Friday, June 20, 2014

DO NOT - DIY ...I beg you

About seven years ago my husband decided to take care of a small plumbing problem himself.  It was simple.  It didn't cost very much. What could go wrong?
You will be sorry you asked, because for wrenching a $2.38 flex hose on too tightly, we ended up with a flooded downstairs at 2:00 a.m. the next morning because the thing blew off. This resulted in our house being over run by contractors and insurance adjusters for the following two months. A dozen extra-large drying fans running 24/7, dry-wall ripped out,carpet torn up.  Let's just call it what it was:  a blinking nightmare.

Two months and fourteen thousand dollars later - why we were all fixed up.  I wish I could tell you we were sadder but wiser, but I am not going to lie to you.  I was madder, not sadder - and in light of yesterday's goings on, apparently the guy who lives here is still no wiser. And Tool Time Tim, he isn't.

Sighhhh..hh..hh..hh.....  (At least we are now in a one story house.)
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Here is how it all went down.

"That faucet in the hall bathroom is really sticking.  I can barely pull the knob out to wash my hands."  (I have arthritis in both hands and this pull-knob faucet was getting to be a real pain - daily.)

"Yes, I noticed that myself.  I'll take a look at it later."

"But I thought that is why we have a home shield policy, so that all we have to do is call someone and they come fix it."

"True.  But there is still the house call fee.  I think I can fix it."
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Suddenly I am having seven-year flash backs.  I have heard all this before.  I have lived through this before. - 

"I am asking you.  Please lets just call a plumber."

"Now calm down.  This is no big deal.  I can fix this."

Whereupon, I betook myself to the farthest corner on the opposite side of the house, when the above mentioned repairs began.  

"I'm shutting off the water for a little while.  Just so you know."

Things clanging and banging.  

"I'm headed down to Ace Hardware to get a part.  Back in a few."

I do not reply.  I am in deep fear and dread.

Back from the store, small parts jiggling in a paper bag.  More clanging and banging.  Semi-quiet grunts and huffs.  Quick trips outside and back in again.

And suddenly - there it is.

"Marsha, can you come here quick and help me?"

Nope.  At first I just sat there and watched it all happen in slow motion.
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Water gushing everywhere.  Already a half-inch deep in the bathroom floor and heading rapidly into his office and down the hallway.

Common sense requires that I try to minimize the damage to my own domicile.  Towels being thrown hither/thither all over the hardwood floors.  Grab a big one and wrap it around the gushing faucet while the big guy dashes outside to turn the water off - again!  Haul in the shop vac from the garage.

My grandmother had a saying:  "Madder than a wet hen."

Well, this wet hen did not get mad (other than momentarily.)  Instead, I got even.  Once the immediate flooding was stopped, I returned to my chair and read a book.  I'm not proud of myself, but at least I am honest about it.

Someone (who shall remain nameless) sopped, and wrung, and mopped, and wiped ... oh, I really don't know how long that all went on.  I was reading a pretty good book, and the afternoon slipped quietly away. Occasionally I would hear a pitiful remark to the effect, "She really isn't going to come and help."  I guess directed at our dog.

Huge loads of soaking towels going into the washer and dryer sometime later. The under-the-sink cabinet cleaned out, as he proudly announces that he has found the other bottle of hydrogen peroxide we were looking for the other day when we needed to clean a little sore spot on Holly (our old and ailing Lhasa Apso.)

I have a saying of my own.  Sometimes people can be well-intended but entirely misguided.

And some folks should not be allowed to own a tool box.  
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Yes, I finally arose from my chair and fixed us a light dinner.  And yes, we laughed (one of us more painfully than the other) about our own foibles.  But people, I am begging you, forget about Do-It-Yourself.  Call a professional.  Please.

For the love of Pete, spare yourself the aggravation.  Write a check and be done with it.  Or not, and turn it into blog-fodder.
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Hope you have dry floors with no impending dry rot.  A good book helps, too.  Until next time ~ your busy-hiding-the-darned-tool-box friend ~ Marsha


  1. Yikes! My hubby is a good fixer, and we've had no floods. But, he does not enjoy plumbing jobs and says they all require at least 3 trips to the hardware. Plus, I end up with a cranky husband!

  2. I think it is the man's psyche not to insist on doing it themselves. I'm always saying, "Get someone in to fix it." , "I can do it." then ........either disaster, or it doesn't get done, or its not such a great job done. Must admit never had to pay 14 thousand dollars to fix it. Hope he's learnt his lesson but don't hold your breath.

  3. DIY = Don't Interfere, Yikes!

    My hubby is pretty handy, and most of the time he knows when a task is more than he can handle. But your post, though it made me chuckle, also made me flinch with remembering the frustration of messed-up *fixes* that went wrong. Some of them (the cosmetic ones) I was able to fix with my arsenal of colored pencils, Sharpies, and paint.

    Now, if I was only half as successful at fixing myself. Ahem.


  4. This is a funny post... but also too true. I think We've all been there... but I've never not taken over the mopping with the towels, etc.... ( I have another story that won't be told... and I've done worse things than not helping)....I agree with you completely... Call someone..

  5. Most of the time I can say my husband knows when he's looking at something over his area of expertise. Sadly, not always. We have battle scars of our own to show for this lax in common sense. Glad it was kept to a minimum at your place this time.