Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Plumb Exciting

I have from time to time had drainage problems.  A plumber acquaintance told me that my pipes are improperly supported, bowing, and  collecting sludge which caused the  back-ups and worsened the bows.  He suggested that he fix it independently for $3000.  I thought that was high especially since those pipes were put in new only 10 years ago (just before the divorce) and supposedly had a lifetime guarantee.  Well, the guarantee is meaningless, just an unsigned, undated bit of advertising really.  I called the contractor who said they would come out for $125 and look it over.  I must say I was not delighted with their attitude, but I don't think they cared for my call, either as I was pushing the idea of a guarantee.  But they also called the guy who worked on it at the time with a company since defunct.  Dave the plumber has moved to the Bay Area and said he had no legal obligation, but felt a personal pride of work and moral obligation.  He came out yesterday.  Right off I gave him (unbidden) $50 for gas. Which he appreciated.   Anyway, he went under, took pictures, and did a little bit of banging.  He said my pipes are properly supported by straps at every floor joist. (I think it was joist).  There is slight, but normal bowing between straps.  There was one pipe from tub to the out drain (or whatever) that lacked a strap, but he strapped it (hence the banging). He said part of the problem is we have only a slight fall from kitchen to drain.  Also, we have been trying to conserve water, so we have not been flushing our pipes.  The water goes down and we are foolishly happy, but the water outruns anything it is carrying and then it builds up.  The solution?  Once a week or more, put a little cleaner - Dawn dish soap, bleach, vinegar, whatever - in the drain, fill the sink, and flush out the pipes, maybe running the water another minute or so after the sink empties.  No need to replace pipes.  It sounds right to me.  When he finished and went to leave, I paid him (again unbidden) $100.  He was very happy.  So was I.  He sounded and felt honest and he saved me potential thousands.  Yes, it cost me a little more than the other company for a look-see, but I trust him more.

I had taken the entire day off on vacation since I had no idea how long the plumbing thing would take.  I started feeling unwell Monday, which got progressively worse.  By the time I got home, I just went home and let my guys take over. (Bless them)  I was fairly ill Tuesday, but rallied for the plumbing episode.  I could not present as a responsible homeowner unwashed and in PJs.  So I dressed and did light make-up and tried to be grown up.  As soon as he left, it was PJs again. I expected to be back to normal by evening, but missed the deadline.  Today I was better enough to come to work.  I knew I would fret about some things if I didn't.  Although some systems are a little touchy, I feel better in other ways for the day of resting. I think I will change my time-sheet to sick leave rather than vacation.

And happy day - Miriam drove herself to a doctor appointment and then picked up And,rew when he missed a transit connection.  It's great that she can do some things now.