Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Roofers Can't Do, Plumbers Can

We had this pipe in our basement. And it leaked more weeks than I wish to count for days. Dripping in our basement making a gigantic puddle causing some condensation, this pipe continued to drip. And drip. And drip. You know how pipes do that every once in awhile just to let a little pressure off because they're old?

Well, this pipe started dripping and like most pipes do, it continued dripping. For some reason, it is not a self correcting/sealing pipe.

So, considering the plumping expertise of the people that live in this house, we began utilizing an amazing feature. I mean seriously folks, I can't believe this plumbing repair option is not marketed yet. A person could really make a lot of money off advertising this, not to mention doing seminars, classes and home demonstrations.

What this Amazing Plumbing Repairs For Dummies involves is a strategically placed bucket that is positioned exactly in the precise angle and latitude and longitude of the impending drips coming from the invisible leak in the pipe. It takes quite a bit of concentration and investigating and calculating but once you do it a time or two, it is worth the effort.

My well experienced recommendation (and believe me, I have a lot of experience with this) would be to get several buckets and place them in the general vicinity of the drips. Although one bucket is better than none, several are better than one.

As mentioned already, this leak had been going on for several weeks a few days and the man of the house determined after some encouragement from his wife on his own that it was probably a good time to contact some professional help. AKA: plumber.

Of course, you can always hope that a leaky pipe will fix itself and I am pleased to say that we definitely gave this pipe time to heal his leak. We are such patient people, in fact, that we waited for a really long time. The Automated Reseal in the pipe just didn't happen.

Amazingly, the leak got worse. Instead of dumping the bucket a couple times a week, we were dumping it several times a day.

So the plumber came on Thursday and in no time flat, he has conquered the leaky pipe that was rotting the floor joists, growing mold up above it in the bathroom and sopping the basement floor with it's continual dripping.

Now, I hate to succumb to the "I told you so" mentality that often befalls those of us that "Told them so" but when "they" didn't listen and then it turns up that "I told you so" was right... well, the only thing you can say is, "I told you so."

What makes me refer to this is that prior to calling the plumber and prior to the plumber getting to our house and prior to finding mold in the bathroom, I had mentioned to the man of the house that perhaps he should just double check and make sure this wasn't a homeowner repair job. Toby had already decided on that and thought it would be wise to personally investigate the leak because you know how a person hates to pay an unnecessary plumbing bill, right?

My dear, brave husband checked it out one day and diagnosed the problem as an Overspilling Copper Dilemma (OCD). Considering he does not have the tools for OCD (such as a torch and other copper repairing tools), he deemed the plumber invasion a wise idea.

"You know how I am with plumbing, honey," he said. To which I calculated in my head: Toby + Plumbing = Disaster. This mental picture had built so vividly above my head that Toby could see it too so I had to immediately delete that explicit picture and say, "Leaky Roofs + Toby = Paradise." He breathed a sigh of relief to know that I am still the cheerleader for the team he's on.

Bob the Plumber is a really nice guy. He really is. Once he took pity on me and our snake filled yard and he told me how he had hit a snake with his own lawn mower and never had snakes in his yard again. I took his advice. It worked. This guy knows his stuff. And Thursday was no exception.

He had a truck full of copper fittings and copper pipes and copper this and copper that so he was ready. Entering the house armed with a flashlight, he went right downstairs to the problem. Within no time, he was upstairs and in the bathroom.

His diagnosis?

Well, you know that pipe-tube-thingy that attaches your toilet to the water supply right behind the toilet? Yeah, go look in your bathroom and you'll see what I mean. That gray/silver (depending on the year it was made) pipe-tube-thingy had malfunctioned. So as the water entered the toilet, some of it slipped out and ran down the OUTSIDE of the tube-pipe-thingy and followed down through the narrow hole in the floor drilled just for accommodating that tube-pipe-thingy and then it dripped downstairs into our Bucket Invention right past that OCD copper pipe.

The repair plan?

Unscrew the tube-pipe-thingy
Toss in bathroom trash can
Screw in new tube-pipe-thingy
And then empty that bucket in the basement one last time.

I looked at Toby and smirked smiled gleefully lovingly but didn't say a thing. I could tell what he was thinking.

The mold is gone. The basement is dry. The pipe-tube-thingy gleams a bright shiny silver behind the toilet. So pretty. It feels good to have such a modern upgrade in our old house.

3 comments:

pat ve said...

Oh, that was wonderfully funny. My dad and husband could do plumbing fixes but there were other things they wouldn't takle. It is really hard for a guy to say, I can't do this, and HIRE someone to do it for them. Your solution and your problem were amusing. Have a great day and don't spring another leak. :-)

Jean said...

Did you watch carefully - it might be your responsibility next time.

Coeur d'Court said...
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