Saturday, January 29, 2005

Homeowner Headache: 40 Gallons and Counting

A couple of weeks ago I decide to give the plumber a call because water is coming from the pressure relief valve of my boiler at a fast enough rate to overflow a 5 gallon bucket and give my shop-vac and me a workout neither of us wish for. $215.00 later I am the proud owner of a brand spanking new expansion tank (in green nonetheless, to replace the apparently "thickly" filled red one).

It was nice to have no water in the bucket the next day leading me to believe that all was wonderful in the subterranean world of boilerville. Move ahead a few days and I am heading down the basement to retrieve a couple of 12 packs of Coca-Cola branded products when I decide to peek into the neighboring boiler room to find an overflowing 5 gallon bucket under the sinister pressure relief valve along with a handsome helping of murky boiler pee about the floor. Out comes the shop-vac and the mess is soon clean as I decide to unwisely and unintelligently ASSume the excess water is "left-over" from the previous nightmare and all should be fine now.

In paranoid mode, I decide to check the bucket/boiler several times a day for the next several days and happily find nothing but air and dirty residue in the bucket but no water. Ah, the joyous dry delights of the Daniele dungeon. Days pass and the bucket remains dry and I am delighted. Delighted until today...Saturday, 1/29 at about 5:50pm or so when I took a stroll downstairs to follow up on this mornings viewing of the dry bucket. Holy crap, the evil, nasty, murky boiler pee is covering the industrial looking far half of the floor and I must crank up the shop-vac and return to monitor mode. Sickened by this series of unfortunate events and Lemony Snicket nowhere in sight I begin to worry and become frustrated.

Noticing that the bucket is filling at a rate of 5 gallons per hour, I decide to make a call to the plumber; or rather, the plumber's answering service. "Hello, thank you for calling Kaufman Plumbing, is this an emergency?" I never know the answer to that question, or rather if they're asking is this what I perceive to be an emergency or what they would consider one. I respond in this instance with a resounding NO. "What is your name, phone number, and the problem?" "Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah...Mi***** was here recently to resolve an issue where my water was coming from the pressure relief valve of my boiler and it's happening again." Several hours pass, no return call, and I'm exchanging buckets at a rate that almost got me going at a cardio pace. I decide to once again call the plumber and this time my response to the emergency question is a courteously concerned "YES, it is". I follow up with the requisite info and include the ridiculously rapid rate at which water is coming out of the boiler. Disturbingly, no return call came after more than an hour.

Tired and frustrated, I begin to flip through the yellow pages to find a plumber that might respond to an emergency call on a Saturday night. Let me mention here that at one point while handling these buckets of scalding boiler pee, I burned two of my fingers on my left hand to which at this time I have no sensation; that is other that pain (I often feel like I use semicolons improperly). I decide at this point to give Kaufman one more shot out of loyalty. This time I get a call back relatively quick (of course it's 10pm now and I'm wiped out). Mi***** tells me to shut the valve that provides water to the boiler, carefully describing where I might find it and what it looks like (score one for the inventor of cordless phone technology). The leaking seems to have stopped (which makes sense since there is no water getting it, there can't be any to get out - I think) and Mi***** claims he'll be by tomorrow around 11 am.

I wish I could see more good things about owning a home that annoying ones, but that's not going to happen right now. Whaaaaaaaaa!!!!

1 comment:

Joy said...

I know what you mean about home ownership. I do enjoy the privacy, freedom to paint, remodel, etc. however I want to, and such as that. I've had some good landlords and some horrid ones. I prefer not having one. It's always something to maintain, though, isn't it?