Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Wet & Wild Weekend Begins

Our house was built in a time when outdoor toilets were normal. For that reason, the bathroom was added about 60 years later. I'm not saying he is incompetent, but the guy who plumbed it trained under Rube Goldberg. The main water supply line runs up the corner of the kitchen and across the ceiling. Pipes pop in and out of the walls and one just terminates with no destination. Two pipes for the upstairs bathroom run across the back wall at a 45 degree angle on their way up. So when the fresh water supply line for our toilet sprung a leak, I thought, "Here we go again..."  I spent a good 15 minutes last night with a metal rod and a hammer, tapping against the shutoff valve handle to get it to close. Truth. It's a PVC gate valve with flat ears on each side that is wedged between the water heater and the wall. The space is so cramped that you can't get enough leverage to turn it with your hand. Thus the rod and hammer treatment.

I spent the morning calling every plumber in the phone book. It's the weekend, so I didn't expect any enthusiastic responses. I wasn't disappointed. The first one can't make it until Tuesday. The next one sounded like he was still recuperating from last night's pub crawl and mumbled some incoherent stuff about not working weekends, but he'd call me right back. That was two hours ago. Most of the rest went to answering machines. In desperation I sent out a plea on Facebook for assistance...I don't plan to call the original plumber unless a sinkhole starts developing under the house.

The plumber in question is a local handyman.  He means well, and will eventually get whatever you ask him to repair working again, but not without some unusual quirks or related side effects. He does auto and lawn mower repair, carpentry, plumbing, and is willing to tackle just about anything you ask him to do. He just doesn't do it well. Jack of all trades, master of none. Need a ceiling fan installed? No problem. Just don't expect it not to wobble when you turn it on. Need a guest room added on? Sure. Just ignore that window on an inside wall. The main electric breaker box has labels that read something like "Oven, Water Heater, Rest of the house." The most commonly used phrase around here is "Here's what he fixed and here's what's still wrong with it..."

 Update: It appears that word got back to the handyman that I mentioned him in my blog and he was offended. I admit that I was rather harsh and I apologize for that. I actually appreciate the work he has done over the years. I exaggerated his lack expertise in the attempt to get a few laughs at his expense. I'm sorry for that.

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