Off to a Great Start
Published On: January 28, 2013

So, we thought we’d turned off the pipe leading to the outside faucet.  We really really did.  Then, we opened the outside faucet to let it drain and to keep it from freezing. Now, we did this after it was already super cold, so no water came out of the outside faucet.  But still, we thought the situation was stable.

Then, when I woke up this morning and headed into the hallway, I heard the noise.  The noise that means ‘somewhere in this house, water is running.’  Now, normally, this means one of the toilets didn’t quite flush right and is running a bit.  I investigated that, nope.  The noise was coming from the basement.

Yup.  That’s where the noise was coming from.  Also where the giant, spreading puddle was accumulating.  Neat.

So it turns out that pipe we thought we’d closed inside?  Not closed all the way.  And last night, when it finally got warm?  The ice that was preventing it from closing all the way melted.  And the outside tap started running.  And if the outside tap runs long enough (especially if there’s snow it can make a nice channel in so that the water stays snugged up next to the house)?  Water comes into the basement.  Right through the window frame that the builders oh-so-cleverly put directly under the outside tap. First it floods the little storage room off the basement, and eventually it creeps out under the door and soaks the rest of the place too.

And yes, I do speak from experience here.  Amazingly enough, this was not the first time this has happened.  So the good news is, it was a running tap, not a broken pipe.  The bad news? Small flood.  This time, at least, it was contained to the storage room.  After the last time this happened, we got everything off the floor.  Also good news, it happened when we were both home and not off somewhere for the weekend.

So, friendly reminder people.  If it’s warming up where you are today, keep an ear out for running water.  If you hear it, do investigate.  And please, be a smarter kid than we are and close your outside pipes up properly to begin with, because this is not the most soothing start to the week.

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