S.F.H. seeks inquisitive and loving H.O.

Single Family Home seeks inquisitive and loving Home Owner 😉

I think it is amazing when I talk to people about the home they are thinking of buying and all they remember is the ugly paint color in the dining room and they already have a new color in mind. Amazing! The house is absolutely full of nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered, really useful stuff which everyone should have a clue about, and they are worried about the handles on the kitchen cabinets that don’t fit their style  flat wear! Oh my! Let’s see how important paint color and cabinet handles are when there is a leak in the supply line in said kitchen with ugly handles and the shut-offs are not installed on the lines and water is going everywhere. Then they will be wishing that they new where something unsexy like the main water shut-off was. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or the beer-holder as some of my friends like to say. What can I say, I run with a classy crowd!). Well you are in luck. This is my once a month post about different features of your home which may come in handy but doggonit, it’s just interesting to know.

So what is this month’s topic you ask all aflutter? Let’s start with the main water shut-off which I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Now, why do I think this is so useful and cool besides the obvious? The obvious being that I take pleasure in inane facts and useless trivia much to the chagrin of my beloved and long-suffering wife. Besides this I will tell you a little story. This story is from a time gone by when I was a naive home-owning newbie. About a year into blissful homeownership we got a knock on the front door and it was the water company. They actually wanted to replace our water meter with a brand new one. Can you believe our luck? Why go ahead kind sir, replace away. A moment later he comes back up to inform us with absolutely no sadness in his voice that our water service line (the line that delivers water to the house from the street as opposed to supply lines which run water around the inside of the house to various fixtures) has a leak and he will be turning the water off till we have this line repaired/replaced. This is the line to the street mind you, do you get the significance of this! It is buried about 4′ underground from the side of the house to the front sidewalk! Well I bet you can imagine that this was not gonna be pocket change. Well, we called the plumber and in an effort to save $$ we dug the ditch ourselves, by hand, in August, with no water at home. Do you get that this sucks yet? It took a week. A week of showering at the in-laws and filling up gallon jugs of water from the neighbors outdoor faucet just to flush our toilets. Digging this damn near killed me, seriously! I hate digging! Also, if you know anything about Clintonville, OH soil it is made up of rocks and clay.

Well, after a week the trench is finally done and the plumber came out to get everything hooked up. Sounds like the end and we all lived happily ever but you are sorely mistaken. The plumber was out by the sidewalk working at the street side shut-off for the city and it was so old that it busted. Now here is the fun part; the ditch we had dug filled up with water. It was a beautiful ditch and it proceeded to funnel the water very efficiently to the house, into the hole in the side of the house where the old line had been removed and the area had been prepped and quickly began to fill up our basement with at least 1′ of water. Cat boxes floating, water heater getting submerged, lifting up the washer and dryer to keep them dry, I’m sure you can fill in the rest of the blanks when you think about what you store in your own basement. I did not see it immediately. I was upstairs surfing the world-wide-web and enjoying thoughts of showers, flushing toilets when needed, washing dishes, etc when Jul comes up and breathlessly informs me that our basement is flooded. Seeing as how Jul will occasionally (only once in a while, honey, in case you read this) will play loose with hyperbole and slightly exaggerate a situation I didn’t think it was that pressing. I got off the computer and casually walked down the stairs to the basement and took a look and by golly, it really was flooded. Wow!

This was my big intro to water meters and main water shut-offs. Good times, good times. I’m not saying that this will happen to you or that knowing what I know now would have prevented this but it’s good to be informed about the features and systems of your casa. Maybe if I would have examined this area closer I could have foreseen a problem and fixed it in a more relaxed time frame. Anyway, what I want to do with this next video clip is give you a brief over-view of what I do during a home inspection in regards to this very specific area. There may be questions that pop up for you about something I mention. If so, just drop me a comment. I am not going to exhaustively explain everything so I may purposefully gloss over something which is important to you. Trust me, you do not want to hear everything I have to say unless you have some insomnia issues. Hopefully I will give you enough to be interested but not so much that you wake up an hour later in a pool of slobber pressing the space bar with your forehead.

Here we go, enjoy.

A short tutorial on the main water shut-off. from Travis Moyer on Vimeo.

Thanks for watching,

That Home Inspector Guy

About Travis "That Home Inspector Guy" Moyer

I am a certified home inspector, rehabber, landlord, carpenter, handyman and generally inquisitive person who wants to know how everything works. I love to educate other DIY homeowners and potential homeowners about projects that they may be interested in.

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