April is the cruelest month ...

Well it has been at the Puck’sFool homestead.

It began with going downstairs after 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon and finding a 120 gallon retention tank leaking. We shut the pressure booster, (We have to have that to get water up to the 2nd floor bathroom shower.) put a 5 gallon bucket under the leak, and began trying to find a plumber to help us out. After a couple hours we found one, and after $150 we had bypassed the tank. Ten days and $1,200 we have a new 80 gallon fiberglass retention tank and an expansion tank we were back in business. The expansion tank was needed to absorb the thermal expansion from the hot water heater that caused the old tank to fail.

Things were fine until we started to do laundry last Saturday. The washer wouldn’t start - no power. Andi went downstairs and flipped the circuit breaker. It blew again. She called me down to the basement and showed me that there was water under the main electrical panel on floor. I reached up after making sure I was on dry concrete and turned off the main power to the house. After getting flashlights and head lamps, I removed the cover of the panel. All the circuits on the right side of the panel were soaked. I have no idea why we hadn’t lost power to all of the outlets and devices wired into them. We could see that the water seemed to be coming into the panel from a wire that was connected to the washing machine.

You thought I’d forgotten about the washer.

I called an electrician who is a former student, and not too long later his dad and business partner called me back and said he’d be there in an hour or so. After about 2 hours of work pulling circuit breakers, drying things that were soaked, patching in needed circuits from the dead breakers, he traced the water to the wall in the laundry room. Somehow the water had gotten into the paper insulation around the ground wire and was wicking into the main panel. Once things were dry we turned the power back on and nothing blew, but we had only half the house with power and no water other than our 80 gallon tank. in the basement.

Time for another call to the plumber who helped us out on that Friday evening at the beginning of the month. So on Saturday afternoon, he came out, and in 3 hours and $450 found that we had mouse that had gnawed into the hot water supply to our washer and repaired the water line. We have been running fans into the hole in the wall.

On Sunday, the electrician brought out a bunch of new circuit breakers and all of the house except for the laundry room has power. Soon he and his son will come out and figure out what to do with the electricity to the laundry room that caused this little adventure in home ownership.

Ah, the joys of county living.


Wow… Good to have it solved, but what a nightmare… Breakers did their job at least, we all have so much stuff we take for granted… Until it breaks!


We were very lucky, we could have lost the entire electrical system in the house.

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