Consider the miracle that happens every time you turn on the tap or take a shower.
Clean, relatively fresh water comes through the pipes to your home, past all those bends and fittings, pressurized sufficiently to get through the maze. Or it comes up from a well, pumped by either pressure or an electric pump.
That water is heated by your hat water heater, usually to a good temperature, and out it comes, on demand, with the turn of a knob.
I’ve had several occasions in my life when running hot water has been a scarce luxury and so I really, truly appreciate it.
I’ve lived in a cabin where that water had to be carried in buckets or a barrel from a nearby creek and heated on a stove, I’ve lived in a tent where it had to be carefully dipped up from a river twenty feet below and heated over a fire.
At New Year, main feeder line between the street to the house decided to break, the galvanized steel pipe that had been laid deep below my yard in 1967 finally gave up the ghost.
Knowing what to do in times like this, we went to the old routine of sponge baths and bucket-flushing the toilet. I bought some cornstarch to use as dry shampoo so I wouldn’t be coming to work with greasy hair. I started looking for financing options, adjusting the budget, and calling plumbers.
After a few estimates and some kind explanations, I learned why it would cost so much to fix. In order to get to this pipe, which had been working so faithfully and invisibly under my feet, the plumbers will have to cut through concrete and tunnel down deep to where those pipes are, all the way under the pad my house is built on. The old galvanized pipe looks like a tree root by now, say the plumbers, and is certainly filled with rust. When I think about it, it’s amazing the pipes lasted this long with our crunchy, naturally corrosive Tucson water.
Overtime and financing may cover my needs, though the lenders are being tight-fisted and I have to come up with this sooner rather than later. A temporary line can only be in for so long. Even so, four grand isn’t such a high price to pay for that miracle of running water…. which is currently being brought through a hose in my yard.
My showers whiff of hose water at the moment, but I know a solution will come, and I am grateful for this particular miracle!
(If anyone wants to help, I happen to have a GoFundMe campaign here, and forwarding of this link would be nice. That’s all I ask. If you’re in Tucson, Pete Nye is an awesome plumber and put my temp line in for a very reasonable cost. Thanks, Pete.)