Annual water leak

Every year around the winter holidays we have our annual water leak. This has gone on without fail for many years, so long in fact that it is now a tradition and we have come to expect it. It is the main reason I have insulated coveralls and has been the single greatest reason I have utilized my chest waders. Well we had not had any leaks, we still have great water pressure so we don’t even suspect a leak is brewing. A slow drop in water pressure means there is a leak but it usually takes about six months to surface so we know where to dig to fix it.

Last week Annmarie had noticed a puddle of water on the tile floor in the craft room downstairs. This room shares a wall with the kitchen and in that wall is the water riser for the freezer. We also have a drain line from the upstairs heating system condensate pump and there are siding issues on that side of the house. Any of these could be the source of the leak, but there was a plastic gallon container of deionized water a mere 12” away from the puddle. I theorized that the most obvious cause was the cause and the puddle came from the gallon of deionized water. Otherwise, I could potentially have to rip the murphy bed off of the wall and move it out of the room. It is a solid day to take it down and then reinstall it. This did not sound like a good plan on a mere hunch that the leak might be behind the murphy bed. We dried up the puddle and there was no water puddle the next morning, problem solved! There was still the issue that when I took the offending gallon to the sink and rolled it around and pressed on it, I could not seem to make it leak…

Move forward to Monday December 20, 2021, the wife calls me at work and states that there is now a huge puddle of water in the middle of the craft room floor. She is unsure where it is coming from but there is a definite leak. My biggest fear at this point is that it is the house siding as it had been raining with a solid wind behind it. I told her I would look at it when I got home.

When I got home the first thing I did was go to the offending room and look for a leak. Luckily for me it was fairly obvious that it was coming in through the ceiling. The paint was forming a bubble and the sheetrock tape was starting to swell.

I went out to the old house and brought in a big roll of plastic and draped all three big items in the room then cut open the ceiling. I had to tear out about a four foot hole to see where the leak was coming from and the sheetrock was wasted, too water logged to allow to dry out and reuse. Once I had a large enough hole I could see that it was not the condensate drain line. I would have put money on that being the cause of the leak. I went back upstairs into the closet where the sump pump was located and realized that the rubber drain hose had been knocked out of the drain hole and was draining out onto the floor and down onto the ceiling below. This must have happened this summer when they worked on the heating/cooling system. It had a refrigerant leak that they fixed, someone’s foot must have slid the pump 1.5” away, knocking the drain hose out of place. We never noticed. So I moved the black rubber drain hose so it was pinned in place better and cut two boards to go behind the sump pump so no one could accidentally move it with their foot. I set up a portable heater in the room and we have been drying out the sheetrock ever since.

I am hopeful we can get the ceiling repaired in the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile we have been feeding the quail. We really want the population to boom this next spring so we are trying to keep their numbers up this winter. The rock pile in the top right hand corner of the picture hides a 25# quail food block that they graze on when they make their daily rounds. The rocks keep the block from the view of our chickens, therefore the chickens don’t know there is an abundance of food within walking distance! The quail came by last night and I was able to count 94 quail in one covey. We are pretty sure there is a second large covey on the upper end of the property. They don’t get fed but we figure if we go into spring with 100 we should come out this next fall with a few hundred.

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