Week 5 – Water Line

One of the first things discovered before purchasing our home was that the copper line running from the utility room to the refrigerator in the kitchen had been neglected when the house was winterized. The result was a half-inch rupture in the line, in the attic, just above the light fixture in the utility room.

Once the panic had passed of realizing the water had been turned on to a house where every valve was wide open, after cleaning up that mess and becoming convinced everything was ready for calmer evaluation, the discovery was made; a steady drip was heard against the metal of the washing machine. The water was immediately turned off and we later isolated the problem, but not before the shop-light mounted in the gypsum below the leak lost its hold. The light remained hanging from the wiring and the other mount until we remodeled the utility room last Summer.

This week we repaired the broken line. Through much discouragement, lots of bad advice, four trips to the hardware store, trial and error – we finally got everything done. Saturday was spent failing and learning; Sunday actually flowed relatively smoothly. The notion of repair was ultimately scrapped and the final solution was to run a new 50′ line, now leak free and functioning well.

Convincing ourselves that this was actually worth it, we determined we spend about 2 minutes a day making ice and refilling a water jug. This totals about 12 hours a year. At this rate we will have made up the time spent on this project by the end of September. Assuming we spend our ice making time working for wage, the cost of materials would be recouped by June.

In addition, a .4167 sq ft section of freezer dedicated to making ice and a .3125 sq ft section of refrigerator dedicated to keeping water chilled is now free. Given the cost/volume of the unit, a $35 value.

Combine it all with the experience gained; this was a worthy investment.


FaceTime coming in handy for intra-attic communication. (This wasn’t an attempt to patch the hole, we taped the old line to help feed the new.)


The pipe that caused all the trouble.

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