The plan to discover the leak was not complicated. At least, on the surface. In fact, Kate thought it was simplicity itself. They would turn on the water, and see where it leaked the most. Easy, right?
It was true that when the water was on, the leaks seemed to be coming from the general vicinity of the sink. But in order to really look at the area around the sink, they had to pull out their dishwasher. And in pulling out the dishwasher, they had to turn the water off again, disconect the washer from the water pipe and make sure that the valve was off. So far so good. But what did they find when they turned the water on again? Not the leak. Instead, they had a fountain of water gushing out of the pipe that connected to the dishwasher. Kate yelled. Mister turned the water off again and came up to check things out.
"Did a lot of water come out?" he called as he bounded up the stairs to the main level.
"I'll say." Kate replied.
"Pretty big leak, huh?"
Kate couldn't suppress a chuckle. "Yes. Very big. Right through that pipe right there."
Mister groaned. Another faulty valve. Another run to Home Depot. Another several hours before actually getting to the root of the problem.
By the time he had the valve replaced and tested the water once more, Kate and Mister were both convinced that the leak was very near the kitchen sink, in the outside wall--which made since if it was a burst pipe due to the cold. But it was now after hours to call the plumber, and it was Friday. And Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which meant a long weekend. Normally that would be great news. But as much as Kate and Mister loved their running water, they didn't want to pay double the amount to have a plumber come replace a pipe on a weekend or holiday.
It was a long weekend, that's for sure. Kate and Mister invested in paper plates and cups from Target. They showered at Aunt and Uncle's place and did their laundry there. (Kate was grateful that they had washed all their clothes in Alaska before leaving!) And finally, when Tuesday arrived, Kate and Mister waited with great anticipation for the plumber's expected arrival at 10AM.
the crack in the pipe
He looked under the sink, cut a hole in the cabinet to reveal the pipes, and there it was: a split about half and inch long in one of the pipes. The plumber grabbed a blowtorch and some other tools from his van and in about 15 minutes, had everything ship-shape. Considering the drama involved in getting to this point, Kate felt that the fix was rather anticlimatic. Though the blowtorch was a good touch.
But no matter how anticlimatic, the Millers once again had running water. Kate and Mister kissed and hugged and danced around the kitchen (after the plumber left, of course.) And oh, what a dinner they had that night...on real plates, London broil and onions and squash! Running water (and both hot and cold at that!) was a wonderful, beautiful thing. At the time, Kate felt that she would never take it for granted again. (And in truth, it was a couple months before she did...)