Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Plumbing Hell

Why does it seem that small house improvement projects frequently turn into absolute hell? That happened to me today. What started as 30 minutes of plumbing work to ready my house for the installation of the new sprinkler system turned into a daylong plumbing hell! Things started off in a bad way as the plumber, my cleaning ladies and my lawn service people all arrived within 2 minutes of each other while I was on a conference call. It was a big pain in the behind as I had to talk to all of them (with the exception of the cleaning ladies) and explain what needed to be done. I am pretty good at balancing my conference calls with other activities – washing clothes, doing the dishes, etc, but this was a little bit hard for me! Once the plumber got started on his work we quickly realized that we had a conflict with Kathy and Kelly - the cleaning ladies. To do their work, Kathy and Kelly need water. Unfortunately the first thing that the plumber did was turn off all the water to the house. This wasn’t a fortuitous start to the day. Shortly after the plumber turned off the water, he came up from the downstairs and said ‘we have a problem”. Umm… Those aren’t the words that I like to hear from people doing work on my house. The problem was the fact that as he had turned of the master valve to the house, he had broken it. The water was turned off and the valve was broken in a state that it couldn’t be turned on again. GREAT!!! To fix the master valve in the house, the water would have to be turned off in the street. The only way that the water could be turned off in the street was to call the water company – in this case Southgate Water District and have them come out and turn it off. Needless to say, Southgate doesn’t have a lot of workmen right and ready to just come out and turn off the water. So the plumber was going to have to wait for a while. The work crew from Southgate showed up about 2 hours after they were called. Things still would not be simple. It turned out that the valve in the street was not in good shape and the crew had to do a lot of work to even get access to it before they could even try and turn it off. Once they had access to it, they had to work for another 30 – 45 minutes to get it shut off. While all this was going on, I was working with the plumber to make sure that things were getting done. It really was not how I had planned to spend my day. I was doing conference calls while going back and forth from the master valve in the basement to the work crew out in the street. Yeah – it made for a fun Wednesday afternoon – NOT! Kathy and Kelly did get pretty creative and were able to get most of the house clean despite the fact they had no water. They took a bucket and went over to my next door neighbor and got enough water to do the floors and cabinets. So the house at least got cleaned. In the end run what was scheduled to be a 30 minute piece of work to replace a valve for my sprinkler system ended up being a 5 hour endurance test. It got done but it was a lot more painful than was expected. This afternoon I also finally had someone come and take a look at my bee problem. I can’t begin to tell you how many calls I had to make to get some one out here. The guy who is going to do the work is still not certain how he is going to address the problem, but he feels he can get the bee hive out of the wall with out killing the bees. Right now he is scheduled to come back on Friday and remove the hive. I am very glad about this as Zack has already gotten stung 2 or 3 times this year. Otherwise it was a normal Wednesday for us – school, work and Sylvan. There was nothing unusual this evening going on just the same-old, same-old. Despite my plumbing hell, it was a pretty OK day. We hope everyone had a great day! Thanks and peace to all! – J.

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