Photo: Graur Codrin (click photo to link)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere

The truth about water is that it usually is where I don't want it. I seem to have more water-related issues than most people...but maybe I'm just paranoid. I've been cleaning up my bedroom and closet because I have a plumber coming to (I hope) take care of some (but not all) of my water problems.

It all started around 6 months ago when the upstairs toilet began to seep. The floor was wet, and the seepage soaked into a seam in the ceiling over my dining table. Fortunately, I caught it early, turned off the water to the toilet and drained all the remaining water out of the toilet. Unfortunately, the seam is permanently bubbled over my dining room; bubbling but dry. So I had the toilet re-sealed, and it was fine for a while. However, it started leaking around the base again, so I have a plumber coming tomorrow, to fix it again.
leaking toilets do not look like this--they are much messier and uglier

You may wonder why I have to clean my bedroom and closet so that the plumber can come. I have a quirky floorplan. I guess that this was popular at one time, God knows why, but I'd never seen anything like it until I bought my condo. I have what is known as a Hollywood closet--you walk through it into the bathroom. There are two doors to the bathroom, one from my closet, and one from the bedroom on the other side of the bathroom. You have to walk through a bedroom to get to it; there's no access from the hall.

So, I have been cleaning my room, which is just a huge mess--books everywhere, papers in stacks, and milk crates waiting for bookshelves to hold them. Who would have thought that getting a plumber would create such a lot of commotion in my life?

Oh, yeah, the point of this post, though is that I seem to have water where I don't want it with an amazing frequency. My son, who is in college but lives with me, is often responsible for water where I don't want it. Like, when he forgets to check the sink before he starts a load of laundry, and the nylon which I use as a lint filter is so full of lint that it plugs the sink and we have a flooded laundry area. The first time it happened, there was water across the whole room, and the cats were going nuts because their litter boxes were in the middle of a puddle. So, we pushed water over to the floor drain, and sopped it up with sponges, and mops and dried the floor with a fan. All in all, it was incredibly not fun.

This, of course is pure cat drama, not really as bad as the cats would want you to believe

So, in the middle of a frenzy of chores and getting ready for the plumber, I get a message on my cell phone--my son saying he's on his way to work and that the sink has "apparently" overflowed in the basement, and I think that maybe I'll just never go home, and let the whole place fill up with water, and... but then I realize that the cat is home, and who knows if she can get to her litter box? So I go home and sop up the water, and change the nylon on the discharge hose, and all is wet but well. But the toilet upstairs can't be used because I haven't called the plumber, and so I have to run downstairs to use the other toilet which is a royal pain, especially in the morning because I really have to go first thing in the morning, so it's always a panic.

Of course, there's also water in other places that it doesn't belong...leaks into the cupboards under each sink, but they're little leaks and I may be able to fix them with caulk around the sink edges, but I don't know. I just hope that there isn't mold growing because then I'd have to bleach everything before the plumber would even deign to touch the job.

Water is very convenient, when it is confined to where it belongs. But, it just seems as if staying where it belongs is very tenuous, at best, and inversely proportional to the age of the house.

Oh, yeah, and the functionality of faucet handles is also inversely proportional to the age of the house, as I've now learned--the curse of corrosion and liming from hard water has frozen all the shutoff valves, so I am at the mercy of the plumber until I get around to the repairs for all four sinks, two toilets and one shower/tub fixture.

Who would have thought?

POSTSCRIPT: So it snowed and sleeted last night, dumping mondo piles of the white stuff, and the plumber hasn't come. I have to wait until Monday... but my closet is clean, and my room will be cleaner than it was...

Ironic, isn't it?

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