I’m a bit late with this review, but I wanted to once again express my thanks to you and Fulton for another job “well done” on my home. John and Stephen replaced our water line which fed from the county tap to our home. Here’s a short story I penned to describe the repair process, a bit tongue in cheek, and there might be a tiny amount of exaggeration…..
A Tale of Plumbing By-Pass Surgery
Part One- The Decision
It starts with a diagnosis from John Bauer… “Look son, the main line, she’s broken. Thar be water spewing from all angles under ground I tells ya. Now we can fix it, ya can be sure o’ that. She’ll hold whar we patch er, but if’n ya wanna be sure that thars only but one break, you’ll haf ta have a gas passer check the line for more. If’n he detects more breaks, then the bill, she mounts up more.
John sensed my hesitancy, he must have noticed that I was undecided on what to do. Should I cut corners and have the known break fixed, only to have another break appear elsewhere? The water line was old for sure. The front lawn was soft in several places and the rains of the past month were long enough past that the ground should have been firmer. “Come with me laddie,” he said, “we’’ll sit on the front porch and talk about life, water, and pipes.”
Over the next few minutes, John reasoned with me, making more sense each moment he talked- “Boyo,” he said, “Thar be doctors who’ve birthed hundreds o’ babies. I’m a doctor of sorts too. You see, me pipe cutter is me scalpel and me wrench is me tourniquet. I’ve saved hundreds of basements and yours could be the next. Now if’n you wanna be sure your basement don’t turn into a boat pond sometime this spring, then maybe you should let us replace that old plastic feeder pipe with a copper one what’ll hold for the life of your house and into the next.”
Of course John was right. I was tired of wading rather than walking down into our basement. “One final thing laddie,… if’n Martha Stewart was here, she’d tell ya ta replace that line. An she knows a thing or two about plumbing!” That sealed it.
“Go ahead John, replace that water line, but put your best men on it, “ I exclaimed.
“You know I will me boy, you know I will. After all… I hates water leaks like I hates fascists.” I knew I had hired the right man and the right plumbing company.
Part Two- A Trench for all Seasons
It was a Friday morning when John called me to say that he was on his way. “What’s more,” he said, “I have Stephen coming along to make sure the installation goes right from beginning to end. Ya see, he handles the trenching scalpel much like our Scotty handles that digging machine what you’ve already witnessed last month like.” Within the hour he was at the house, wasting no time prepping for the process of replacing our water line. He took me aside one final time before the process began, “Now I know you be nervous like, son. It’d be only natural like. But Stephen here, (he nodded to Stephen all scrubbed and prepped for surgery) is well versed with the trenching machine. We gonna just bypass th’ old line and install a nice fresh new one. It’ll go like clockwork and you’ll hardly even feel it. Now go have’s a cup o’ coffee an leave th’ rest to us.”
Over the course of the next few hours, John and Stephen managed the bypass process. They were cool (it was 50 degrees outside with a light wind), calm, self assured, and efficient. Stephen did manage that trenching tool much like a neuro-surgeon guides a laser across a nerve path. From to to time he gave me a reassuring smile to let me know that the process was going well. John checked boring alignment, making sure that the entry hole into the house was right where it should be. The new copper pipe was laid and tied to each end with careful precision. The entire process was becoming a blur. I had reaped the whirlwind! Somewhere in the process, I lost consciousness; time stood still.
John gently nudged me awake- “laddie, laddie… she’s done. Ye haves water again.” I shook the cob webs from my addled brain. “What?”, I asked. He repeated, “Ye haves water. We be finished an you can go takes a long, long shower.”
It was over. The water line had been replaced. Stephen walked up to me, removing his plumbing smock and mask. He again flashed that reassuring smile, shook my hand, steered his trenching tool onto its trailer, then drove into a waning sunset.
John took one long look at the thin dirt scar where the new trench line ran from the county tie to base of our house. He nodded his head once, smiled again, shook my hand and as I watched him climb in his truck, I believe I heard him say….”she was a devil, but I got the best of another one I did.”
So he did. So he did.