Monday, July 26, 2010

Love this old house. The pipes, not so much.

We enjoy our house and the many bits of character that come with it, such as the wood floors, the Victorian molding, and the beautiful afternoon light that fills the downstairs. However, underneath all the charm lies THE BASEMENT.

Even the basement is OK, but our plumbing is not so hot, as evidenced by a couple of issues we’ve dealt with since our return.

Last Monday, Hallie came up from the basement asking if it was normal for one of the pipes to be leaking onto the basement floor as much as it was. The dishwasher was running, and soapy water was streaming across the basement floor into a drain about 10 feet from our main waste stack. It took me a few seconds to realize what was going on: a three foot section of our cast iron pipeline had finally given up the ghost and split. While it was a big deal, we figured we had a bit of time to find a good plumber and get the issue resolved.

Our neighbors suggested a handyman they knew, and he came by on Tuesday. Sure enough, the stack needed replacing, so he took care of that and a couple of other items on Thursday. However, the repair did not go as planned. The cracked pipe was only part of the problem. It turned out that the fitting around the portion of the stack that goes under the foundation was also corroded and had itself cracked at some point. If the repair to the pipe above didn’t cause the break, it would have happened soon.

We weren’t happy that the plumber did the one repair and didn’t follow up to make sure everything was in order, and now we had a new problem. We called the insurance company and started looking for new plumbing/excavation estimates. In the mean time, Mike wrapped the stack with an old towel and duct tape. So much for the bad. Mike, frustrated at the repairs either left undone or not quite right, took care of a faucet problem in the kitchen and replaced a leaky spigot in the basement sink.

One small victory. Hooray! Anyway, enough plumbing.

The hot and humid weather has finally broken, so Mike went out this afternoon to do some work in the garden. Mother Nature had accomplished quite a bit in his absence. Our neighbors had looked after the garden in our absence, which basically amounted to them keeping it watered. While this meant the plants had flourished, it also meant they had run rampant. We have lots of frozen raspberries in the freezer and plenty gone to waste on the vine. We have some monster zucchini, a few small green peppers, a few cucumbers, green tomatoes getting ready to ripen, red leaf lettuce gone bitter for the moment and going to seed if we don’t cut it back, and a cute green pumpkin dangling on the vine. The garden is not pretty, but this is the best one we’ve had!

Fruit of the vine.
Out of control zucchini, squash, and cucumbers.
Monster cukes.
Wee green tomatoes.
Our little pumpkin.
Our other little pumpkin, decked out in his Sunday best.


Riley and Breanne said...

Oh the joys of an old house with character! That sucks, but way to go Bob Vila. I'm way jealous of your garden... I love home grown veggies.

disabilitydiva said...

Ug plumbing better that you posted veggies! I can't believe how different Landon looks with a big boy cut! Love you!