I was drinking my morning coffee at our dining table when Kaz called from the kitchen:
“There’s no water!”
“There’s no water!”
So I get up to investigate - a trouble shooting scheme hatching in my brain.
Double check kitchen valve. She’s right. No water.
I stride purposefully to bathroom and open a tap. Nope. Head for the quonset and turn on valve there. Nope. I conclude we have a big problem.
It’s got to be a burst AZ Water Company main I theorize. I tell Kaz I’m going to take a drive around the hood to check it out. But I never get out of our driveway on to Bonito. There it is - a gusher from the line coming to our house producing torrents of water flowing well down the street.
Now that’s a homeowners “Oh, shit” moment. I tell Kaz what’s up. She suggests I turn the valve off at the main. Good idea! I pull the cover to the meter and close the thing manipulating two wrenches simultaneously calling A to Z Plumbing. Now I’ve known Tim Ragels since he was fetching tools for his daddy at the age of 7 (43 years ago). And I know he’s busy as hell. But he answers my call and happens to be coming down from a job in Aravaipa and will stop by with his side kick Trevor. Great!
15 minutes later he and Trevor show up in Tim’s truck loaded with pipe on the rack, a jumble of tools in the bed and side boxes containing who knows what. Anyway, by then, I’ve got a shovel and revealed the busted joint where old steel pipe joins to plastic. I’ve concluded it would take me at least a day to get the tools and materials required to make the fix,.. presupposing I had the skills to do it - which I most certainly do not.
Tim and Trevor begin digging furiously exposing six or so feet of line and deep enough to get under the failed joint. Tim goes about cutting and measuring, torches the joint to extricate one end of the pipe, glues the new sturdier connector in and there it is. Completed in roughly ten minutes. Water back on. No leak! Trench covered up. Done.
Now I’ve heard complaints about how expensive plumbers are these days and I always nod sympathetically. But the fact is that 43 years experience along with lots of native smarts is worth its weight in gold when push comes to shove and you want water to flow when turning on the tap.
I run up to the house for my check book happy to part with a few bucks for a job well done.
Kaz and I moved to Oracle in 1979. The house we bought dated to the late 1940s. With little advance knowledge of the place, we set out to build a new life together, intending to settle in and raise a family.