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Valve issue forces 81-year-old to go down to basement of Cleveland Hts. home to turn water off after each use

Woman says a repair can't be done until Cleveland Water does its part
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Posted at 5:05 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 19:12:43-04

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Some things we may take for granted are a hassle for an 81-year-old woman who called News 5 Investigators about a water issue at her house.

She has to turn off her water in the basement after every use and says her plumber can’t make a necessary repair inside until Cleveland Water does its part outside.

“I've got jugs, jugs of water in there,” said Mary Tinsley.

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Normally, you’d just turn on the faucet for everyday cooking and cleaning. Not at Tinsley’s house.

“I’m 81 years old. I have health problems and I’m filling up jugs to cook. I can't really clean like I should,” said Tinsley.

Tinsley says she has to turn off her water in the basement after every use, including showering, washing hands and even flushing.

Tinsley took us down to her basement to show us part of her daily routine.

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“I have to mop and I’ve got rags on the floor trying to soak up that water, but I have to mop every time I go down there,” said Tinsley. She says what has become a real headache started more than two months ago.

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“I was having water flowing in the basement,” said Tinsley. At the time, she and her plumber thought the problem was with her water heater. So, she spent a couple of hundred dollars to replace it.

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After that, she still had to continue mopping up water in her basement.

“I realized it was something with the water meter,” said Tinsley. She said she was told that's a job for her plumber.

Tinsley’s plumber said all he needs to do is replace a shut-off valve in her basement, but to do that, he needs to turn off the water at the street line.

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Her plumber couldn’t find the valve, and neither could Cleveland Water until the second time they came out, Tinsley said.

“I go back out and they tell me it’s broken. That’s been at least two weeks ago now,” Tinsley said. She said she was told she had to wait while separate water main breaks are taken care of.

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She’s worried about water damage and mold. Her frustration has turned into a health concern.

“The representatives are so rude — they act like it’s no big deal. They said, 'At least you got water.' Yes, but I’m running up and down the stairs,” Tinsley said.

She said her unwanted home workout is taxing.

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“I have enough health problems that running up and down the stairs is affecting me — a knee problem for one,” said Tinsley.

News 5 Investigators reached out to Cleveland Water about a timeline for repairs at the curb.

“I understand them having water main breaks, but when do you stop and take care of an individual household?” asked Tinsley.

Tinsley said this has been her home for 50 years and would just like to get back to normal living.

“I can't sleep, I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about this water,” said Tinsley.

Cleveland Water told News 5 Investigators this job is in their queue and should be addressed in the next few days. They said they apologize for any inconvenience and to contact them if she has any further issues.

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