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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I took a little vacation down to Disney World this past week and we get a call on Monday evening from my parent's who went by to pick up the mail and check the house. Turns out the water company said my house had a leak cause the meter was just a-spinnin! Dad shut it off and said the house looked ok. It must be in the yard- Awesome! At least the house wasn't damaged.

We drive back on Thursday and get into town about 9:30. The A/C won't work and the water has been turned off. Turn it on- yep it leaks somewhere...but where ??? I start digging some test holes trying to find where the pipe is. ITS DEEP! I give up around 1:30am

I get up an rent a backhoe, have to have a full-sized truck which my frontier is not, so I borrow my dads dodge. Get it home and start playing...er... I mean digging. I figured I would just run a completely new PEX line from the house to the meter and be done with it. As I'm digging, my neighbor comes over and offers me a cold one so I stop and we talk. He mentions the gas line and a discussion over which way that might run ensues. I decide to start at the other end since I was getting close to where it *might* be. I call 811 (call before you dig). Its state law that you must call before you dig. Apparently its also state law to call 3 DAYS before you dig. They'll locate my gas line by next wednesday... (edit: they came Saturday evening and marked the lines)

Screw it, I keep digging. WHEEEEEEESH!!!!! then the smell of Doritos. Awesome. I hurriedly shut the machine down, and leap away. Throw the hat, cuss and finally call 911. Three fire trucks show up and an hour later the gas company shows up. They get it seal off an repaired.

A VW friend drives by, honks and turns around. I tell him the story and he immediately knows what's wrong with the A/C. He tells me what to do and to call him if he had any problems.

After I got the go ahead to continue digging, I finished it and put the new pipe in. It was awful hot. I filled in the ditch (carefully around the gas line) and took the backhoe back to the rental store. I rewired the A/C unit with the advice from my buddy (he was right, the terminal I used last time wasn't high temp and it blew up! good thing it didn't happen when the air was full of gas...). So I am back inside ready to take a shower in the a/c

I finally took a shower 22 hours and $297 (of my dollars) later. It only took my dad's truck, the 3 responding fire units and two gas company guys to solve one of my problems!

My yard:


$181.XX for the back hoe rental
$93.XX for the PEX pipe and all the fittings I thought I needed
$9.XX for the fitting I really needed (and a snickers bar )
$13.XX for diesel for the machine.
$107.XX water bill :shock:
 

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That's always an awful job. I patched mine twice in 4 years and the third time replaced the crappy blue pipe with schedule 40. Lousy way to end a vacation, but glad it didn't turn out worse for you.
 

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Sorry to hear you had to go through this. But that's life. Murphy law rules! It was great you could handle this yourself(mostly). Around here the rental alone would be double what you paid. Most would have had to hire someone and that would have cost a couple of grand or more here. Finding an honest contractor here is like looking for ice in a forest fire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
88BamaTrooper said:
A sharp stick would have found that leak alot easier and you wouldn't have had to dig the whole yard up.lol
Yeah, I had a really good idea where the leak was (about two bushes down on the right in the picture). I could see wetness and my garage had some water that wouldn't go away (the gutters suck and need to be replaced too, but it hasn't rained in a while). I knew generally where it was, but the copper pipe on the house end ran under ALL the bushes until it turned into galvanized somewhere closer to the meter. I wasn't about to patch a hole this week, to have another hole next week! And money I spent on all new materials basically covers difference between the $107 water bill and the normal water bill.

Yeah I'm glad I could do it myself too. My other brother in law (not chris) has this happen a little over a year ago. He got frustrated and hired it out. Cost him over $1,100 and didn't have that much on hand because I am trying to fix up other areas of the house this next week. It never ends.

As my neighbor kept saying the whole time: "Pride in ownership!"

Or as I say: "Being a HOMe Owner leaves you screwed a lot"
 

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The joys of being a home owner. :lol: Nice work and considering, done on the cheap. Though no longer offered here, a lot of water departments allow 1-2 oops water bills a year where despite a leak on your side of the meter, they charge you only your average use. You normally need to ask them about it.
 

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When the leak is in your yard but on their side of the meter it can take a very long time to get repaired.
 

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Go big or go home! lol, in all seriousness, take pride in the fact you did it yourself; I was raised to fix everything myself. You did a good job, and saved yourself a ton of money, so at the end of the day you won.

-Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I do take lots of pride in it and I know I saved a whole lot of money and time. But I just got through talking to the "investigator" about the gas line. He is supposed to come down from knoxville and take photos of the scene. Seems pretty stupid, but the gas guy fixed the leak/break in 8 minutes and then spent 2 hours filling out paper in the truck. I guess they have to do their thing.

Funny thing was, when I called him back, he asked which location was the damage report on? and he listed 3 or 4 places... so I guess they do this often! Oh well.
 
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