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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Adventures in Homeownership, Chapter 52, Plumbing

Today I spent the morning with 2 plumbers and the afternoon with two different ones. We've had a slow drain leak in Lauren's bathtub for a few weeks now (so the water doesn't stay in the tub), and then recently a leak in the living room ceiling when someone takes a shower there. Luckily, we have a home warranty (from Virginia Surety Company and we're pretty happy with them). So I called the home warranty company, they authorized the repair, I called the plumber whose name they gave me, and he came out this morning. Two guys assessed the whole leak and told me it was a faulty drain ummm...I forgot the word. But anyway, they wanted to charge the home warranty company $800 to fix it, plus drywall.

The home warranty company got on the phone with me and told me they authorized the repair, but not at that amount of money, so they were going to send a different plumbing company out. These guys came around 2:00 and were here until about 6:00. They had to cut a hole in the ceiling and then saw through some wood to get at the pipes and fix everything. Evidently some people's bathrooms have "access panels" but when they built our condo, they didn't put one in. I also found out that to plumbers, we have a townhouse. They don't care about the shared garage thing that seems to define "condo" for realtors. They just care about no one being below or above us when pipes leak!

Anyway, they got all done, finally, after being here all day and the elaborate process of laying plastic sheets to cover furniture in the living room, cutting through the drywall, and starting and stopping water. "It's all fixed." After they left, I found out the bad news. This will seem like such an insignificant thing to most people, but it turns out they substituted the kind of bathtub drain we had before, which was a nice switch you could flip up to keep the water in, or down to drain it out. Now we have the kind you have to step on in a certain spot. I hate that kind! Because whenever I take baths, I always hit it by accident with my foot and have to fumble around in the bath bubbles to find exactly which spot to press to get it to hold the water again. My parents have this kind of drain in their tubs, and when Lauren takes baths there, I have to stay nearby because she's constantly draining water by mistake.

It's the little things in life, the little things. One thing I looked at when we bought this place was the plumbing. As nice as it would have been to have, say, a nice view, to me it is even nicer to have tons and tons of hot water that rushes out of the pipes so that many people can take showers and hot relaxing baths without the last person cursing the penultimate person for using up all the hot water. By my own standard, I'm in 5 stars. But it just went down to 3 stars with this new drain...

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