Thursday, September 30, 2010
And So It Flows
Today it is back to work and other things to deal with and it is Wednesday, wonderful Wednesday, when we go out to dinner. Something to look forward to where we will escape the rigors of the week.
I work part-time, not full days. My day is done by mid-afternoon and I go home. I pull in the driveway at 2:30 thinking perhaps I will work on my Blogs or maybe just catch up on another episode of "Lost" on DVD.
As I step from the car, my wife steps out of the house walking down the path toward me. Wives popping out of the house to greet is never a good thing.
"We have a problem," is her greeting.
She points to the middle of the front yard where the sprinkler sits at the end of the hose that runs from the external tap. A foot high spray loops in the air from its many holes.
Ah, ha, when the plumber fiddled with the spigot he couldn't fix he made it worse. This is not a good thing.
I go in and immediately to the phone and call our plumbing contractor. The young lady who answers is very commiserative and assures me she can have a technician to our house between 5:00 and 7:00 that evening.
Well, there goes dinner out.
I hang up, go to the hall closet and find a flashlight that works. My wife asks what I am doing.
"I want to see just where this pipe (to the faucet) goes."
I know it runs in from the spigot about two feet east of our front door and I know it then goes behind the entryway closet wall and is behind a big board behind the wall. I know it connects into the main system downstairs in the storage closet. But where does it come down, can I see anything important down in that closet.
The closet is very dark, there is no light inside. Actually, there was, the fixture is still there, but we had some electrical work done many years ago and the electricians said they couldn't fix this fixture for some reason I forget. Can't anyone fix anything anymore. Possibly not. (See my essay in Life, Death and the Lonely Art, "Nobody Knows Anything, Including Me".)
What to my wondering eyes should appear? Well, the pipe that runs to the outside front faucet of course. I see it runs back to the rear wall then curves up to where it will meet another joint behind my entryway closet and head outside. But what is that thing sticking down about two inches just before the pipe reaches the back wall. Could that be a shut off valve?
Perhaps, but there is no lever or wheel on it and I'm not touching anything at this point. Let the plumber do it.
And wait, what is that laying back on the shelf? It's the piece of wall board he cut out yesterday that I dropped between the walls. It didn't go to the Land of Oz after all; it just went to the downstairs storage closet.
The plumber; that is, technician, the same kid from the day before is back. I take him down to the storage closet and sure enough we have a shut off valve after all. You just need a pair of pliers to turn it shut.
He is still nervous about that two inch by twenty-four inch board that hides the pipe, but what choice do we have. If we don't want to bleed water profusely across our lawn forever or climb over boxes to a well-hid almost-out-of-reach shut off valve perpetually, we are going to have to cut.
"I'm going to cut enough to work," he says. "but you'll have to sign off on it."
"Then cut," I say.
He cuts. He doesn't need to snip much from the board at all, even less that the hole he made in my wall. Why, oh why, didn't we just do this yesterday?
The new spigot is a bit stiff to turn on and off being new, but the important thing is after you turn it off, you absolutely have turned it off. And the new one has a pretty red wheel.
Man, I hate what water can do! Especially to my wallet.
Now all I have to do is finish patching the hole in the wall.
And wait for the reluctant refrigerator...but that's a different story.