Thanksgiving in Woonsocket

Thanksgiving in Woonsocket

The day before Thanksgiving and I'm sitting in the kitchen just beside the door to the basement. Suddenly I hear an explosion of water below me and the hot water heater alarm goes off moments later. I run downstairs to find that the water heater has become a fountain; the cramp holding the PEX tubing to the hot water outflow pipe has failed and water is everywhere. I turn off the water and call for service thinking, "Yeah, sure, the day before Thanksgiving." 

A few hours later, the servicemen show up and repair the connection. I point to the cold water inflow pipe and say, "It's the same type of connection, and was installed at the same time. Can you replace that as well?" They remove the cramp and look in amazement. The brass fitting connecting the copper inlet pipe to the PEX tubing has corroded clean through. There was barely anything left holding it all together. The inflow pipe comes in before the alarm valve; if IT had broken, my basement would have flooded with water had it happened when no one was home. And it would have broken within weeks, if not days. 

$112 later, which I felt was very reasonable, and I've got a working water system again. So for Thanksgiving tomorrow, I will once again be thankful to be living in Woonsocket, where such attentive and reasonable service is readily available. I'll be thankful that the pipe connected to the alarm valve broke first. And I'll be thankful to the folks at B&B for squeezing me in on the day before a holiday. 

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English first November 22, 2012 at 05:04 PM
And you can better appreciate the Hurricane Sandy victims.
Russell Archambault November 24, 2012 at 02:19 AM
I would have someone inspect your other fittings. Possibly the first type of fittings that were used when pex first came out. I would have a ball joint shut off connected to your cold water supply and turn to off if you leave for any length of time. and install the correct water filter to stop any further corrosion
Stuart Gitlow November 25, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Russell, I inspected the other fittings myself today. There's another stainless-steel PEX crimp that has corroded 1/3 of the way through (one of the three brackets is no longer connected). Unfortunately, these connectors were used throughout the house during its renovation 9 years ago, and many of them cannot be reached without extensive and expensive means. I've got the ball joint shut off on the main and turn it off whenever we're out for long. And I've got a water filter on the main line as well. I'm going to add a system that detects flooding anywhere in the house and wirelessly transmits a signal to the main to cut off the water flow. Thanks!!


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