How to Repair a Leak Under the House

When you hear the sound of water rushing but can find no faucets or toilet’s running, this means that a pipe has burst somewhere and water is gushing (by the gallon) in some unseen place. Usually inside a wall or beneath your house. Which is bad.

Fixing this type of problem yourself is actually quite easy, even if you have little or no plumbing experience. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Identify the place under the floor where the rushing sound is the loudest. Remember this spot, you’ll need this information later.
  2. Run into the garage and find the water-key. The water-key is a medieval weapon (similar to a whinyard or halberd) which can be used to shut off the water to your house. You use the water-key to turn a screw buried in a compartment under the earth. Opening the compartment will reveal your water-meter and the screw which will be covered with dozens of large Palmetto bugs (flying roaches about four-inches in length).
  3. Smash at the roaches without breaking the water-meter’s glass cover. If they take flight, run away, making sure they’re not in your hair. Scream like a schoolgirl as needed.
  4. Turn off the water to the house and verify that this has made the water-rushing sound cease.
  5. Call the plumber who came out to replace the valves behind the handles in the shower when the shower-head wouldn’t stop leaking that one time.
  6. Call the other plumber that the first plumber refers you to, because he doesn’t get under houses anymore.
  7. When the other plumber isn’t there and doesn’t return your call, phone several more plumbers, leaving increasingly terse messages on their answering machines.
  8. When a plumber finally arrives (if things have gone as planned, it’s at least 9:30 or 10:00 PM by now), point at the place where you heard the water in Step 1.
  9. Wait about ten minutes until you see the plumber smoking a cigarette in his van. This means that he is finished. He will show you a small hole in an insignificant-looking two-inch section of pipe.
  10. Pay the plumber exactly the cost of a made-to-measure suit purchased on Saville Row.

Rejoice with a session of gleeful hand-washing. Running the water has never felt so expensive.

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