So I'm being all domestic and industrious tonight, and I head on down to the basement to do the laundry I should have done this weekend, and when I get down there, I hear this sound.
Nothing should be running. Sink's dry, both stack pipes are dry, the waste pipe along the floorline is dry (and so it should be - it gave out the first year I owned the house). I go to the far front of the basement, pull on the light cord, and the light comes on. And it reflects off the pool of water on the floor.
My first thought is the hot water heater went, which it shouldn't; it's only 9, it got replaced right before I bought the house. Then I see the source of the drip - it's a pipe that's coming out of my heater. Huh?
Upstairs, get the man who has -if not knowledge then more of a clue how this stuff works than I do - and he says it's an overflow valve for the heater. Understand I have a ginormous old house with 16 radiators, and that means there's probably a lot of water flowing through the pipes up there. But why would it overflow?
Called the plumber. He called back a half hour later (I love my plumber) and he had several suggestions. I was not the one to speak to him, or Bill the plumber would be on my doorstep first thing tomorrow morning to cause inconvenience, mess and expense because much as I don't want another bill right now, I also don't want to deal with an ongoing problem.
He had several suggestions about how to stop the flow. None of them worked. Replacing the valve, however, would mean draining the entire heating system so he could work on the pipes. Draining, okay, pain in the butt. Re-filling the entire heating system, probably a $200 water bill. On top of the plumbing bill. His suggestion for living with it is to go down twice a day, change the bucket, and try to nurse it along for a month, until heating season is over, so that then it could be a two-step process: (1) pay him to deal with the pipe, and (2) re-fill the system some time before the heat goes on next November.
That sounded okay, until I went downstairs to put the wash in the dryer and the first 5 gallon cat litter tub was half full. How many gallons does my house hold, and how long is it going to take them to drizzle out of that pipe? And will there be anything left for Bill to drain by then?
Is my house bored? Does it get some obscure pleasure in every once in a while throwing some small part of itself on the floor in a fit of house-ish pique? What? Didn't I give it a new(ish) kitchen? Don't I pay its bills and worry over it?
Sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful house. And that's all I have to say about that.
I'm going to go finish my jacket and not think about what's going on in the basement.
This is Max. Max is a 10-year-old Olympic champion sleeper. It makes me calmer just to look at him. I share my cat valium with you.