I Think I Can… I Think I Can…

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Mr Plumber 101

Published June 13, 2009 - 2 Comments

I decided to have a nice bath yesterday. Apparently when the old farm house was built, showers ranked right up there with insulation… neither existed. I’ve become quite fond of my big old bathtub now. If I knew how to swim, I’m sure that I’d be able to do laps in it. So yesterday I ran the water, and then climbed in to enjoy a nice relaxing soak. I figured that I’d be there for awhile, so I let the hot water continue to run while I lay there. When the water started to get a little on the warm side, I tried to turn the tap with my foot. The water continued to gush from the pipe.

Hmm… odd…

I tried turning it the other way. The water kept coming. Hot water. Real hot water.

I sat up and tried shutting it off with my hands. No go. Now I understand what a lobster feels like. I got out of the tub as quickly as I could, and pulled the plug (that was a pleasant experience). Thankfully the water was draining from the tub faster than it was coming in. The new problem wasn’t so much flooding, as it was trying to figure out how to make the water stop flowing.

I’m not the handiest of men. *chuckle* I looked for a valve in the bathroom, but there wasn’t one. I ran downstairs and checked the different valves in the pantry beneath the bathroom. None of them appeared to be what I wanted. So then I did what any other inept handyman would do when in a time of need.

I called Dad.

After explaining the problem, he confirmed what I was already afraid of… I needed to take a trip into the basement…

I use the word “basement” loosely. I also use the words “dungeon” and “crypt“. They might be better suited to describe where I was now going.

After locating a flashlight, I began to descend into the dark space under the house. It reminded me very much of the scene from The Cask of Amontillado, and I had no idea what lurked behind the locked door. Oh yes, my uncle had given me the tour when I first moved in, but like all good lessons in life, you don’t realize how much you should have paid attention until you actually NEED that information.

I looked around and found the water pump. I also found the hot water tank, an ancient wood stove, several pieces of furniture, and lots and lots of dirt. Yuck. No sign of the family fortune, though. I suspect that it must be buried in the back yard somewhere.

Turning off the water pump wasn’t difficult at all. Turning it back ON after turning off the hot water valve was a little trickier because I had apparently not paid enough attention to the process when I was shown 9 months ago.

But the short of it (finally) is that I now have water pressure, but only cold water… which is great for brushing my teeth and flushing the toilet, but not so good for washing dishes and bathing… and I’ve discovered that boiling water on the stove to wash dishes in is about as effective dropping lit matches into the water.