Friday, December 23, 2016

Oh, man – Part two

OK, I thought the water supply pipe came up from the crawl space over here. But nooooo. It comes up somewhere inside the long wall behind the ridiculous trough urinal.

Being a former girl, I'd never seen a trough urinal before. I suppose they might have been standard equipment in schools in the 1930s, when this place was built. Anyway, some past owner of the place decided to preserve it in this purple sponge-painted bathroom, maybe as a bonding thing with his son. (It could happen. I don't know.) I've never been a boy, but I have been a school janitor, and I think any kind of urinal is a stupid idea. Give the fellas a little privacy here! And maybe they'd hit the target a little more often.... Or here's an idea: sit the hell down and pee! It works for the rest of us.

Anyway, I've got to find the supply line and cap it. Ever the optimist, I hack a hole in the sheetrock on the far side of the urinal. No luck. The damn thing is somewhere behind five feet of wall-mounted cast-iron urinal. We can either go in through the other side of the wall (plaster and lath, and stacks of of loose lumber) or we can remove this porcelain behemoth.

I unscrew the sprayer pipe and the drain pipe, and try to lift up on the 300-pound? thing. It budges ever so slightly. OK. We can do this. I call in the other little old lady, and we manage to heave it up off the hangers and onto big cans, one end at a time. Bloody hell!

It is, of course, getting colder, and the pump has been turned off all day. If we don't get this done soon, we run the risk of more pipes freezing.

So I hack another hole in the wall, and find the supply line right off. Cut it. Cap it. Turn the heater on. C. vacuumed up all the water on the floor. We empty the wet-vac into a floor drain. C. takes a break to warm up. I look at the huge useless cast-iron thing in the middle of my rabbit room and get pissed off. Wheel the big Bobby Bilt beach wagon (half-ton capacity, 2013 yard sale find, $50) into the room, tip the big stupid aboard, and weasel it out the door.

Later, C. turns the pump back on and the repair holds. We have water pressure in the house. The rabbits can have their room back as soon as I fix the four gaping holes in the wall. Maybe tomorrow.

I might have forgotten to mention my excessive crankiness during periods of this event. Like when C. swore she'd turned the breaker off, yet water kept pouring and pouring out of the broken pipe...we bailed with a bucket and eventually it quit. Or when I realized I'd repaired the wrong pipe. Or a dozen other times during the crisis.

Tomorrow, we tackle the poor hot-water pressure in the kitchen. Let's not think about it now.

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