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