Tuesday, June 24, 2014

water. de l'eau. wasser agua

Water is necessary for life.

Indoor plumbing is necessary for life as we know it.

Indoor plumbing also provides employment.

A simple task to replace the tub faucet (which no longer went into the shower position (showers are also necessary for life as we know it)) turned into an adventure.

We noted on a hike in the Olympic Mountains in the rain (which is also water, and the normal state of affairs for hikes in the Olympic Mountains) that an adventure is someone somewhere having a bad time of it.

The plumber also found 4 of our 8 intake valves to be leaking:  both toilets, both hot waters in the bathroom sinks.  He replaced all of them.

He had to return to the office to get a bar to turn off the water to the house.  (Which was also leaking, but on the city side.  It has also been fixed.)

At about 4 in the afternoon, he started in on the last of them, under the main bathroom sink.  He broke the pipe.  The pipe was so corroded that it had lost half its diameter, which, as those of us who learned geometry before the government tried to fix teaching math know, means that it has lost 75% of its flow.  (Actual quote from the plumber:  "I have never seen a pipe so corroded.")  putting galvanized and copper pipes together didn't help.  (Go look up galvanic corrosion yourself.)

Anyway, the plumber now needed a nipple extractor to get the rest of the pipe out, and, since it was so close to the wall, someone else with more experience.

About 6:00 it became obvious that I was not going to be able to cook dinner, and we got pizza.  When I returned with the pizza about 6:30 (and after using the bathroom at the pizza place),  Jack informs me that a third expert has been called in.  Also, washing our hands after eating pizza without running water was a small issue.

At 7:00 everything had been resolved and they turned the water back on.  Everything was hunky dory...except piping to the main bathroom toilet had a leak within the walls.  You could see water running in the crawlspace from 12 feet away.

Our choices became:  let the plumber go get dinner, and then work a couple more hours here, or let him go home, eat dinner, sleep, and tackle it while well rested.  we chose option two.

However, this meant that we could not stay in the house because, well, we are old and need to use the toilet multiple times at night. Both Number 1 and Number 2.  So we spent the night at a local hotel, took a bottle of wine (but forgot the corkscrew) and watched cable TV.

The next day all was fixed without incident (the plumber even avoided burning the house down with his propane torch).  The good news:  we avoided catastrophic failure.  The bad news:  since it wasn't catastrophic, the insurance won't pay for it.

Oh, and the toilet in the hotel room?  It had a leaky tank valve.