairs.

The bastards still didn't do it right.
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