Tuesday morning Wife got up around 5:00AM -because she gets leg cramps- and went to start coffee…and at about 6:00 she heard a weird noise in the garage and went to check on the doggie. The water heater was making groaning noises and the re-circulation pump was making a high-pitched whine – and the doggie made eyes saying, “Make it stop!” I heard the ruckus and got up, and we all gathered in the garage where I turned off the circulation pump, which quieted things down a bit, but the water heater still strained, while inside the kitchen water pressure was just a dribble – so boots on in a light drizzle, I went outside.
Around by the front steps water was gushing up and flooding the lawn, and running down the new channel I had dug for the down-spout hose – so I went and shut off the valve to the sprinklers – which did no good, then the valve to the house, which also did no good either. I made a fast walk up the 100-foot drive, out to the Main on the road, and there’s six of those concrete squares to choose from, and none were marked with street numbers – but one that had a bolt with a lifter and that one was squealing, so I raised the concrete plug-thing and started twisting on the valve till the squealing stopped – I had lucked out and found my own meter-valve, and the deluge stopped.A few hours later after going to the store for jugs of fresh water, my plumber friend stopped by on the way to a job up-country, and did a quick assessment: start digging here and I’ll see you tomorrow. So I laid-out a half-folded tarp and got a shovel, and after about an hour had uncovered the main, and a T-junction that went to the house, and what appeared to be an un-glued elbow where separation had occurred.At any rate the flood had subsided so it was just good to let things dry-out in the hole, besides I was muddy and sweaty and there was just one big jug of water with which to clean-up. Civilization is practically defined by running water, even if just cold water, and plumbing apparatus to deliver the water. My Civilization had failed, temporarily, but I still had a dog that needed her walk and she doesn’t think quite as highly of Civilization as I do since she is rather independent of it.After the dog-walk, I heard my neighbor (the free-range chicken rancher) motoring about on his Craftsman tractor. Ah-ha! He’s a retired Plumber! So I called him over and we talked and he went off to get some of that two-part PVC glue, and then came around the fence to see what I had gotten myself into. He inspected the pipes and said that it looked ti him as though a bunch of the joints were only stuck together with the purple-primer, and that whoever had done previous work had missed a few spots. The Main t-junction showed evidence (blue) of glue, but other joints were just smeared with purple.
I got down in the hole with the two-part PVC cement, cleaned out water and mud from the elbow joint, then lathered it up with purple-primer, let it set a bit, then applied the blue-glue and got the fittings back together and held the joint fast for a minute. Ok! Instructions are to let it cure for 24-hours but most guys don’t wait that long…except for me, I let it set-up overnight. In the morning my other plumber friend returned, and inspected my handiwork. His conclusion was that the joints that were holding, had been glued with the clear glue, not the blue stuff. I don’t know – but he called it good, and we went through the process of flushing the line and restoring water service. With a pressure-meter on the hose-bib reading 70lbs, I was ready to back-fill the hole and take a shower! My back is feeling a bit torqued today, but the work is done.