Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sitting at home watching the trees grow

This would more properly be entitled "Sitting at home watching the plumbing rot." Finally the drips went a-gusher and I had to call in the professionals. The quite expensive professionals. The quite take-all-day professionals.

The immediate problem was a leak at the pressure reducing valve outside my house. It was acting like a drink-all-you-can water fountain for my apparent pet gopher and that was just too much leakage on the foundation for me to allow. Since I've had a couple of drippy faucets and a won't shut-off toilet for several months (shhh, don't tell EBMUD) I figured I'd get those fixed too.

Turns out that the stems in the sink are rotted away into a sludge of metal and plastic. I was worried that might be the case since I'd been unable to clean up the rust around the handles since I moved in here (11 years ago). So I need a new faucet and of course it has to match the existing brass fixtures. Cha-ching! Also it turns out that my very high-flow old toilet would cost almost as much to repair as replace, so I'm getting a new low-flow toilet. Cha-ching! The only good news is that the valve in the shower is easily replaceable and I don't need to have a hole knocked in my living room wall. Uh, yay?

Since I needed to be at home for the plumber I decided it was a good idea to get another estimate from an arborist for trimming my two trees. In my front yard I have a very large Sycamore that's lopsided, growing onto my roof and filled with dead wood. In my back yard I have a very large Maple that's lopsided and growing onto my roof. Both are providing a lovely vermin highway to the top of my house (and thanks for pointing that out Mr. Arborist!) so they need to be cut back. The last estimate I got a couple of years ago was almost $1500 to prune both trees (seriously) and that's why I didn't hire those people and why the trees are so badly overgrown now. This time I was told it would be about half that. I don't know why I'm excited about spending $7-800, but I guess it beats (1) roof rats and (2) $1500.

All that and my water has been turned off for the past 5 hours. I gotta go!


  1. The water has been shut off for five hours? Hopefully, you aren't trying to stay hydrated for a long run on Saturday.

  2. What a pain!

    There is nothing exciting you get in return for plumbing costs. Painting, new counters or floors or cabinets... that stuff is at least kinda fun. Plumbing is just money, um, down the drain.