Wednesday, December 26, 2007

home repairs

we have been having minor house problems lately...first our heater failed to work. that was discovered the first cold snap we had this year we finally got it fixed.
then a few months ago, we notice our water bill being extraordinarily high.....and we could hear water running through our pipes throughout our house, upstairs, downstairs. my husband and i separately and together - both looked high and low for the signs of water damage and found none.
i consulted with Helix water district who came over and did roadside testing and affirmed we indeed did have a leak somewhere on our premises. in other words - it wasn't their responsibility.
we were forced to call in a "leak detective". i had never heard of one.
i got a name an number of one from a plumbing company.

so this very tall imposing leak detective with a mighty girth showed up at my door last week. he asked me where i could hear the leak, i mentioned several places, but he zeroed in on the washing machine area - warning that he sure hoped he didn't
need to pull out the machine to get to the leak. i nodded in agreement as i couldn't see myself hauling out the machine with this oaf.
then he said that to avoid the washer removal he would probably need to put a small hole in my wall, large enough for his camera to fit in so that he could look at the pipes in the wall.
i was fraught with worry over the possible internal wall leak and agreed to the demolition. he went to work making a hole in the wall. i guess that didn't work, so he made another larger one lower in the wall about the circumference of a basketball or the circumference of his upper arm - which is the same size....
after an hour of his probing and demolishing, he said "good news" that he could feel cold water in there, near some pipes.
then he asked if we had a crawl space under the house. "yes" i told him, i wondered why he didn't start there in the first place, but i said nothing, instead i merely eyed him for size - he would never fit, but couldn't bring myself to tell him.
he soon found out. he reported that we did have a leak and that it was under the house in one of the pipes there - he couldn't tell me which one because he couldn't fit, (i knew it) but he could tell that it was one of them -----he wrote up a bill for $225 and suggested i hire a small plumber...then left.

when my husband got home , he became spitty with confoundedness.....he kept repeating that he couldn't understand how we ended up paying $225 to a guy to put 2 large holes in our walls and only looked under the house with a flashlight to tell us "yep, we had a leak" while fixing nothing.
My husband kept starting his sentences with..."OK, let me see if i can understand this....".
and i limply answered that the guy is only a leak detective, not a plumber or a drywaller...and i honestly couldn't understand it myself why he didn't look under the house first. thank god he didn't take out our washer....we would have that to put back now too.

so we got a skinny plumber who repaired the leak under our house on xmas eve.

as i say the heater guy only fixed that problem today -- there was an additional problem that the paper schematic of the heater (which is like the map on how that particular heater works and is normally plastered to the inside of your heater grill) had gotten sucked into the house via the vent , so he couldn't see how to fix it. he consulted the internet on our brand of heater (uhm, he used MY computer, grr)- that didn't work, so he invited 3 other workers over for a conference. they couldn't tell what it was either. they consulted the internet too. (My computer, ugh).
well, anyway, they finally figured out that it was only the starter, replaced it and now our house is toasty.

tonight, i went to turn on the hall lights and they blinked, then poofed out. i went to home depot an got new blubs - BUT replacing them didn't work - turns out we now need an electrician. heavy sigh....i kinda feel sorry for our house, i think it must be going through menopause.

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