He gets it honestly.
I was a 20-year-old college student when I first faced a major plumbing disaster.
What started as an eight-inch problem in a dormitory bathroom, eventually led to a $983 bill for repairing a sink that had been ripped out of a wall.
Fast forward a couple years to a poor drainage system outside of another college apartment. It was a grossly-overpriced studio, considering the heat didn’t work. And my landlord, who spent the winter skiing in Colorado, didn’t care.
And I also didn’t really care that I was left with a faulty home. After all, it had an amazing view of the city (and was in walking distance of one of my favorite bars).
But, as a friend had predicted, that poor drainage system became a problem with heavy rain, snowy weather and freezing temperatures. A leaky spout had created an ice rink in the path from my door to the sidewalk–a path that also involved a concrete staircase.
Returning home one February day, I met an unfortunate fate with the leaky drain, sheet of ice and concrete stairs. The forewarning friend was with me and thankfully came to my rescue. It was nothing some ice and adult beverages couldn’t take care of, but I still have a scar.
Fast forward a couple more years to a restored Victorian that captured my heart. Oh, yes, I loved that house and all of its many ornate charms.
The plumbing system, however, not so much.
I’ve judged many homes by both their water pressure and whether or not they offered the perfect spot for a Christmas tree (or two Christmas trees). The Victorian had excellent water pressure and the perfect spot(s) for the perfect tree(s).
In fact, it may have had too much water pressure: A roommate and I once returned home to a semi-flooded kitchen caused by an ill-fated rinse cycle in the dishwasher.
Then there was the perfect house in the perfect suburb, which also happened to have the very imperfect kitchen faucet that constantly leaked and the master bath toilet that needed a handle replacement twice.
Oh, and there was the OK house in the OK suburb that had me calling plumbers after Drano wouldn’t desolve whatever caused my shower experience to become an unsolicited wading pool.
I accepted my bad plumbing karma–and also have the same terrible luck with vacuums. I’ve lived in a lot of old places. Even though many of them were beautiful, they were still old. And old things need more maintenance.
But, now that I live in a home less than 10 years old, I was a little shocked when we had to be paid a visit last week by the fine folks at Roto-Rooter.
I just knew it wasn’t going to be a good thing when I heard the sound of the washer draining, all the while knowing I wasn’t doing any laundry.
But, there in my laundry room, I found water pouring from the spot where the washer hose discharges into the house’s drainage system. Everytime one of the upstairs toilets was flushed or water drained into the sinks, my laundry room developed an unpleasant waterfall.
I’ve learned to fix many things through the years, but that problem wasn’t a do-it-yourself. It was a call-someone-else.
The plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter quickly determined the outside trap had been blocked. As he pulled out several items–which ranged from rocks to superhero figurines–my 3-year-old son Dimitri smiled with pride.
“That’s my guy,” Dimitri said, referring to a bendable Spider-Man.
“Someone put a lot of stuff in here,” the plumber said.
“My did it! My did it!” Dimitri said.
And I’m pretty sure he did it while I was outside reading a book, with his older brother and sister right next to him. Clearly, being able to see him out of the corner of my eye isn’t enough. Lesson learned.
All I could do was shake my head, but not in disbelief.
He gets it honestly.