I’d been noticing for a number of months now (don’t tell anyone, but it might even have been years!), that the rocks above our house were always rather wet, even throughout the summer after the rains had long stopped. I could even hear a bit of a hissing sound in the area (not to mention seeing a bit of a trickle), which made it almost a certainty that there was a water leak in the main line coming from the road down to the house.
Yesterday I came home only to find a tiny spout of water shooting from the ground about 20 feet into the air and landing on the roof of the house. Clearly, it was time to deal with the situation, and duct tape was not going to do it this time.
So I sent the District of Sechelt an email at 4:45pm yesterday evening telling them about the issue and asking them if they had a map somewhere of where the water shutoff might be, and if they could send someone out to shut it off so that I could fix it (as though I actually knew how to fix it!).
5 minutes later, the email got forwarded to some other department. Impressive.
9:30am the following morning I got a knock on the door. I had been burning some stuff in the yard the previous night (which I’m not supposed to be doing), and my immediate thought was I was about to get into trouble for it. The water line email did cross my mind, but there’s no way it would have got through the red tape in such a hurry. Well wouldn’t you know it…
The guy had already found the shut off valve using his metal detector and asked me if I wanted him to shut it off and for how long. Yikes! So I said yes, go for it, I will figure it out and deal with it right now. He gave me his number which I was to call when I was ready to have it turned back on.
So it turns out its REALLY easy to fix this sort of thing: first off, start digging. Once you’ve found the spot and cleared some room, use a utility knife to lop out the bad section (assuming it’s PVC).
Take it to the hardware store with you and tell them what you are trying to do. The guy gave me 2 couplings, 4 hose clamps, and 1 foot of replacement hose. Interestingly, he told me the old pipe is too thin for the pressure that my area has: the pipe is only good for around 80psi, and Tuwanek ought to be up around 120psi, so it likely won’t be the last leak I have and I should probably replace the whole lot. Good info, but that’s a project for another day.
I zipped back home, banged the couplings in, threw the clamps on the hose, banged the hose onto the couplings, tightened the clamps. Total time: 90 minutes, including the 10 minute drive to and from town. I was literally done before noon.
Once the guy was back around 1:00pm and had the water back on, it was apparent I needed to tighten my clamps a little more. Threw some insulation around the pipe to avoid it freezing (potentially what caused the hole in the first place, if not the pressure issue), and tossed some dirt back over top of it.