Saturday, September 09, 2006

What's That Smell?

Oh no it isn't.

Oh yes it is!


When we got home Wednesday, the house smelled a little funky. Well the dog had been in the mud room all day, and she smells. . . like a dog, so once she's been out and the air conditioning had been on a while, it would probably clear up.

It didn't clear up.

The kids noticed it when they got home.

I looked in the crawl space with my 1,000,000 candlepower spotlight from two different access doors, and didn't really see anything amiss.

Finally, around 8 pm, I put on the rattiest clothes I could find (now I know why Dad always has a set of coveralls handy), and low-crawled to the farther reaches of the dirt-floored crawlspace. It wasn't too far into it that my nose and ears told me something wasn't right.

Houston, we have a sewer pipe leak.

There was a split along the top of the 4" cast iron sewer pipe, maybe 10 feet inside where the pipe leaves the house for the street, and water was running out of it. Strangely, the water running out was clear, and not all that stinky, considering.

I made a mad dash for Lowes where I picked up some rubber pipe couplers and clamps to improvise a patch until we could get this thing fixed. I got those on, and staunched the leak, somewhat, but it was still leaking. The water was running into a small hole in the dirt floor, and that hole leads to . . . . ? Actually, I don't think I want to know.

Mr. Kreider was able to come out the next day, and he too was baffled by how this pipe was leaking when no water was running inside the house, and therefore the pipe should not have water in it, let alone enough water to leak out the top of the pipe. He called the City of Mebane, who determined that something was blocked up at the street. They came out and unblocked that, and the leaking stopped. From there, Mr. Kreider was able to swap out the cast iron (which was probably ~100 years old, and original to the house) with some new PVC and a backflow preventer.

The leak is gone. The smell is gone.

For now.

It's an old house, after all.


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