And when you think you’ve seen it all!

Every day I start with a prayer. I especially pray for the days that I work. I pray for safety, ease of doing jobs and that everything will go well on that day. On Monday, God answered my prayer but I’m sure he had a smile about what the day was going to hold.


We had been asked by a new customer to fix a leak on their water meter. They explained that they already had the Council (Urban Utilities) to come and fix the leak, but because the leak was 6 inches off the water main into the customer’s property, it was their cost and responsibility to fix. (Hence why the customer rang us to fix it for them.)


We couldn’t get there until Monday lunch due to having other jobs already booked in. We arrived at the customer’s house at Bellbowrie and I knocked on the door to let them know we were going to work on their water main.


The leak was coming from where the copper pipe coming off the water meter connected into the black poly water pipe that fed water to the house. Thankfully I had gotten dad to pick up some poly fittings just in case we needed them, even though the customer had advised us the water pipe was copper.


The water meter was off, my dad unscrewed the leaking fitting, and as I handed him the new fitting, the water meter came off in my dad’s hands which created a huge gush of water onto the lawn, and down the street.


I’ll be honest, I nearly said the F word. I straight away rang Urban Utilities while dad tried to feel through the gushing water what size the pipe was and whether he could get a fitting on there to stop the water. Neighbors on the street came out to ask what had happened. It was quite a spectacle.


Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do. The water meter had unattached from an old soldered joint and no fitting we had– compression or Viega could be screwed onto the copper pipe due to the old remnants of the solder.


After 10 minutes of waiting on the phone I got through to Urban Utilities. They advised that they would have someone out between 2 and 24 hours. Exasperated, I said “you’re kidding!!”


Unfortunately they couldn’t tell me a time that they could have a ‘unit’ come out to fix the problem but they would call me as soon as they had someone there.


I had booked in other jobs that afternoon so we left the site and went to the other side ofBrisbaneto fix another job.


Two hours later I hadn’t heard from Urban Utilities, so I rang them to find out if a team had been sent. The lady on the phone said she couldn’t tell me. She put me on hold for five minutes and then said that there was a serviceman there and he would call me once he had fixed the water meter.


I don’t trust Urban Utilities. What they say they will do, they don’t. This is from previous experience in getting quotes from them and various other dramas with them… not to mention the sky rocketing prices we pay for water because of them.


Anyway, I was able to contact the customer and they advised that they would call me once the water meter was connected. Even though we had left the new fitting to fix the original leak on the water main, it didn’t mean that Urban Utilities would hook it up.


Amazingly, they did. The customer advised that their water meter had to be replaced, but instead of getting a new one, they were given a second hand one.


As I write this, it doesn’t sound as ‘big’ as I experienced it on Monday. But a plumber’s worst nightmare is when there is no stop tap on a water main or the water meter is faulty and you have a torrent of water gushing everywhere. Thankfully the water gushed outside and down the street.


My impression of Urban Utilities? It’s still the same. At least they got their act together on Monday, but to replace a faulty water meter with a second hand one? With the amount we pay for water bills in Brisbane, it’s pretty stingy.