Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Faucet Challenge

Broken Pipe Behind Wall (Above)
Split Pipe (Above)
Top View of New Faucet
Drying Out the Carpet (Above)
Side View of Faucet
Fan Attached to Glass Table (Above)
Didn't expect anything to "go wrong" today, but my expectations were quickly banished when I walked into "The Cottage" this morning. I usually come down to "The Cottage" which is also my home office. One room has a kitchenette and living room area combined. It is covered with light-colored, beige/grey Berber carpet. But my bare feet went "Squish, Squish, Squish" with each step I took. OMG (Oh My God)! There was a "big time leak" going on.

I "gathered myself together" and with my recent training from Edgar Gibson, I asked myself, "What are my options" as I moved toward solving the problem. The problem was a big leak from a broken outside faucet which I had neglected to turn off when there was no water running through it and the attached hose yesterday when I was trying to fill the birdbath! I didn't hear water running so I didn't do anything about it.

There is a sprinkler system that runs every other day. It has shut-off valves that I know how to hammer shut. The shut-off valves are in under big several big spruce trees. I learned to shut off the sprinkler system the other day when one of the "spiggets" wouldn't go back down - even when I smaked it with a hammer! So, now when that spigget gets stuck, out I go, under the spruce trees and smack the valve handles to OFF position.

This morning, I went back up to the main house where all the valves are located to the main house and "The Cottage". I shut off one, hammered down the next one, and could still hear something running. There are "tags" with numbers on each valve. I couldn't see the numbers. The flashlight from the kitchen drawer didn't work (dead batteries) but one of the other two that were in the garage did give me enough light to look at the tags. These tags match a framed chart of what each number represents to the plumbing system, except for one - #3 which was the one to "The Cottage" was missing. One faucet had no tag! That's when I went out to under the spruce trees!

Then, I thought I had better shut off all the air conditioning throughout the house - 2 in the main house and 1 for "The Cottage" because air conditioning uses water! (More on that topic in another blog).

I put towels down (at least 20 - all sizes and kinds) to soak up the water while being mindful of my "back situation" that kinks up when I overdo or get stressed out. I stomped on them until they were soaked through and brought them out to the porch railing and porch chairs to drip dry. I had to remove some bird droppings from the railing to keep from staining the towels, too. Later, I will bring the towels in again to sop up some more water. (Yes, I could use a wet/dry vac but that's what triggers the "back situation". Went through that last month and don't need a repeat episode).

So now here I am in a wet bathing suit in a hot office writing this. I figured if I have buckets of water (from the pool) I can flush the toilets. I took ice cubes from the freezer to melt for drinking water and I have a few gallon jugs of drinking water, too.

How to stay cool? I will be swimming several times throughout the day. I kept my cell phone nearby in case the plumber called. Did I say plumber? Yes, I did call a plumber. And, he did call back and say he could come tomorrow! Hooray!  He said that I could turn off that outside faucet and still use the rest of my water throughout the house. I'm not sure about that! I'll try it after I talk to Ed at noon.

I like to think about how well I can do in  "survival mode".  I like to "test" my ability to keep calm now, consider my options and make rational choices. I think I have time for another swim. Then I'll go into the kitchen under the twirling ceiling fan and feel chilly!

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