When You Can’t Ignore Your Old Basement

Ok. Our house is over a 100 years old! That means it was someone’s home during World War I and World War II! Since I love history, that fact alone is enough to interest me. Did anyone who lived in this house have to send their husband/son/ father off to war?

Though the charm of this old house is simply beautiful, there are some skeletons in the closet. Quite literally. Just kidding. I only mean that figuratively. Unless you count that raccoon. Just kidding again–I think.

And hope.

I came home last night around 8:30 pm.  The first thing I noticed was the sound of gushing water.  Like, picture in your mind a giant waterfall.  Do you hear the heavy crashing of water?  Now turn that waterfall on its side and slam it into your ear.  That’s what I’m talking about when I say gushing.

The worst part of it was that it was coming from our basement–my least favorite part of our house.

I took a peek and saw the water dumping out of that big old pipe you see pictured and splashing into a pool of water on the floor.

I called every handy person I knew.  I also called my husband. (Jk Babe. I know you’re learning the ways of a handy, country man quickly 😉👍🏻).

People weren’t around, which is fine and understandable, but enter anxiety!

Luckily, my husband wrapped up his work and headed home to help. He told me over the phone to try to turn off the water valve to the house, which happened to be right under the pouring agua. “Don’t worry,” he says, “I don’t think it’s septic water because you would definitely smell that. It’s probably clean water.”

So I reach in there and try to turn that little valve thing. Of course I can’t get it to budge and now I’m all soaking wet.

Leland calls back to see if it worked. “Did it work?”

No. No it didn’t.

So then I try to get a hold of the 24-hr plumber.  He can’t make it until the morning, but he does try to see if he can help.  First he asks if its fresh water?

I say, “My husband says yes.” So the plumber asks me where it’s coming from. I tell him.

“Uh…no, that’s definitely not fresh water.  Don’t get under it.”

Too late.

Anyway, Leland gets home and calls our old friend, Carl, who is a plumber in Vegas and our neighbor, who is a very handy farmer guy.  Carl’s nice enough to Facetime and walk us through turning everything off.  But the water is still gushing.  And now Leland is all wet with the “fresh” water too.

Meanwhile, our neighbor makes it over and helps Leland troubleshoot.

We (ie: my neighbor) determined that there must be a blockage somewhere between the house and the septic tank. It turns out that water was just circulating over and over between that pipe and the sump pump. The sump pump shot the water out into the main pipe, but because it was clogged, it launched out of that side pipe, back onto the floor, and then back into the sump pump. A never ending cycle.

Leland turned off the sump pump and the water stopped spraying out.

Phew! Crisis semi-averted!

But we couldn’t use any water because it would just overflow again.  Nothing could get out the main pipes.

Regardless, we counted it as a victory, high-fived, took a bath in hand sanitizer and baby wipes, and called it a night. I only woke up once in the night thinking that it was all a scary dream.

In the morning, since we couldn’t use any water, we woke the kids up early and piled in the van to got to Kneaders for All-You-Can-Eat French Toast for $4.99 (and to use their bathrooms)! What a deal we thought. I’ve been eyeing that place all year.

Usually our kids drag their feet getting ready for the day, but when I yelled, “Get up, don’t go to the bathroom or use any water because it’s all broken and we’re going to Kneaders!” They just got up, threw on some clean clothes (though with one kid, I wasn’t so sure the clothes were clean… but the water is broken so who cares right?) and charged for the van. We were twenty minutes early. Leland took us on a tour of the surrounding parking lots until Kneaders opened!

But… their systems were down so we couldn’t eat there. Wah! I thought I might just cry, but how can I cry when the water is broken and now I’m all dehydrated?!!

So instead, we went to IHOP where I ordered Banana Fosters Brioche French Toast and eggs, sausage, and hash browns, totaling nearly 1300 calories. Oops. Good thing I had a Pilates class at the gym later and I didn’t have anything else to eat in my fridge. Semi-win.

Short story shorter: upon returning from the gym, I found water in all the right places in my house and my pocket book only a couple hundred dollars lighter. I actually feel blessed that it didn’t cost more than that.

Also Leland mowed the lawn while the plumbers were here!


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