Leaks, floods and other water problems

Sometimes it seems that everything happens at once. On Wednesday afternoon, the day before Thanksgiving, two men from Silverdale Water showed up to inform me that we had a serious water leak. I shut down the water and called David, our sexton. David found a plumber who would come, but not until Friday.

On Thanksgiving day, I was preparing the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner when I thought I would check the sump pump outside the door of the nave. It had been raining heavily all day and the hillside was saturated from earlier rains. When I checked the pump, I found it wasn’t pumping and the water had flooded into the church.

My son Guy and I bailed out the sump and hooked up a garden hose to get the pump working again. We moved the chairs in the church and pulled back the carpet to start it drying. The next day, Friday (my day off!), I rented a carpet cleaner from Fred Meyer and used it to suck up the excess water from the carpet. We got some big fans and got the air to moving to dry out the carpet and the subcarpet.

That same day Nick the plumber from Robison Plumbing came and diagnosed the plumbing problem. A pipe running from the narthex closet down to the basement had failed. Nick promised to come back on Monday to make the repair. He made it possible for us to have water in the hallway bathrooms, but we had no water in the kitchen for Sunday coffee hour. We used paper and plastic so we didn’t have to use the sink.

On Saturday night several of us rolled the carpet back temporarily and moved the chairs to their normal places for Sunday worship. Sunday night we came again and moved the chairs and also the organ to reveal all the wet carpet. We set the fans blowing again and left it overnight.

On Monday, Nick the Plumber showed up and put in a new line to the basement. He’s a young guy but he’s very resourceful and skilled. I was surprised to see that he had the line repaired before 5 pm and we had water once again in the kitchen.

In a couple of days we’ll turn off the fans in the nave and put the carpet back in place. I’ll be relieved to have this episode over.  I spent a lot of time and energy on this over Thanksgiving weekend, in addition to preparing for Sunday worship, so that what would have been a relaxing weekend turned into a lot of work and anxiety. Such is the life of a small town Vicar.

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