Sometimes being wrong is best

Regarding that lake. To review. I took a shower that was lukewarm. I looked under the house and saw several inches of standing water as far as the eye could see (which was, admittedly, fairly limited given it is a crawlspace with ducts throughout). I checked the water meter, and there were no leaks. So I reached the tentative, and admittedly impossible, conclusion that we were leaking hot water, but only when the water was running.

We had a plumber come by the next day. Turns out the number one cause of death for plumbers is electrocution, so he would not go under the house with all the water there. But he also said it was too shallow and dispersed to pump out. And he said my hot water leak hypothesis was impossible. Instead we had a broken cartridge in our shower faucet and an unrelated incursion of water from the recent rains.

Our shower faucet is of the unknown variety, so I headed to Teter’s Faucet and ordered a new one. Then I jammed a screwdriver in the old one and broke it further before putting the whole thing back together. Now it is biased toward hot water instead of cold water as we await the arrival of our new cartridge… much better for showers.

About the water. It’s actually very good news. We already knew we had a moisture problem under the house (due to the cupping of our wood floors), and we knew roughly how much it will cost to fix (installing powered fan vents). We just didn’t know how bad it could actually get after 7 inches of rain. What does all this mean? That no new expenses were introduced into the mix. If we spend money to control the moisture under the house, it isn’t a repair, and was already known.

But what to do in the interim when we can’t spend the money? And how do we lose the water so someone is willing to wire up electric fans under the house? I had this vision of using these, attached to a fan sitting at the entrance to the crawlspace, and venting the moist air out a window. Then my brother-in-law Peter asked, “Why don’t you just turn the fan facing down?” Yes, well, why not indeed.

So, here’s what my plywood-form-with-weatherproofing-and-big-fan looks like. It works amazingly. We just opened a window and closed the door to the room. Two days later, there is no visible water under the house, and the dirt looks less like mud and more like, well, dirt.

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3 Comments

  1. Mark
    Mar 22, 2008

    Electrocution? Yikes! I didn’t know there was a cause of death specific to plumbers.

  2. Mom/Ruth
    Mar 22, 2008

    Did you hear that? It’s me, breathing a sigh of relief!

  3. Peter
    Mar 24, 2008

    Good form indeed!

    Also, thanks for including me in the chronicling of this little excursion.