Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mystery Leak

Sunday was a busy day in our house. It was also not a very 'green' day. I ran the dishwasher 3 times, did 6 loads of laundry, and took an extra long shower. Hey, with all of that cleaning and organizing I did, I deserved it!

Normally we try to do a better job of balancing our commitment to conserve and our desire to have a clean and tidy home. But sometimes, things get out of hand. With the arrival of our new dining room set (YAY!) I was finally able to bring our wedding china home from my parents' house and put it away in our home. The way the dishes came packed from the store was great because they arrived in one piece, but the packaging created a huge mess and made sure that each and every piece of china and crystal got nice and dirty. Everything had to be washed. Then, despite my attempts to stay on top of laundry, it did get the best of me over the weekend. During the previous week we had both exercised a lot, the sheets and towels needed to be done, and the new clothes I bought had to be washed separately the first time. Needless to say, I used more water in one day than I think I ever have.

So imagine my surprise when I went down to the laundry room, located in our basement, and saw water on the floor. I mean a LOT of water. The way it was spilled was very strange though. The area in front of the utility sink and laundry basket were both soaked, but the rest was dry. Also, none of the pipes were wet and the area around the washer and dryer were bone dry. In a panic I ran and got my handyman Josh.

Josh was equally as shocked. There was no water falling from anywhere in our basement and there was no sign that water had come up from the floor. He checked the ceiling tiles, the windows, the washer and dryer again, under the door, and in every nook and cranny in the entire basement. Aside from the outside of the utility sink and laundry basket, everything was dry. We both came to the same conclusion. Obviously someone ran into our laundry room with a bucket and threw water on the floor in that one spot. Nothing else made sense. (clearly we are delusional new homeowners!) Together we cleaned up the mess and went on with our day.

30 minutes later I went back downstairs to finish up the laundry. This time, I saw the problem in action. Our washer was not hooked up to a normal filter since it was added long after the house was wired for water and electricity. The water from the washer was drained into the utility sink. Instead of a filter, there was a metal drain catch on the end of the pipe to catch anything that should not go down the drain. While this was not our favorite set up, it seemed to work well enough and we had not really thought about it since we had moved in.

Apparently, no one came into our basement and sneak attacked us with a bucket of water as previous thought. What actually happened was the metal drain catch became clogged in every hole but one. The water pressure built up in the drain catch, which created a water explosion on the outside of the utility sink. Because we did not keep much in the laundry room besides the laundry basket, it was the only thing to get hit with water. After seeing the problem, I ran to get Josh. We both nearly fell over laughing. How crazy that we actually thought someone would sabotage our basement! This wasn't college or communal living.

As I cleaned up the water, Josh changed the drain catch. Now water could run freely from the washer to the sink. Hopefully we will be able to avoid future disasters by knowing to change the drain catch every few months. I guess we were left a box of extra filters by the previous owners for a reason.

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