This morning I happened to go to the basement for a random reason. What greeted me was a large puddle of water on the middle of the floor. The location could only mean a plumbing problem two stories above, instantly making me wonder what kind of damage we might have. A quick check of the main floor revealed nothing, so we started poking around in the basement ceiling.
It revealed a mistake made by subcontractors when building the home. While installing the ducting on the air return for the furnace, several nails went right into our hot water pipe. They’ve been there for five years, leaking tiny amounts of water into the ducting and wood, and for some reason today the holes got bigger than the nails and we had a problem. What a bummer that a thoughtless mistake wasn’t caught long ago!
The good news:
I went to the basement before 8 a.m., before I got in the shower and made it worse. On a normal day I’m not down there until dinnertime when I need an ingredient from the storage room for our meal. My husband was working from home today, saving us the cost and hassle of calling a plumber. We turned off the water, drained the pipes into buckets, cut the pipe and went to buy a new piece. We opened up the ducting to dry it out, put a little bleach water on the wood that appears to be rotting, and now we just wait and see if it has to be replaced. The actual cost so far is around $20.
The bad news:
If the wood doesn’t dry out properly it will cost a lot more than that. Having the water off meant no laundry, no shower, time spent working in the basement instead of doing other things.
Really it’s not a big deal, not a big deal at all. But sometimes it’s tempting to feel like everything is going wrong, especially when you start stacking recent setbacks on top of one another. Not necessarily life changing things, but little things that weigh on you, interrupt your ability to accomplish necessary things, and significantly add to your stress. I was tempted to feel totally overwhelmed by this today, not just because of what happened but because of what didn’t happen as a result of it. Life has a way of getting us when we have the least amount of time for it. I’m noticing that I’ve had to give myself a lot of pep talks lately, and today they increased.
Still, as I’m trying to live joyfully this year, I do feel like I’m getting better at taking things in stride. At least I am on the surface. The stomach ache I’ve had for several weeks might indicate that I’m not as successful as I think. Nevertheless, it’s progress. I’m working at it.
So today we had an unwelcome surprise. But it happened on the right day, we found it at the right time, and so far it’s cost as little as it could possibly cost. Let’s hope it stays that way.
And I’m thankful for running water that isn’t running into my basement.