The sound that makes me worry.

DRIP DRIP DRIP- One of my least favorite sounds as a homeowner. A few weeks ago the kids and I came home one weekend afternoon, and as I closed the front door, I heard a dripping sound. I have this phobia about running/dripping water. It goes back to my early days as a landlord. We had a toilet in our rental building tucked down in the basement.  Nobody really used it, but shame on us, we never shut if off either… until we got a bill from WSSC for $1500. Our regular bill was about $200. All thanks to a leaking valve. It was probably a $5 part that cost us and extra $1300.  At that point the building was bleeding to the tune of about $300/month and we were in no position to cough up another $1500. 

But back to the drip at my house. I ran around the house checking all of the plumbing, nothing seemed wrong, no water under the sink, and dry as a whistle under the dishwasher. Then I listened carefully and heard it coming from the family room. There is not any plumbing in the family room. I walked in and there was a huge bubble of paint in the ceiling and water dripping on to the carpet. Back upstairs to the kitchen I stood there in the middle of the kitchen trying to think, where could it be coming from. We’d had some rain that day, so I thought that maybe it was the roof, but how was it getting from the attic to the basement with no evidence on the main floor?? So I went back downstairs, got out the utility knife and a bucket and cut the drywall away, got my phone out, turned on the flashlight and had a peek.


Then it hit me, the fridge. It was coming from the fridge. So the kids and I slid the fridge out, shut off the valve for the water line, and tried to figure out where the water was coming from.

I had visions of the repairman having to tear apart the fridge to fix it. But a little bit of detective work, and I located the culprit



It’s a cheap little plastic tube, only a couple of steps up from one of those bendy straws that Oliver loves. It had a little pinhole in it, so there was this tiny spray of water coming out. I am not sure how it suddenly sprang a leak, but that didn’t really matter. We had to get it fixed.

I have been on lots of home inspections over the years, and almost every inspector I know suggests that the buyers replace the standard rubber hoses for the clothes washer with braided stainless steel hoses. 


It’s something easy to do that can save you from a plumbing disaster. I have also heard inspectors mention that the water line behind the wall that feeds the fridge should always be copper ( which mine was). But I don’t remember any inspector saying that you should check the water supply line that goes from the wall to the fridge itself.  So could I get a stainless steel water line for the fridge?? I hopped on the laptop to see if home depot had any, indeed they did. Off I went, and about a hour later I was pushing the fridge back in place.

Lots more work to do to dry the carpet and padding, but it could’ve been so much worse. Since then I have checked all of the other lines in the house (toilets, sinks and the dishwasher). They were all stainless steel, so we should be in good shape!!

I’d strongly suggest that you take a few minutes to check all of the lines in your house. If not, you may want to replace them. It could save you a lot of trouble down the road…