Bad things are good at choosing the worst timing.
We needed to be away better part of this Saturday. Everything was planned and arranged: set the timer to turn on lights, arranged a friend to feed/walk dog, programmed GPS, chose attires. Late at night, we dragged our tired bodies into the house and found the puddle in the kitchen. Accusatory eyes turned to dog, wagging excitedly that we are finally back. The friend called, “We thought of the dog too. But the puddle reappeared after we walked him.” (Do you have a friend who will clean up a puddle in your kitchen.) What? I had a refrigerator leak?
For a hardwood-floored kitchen, refrigerator leak is a big problem. Replacing the damaged planks would be costly, dusty, and time consuming.
Sunday morning, I found the water tube was jetting out from a pin hole. The tube had enough slack that made the fix simple: cut off from the leak point and re-connect the tube. Ten minutes later, I found a part with so much calcium deposits that it must be replaced.
Four trips, three stores, and 3 and half hours later. I got the damn $3 part (1/4″ to 1/4″ compression union, with inserts on both sides). Another hour after, I gave up on my wrenches and went to a neighbor to borrow his. Another 30 minutes, I fixed the leak.
Both a professional plumber and myself would have taken 15 minutes to fix the leak. What separated us are the speed of diagnosing the problem, the time to secure the right part, and the tool readiness. For those, a professional would have charged me hundreds of dollars. I got paid with a nice cold beer, a bit bragging right, and some domestic brownie points.
I think I was paid better for the job.
One week later…
Water jetted out from underneath the refrigerator again. I am calm and ready this time. Rolled out the fridge, turned off the water source, cut off the leak point, and reconnect the tube. I clamped the tube too tight and the tube was pinched crack.
And I will turn off the water tube before vacation next time.