What Started As A Leak…

Note: Post updated 2017-02-15 to update photo locations to blog from flickr.

Some of you might remember we had another leak a few months ago outside in the main line to the house. (I tweeted about it, but I don’t remember blogging about it.) We patched it at the time, but we knew we would have to replace the water line into the house. We were hoping it would hold off until it warmed up this Spring.

So much for wishful thinking.

Some of you might have seen the following tweet a few days ago:
I hear a faint

The next morning, I got up to get ready for work. The well had run empty.

The Husbear and I decided to crack the slab in the bathroom where we could hear the flow the loudest. We were hoping to find the leak and be able to patch it.

Once we got through the extremely thin slab, we didn’t find the leak. At all. And the water lines went in a completely different direction than we expected.

Since we couldn’t find the leak, we decided we would just break up a channel in the slab to the interior wall, and then run a new water line into the house from the well. (We have already laid in the pipe from the well to the back of the house this past summer, before we started pouring a concrete deck along the back of the house. We figured we were going to have to replace it at some point.)

I had to pull the sheetrock off the wall where we would be running the waterline to. What we found was rather alarming. Frayed electrical wiring. And not just in one place. We are surprised that the house hadn’t burned down at some point.

And on top of the frayed wiring, we found mold. Lots of mold.

I’m not sure who built the shower (judging by the date on some newspaper used as “insulation” that I found, I’m assuming it was the people who owned the house immediately before us). But their DIY skills were extremely lacking. Extremely. Lacking.

The discovery of the mold and the bad wiring changed our plans. Big time. Instead of just replacing the main water line into the house, we will now have to gut the bathroom, the laundry room, and a hallway.

If you could only read my lips… they contain curse words.

We got the channel broken out Sunday, and today (Monday) we got a majority of the rooms gutted. The hardest part was probably carrying out the cast iron bathtub that had a 1954 date stamped on the bottom of it. It was damned heavy! (It now rest on our back deck for the moment.)

This is what the shower area looks like almost completely gutted. There’s all sorts of wiring that will have to be replaced. It’s all old 2 wire, with no ground! The HVAC duct was run a couple years after we moved in. I couldn’t handle no central heat and air conditioning. And those new studs and insulation you see are from the office remodel a few years ago.

We will be changing the old shower area into the new laundry room. The old laundry room will now become the new shower area for the bathroom. The Husbear is excited about getting a new laundry room for some reason. And a new bathroom.

So, the water leak has now turned into a huge tear down and remodel project. Fun times. I love our old house, but sometimes you just have to wonder if the ghosts have it out for us here.

There are more pictures over on my flickr account.

I’m sure this will keep me busy for the next few months….

Until next time...
Erik

16 thoughts on “What Started As A Leak…

    1. I don’t know that most homeowners have this sort of problem. Our house is 118 years old. The original part of the house is very well built. But most of the additions that were done over time by former owners weren’t done with the best quality or care. And with all things, time takes it’s toll….

  1. Have giant shop-vac, will travel. Also make a mean meatloaf to soothe the rumbling tummy after a hard day’s work…

    1. There’s a funny story in there about meatloaf and a shop-vac. I just can’t tell it in public. 😉

      Thank you for the offer! I’m betting we will be needing assistance at some point. I’ll let you know.

  2. DAMN! Sorry to hear about your unexpected project. If there’s any consolation it’s that you guys know what you’re doing and can do it right yourselves.

    1. Luckily the Husbear grew up on a farm and was always doing stuff with his hands, whether he wanted to or not. The one thing I can actually thank my father for was teaching me all this kind of stuff. And for everything else, there’s Google.

  3. Wow…those pictures look like stills from “Holmes on Homes.” Sorry your little fix turned into a major remodel! Worst part is (and I’m sure you’ve contemplated this) the wiring in the rest of the house is probably in just as bad condition.

    1. I would think Holmes would probably run away screaming from our house.

      I know at least two rooms and the HVAC system are up to code. The rooms I wired myself when we remodeled them, and we had the HVAC installed. Most of the rest of the house is that old two-wire electrical that was string-wrapped, most of which has disintegrated by now.

      Such is the joy of owning an old, old home. But we’ll get it all up to “normal” before long.

    1. I approach D.I.Y. like I do computers: there’s nothing I can’t do that couldn’t be repaired if need be. As for the Husbear, he’s more into the destruction than the construction. Unless it’s the yard.

  4. Ah, dude – the Gypsy & I truly understand and are ready to help. At the least, provide a meal or two. (That’s easy for me to do – volunteer the Gypsy’s culinary skills – and it’s good for you guys too…)

    1. Thank you both very much. I appreciate it. As soon as I can figure out what we’re doing beyond laying the water lines and running new electrical this coming weekend, I will keep your offer in mind.

      I hear you just got your “mess” all finished and back to normal! Congrats on that. I have a feeling ours will take us just as long to accomplish…. *ugh*

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