It's more than a house. It's an adventure.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Running water is overrated

For the second time in as many days, I came home to messed-up water service. I arrived at 6:00, and my wife said it had been weird for at least 15 minutes already. Checked a couple faucets. Yep, tons of air in the lines, and a chlorine smell. The toilet hadn't filled since its last flush. Seeing the force with which the air was coming through the faucets, I shut off the water to the toilet. The last thing I need is a disintegrated fill mechanism or worse. We sat tight for a little while, keeping ourselves occupied, thinking things would be OK in a while.

Around 6:45, we tried again. No water anywhere. Just some noise. A few minutes later, I tried again, and started getting some water.

At this point, I decided to stop risking our internal fixtures and plumbing, and decided to try the garden hose outside. It sputted and spat for a bit, then it went dead. No water, no air, nothing. I tried around 7:00, and it fired nothing more than a large, loud, cloud of mist. No real liquid water, just mist. The crew working on the mains came over and were shocked that I was still getting so much air. They had left a fire hydrant open for 90 minutes to flush the system, and I should not have had air in my lines at that point.

About 7:15 I guess, I tried again, and got a little water finally. The crew came back. They were still surprised. Everyone else was getting solid streams of water, no air. So I let it run for a while and after about 5 minutes, started getting consistent water flow.

Then it was on to the inside fixtures. I opened up the kitchen faucet and it sputtered for a while. In the basement, I could hear pipes all around me crackling with air pockets, so I shut off the water to the back end of the house and the kitchen cleared up in a hurry. Reopened those valves and went back to the bathroom and turned those loose. What a racket.

There was lots of crud coming out of the lines too. I was told that they had hooked up to some older lines which hadn't been run in a while, thus all the sediment build-up and subsequent flush. I really hope this isn't going to be a regular event while this road work is going on. It's really inconvenient. Supposedly we were to be getting notified anytime water service was going to be disrupted, but that has yet to materialize.

One good outcome of all of this: traffic control. They've ripped the street up so bad that it's just one giant muddy, rutty, pot-holed mess. People are avoiding using the street as a bypass for main street, and those who do come down here are going much, much slower.

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