Sunday, 26 May 2013

If you want a job done properly...


I saw the above slogan on a van belonging to a charity for Multiple Sclerosis which parked outside yesterday, and thought it would make a good line for a Valentine's Day card or something.

Immediately following my post of last Tuesday entitled 'Now look what you made me do', I had the day from hell, and I have only just felt well enough to talk about it, even though it would have slotted in nicely right after that post.

A couple of days before, our water-heater stopped heating water, as it does about once every five or so years, when the electric element packs up. I called the bloke who normally does all our plumbing because I had vowed years ago to never touch any work which has anything to do with plumbing ever again, and he agreed to come round and install a new element for me.

I drove off and bought one in a plumbing supplier's shop and I also bought a huge spanner to fit it with as well. I had already agreed to drain the tank for our mate before he turned up, and after a couple of wines that evening, I  decided to fit it myself since I was doing most of the work anyway. It felt a bit lame to get someone in to do the glory-job having got that far. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

I clambered about on my back to attach a hose to the drain-cock of the tank, and made sure to isolate the electric element before undoing the wiring. The hose began to let out a steady trickle of water out of the window as the tank drained, and continued to do so for about half an hour, then just stopped. Tank drained, then...

Because the copper tank had become so light for lack of water, I had to get H.I. to hold it down while I removed the old element with the spanner, so she witnessed the whole event.

As soon as the element came free, about 6 gallons of water shot out from the huge hole, flooding the bedroom and everything on the floor before finding it's way down through the kitchen ceiling and from thence to our neighbour's ceiling in the hairdresser's downstairs.

As H.I. was screaming at me about having told me to get a real plumber in to do the job rather than shoving her foot in the hole to stop the torrent, there came a hammering on the door downstairs as our neighbours came to tell me what I already knew - we had a leak.

I started at about 11.00 am and finished around 5.00 pm. Our landlord sent round a real plumber who fitted the element, but having filled the tank and wired it in, the new element turned out to be defective, so he had to drain it all over again and go to get another. H.I. didn't speak to me for 24 hours, other than to tell me what I already knew - I should have got a plumber in.

12 comments:

  1. Whenever my mother wanted something doing about the house my father would always reply
    'Get a man in'.

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    Replies
    1. Low self-esteem can be very useful.

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  2. Sorry but it is funny when it happens to someone else. (I remember watching water leak through my kitchen ceiling from the bathroom while my daughter was in the shower. I turned the water off but the biggest shock was when the whole kitchen ceiling collapsed on me about half an hour later.) Thanks for the laugh!

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    1. I related the story to H.I.'s daughter, and she had tears running down her face from laughter. If you knew how dignified H.I. normally is, then you would know why.

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  3. "What could possibly go wrong?"
    Words to strike terror into any woman's heart.

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    Replies
    1. Those words rarely enter my head, unless I am talking about someone else's project.

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  4. That was nearly as funny as you poking yourself in the eye !!
    Hope that there wasn't too much damage to your compact but adorable city apartment. XXXX

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    Replies
    1. Only half the damage I was expecting, but maybe that's because I am blind in one eye.

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  5. At least someone else is having a shit day

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    Replies
    1. Better than a shit life, I suppose. Neither of us (as yet) has one of those!

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