by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

Last week was a rather interesting one. We had our fair share of home repair projects and water seemed to be the common theme.

Water Situation #1

While half awake & making coffee on Tuesday morning, I snuck a peak at our work-in-progress half bathroom, only to find water dripping from the ceiling. BIG problem!

The night before, a torrential downpour blew through Houston, and apparently our brand new roof (thanks to an August hailstorm) didn’t hold up to the weather. We put in a call to Don the Contractor, who came out with his crew the next morning & sealed up the pesky flashing that caused the problem. So now we’re left with a soggy ceiling & just a little more work that originally planned in the half bath. (That project just got bumped to the top of the list!)

And you think THAT would be the highlight of our week.

Water Situation #2

Behind that Monday night/Tuesday morning rainstorm was a blast of arctic air. We knew it was on it’s way and took all the necessary precautions…or so we thought. So when we woke up Wednesday morning, Ethan was a tiny bit upset (ok, a whole lot upset) when turned on the shower & nothing came out.

I know what you’re thinking – frozen pipes. So were we. But we took all the necessary precautions! Don’t those pipes look nice & warm to you?

{main water line + unused water softener}

Well they weren’t. Here’s a little background information on the never-ending water drama around our house. Before buying our lovely foreclosure, we did the responsible thing & hired a home inspector. His assessment brought forth a laundry list of minor problems, along with one not-so-minor problem: the main water line to the house was busted. And how do you think it broke? You got it – frozen pipes! So we’ve been here before – oh goodie.

Which brings us back to this morning’s adventure. Ethan goes to take a shower…no water…overwhelming sense of dread. He bundles up, goes outside to assess the situation & we make a phone call to dear ole Dad, the master of all household projects. There are a couple of places where the freeze could be & there’s only one way to find out. Time to thaw out some pipes!

STEP 1 – Get water. Sounds easy, but…the pipes are frozen. Now imagine where in your house there’s water that’s not inside a pipe. That’s right, the toilet. Not the bowl (gross!!), the tank. I know, still gross. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

STEP 2 – Boil water. This may take a while (especially with our circa 1984 stove), so feel free to make breakfast while you’re waiting.

{Abby – getting in the way while I’m frying eggs}

STEP 3 – Take boiling water outside & thaw out some pipes!

While Ethan is pouring a couple of gallons of boiling toilet-tank water over the two suspected area, water starts spewing from the shut-off valve connected to the water softener. Found it! I thought about grabbing the camera to catch it in action…but I’m pretty sure he would’ve killed me. So here’s the troubled spot – post drama.

{the frozen spot – our water softener shut-off valve}

We both needed to get to work, so Ethan turned off the main water supply (there’s a shut-off valve at the street) and we put this project on hold until the evening. In the meantime, we both headed off to our offices without showers or the necessary dose of morning caffeine. Thankfully Starbucks had a solution for one of those problems.

That afternoon, my dear husband came home from work, armed with the necessary supplies (plus a decent amount of daylight & the luxury of above-freezing temps – smart guy). Here’s what he had in hand.

{l-r: pipe insulation, 3/4″ pvc pipe, pvc primer + pvc glue, residue-free duct tape, right angle connections}

I’ll spare you all the technical details, but he basically recreated the “U” connection and bypassed the water softener all together (we’ve never used it & definitely don’t want to mess with it now). At a future date (when it’s not as cold & we’re not in an emergency situation), we’ll chunk that old, unused water softener & put this whole thing connection underground. But in the meantime, this definitely did the trick – check out his handywork!

{the repair work in progress + the finished job}

Nothing glamorous, but we now have running water & that’s all a girl can ask for! Good thing I have a husband who knows how to save the day!

3 Responses to “Drip…Drip…Drip”

  1. Toilet water to the rescue! Woo-hoo! Sounds like some Girl/Boy Scout talent in your household. Good work y’all!!!


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