Water woes in Mt. City

by PAULINE TOM

If there’s not one way for an aging house to have water problems, there’s another. Many of the houses in Mountain City were built about the same time. The Mountain City Oaks subdivision was developed in stages, so your neighbors’ houses are about the same age as yours, unless yours was built on a vacant lot after the development stage.

In January, RonTom & I learned about the water that can rise (and rise and spread) when an aging hot water heater goes unreplaced. Water spread over and under and through boxes and belongings stored in our garage, and flowed out into the driveway. It kept flowing until we shut off the water to the house because the hot water heater kept refilling and the shut-off valve would not shut.

Last week, we learned that roots can clog a septic drain clean-out box to the point that recharge water from the water softener backs up under pressure and flows into the bathroom and hall closet through the wax seal on the toilet.  Every symptom said, “Broken line under the house.” So, it could have been worse.

A 110-decibel shrill alarm sounded at 2 a.m. When Ron completely disconnected the smoke detector at 2:25 a.m., the alarm continued. The water alarm in our hall closet works! It does not go “beep beep beep.” My ears were ringing for hours. But, with an hour or so of sopping up and water shop vac mopping during the night, we stopped damages before the water crept to carpeting and before it extended beyond a few feet of wood flooring. Still, it took 6 days of professional water remediation equipment to dry my bathroom cabinet.

I just thought I was a water alarm believer before this. Now, more sold than ever, I see on amazon.com they’re available with a dialer that phones any pre-programmed telephone when water is detected and continues to dial until acknowledged.

During Betty Puckett’s recovery after shoulder surgery, Mountain City neighbors certainly acknowledged that they care. After week #1, Betty sent word that her neighbors Shirley Bauder and Patty Lindsay made meals for her and Jay all week. And, Cathy Fitzwater was “babysitting” during those hard days when Jay had to work. “This has been a blessing!,” she tidbitted (while yet on heavy pain meds).

Now, weeks into the recovery, she reports, “Shirley, Patty, Laverne Marquess, Jenni Shaffer, Diane Krejci, and Cathy Fitzwater brought food. Cathy has taken me to the grocery store several times. Went to lunch with Marjie, Pauline, Laverne for a much needed outing. Shirley and Diane brightened the house up with flowers! Received numerous calls & visits from the Onion Creek Seniors, the Kyle Seniors, the Bunco Babes, my son Justin, and my brother Eddie Latham.”

Betty and Jay returned from a post-surgery doctor visit on Monday, the day of the mighty rushing winds, to find a broken pecan tree. You might remember those mighty holes dug with mighty equipment in order to add the pecans a few years back. Jay fears they will lose all those pecans to the drought, even after all the water he has trucked in each week during the summers of water restriction.

Montage has no restrictions on quantities of tidbit submittals. Please send to ptom5678@gmail.com, with subject “TIDBIT,” or phone (512) 268-5678.

Thanks! Love, Pauline

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