Leave it to me to muddy a four-day weekend by inviting an expensive plumbing disaster upon myself. The obvious inconveniences like very limited access to water and emergency plumbing expenses aside, this unpleasant episode epitomizes my lack of basic adult life-skills.
“Did you turn off the emergency water valve?” I was asked by those I started telling this story to.
NOW I know where it is, after I paid $150 for a plumber to come by after hours to turn it off for me.
I had been annoyed by a slight leak out of the bathtub faucet. I couldn’t get water to stop trickling out. I figured there must be something obvious that needs tightening. I removed the shower valve plate and was left with the handle and ball valves attached to the pipes. Here’s where I should’ve given up because I had no idea what to do now. There are websites that tell you how to fix this stuff, but I didn’t feel like bothering. I got it in my head that I need to take the handle off.
“There’s this spot right here that you take a hex wrench to,” the plumber told me later after the damage was already done.
Instead, I had gotten frustrated and just applied force to the handle to try to get it off.
Before I realized how idiotic my actions were, I had gotten the handle and ball valves off, and water was gushing out of the shower valve, with nothing left to turn it off.
As water gushed, I knew I’d have a flood if I did nothing. I called a plumbing service, and I was told someone could be out in a half-hour. For the next half-hour, I filled a 5-gallon bucket with bathtub water and dumped it out the window. I got soaked. The bathroom got soaked.
Forty minutes later, the plumber arrived, and we located my emergency valve outside. Water to my house was cut off.
To actually fix the valve (or put in a new one, I don’t know exactly how much needs to be done), they’ll also have to detach my bathroom vanity from the wall (and reattach it after the plumbing work is done). This will add up to a very unpleasant amount of dollars.
And all because, as a homeowner, I really have no clue what I am doing and am not particularly interested in learning whatever it is I need to know.
This disaster is directly attributable to what was essentially my vandalism of my own plumbing. Meanwhile, the sorry state of my abode probably puts me at risk for several other disasters that will probably happen if I just wait and do nothing.
Two years ago, at 31-years-old, I figured that homeownership would at least give the appearance that I was doing a satisfactory job of being an adult. But the blunt truth is, from the plumbing to the electricity to the insulation to the foundation to the landscaping, I don’t have an f*in clue. I bought this as-is. Whenever I get rid of it, it’ll still be an as-is.
In hindsight, it makes absolutely no sense that I would take on the challenge of dilapidated bungalow. I think anyone who knows me would have told me it was mistake had I asked point-blank. But I don’t think any of those who would have said that could understand how little I tend to think of myself. Owning a house gave me some feeling of accomplishment, even if I’ve had no idea how to actually accomplish anything with the house.
Yeah, I know, this is not following the Thanksgiving blog template, where I gush about what I’m thankful for. Anyone who really knows me knows I am thankful for some things. (For instance, I’m extremely thankful for friends who let me take a shower at their house today). But this post is not about those things. This is essentially one of those “I suck because _____________” posts. I’d tag this post “why I suck” but I think that would be redundant. Really, even when I’m posting pet pics, I’m really saying, “I’m posting these pet pics so, for now, I forget, and maybe you forget, just how much I suck”.