Sunday, September 05, 2010

Plumbing Saga Day 1: The Geysers

It was an ordinary day when it began. No real sign that anything would be different, but, then again, life is like that. Even to a cat.
This is Maui, our sometimes cat, looking out my bedroom window. I put this picture in to start this story because it speaks to how calm our lives were "before" the plumbing saga began. Little could we know how long it would be until we felt that calm again...

Our house, which is really an old cottage, has only one bathroom. And that bathroom contains, or contained, one rather troublesome toilet. It was not so strange to have to call the plumbers, when our plunging powers were defeated. But it had not been so long since they'd been by to rescue us. Yet....

... when I noticed water on the bathroom floor, I was puzzled, especially when I saw that it appeared to be like little splashes. I crouched down to take a closer look, then flushed.

Imagine my surprise to see litte geysers. Yes, geysers. Rising from the spots on the base of the toilet where the bolts hold it to the floor. Oh dear.

It was time to call Sidney Plumbing to the rescue! Not just for the usual repair, but for the bigger job they had recommended, which was replacing the toilet (a topic which had come up on previous visit, when I talked to them about the possibility of a second toilet).

Well, once we had spec'd the toilet type we wanted, and the colour, and asked it to be the higher model (better for my mom's knees), a small search ensued and it was discovered there was only one on the island. "Let's do it!" I declared, and someone was dispatched to go pick it up before anyone else could snatch it.

The installation went well enough, but the efforts to clear anything else beyond the toilet so that we'd have truly smooth sailing, however, were slow. Lots of snakes and pumping and such. They even took a look in the crawl space.
"Did you know you have about a foot of water in your crawl space?" said Carl the plumber. Oh my. Nope. Didn't know that. Joe the bossman-plumber said that was a lot, especially at this time of year. Silly me, I didn't know that any water was normal, but there you go.

Turns out our pump was broken. If you have a crawl space under your house, you have a pump that sucks the water that collects there (from leaks in the house or from rain), and pumps it out to an area away from the house. This was just the first of many plumbing lessons I would learn over the week that ensused.

Anyways, it was late in the day, and they didn't have one in stock, but they promised to pick one up the next day and be back with it. OK, I said, as there really isn't anything else one can do when you have water in your crawl space... can't just leave it there...

It was about dinner time when we thanked our plumbers and sent them on their way. They as we clammoured to see who would get to use the loo first (actually, we let mom Christen it), we noticed that the door was... in the living room.

We considered phoning them to come back, but knowing they would be back the next day with the pump, we figured we three girls could manage things by calling out, "Going in here" and "All clear" and just pretending we didn't see anything else. By these "three girls" I mean me (51), my sister (57) and my mom (88).

And so concludes day 1 of the saga which, at this point, was not considered a saga at all. If only we'd known.....

To read what happened on Day 2, click here.

No comments: