Friday, June 22, 2007

At least the bathroom won't flood

Although now I'm worried about the stove exploding.

Wednesday morning, mid-soaping up process, my bathtub decided to back up. A lot. Like more than ankle deep by the time I hurriedly rinsed and jumped out. And I have a low-flow shower head.

Naturally, my landlords had left town the previous day, with no mention of exactly when they were returning. I can get by without a tub (yeah, yeah, Draino, Liquid Plumr, plunging (which I tried) yada, yada - don't go there. I knew it wouldn't work), but left a message for them anyway. I called again this morning and they were home. He asked what my schedule was (I don't want to be around when he does these things; it makes me crazy, since both our work methods and our definitions of what constitutes an acceptable repair are rather...different). He had a meeting at eleven, but would look at it after that.

Five minutes after I walked in the door after work, he walked in my back door. So much for avoiding the process.

After much work, he cleared the drain. I'm not too hopeful; this happened a couple of years ago, and the issue seems to be both our tubs feeding eventually into the same (inadequate) pipe. That's where it clogs. I have a feeling this one will be back with a vengeance at some point.

Now we move on to the kitchen faucet, which has started leaking from the joint of the handle and the ball it sits on, but only when it is turned on. After much looking and messing around (including putting some butt-ugly press and seal caulk around the base of the faucet, which I bet never gets removed and correctly fixed) he decides he needs to get a new part, and starts looking for the manufacturer of the faucet.

Folks, the thing was old when I moved in fifteen years ago. Can't I just have a new, cheap faucet?

On to the stove...a gas range that is (conservatively speaking) twenty plus years old. It's impossible to light one of the front burners. Unless, of course, as we discovered tonight, you take the knobs off and grab the little metal thing with your fingers (beware: sharp edges) and push and turn. He's talking about shoving some washers in to see if that will work, or looking in the basement (the greatest junkyard of all time) to see if he has some old knobs that may work.

To replace the newer knobs - the ones I replaced at my own cost eight years ago that have been working just fine all this time.

I then made a fatal mistake - I mentioned (thinking it would spur him to just replace the dang thing - which he offered last year, and I turned down because at that point the old one was working fine except for the oven thing, which I could work around) that the oven heats about 100 degrees above the temp you set. I keep an oven thermometer in there at all times, and can work around it unless I need a temperature lower than 300 degrees.

So now he thinks he can replace the thermostat on the oven. A twenty-five year old oven they no longer make. With no model number on it. I just know he's going to blow up the house.

Forgive my ungrateful heart. I know he wants to help, but I have a lot of baggage related to home repair (and the half-finished projects my dad left around, the harping on them by my mom, and a whole bunch of other stuff) and it makes me crazy to watch him work, and to be forced to live with the results. I'm all for finding an inexpensive fix; I just don't want it to look like a jury-rigged mess. I am more than capable of learning to do a lot of these things myself, but I think he'd be offended if I did so.

I have plans to relax this weekend; he's sure to be popping in at all hours and messing around. Our time clocks don't mesh very well, either.

Just as long as I'm not here when the house blows up.

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