I got a phone call from my attendant on Thursday evening. She was very excited and told me lots of water was under the wall. I was in Riverhead, NY (that's over 100 miles from my store) when I got the call. I tried several ways of asking her what she meant. Was the water coming from an inside wall? No. Was it coming through the wall? No. Was water outside the building? Yes. Is the floor wet? No; the water is outside. Is it coming inside? No, it is staying outside. Ah... an underground leak!
I called my landlord, who lives about five minutes from the store. He called the township department of public works. They sent someone who shut the curb-stop valve. Water then stopped coming up out of the ground next to my wall. The DPW guy smiled and said it was not HIS problem, and left.
My attendant, at my direction, put a sign in the front door: "No water tonight; DRY ONLY". (Two customers started washers anyway. Perhaps they wanted dry-cleaning?)
First thing Friday morning, I met the landlord, the DPW, and a plumber who brought two day-laborers. They started digging. By noon, they had dug a hole about four feet deep, pumped it out, and exposed the curb-stop and the copper line that went under the building. Then the DPW guy opened the curb stop far enough that we could all see water running out from under the foundation.
A temporary fix was made -- a PVC line lying on the ground now runs from the aforementioned hole to the back of the building, through a hole in the wall, and through my back room to the utility room, and connects to the water meter. The store was open and offering washing by about 3:00pm on Friday.
The landlord has told the plumber to run a new line through the wall below grade, up into the drop-ceiling, and to the rear of the building without going through or under the slab. If the township won't allow that, then he'll bury a new line alongside the building to the back and go through there.
Dave Levenson, NJ
The Happy Launderer -- If you can't take the heat, stay out from behind my dryers!