Sunday, 1 March 2015

Plumbing the depths - or at least the middle of the house

For the past year there has been a leak in the bathroom, which has had me frantically worried and petrified. It seemed likely that very expensive repairs would be necessary, and that, like getting my rotting dining room floor replaced, it would take months. And I could not face it, or decide what to do.

Eventually I looked at the house plans, at my local council. They were no use whatsoever. They showed the layout of the house and the discussions between the owner, the house next door and the council. No plumbing, wiring or fittings. Nothing useful, but least I discovered when the house was built, only about 25 years ago.

Last Tuesday, while I was outside, on my balcony, idly watching men repairing the road - a frequent event in this area - one of the workers  told me there was someone knocking at my door. So there was. It was a plumber, with no work that morning, who was using his spare time to distribute his card.  I told him I did have a plumbing problem. He said he could do some tests, make a diagnosis and give me a quote for repairs. What the hell, I said to myself, I can't go on like this, fearing the worst and not doing anything. Right, I said to him, have a go!

He ran various tests, turning on each bathroom tap in turn, while I trembled below, fearing an imminent collapse of the dining room ceiling. He ascertained that the bath was the problem.The next step was to cut a hole in the ceiling of the dining room. My trembling worsened. It then transpired that the valve thingy part of the bath could not be reached from the ceiling hole.

 Back upstairs we went, and the plumber had to destroy a tile. He was then able to reach in and fix the leaking valve. Then he went out to buy a cover/grille for the ceiling hole.  He has contacted a handyman mate of his to come and insert a grille to replace the broken tile, so that if the problem recurs there will be access. He fixed the dripping tap underneath the hand basin, and he changed a light globe for me.

Next week I can chase up the handyman.

I am relieved and delighted that after all my angst, the problem has been fixed, and will try not to be such a sook in future. It has been difficult, dealing with such things since Dr P died. But I do wonder about building practices! Why would you put tiles over a connection that might start leaking? Why would you not put a grille over it, in case of a leak? Why are plumbing details not put on plans?

Perhaps my next go at being a big brave girl might be to investigate getting a better exhaust fan over the gas hotplates? But I will have a little rest first. And I hope that if other things go wrong I will feel more capable of getting them rectified. And my house visitors will have a bathroom to themselves, instead of having to share mine.


Elephant's Child said...

How lovely, and encouraging, that your problem was solved so quickly. And your door to door plumber sounds exceptional. A rare breed.

Pam said...

So good. What a relief.

ChrisB said...

So pleased for you. I bet the doorstep plumber has restored your faith in human nature, and of course restored your own self-confidence, great!!!

Melba Banks said...

Kudos to your unrelenting drive to really stalk the nightmare that is the leak in your bathroom. Stuff like that should be targeted and resolved without hesitation, and without a moment's notice. There are tools that can ensure that, but there are agencies that can enable all that as well. Sometimes, it just depends on the classic plumbing service in the end. Good luck!

Melba Banks @ Westbrook

Unknown said...

Having a leak in your bathroom for several years must’ve been very frustrating, not to mention how much damage it may have already caused to your home. Having it fixed must have been quite a relief for you. Anyway, good thing a plumber just magically appeared on your doorstep. Haha! Anyway, thanks for sharing!

Lovella Cushman @ Perfection Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Ltd

Unknown said...

It is not surprising that your house may need a fix or two, given that it has been up for 25 years. It still doesn’t make plumbing problems any less of a hassle. Fortunately, a plumber was available that day, and he happened to be roaming around the neighborhood. Talk about lucky!

Traci Romero @ Harris Plumbing Inc.