like I need a bullet dropped on my head. My friend Suzy recently had a plumbing problem that reminded me of a few that I’ve had in the past – one as recent as a few weeks ago that involved partially removing the ceiling in the bathroom below mine. I was feeling smug that at the moment, reading her post about broken pipes, as all the plumbing fixtures under my domain were dormant and repairs for the last problem were underway.
Today, as I was leaving to go to work, I discovered water on my basement floor. Aaarrrrgghhh! Why does this stuff always happen when I am on my way to work and already late?! It is a lot of water. Running from one corner of the basement to the opposing diagonal corner. Hmmm… wait a minute, there’s no plumbing in that corner and yet water was dripping swiftly from the ceiling in that area. I’m looking at a jumble of phone wires, cable wires and electrical wires that are getting wet and thinking ‘this can’t be good…’ I’m looking at all the boxes and stuff piled up on the shelves beneath the leak and cringing. Then it dawns on me, this is an electrical problem not a plumbing problem. Well, maybe not really an electrical problem, maybe a stupid user problem.
Two days ago I had flipped a switch in my basement marked “Outside 220 Line.” I was telling my uncle on the phone that I recalled the former homeowner telling me something about having electrical wire on the roof or in the gutters. This is supposedly used to melt snow and ice, lessening the weight of the snow on the roof and preventing icicles from forming, or melting them more quickly so they don’t drag the gutters down. I had never used it and didn’t know if it worked. My uncle told me I should go ahead and turn it on – that it couldn’t hurt anything. Uh huh.
I called my contractor buddy. I told him that I’d turned this thing on and that I was guessing it had caused the problem. He’s gonna come over to check it out. He reminded me that plumbing or not, water always finds a way – a channel to travel. It’s insidious.