At quarter to eight in the morning I’ve wrenched my back, soaked my boots, worked up a muck sweat that keeps fogging my glasses, lost my temper at my dog, gotten a jackhammer chisel so wedged between concrete and rebar I thought I might need to buy Neighbor S a new one … and provisionally succeeded in corking the leak after almost two weeks.
There were some monumental water leaks one house in Michigan used to spring that I’ve probably edited out of my memory, so this might not be the most difficult-to-get-to leak I’ve ever encountered. But it’s the hardest I remember.
And I have no idea what the guy who installed this particular pipe was thinking at the time. Ian and I built this basic structure together but he alone was responsible for plumbing and electricity – and twelve years ago he was no more a plumber or electrician than I was.
So anyway: This morning I finally succeeded in breaking a big-enough-for-a-fist hole in the far side of the wall, and …Well, ma’am, I found your problem…
This is the only external use of copper I’ve found at Ian’s Cave and it came as a complete surprise. I don’t currently have any way to permanently fix it. That freeze split has obviously been there at least five months, maybe years. The broken fitting might be why the leak became evident or it might be a jackhammer casualty. Don’t know.
What I did know was…
… I wasn’t expecting copper. I was prepared to cork up a leaking flexible pipe. If it had turned out to be PVC, I could have dealt with that. But even if I had a pipe cap there’s no way I could braze one onto a copper pipe way back in that hole. While water’s pouring out. And no, the plumbers who performed last year’s upgrade did not see fit to replace the main shut-off valve they removed in the process.
There was no evident way to fix this the right way. Whatever that might be. So…I went mountain man.
Baton (yes, I know) a little piece of firewood to a square cross section and then whittle it to a long gradual point, then jam it in the pipe and twist until water stops pissing out.
And this is the mess I have to deal with today…