A Little Water Problem.

Nothing too exciting to report on the kitchen progress today. The frames for all the upper cabinets are painted and the first half have had the protective top coat applied. We got seven of the doors deglossed and four are painted. In the morning I’ll top coat the four doors and the second half of the frames and then we’ll move on to the next batch of doors. We’re limited on space for painting or we could easily do more at a time.

I mentioned the water problems last night, so here’s the story:

Around Halloween, I commented to Lyle that it smelled pretty musty in the basement and I couldn’t figure out why. It was cold and dry enough outside that we weren’t running the dehumidifier down there, and were actually running a humidifier upstairs – there should be no dampness in the basement. I’ve always had a much more sensitive nose than he has, so he kind of blew me off.

A week or two later, I went down to the bathroom in what functions as our guest bedroom and noticed that the carpet was wet. Not just damp, squishy. Oh, boy. To make matters scarier, the area that was wet is right next to a very poorly placed sewer clean-out. (Side note: You could say that our basement is very poorly designed overall. You’d be right.) Strangely though, it didn’t really smell like sewage, just dampness.

Lyle started trying to find the source of the water. We assumed it was the sewer pipe, because that was the most obvious answer. He pulled down a section of wall, which was easy to do because it was just ugly fake wood paneling. We went upstairs and flushed the toilet several times, assuming that water would trickle down from a leak. Nothing happened. We ran water in the sink in the bathroom right by the wet carpet but nothing happened there, either.

We were stumped. First thing Monday morning we called a plumber. He showed up around an hour later and got to work. He looked at all the things we’d looked at and then pulled a few more chunks of paneling down. No leak. Then he asked the fateful question: What’s on the other side of this wall?

The utility room.

The water heater.

Just out of curiosity, he suggested that perhaps he should take a look at the water heater.

Here’s a question for you: When the plumber discovers that your water leak is caused by the drain valve on the water heater being open a tiny bit, should you be more overwhelmed by embarrassment for being so dumb, or relief that you’re not going to be spending a pile of money to fix a leaky pipe?

We chose the third option, which was to be extremely grateful that they didn’t even send us a bill.

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