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Water Woes

July 28th, 2013 at 10:05 am

**Well, the child is back from England! That is a whole other thing and wouldn't know where to begin with that, but they had a blast!


**We have actually managed "low maintenance" home ownership pretty well, for the first 14 years that we have been homeowners. I get a lot of comments that things don't always go as planned. I am well aware of that. But, doesn't mean you can't manage risk and odds.

Anyway, to set the stage, the city had a water main problem and asked us to turn off irrigation on Sunday night. & to use water sparingly. We obliged. Having grown up in drought country, it was a simple adjustment. We still conserve water pretty aggressively, anyway, just out of habit. But, in the meantime, our yard is very dry (it's hot and dry, like it always is during summer). & the laundry and the dishes are piling up...

No sooner than they fix that (late Thursday), then we had a break in our own main water line (to our house). UGH!!

We initially thought it was relatively minor, and we kind of inwardly rolled our eyes at the first in-person quote we got. Unfortunately, it only got worse from there. The diagnosis and the advice has been the same, 100% across the board, so the difference seems to be in the tools available. We had called a big plumbing company out first, because we thought they could come out sooner (which they did), but it turns out they have the tools to do the job with the least cost and disruption to our landscaping. So, after vetting plumbers for 3 days, we went with that option. (Though in general they are known for being way more expensive on smaller jobs). They need two days for permits, so if we are lucky we will get our water back on Wednesday night. Which puts us a full 10 days of super water conserving mode. FUN!

I did water the trees last night and we decided to water the grass with cold shower water. We are borrowing water from their neighbors (a hose is connecting our houses) and trying to run the outside hose made a noise racket, so I don't think the yard will get much more than cold shower water until its fixed. But, at least the trees got some water. The grass can take a lot of abuse, but is also a fire danger. Our lawn/yard is small though, so I figure a little shower water moisture will at least help. Though we aren't planning to take many showers either.

Oh, and the water tastes TERRIBLE (like a garden hose?) and so I will get some bottle water today. I have been melting ice, and will at least get the benefit of Alhambra water at work all week. I will smuggle some of that home too (the boss will understand).

So yeah, FUN times! Big Grin

We were actually waterless on Thursday night and we stayed at a hotel down the street for $50. If I had any idea we'd have a $5,000 repair job, I never would have done that. But I *really* needed a shower. We should have showered the kids when we were in San Jose yesterday, but was not thinking. (We had to go pick up the child from the airport). But they don't have to go anywhere the next few days, so they will be fine. The dishwasher and the washing machine don't use enough water to really worry about, but are trying to use sparingly, regardless. I am mostly thankful that we can still cook. The water is providing most useful for that, and for the toilets.

Can't really clean or sweat or make more laundry, so going for a low-key "read a lot of books" weekend.

Financially, we have the savings to easily cover this up front, and I think we have plenty of give and take for it not to particularly set us back. I might fund IRAs 3 months later (for 2013), will rethink paying property taxes early, and probably won't get anywhere near our mortgage pay-down goal. But, if we do delay IRA funding by 3 months (push back to April) I still may be able to stick with mortgage and property tax goals. Of course, China trip seems dead in the water, and we were already talking about just sending BM to Japan. I guess that is officially the new plan, because financially that is all we can swing now.

The finances aren't particularly stressing me out. I am more worried about just getting the job done for the quote, and not finding worse problems. Getting our water back will be VERY nice, too. I will probably worry about the finances and figure the rest all out once I know what the final bill is.

In the meantime, I think for the first time I REALLY feel like a homeowner.

7 Responses to “Water Woes”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    Yuck, what a headache. All of a sudden my limping washer seems like less of an issue.

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Ugh, water woes stink. Hope it is able to be resolved without too much more problems.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Yikes...what a problem! Hope things work out smoothly for you!

  4. Just Me Says:

    I work for a utility and typically when homeowners have problems like this, they are as a result of the City Utility turning on the water too quickly after their repair to the mainline. It blows out the honeowners private line. You may want to talk with your Utility Company about filing a claim for damages.

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    @Just Me - the timing is to coincidental to not be of concern, so we are looking into that.

    In this case, the water was on the entire time (We didn't even notice anything) but the main did have a leak. We kind of figure something must have been also wrong with our line to give so easily, so lord knows. Does this happen in a case where a main line just has a small leak? If the main was never actually turned off?

  6. Just Me Says:

    I have not heard or seen this to be an issue when the mainline does not need to be shut down. Typically, when repairs need to be done to a mainline, regardless of size, they're shut down and repairs made. Field Maintenance staff cannot make repairs with open lines (at least at my agency)- lines are shut down. If the mainline is turned on too quickly, it can blow out the private homeowner's line.

  7. Looking Forward Says:

    Oh that totally sucks!!
    Can you use the shower at your gym? Or a YMCA maybe?

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