01 January, 2016

Plumbing Emergency - Rerouting A Water Line

It was coming bubbling up from underground, almost like the Beverly Hillbillies, except it wasn't Texas Tea. It was fresh, clear water. Bubbling up on our patio right around one of the vertical posts for the little palapa there.

Well, I guess I really should begin at the beginning. Monday or Tuesday of this week, that'd be the 25th or 26th of December, I had finished walking the doggies, as I do almost every day. Upon coming home at 6:30 AM, I immediately fed them breakfast, and then prepared breakfast for Dianna and myself. Our normal routine.

That's so we get breakfast out of the way, so that I can get the girls into their pen, so they don't interfere with the workers or anything going on with the construction. After that, I walked over to the chain link gate and unlocked and opened it so that Carl and the workers can all come in and get started with the day's construction activities.

After unlocking the gate, I head up to the new addition and leisurely walk through. This is when I can really look at the progress without being hurried or anything, note any problems that might be evident. I usually also spend a few minutes in the veranda just gazing out at the canal. It's a really nice sight early in the morning. I can't wait to do it when we actually live there, and I can stand or sit with a hot cup of coffee and just savor the view.
Canal From the Veranda
Of course, you've got to use your imagination a little bit. No chain link, the scalloped wall continues across, the dock is finished all around... What the Hell, let's put a little MacGregor sailboat in there as well.

Ok, back to reality for now. After losing myself in the view and dreams, I cross over to the patio and up to the pool deck to unlock the bathroom for the crew and to rais the big door. Except this morning. There's a rather large puddle of water on the patio.

immediately think that it rained the previous night, but no, that's not what happened. Is the pool leaking onto the patio? No, that wouldn't happen like that. Where'd the water come from? What's that? I almost can see a ripple in the water. Naahh.

I put my foot in the water to dam it a bit then remove it. Sure enough, there is a slight current running through there, from around the post, meandering over to the gate and out to the dock and into the canal. Hello Houston, We have a problem.

Immediately, I think of the water piping as I installed it a few years ago. There's a 'Y' right there. One way goes to the pool house, the other goes over to the fence and is stubbed off. A future faucet was planned to go there.

Well, short of tearing up the patio to fix it, what can I do? I began to think right away of bypassing the patio.Which meant probably tapping into my main 1-1/4" water line that pretty much hugs the fence line around the pool to where it goes under the patio, running it under the pool deck, keeping the pipe on the surface there just for convenience, coming out from the pool deck around the far end and then tapping into the water line as it goes into the pool house. Should be easy and fairly fast to do, right? It's never quite like you see it in your mind's eye, ever.

Carlos and I spent some time talking about the best way to do the project. We decided we'd stop the big water line just as it turned to go under the patio, enabling us to not only keep a feed working to the pool, but also the faucet that is right at the turning point.

I dug down by the bannana trees till I found the main water line. I had Carlos finish digging it out. This brought about change #1, for the project. Carlos found another small leak right at the elbow. We made a 'command decision' to move the faucet over near where we were going to reconnect it to the pool house. This allowed us to just cap the big pipe without worrying about anything else at that location, as you can see below.
Main Water Line Capped At Patio
Then I dug out over by the raised bed to find the main water line where we were going to tap into with the 3/4" line to begin the run under the deck. You can see that result below. The smaller line running parallel to the big water line is a 220V electrical line, feeding the main pool pump. From our previous activity, we knew enough not to plunge a shovel through that, thank you very much.
Bypass Start
I had Carlos poke a hole through the block wall of the pool deck, as shown below. That was easy because we're only dealing with 4" block here.
Going Under Pool Deck
Once the water line went under the deck, that meant someone (Carlos) had to go under the deck to hook up elbows and more line till it exited the deck on the far side. It's actually pretty easy under there. No spiders or other creepy crawlies, no plants, just bare marl for the most part. There's about two-and-a-half feet of room under the deck which means crawling on hands and knees. My knees just can't handle that anymore unless it's an emergency, so that was why Carlos got elected to go under.

Hatch Entrance Under Deck
After the pipe re-emerged from under the deck, as below, then it's a short run over to tap into the line feeding into the pool house. You can see where we relocated the faucet as well.
New Water Supply to Pool House
Just to show an action shot, here's Carlos figuring out where to make the cut in the line to attach the new feed. All the old line under the patio is just where it's all going to stay. No sense trying to do anything with it. Someday, someone, an archaeologist perhaps will unearth all this pipe and wonder just what the heck was going on here.
Carlos Figuring Out Where to Cut House Water Line
After finishing hooking up the pipe, we took a break for a beer on the pool deck, and to give the glue time to set. After our break, we turned the water back on and checked every connection, including under the deck for any leaks. The good news - no leaks, anywhere. Another crisis successfully averted.

This is a good way to start the new year. We'll once again wish you and yours a prosperous, happy and safe New Year. May that sentiment stretch throughout the entire year.

There's a few more photos than appear in this posting. You can see them all on Flickr at:


Wilma said...

All's well that ends well, Dave!

Vivien said...

You seem to be having a bit of bad luck.
Wishing you an Dianna, a very happy new year. I hope you will be enjoying your new home very soon and until then, things go well.

Dave Rider said...

Hi Wilma,

Except for the physical labor involved with digging marl (always a challenge) it turned out to be a fairly simple fix, and it did end well.


Dave Rider said...

Hi Vivien,

No, I don't think it's a run of bad luck, it's just fulfilling my destiny per my job description. On FaceBook, it says I'm Chief of Maintenance at Casa Winjama... Ergo, the Great Architect is just making sure I'm kept busy enough to earn the title.

Thanks for the nice wishes, and the same for you and Denis.