I was Making a Tiramisu When the Doorbell Rang...

By
Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

I was in the middle of making a Tiramisu Saturday morning for our weekend family guests when the doorbell rang.

 

I figured it was a delivery but went to the door anyhow. It was the neighbor from several doors down the street who immediately announced "I think your main water line just burst!"

 

Yes, indeed, we had a major problem, with lots of water flowing down the driveway, sidewalk and into the street. The neighbor lives several doors down from us and had seen the water flowing down the road. He told me he was pretty sure he what the problem was before coming up to our house, since others on the street had experienced the same issue in the last few years, and he had as well. Thank goodness for a thoughtful neighbor!

 

I turned off the water at the street right away and immediately got on the phone to let my daughter know...en route from LA with the grandkids for the weekend...and my wife, who was out shopping.

 

The next urgent call and text were to Drain Runner Plumbing (based in Carlsbad) who has done work for me multiple times over the years, as well as handling referral business to buyers and sellers. My primary thought was - OMG we are without water until who knows when, with family arriving in the next couple of hours. And it's the weekend!

 

The problem...a burst water line from the main water source at the street...has plagued multiple neighbors of these 33-year-old homes. And, as the neighbor across the street said when he had the same issue...you'll get yours sooner or later. Just part of the fun of owning and maintaining a home!

 

Thank goodness we were home and not away for the day, or longer! One of the neighbors had the same problem and was on vacation when it happened!

 

It brought back memories of the time when our dishwasher water line burst while we were out at church in Minnesota. We were selling our home to move back to Boston and had gotten the house ready for an Open House that afternoon. We went out, left the DW on, came home a couple of hours later, and imagine the shock when we opened  the door from the garage to the house and all this water came pouring out from the kitchen. The entire first floor was flooded, but even worse we had a fully finished lower level. You can imagine what that looked like, from ceiling to floor!

 

Needless to say the sale and move was on hold for a few months. Note to self from that day forward - NEVER leave the house when an appliance is running.

 

 

On with the story - Drain Runner Plumbing was out on other calls, but within 2 hours arrived at our house. They were able to set up a temporary water line from the street so we had water again.

 

The plumber also let me know a couple of options for the repair...the estimate is $5800. Yikes!

 

Temporary water line at our Carlsbad house

 

The great news is we had water again right before family arrived, and Drain Runner Plumbing will start later this week with the repairs - a new copper water line from the street to the garage and up and over the ceiling and down to the main line (not under the driveway slab which is where the current line runs - that would be even more expensive to repair).

 

There is certainly a lot to be thankful for - we were home, we had a thoughtful neighbor who took the time to come by, and I have a great relationship with a plumbing company that went out of their way to help, and installed a temporary line with a heavy-duty hose!! Thankfully the "flooding" was all outside and not in the house!!

Comments (32)

Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Oh wow, Jeff... that repair cost must "hurt" a bit! I'll admit to being guilty of leaving my home with the dishwasher or washing machine running. Then again, I'm not in as old a community and my appliances are also relatively new. Thankfully, you were at home when this happened. Hopefully, you could ultimately assuage the pain of the repair cost with some tasty tiramisu.

Aug 17, 2021 04:37 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am glad that the plumber got you back up and running quickly, that is definitely a vendor worth holding onto.  I recall our neighbors home catching on fire when I was a kid and it was because of the dryer, so to this day, I will never leave home with the washer or dryer running.

Aug 17, 2021 05:38 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Jeff. Thanks to a series of events you were able to minimize the consequences. Good luck with the repairs and hope the weekend was terrific with family. Enjoy your day.

Aug 17, 2021 05:42 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jeff, that would be AWFUL to hear from the neighbor, but good thing you had a resource that jumped in quickly.  

Aug 17, 2021 06:01 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Jeff,

When we bought our home in Los Angeles, it was the first thing that we replaced prior to moving in.  And the bill was fairly high also...Happy to hear your neighbors were aware and you were home.  Now about that tiramisu...it. is one my favorite desserts.  A

Aug 17, 2021 06:11 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Unchecked water leaks in or around a home can be disasterous.  So yes, very fortunate you were home and with a trusted supplier who was able to help.  Especially enjoy your next shower knowing how easily it can disappear.  Mark

Aug 17, 2021 06:15 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning Jeff! Sorry about your water line. But what we really want to know is how was the tiramisu?

Aug 17, 2021 08:07 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James Dray 

Unfortunately my insurance does not cover this - there was no damage to the home and a broken water line outside is not covered.

Jeff

Aug 17, 2021 08:45 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

Yes, indeed, homeownership brings lots of responsibilities. It will be interesting to watch the repair - it's quite a job but sounds like this is not an uncommon thing to happen.

The Tiramisu was excellent, BTW, and enjoyed by all.

Jeff

Aug 17, 2021 08:47 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Grant Schneider 

It certainly could have been worse with our water line. The flooding from the DW back in MN years ago was a major pain. I know a number of people who have had incidents with water damage...ice dams in the winter in New England was a major issue for some.

Jeff

Aug 17, 2021 11:57 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Michael Jacobs  - the Tiramisu recipe is one I have used for years - from my sister's creativity!

Jeff

Aug 17, 2021 11:59 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Nina Hollander, Broker 

I would not be surprised if the repair costs more - this was an estimate and it's a big job and a lot of copper piping.

We certainly did enjoy the Tiramisu and thankfully had water for our guests - other choice would have been hotel rooms!!

Jeff

Aug 17, 2021 12:03 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Wow! What a story.  Thank goodness you had a great neighbor and a great vendor connection who helped you out so quickly.

Aug 17, 2021 01:52 PM
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Jeff Dowler, CRS Glad it wasn't worse for you, and that you were home and had a good neighbor! Your point about the maintenance of the house is the level-headed way to look at these things, although suprises like you had, no one needs!

Aug 17, 2021 03:30 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jeff being in the middle of a bathroom remodel and new lights and paint of the house I can relate to your drama just to be clear your  headline got my attention.... good thing all worked out just a few dollars less:) Endre

Aug 17, 2021 10:49 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Brian England 

I think it's a very wise approach - to not leave the house when ANY appliance is running. You just never know!

Jeff

Aug 18, 2021 01:11 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Wayne Martin  - thankfully it all worked out with the temp water line and you would never know there was a problem. We had a great time with our daughter and her family!

Hi Joan Cox - I'm just so thankful the neighbor was thoughtful enough to come by. Who knows how long it would have been before I noticed since I was busy inside and my wife was out for a long shopping trip before our family arrived.

Jeff

Aug 18, 2021 01:15 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Ron and Alexandra Seigel 

I have had several buyers who had to replace plumbing - it gets expensive.

I am a big fan of Tiramisu. I had it often when traveling in Italy...just had to check out all the recipes!

Jeff

Aug 20, 2021 05:06 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint 

Thanks for your comments - good points.

And yes, I sure appreciated having the water again just a few hours later, as did everyone else.  We take it for granted I think.

Jeff

Aug 20, 2021 07:56 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Rocky Dickerson 

Well, the water line is now fixed - took me a bit to get back to all the comments - but the Tiramisu was quite good. I've made better, and blame it on being just a wee bit distracted at the time.

Jeff

Aug 20, 2021 08:03 PM