When your cleaning up for the night at 9.45pm the last thing you need to hear is tap tap tap at quite a high frequency.
That’s exactly what happened to me last night. After some plastering work on the window wall in our kitchen I was just getting ready to go for a shower to go to bed when I heard the drip coming through our ceiling somewhere near the hall.
A shout from the bedroom “is that dripping?” Confirmed that we did have an issue. Grabbing a nearby bucket and doing a closer inspection I could only see it coming through from one side of a partition wall. The drip steadied and slowed down after 1 minute or so I thought. Panic over…not really.
It’s amazing at this point the things that we do to confirm that everything will be alright. After trying the door of our neighbours upstairs to no avail with no car outside I had to sit it out and hope that he would be back that night. Going back into the living room sitting in front of the bucket I opened the stopwatch on the clock app and proceeded to set laps every time I heard the drip to basically tell myself that yes there is water is coming through the ceiling but it’s fine, it’s stopping, aye right! The time between the drips went back to 12.67 seconds and I then went and lay in bed, put suits on and tried to calm myself down.
15 mins later…drip…drip…………….drip…drip!
Shit! You’re kidding me on!
Back into the hall and there’s another drip coming through. Out comes the bin bag from the bin and we have another bucket collecting water from god knows where.
Is upstairs central heating, is it the dishwasher? I can’t hear a washing machine so it must be one of the two. Surely, it never took a full 24 hours after the high winds of Hurricane Ophelia to allow water to come through upstairs without being noticed into our place?
Back to bed to sit it out and wait for the rumbling of a Subaru engine to confirm that our neighbour is back.
This time a minute or so passes and I think I’m losing it and that I can hear another drip. I open the shoe cupboard door in the bedroom…SHIIIT! The shelves and shoes are soaked, I look up and the ceiling is cracked, stained and has a fairly steady drip of water coming through.
Emergency procedures complete, those shoes aren’t soaked are moved out of the cupboard and replaced with towels and I retire to the couch by the window to wait like a kid does for their mum or dad to come home.
Eventually, at about 12am, whilst Mike Ross has been caught putting Louis down in Suits, I hear the best noise I’ve heard in a while. The grumbling of that infamous Subaru engine…he’s home.
After explaining the situation he runs upstairs to check. He comes back to say that everything is bone dry. It can’t be, surely it’s not gonna be under the floor, please don’t let it be under the floor. He invites me in to try and show where it’s coming through from.
After a 5 minute search we find his towel cupboard drenched and that the water is coming from his attic.
At this point I actually felt elated, for the past couple of hours I’ve been racking my brain trying to work out what it could be that has caused it. They always say that worrying is a waste of energy and it’s never been more true than at that moment.
I jump back down to ours, grab steps the investigation heads to the attic. We find a sodden floor below a hot water pipe and remove the insulation around it. There is water pissing out of three small holes across a length just shy of a metre.
How the hell does that happen? I’ve never seen a copper pipe with small holes formed away from any fittings in a warm place?!
After a few minutes, we work out that with stuff I have for the kitchen renovation we can turn the water off out in the street, cut the affected piece of pipe out and replace it with a new piece and a couple of compression fittings.
All in it took us till about 2.30am to fix the problem and shake hands in that manly way and go home happy.
Before this I had only met the guy upstairs once to introduce myself, and here we were working together calmly in a kind of home crisis situation, having a laugh and taking control of the situation.
I love that, I absolutely love that! At our essence we our cooperative problem solvers that can make the best out of any situation if we really want too.
It turns out there is no convenient time to have a leak in your house but no matter the time, we can pull together and get the job done!
Keep learning, solving problems and pushing forward!