Water Saga

I was a bit disappointed when I moved here and saw my creepy basement because I’d imagined a finished room. Instead, I got a dark dungeon-like space with a rotted floor from too much flooding, crumbling half walls, and spooky nooks, though no crannies. (A nook is a corner or other small space; a cranny is a gap or a crack in a wall.)

Above and beyond the walls shown in the photo are deep crawlspaces with all the pipes and ducts and other arteries of a house exposed.

As it turned out, the new garage with plenty of storage space precluded any need for basement storage. Still, I had the basement cleaned out, the floor concreted, the walls painted white, all of which made the place look a trifle less like a dungeon and a bit more like what it is — a utilitarian space for the water heater and furnace, as well as those “arteries.” It’s still not pretty any way you look at it, but it does the job.

The best thing about the basement turns out to be the thing I really didn’t appreciate — the visibility of all those pipes and ducts (visible in real life, that is; they’re not visible in the attached photo). When I got my water bill with the hugely inflated water usage, it was easy enough for me to go down to the basement and look for any drips or flooding. I didn’t see anything. A worker who came to help me find the leak didn’t see anything, either.

This is a basic house, fairly simple with not much hidden besides the buried pipes leading to (and from) the house — the gas line, the sewer line, and the water pipe. So, if there is no leak in the house, no water running anywhere in the house, there are only two places for a leak — where the buried water pipe connects to the meter and where it connects to the house. The pipe itself should not be a problem — the old lead pipe was replaced before I got here as a condition of the sale. (I even have the receipt somewhere.)

Unfortunately, with all the snow that was dumped on us, as well as the frigid temperatures we’re going to be treated with the next few days, no one will be able to get out here to probe for water leaks. But that’s beyond my control. What I can do — I did: go down to the basement and look for leaks and listen for water movement through the fully exposed pipes.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.