There’s A Leak In The Crawl Space, Dear Liza

Ahhhhhhhhhh, so excited to have had a good night’s sleep last night!  Oh, where to begin.  Things first went downhill about 8 days ago, when our hot water went out (I discovered this the hard way when I tried to take a shower – yikes!!).  My hubby fiddled around with the water heater in the attic for awhile, and we were both puzzled when it looked like nothing was wrong with the water heater – the pilot light was on, so we should have been getting hot water.  The recirculating pump was ok, too.  How weird!

While we’re pondering the mystery of the cold shower, we notice a funky, musty smell in the laundry room.  We decide that it’s probably our gutters backing up into the crawl space – we’ve been meaning to clean them out for some time (those suckers were seriously clogged!).  Not great, but probably not a serious emergency, right?

It’s now Monday and hubby calls American Home Shield (our home warranty company) to send out a plumber to check out that pesky water heater (if it’s not the pilot light then the problem is over our heads) – they can’t send out a plumber until Tuesday, but no worries – we can put up with the minor inconvenience of showering at my parents’ house for another day, right?.  We’re pretty psyched that we’re going to get this problem fixed (and our hot water back!) for just the $60 service call . . .

Until the plumber shows up on Tuesday and confirms our suspicion that there’s nothing actually wrong with the hot water heater.  Instead, it turns out that there’s a ginormous leak in the crawl space under our house.  Awesome.

Fast forward a few hours – we now have these huge, noisy monsters all over our house:


Let me explain.  Apparently a hot water pipe that ran under our house sprung a leak back in the day and was patched with an old school patch that couldn’t stand the test of time – it sprung another leak on Sunday and was pumping out hot water into the crawl space under our house every time we turned on the hot water for a shower, to do laundry, or to run the dishwasher.  After 3 days of this, we had INCHES of standing water in our crawl space that led to that funky, musty smell in the laundry room (the leak was right under the laundry room).  All of that standing water had to be pumped out by a water removal company, the plumber patched the pipe, and dehumidifiers and fans were brought in to dry out the water-logged ground under the house.  The water removal company put in 3 dehumidifiers (one for each crawl space and then an extra) and bunches of fans (both in the house and underneath).  Those dehumidifiers are seriously noisy – they purge water into the sink through plastic hoses about every five minutes and it sounds like a chainsaw – we had one of these puppies right outside our bedroom door which led to a serious lack of sleep over the past week.


But hooray – the fans and dehumidifiers were finally removed yesterday morning, and we can finally sleep again!!  So much for that $60 service call (let’s think somewhere in the thousands instead).  Nice, right?  But, it’s not all bad news.  It turns out that we got the problem fixed just in the nick of time – any longer and the standing water might have damaged the joists supporting our house, our new subfloors, or our new wood floors.  Yikes!  That would have been WAY worse than the minor inconvenience of a few cold showers and some noisy dehumidifiers.

What minor distasters have you guys had in your house?  Do tell, I’d like to commiserate!!

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  1. Chris says:

    Crawl spaces have all sorts of problems associated with them. A pair of raccoons came made a tear in the AC ducts under our house and entered through a floor vent. After hours of cavorting, the damage to our interiors was unbelievable. So much for the warm Rocky Raccoon icon!

  2. Averill says:

    Yikes! Home maintenance is no fun at all…fortunately for us, my husband and I have managed to live in our current place for 3 years without much incident *knocks on wood*.

  3. Liz says:


    Love the raccoon story!! Sounds like a nightmare, but a great story now that you’ve recovered from the mess. I’m counting ourselves lucky that we only had a broken pipe!


    I know, people keep saying to me, “Ah, the joys of home ownership…” It’s true that you take on a lot when you buy a home, but it’s totally worth it, right? So glad that you guys have been mishap-free so far!!

    ~ Liz

  4. Tonya says:

    You know I think the best part of this post is? That even with the grotesque dehumidifiers and tubing everywhere, your reno work sparkles!! The floors looks awesome in the laundryroom and your sinks are simply beautiful!! I’m sorry about the leak (and the money you had to spend to fix it), but at least you can be happy in knowing you guys really did a fabulous job on your reno!!

  5. Liz says:


    I think you just made my day!! That certainly softens the blow a bit (ok, a lot). :)

    ~ Liz

  6. christy says:

    Oh my god! Thank goodness that’s over – what a nightmare. I’m impressed that you actually stuck it out at your house and didn’t go crash at a friend’s house!

    Our hot water heater has broken down a couple of times – and our air conditioning unit has leaked a bit – the worst time we didn’t catch it for quite a while, and I only noticed it when I walked barefoot in the family room (berber carpet) and my toes squished in the floor. ugh! Why can’t everything just work properly all the time and not break?! Glad it’s all fixed and all the noisy machines are gone from your house now!

  7. Liz says:


    The leaky air conditioner sounds awful!! I hope you were able to save the carpet – ugh, I’m imagining the sinking feeling you must have had when you stepped on that squishy carpet – no fun at all!! Thanks for commiserating with me! :)

    ~ Liz

  8. Wow…makes my little hole in the water pipe seem like child’s play!!