Broken Pipe

February 20th, 2007 by Potato

Twice after we moved in, Wayfare and I asked our landlord how to turn off the water to the pipes on the side of the house. “Oh, you don’t need to” she said, “I’m pretty sure they’re the new ones that won’t burst.” I had never heard of such pipes. It was possible there was a small heating element in it (there is a small wire attached to the pipe, but as far as I can tell it then goes into the cable box, so my guess was that it was a grounding strip). It’s also possible that the world of plumbing has advanced and water freezing and expanding inside pipes doesn’t lead to failure anymore. To be safe, I asked the last tennant as well, and she said she never had to turn it off.

“Oh well,” we shrugged “it should be fine.” Of course, now my landlord’s on vacation in New Zealand (not just out of the country, but completely out of touch and in a completely different day/night cycle) and the pipe decides to burst. It’s very strange though that it would burst today: it’s close to freezing for the first time in weeks; I would have thought it would have burst last week in the bitter cold. Naturally, along with the water spraying all over the side of the house and the deck, there’s now water seeping into the basement.

3 Responses to “Broken Pipe”

  1. Potato Says:

    Wayfare’s mom made a good comment: it could be that the pipe burst weeks ago, and it only started spraying now because it was frozen. It’s only just gotten warm enough for the ice plug to melt…

    I called the landlord’s office and they gave me the number of a plumber they use. He knew the place and was over in just about a minute to find the shut-off valve for us. It was funny, because he started near where the pipe goes outside for the hose (where I already looked) and said “Damn, there’s no valve. The code and common stupidity say the valve should be right here!” Fortunately, he did some of the plumbing work on the house before the basement was renovated, so he found one a little further back along the pipe that cuts the water off to the outside without preventing us from taking a shower or using the kitchen sink…

  2. Netbug Says:

    I was going to suggest the same thing (about it breaking earlier and not showing till the melt). You should see the bubble of paint int he kitchen at our place because we forgot to plug in the melting wire on the eavs trough (i have no idea how to spell that properly, deal with it).

    And why is everybody in New Zealand right now? My parents, Gloths parents, your landlord. Friggin takin over my heritage land.

  3. Ben Says:

    My winemaking teacher is also in New Zealand right now…go figure.