My dad worked for the City of Duncan for over two decades. I’m pretty sure about half of that time was spent in the water department, where they had to take turns being on call during the nights and weekends. If a main line bursts in the middle of winter, someone has to get in that freezing cold water and fix it. Not a fun job. Fill your bathtub up with ice and then get in it. It’s like that.
And sometimes there was sewage involved. ‘Nuff said. (People still say that, right?)
And sometimes the calls were probably way easier. Like why we called this guy out on a Friday evening, probably just as he was sitting down to dinner.
The dispatcher had him call and talk to the hubs. They had a nice little chat and the hubs told him it was no hurry. He came when he finished whatever he was doing. We were grateful he came out, and he was able to collect a bit of overtime pay for nothing that required a warm shower afterwards. Win-win.
Thing is, it wasn’t an emergency. But it was a problem. A problem with the city’s property. As if we didn’t have enough trouble with the whole bathtub situation already…when the hubs got ready to actually install it, he couldn’t get the water to shut off.
We really don’t like indoor sprinklers, so it was pretty much essential to shut off the water before the pipes could be rerouted. The hubs got right to work on it the second he came in the door from work last Friday. (We have a ton to get done and time is running out!)
Newer houses (and even many older homes) will have an internal shut-off valve. Check under the bathroom sinks or maybe in a utility closet. Sometimes by the toilet valve. Guess what. Ours is apparently stripped out. For real. No big deal. You can always just shut it off at the curb if you have a water key, which we do.
Guess what. That didn’t work either. Nope. Still water running to the house. Okay, I have to admit that I was doubting my husband’s intelligence/skills/strength at this point. So I went to the meter with him to make sure he knew how to use the water key (that he’s used a hundred times before at other places).
He was right. It wouldn’t turn off.
At this point, we were quite annoyed. This didn’t seem to fall under “water emergency,” but there was definitely a problem. A problem with our own shut-off valve, true, but also with the city’s part. The hubs decided that he’d just give them a call and see what they said. The dispatcher wasn’t sure how to respond since it wasn’t really an “after-hours emergency.” She had the on-call guy call him back to talk about it.
They decided that while it wasn’t an emergency, per se, it was definitely a problem that the valve didn’t work like it should. And it could become an emergency if someone was trying to do some plumbing. The guy appreciated a little DIY weekend project. He said he’d be over in a bit. (Of course the hubs made sure there would be no charge, even though I insisted there wouldn’t be. “This isn’t a plumber. It’s the city’s guy on call. Our bill pays his salary. They’re not going to charge us.”)
Once the money issue was clarified and the guy finished his dinner or episode of Friends or whatever he was doing, he came right out. And he was great.
Turns out that our valve is just really old (30 years old, I assume) and it’s not the right kind anymore anyway. Mr. City of Edmond had a difficult time getting it off also. Which restored my faith in the hubs. Just kidding. It was never gone. Okay for like .2 seconds.
He said we need an upgrade and that he’d put in a request. He was able to get the water off, though, so that saved the weekend.
“They” came out and marked the lines like “they” do.
(Don’t pat any attention to that horrible grass. We had a massive, very aggressive sticker bush that wasn’t responding to weed killer. The hubs had to show it who’s boss. It’s a major improvement; trust me. The neighbors are thrilled and still extending grace for what we were dealt here. In fact, just a couple days ago a neighbor told me, “I love all the work y’all have done out front. It’s looking great.” I was relieved…’cause um…you see that photo, right? We’ll get there. Baby steps.)
They’re supposed to change out the meter/valve/unit starting today-ish. They’ll have to tear out the concrete (on our side and across the street where it runs…sorry neighbors), which would be a great time for us to upgrade that horrible mailbox, so I hope they get over here soon. We leave Wednesday for vacation and we want to be here to install the new mailbox while the concrete is wet. Hopefully that works out.
It even holds water and drains properly.
I’m out of words because I’ve got way too much to do right now; but in a nutshell, the hubs rerouted the drain and hot/cold water pipes and we put in the tub. The end.