Only a flesh wound….

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Behold the new hole in our garage.

The morning started as plumbers from about four counties all arrived at our house, in search of a slab leak. For those that don’t know, a slab leak is when your plumbing breaks, only the break is hidden under 6″ of concrete, and you get to guess where the leak is.

Fortunately, there are leak detection specialists. They have a gizmo that stuffs a sequenced electric charge onto your plumbing, and another gizmo that finds that and tells you where the pipes are, and how deep they are. They wander through your house hearing beeps (it’s the really expensive machine that goes PING!) figuring out where the plumbing is. Then they stuff your pipes with helium, and use a set of stethoscopes the size of a big can of soup (two, actually) to listen for the helium exiting through the leak. I swear it looks like the guy is dowsing….

And in about an hour, he mapped out where all the pipes are, and then he found the leak. And that made me happy.

Not because we found the leak, but because the leak turned out to be in the corner of the house, where the service enters. Right where we were seeing the water come out. And this makes me happy because the leak wasn’t in the dining room, or in the kitchen under a cabinet, or under the tile in the bathroom, or…

You get the point — if you see how this gets fixed, the place that needs fixing is best in the garage, where it doesn’t trigger major remodeling projects. So the plumbers used a saw to cut the concrete, and then a jackhammer to remove it, and after I took this picture, patched in new copper to connect the good piece to the good piece, and by about 4PM, we had water — and it wasn’t out in the front yard.

Tomorrow they’ll come back and patch the concrete, and we’ll give it a few days to harden, and then life will return to normal, at least it will once I clear out the concrete dust and the mud and all of the other debris that now inhabits the garage, and backfill the bed that used to be part of the front yard…

If you live in an eichler, this is the kind of problem you dread, and when they happen, they can become really bad really fast. If it had to happen, this problem is about as close to the best case scenario as you can ask for — so I’m happy. And it was a relatively quick fix, too.

and once they stopped jackahmmering, I even got work done…

But it’s been an interesting few days…