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A this old house moment, not quite

2007-03-12 , ,

Yesterday morning we had an emergency in the kitchen. Maria found water leaking from the pantry, puddling under the shelves and trickling across the hall tile. The pantry was the previous owner’s idea and, like everything else he’s done, was done poorly. It’s a shallow closet built against two uninsulated outside walls and over a partially uninsulated crawl space. We discovered one of his previous feats- running water pipes in an outside wall against the sheathing instead of beneath the insulation or inside the sill of the foundation where they belong- when a pipe froze. Joy. When you own instead of rent, there’s no landlord to call. Do it yourself has taken on a whole new meaning. We had planned to have a dozen parents and kids over for dinner and now this. Not good.

The water wasn’t running and I didn’t hear anything, so I got down on my hands and knees to sop it up before investigating. It smelled like cherries. And the wall was damp and smelled like cherries. So did all the paper recycling. I thought, “What the hell happened?” and dug into the far corner of the pantry floor. A can of soda had frozen and burst. We don’t drink soda except as a drink mixer so it must have been stashed there during the summer and the can gave up after a freeze/thaw cycle. A half-dozen other cans were ballooned with ice and ready to pop.

I was very relieved.



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