It has been colder in Oklahoma recently than any other time that I remember. I went to work last week and my temperature gauge in my Jeep indicated -4 degrees. For my friends up north this my not be a big deal. In Oklahoma?!! That is almost unheard of. If it gets down to 25 degrees around here people don’t like it.
After two rounds of snow finally melted off my yard (it was 81 here a couple of days ago…really….how do you have an 80 degree swing in a week?!!) things looked as if they were getting back to normal. I came home from work on Thursday and realized my driveway was still soaked. It should have been dry a couple of days before. With a little further inspection I realized that there was a small swimming pool forming in my front yard. There was a leak underground.
I took a few hours off on Friday afternoon to dig out the area and get down to the pipes. I wasn’t sure what kind of damage had happened down below, or how deep the lines were buried and the plumber indicated that he might be able to make it to my house late Friday afternoon, so I needed to get after it. Thankfully, he wans’t able to get there until Saturday. I dug for over 2 hours on Friday. I put another good hour in this morning. It took much longer than I wanted, but I finally isolated where I thought the leak was and then waited for the plumber.
Ok. What does this have to do with cutting corners? I am almost there. Hang with me.
When the plumber arrived it took him about an hour to have the line repaired and the water back on. I went out about midway through and he showed me a piece of PVC pipe that had a fitting on it. The PVC pipe joined up with a copper pipe. The leak occured where the two pipes met. The builder (or someone who last made repair on the line) used an incorrect fitting for joining the two pipes. The fitting they used caused a corrosive reaction with the copper pipe. The pipe had disintegrated. (I am sure the cold ground didn’t help the matter either.) The builder cut a corner, used an incorrect part, and years later I am affected.
This experience made me think. Where have I cut corners that might affect someone else? Has damage been done because I didn’t put forth my best effort? Was it laziness or incompetence?
The cost on this cut corner is roughly 500 dollars. The repair bill cost around 200 (much less than it would have been had I not had the hole dug out). My water bill has been almost double for 6 months. All of this could have been avoided had whoever used the right part. Thankfully, it cost much less than it could have. For that I am thankful. I will consider this a good life lesson to do things right the first time.