Sorry I wasn’t around yesterday. Well, I was around and read your comments, but I was just too dead tired to answer. We left off with 2 possible leaks and the water left on. Here’s the rest of the story. I was so looking forward to a nice hot shower Thursday night to get all the dirt off me and to soothe my achy muscles. I turned on the water, pulled the lever that redirects the water from the tub spigot to the shower, and there was just a bit more than a trickle. What the hell? I turned the water on and off, but always with the same result. I was too tired to worry about it, so I got in the shower and ran from drop to drop in order to get wet and then rinse off.
I got up early (not bright and early, because I am not a morning person, and I only got a couple of hours’ sleep), and I went into the kitchen. I checked where the leak had been, and there was no water! Mike (not Joe) the Plumber had said he would return between 8 and 9 Friday morning, and he got here right on time, 9:30. He brought the shiny new water heater (not hot water heater, because that would be redundant 😛 ), and took it out to the back outside closet. I told him there was no water on the floor in the kitchen, and he went to look. He didn’t see any either. He said that that meant that there was probably no loop leak after all, and the ground had probably been saturated from the
xhotx water heater after all. That was good news. However, the sceptre of the evil polybutylene pipes still hangs over my head (literally and figuratively, as a lot of it is in the attic).
I told Mike (not Joe) the Plumber about the shower being slowed to a trickle, and we went into the bathroom so I could show him what I meant. He looked at it, scratched his head, and then took the shower head off. A gasket had broken and slipped and had been blocking the water flow. The water pressure was amazing, even when compared to how it was before the gasket broke. Now, a bit of explanation for a part of the story to make sense. I have a diverter connected to the pipe that comes out of the wall so that I can have the regular showerhead and the handheld one. I don’t use the handheld one, but FOMLPOMA (for those who don’t know, that stands for Fruit Of My Loins, Pain Of My Ass aka my son) likes it, and he’s here every weekend. I don’t like the diverter I have, because it’s too hard for me to push the little sliding things on it. I asked Mike (not Joe) the Plumber if there’s another kind that would work better. He suggested one made by Alson. I looked online and and saw that they sold them at Home Depot. I asked if Mike (not Joe) the Plumber would still be here for a while, and he said yes, and I asked if he’d mind if i went to Home Depot to get one. He said that would be fine. Before I left, I called the store to make sure they had that particular one in the brand I wanted. At first, when I told the guy specifically what I wanted, he said he couldn’t find it, but I gave him the item number from the website, and he said he had eleven of them (exactly what the website said). I asked if he had the brushed nickel, and he said they only had chrome. I can live with that, so I said I’d be by to get it. He said he’d leave it at the customer service desk so I wouldn’t have to go all the way to the back of the store. I thanked him and hung up. I drove over to Home Depot, which is only a couple of miles from here. I had some stuff I had bought there that I had been driving around with for a year that I had kept forgetting to return. I went to the return desk, and I was given a store card for a little more than 11 bucks. Then I went to customer service, and I told the girl working there that I was there to pick up the diverter that was supposed to have been left for me at the desk. She didn’t see anything, so she called plumbing. Nobody knew anything about it. One of the salespeople came up front, and he took me back to plumbing. He showed me the diverters, and the brand they had was Danco. I said I didn’t want Danco, I wanted Alson’s, and the website and whomever I had spoken to assured me that they carried it. He asked another guy who works there, and he didn’t know anything about it, and he didn’t recall seeing any diverters made by Alson. I was getting a little angry, and they called over another guy. I followed him to his computer, and he looked for the Anson diverter, and the only one he saw was special order and cost 60 bucks. The one I had seen was not available online, and it only cost $15.98. He kept trying to convince me that I must have read it wrong and then asked me if I was in the right store. By then, I was so angry, and I turned and said I was going home, because whatever I had looked at was still on my computer. I got home and told Mike (not Joe) the Plumber what had happened, and he said that’s why he never goes to Home Depot. I went to my computer, and reassured myself that I was not totally nuts, and I had indeed seen an Alson’s diverter at Home Depot for $15.98. However, I had gone to the wrong store. 😳 I asked Mike (not Joe) the Plumber how long it would take him to finish, and he said about a half hour. The Home Depot I had called was on the other side of town, but with luck and not too much traffic, I could make it back in time. I rushed out to the car and sped to the store. Other than a few shitheads, traffic wasn’t bad. I got to the store, ran in, went to the customer service desk and told the lady I was there for the diverter. She looked around and saw it on the desk. I glanced over to make sure it was a diverter, and it looked right. I paid her with the card I had gotten from the return at the other store and the difference in cash. I thanked her, ran (as best I could, I actually walked fast) to the car, and raced my way home. When I got there, I looked at the diverter. It was a Danco (which, by the way, was the brand they tried to sell me at the Home Depot that’s only a couple of miles from my house)!!! I went inside, and Mike (not Joe) the Plumber was just finishing up, so at least my timing was pretty good. I told him what happened and how I was given a Danco instead of an Alson, and he said we should try it. While he was fiddling with the shower, I wrote him a check for the
xhotx water heater. I went back into the bathroom just as he was trying out the diverter, and, believe it or not, the damned thing was broken! Grrrrrr. Mike (not Joe) the Plumber took it off, and just put the regular showerhead back on. He had another job to get to.
After Mike (not Joe) the Plumber left, I called Home Depot’s 800 number and said that I had a complaint. I spoke to Cheryl (not Joe) the customer service lady, and I told her the whole sordid story (leaving out the part about how I went to the wrong store, because that would have made me sound like an idiot). I said that I wasted gas and time and that I had a plumber I was paying here at the house (hey, I never said I was paying him to install the diverter, and it’s not my fault if she inferred that). She said I needed to resolve it with the store, and I belligerently said that I didn’t want to deal with the store. Cheryl (not Joe) the customer service lady asked me for the part number, and she said that when she put it in her computer, it only came up with Danco. I kept telling her that I was looking at my screen, and I saw Alson’s. Then I opened a new window, put in the SKU number, and I got 2 results–the Danco and the Alson’s. For some reason, Cheryl (not Joe) the customer service lady could not get the same results. She told me to hold on, and she spoke to Sandy (not Joe) the store manager on another line. She went back and forth between Sandy (not Joe) the store manager and myself. Finally, Cheryl (not Joe) the customer service lady saw the Alson’s on her screen after I had opened another window and realized that they had assigned the same SKU number to both brands of diverters. She said it must be an old number that they reused and it pulled up an item they no longer sell. I told her that that was the store’s problem, not mine, and she agreed. Then she said that she would make a full report about what happened, and she asked for my name, address, and email addy. All this time, she had been going back and forth between speaking to me and speaking to Sandy (not Joe) the store manager. She said that Sandy (not Joe) the store manager wanted to speak to me so they could resolve the problem. I said okay, and Cheryl (not Joe) the customer service lady connected me to Cheryl (not Joe) the store manager. Cheryl (not Joe) the store manager went over the story with me again, and she, like everyone else at Home Depot was unable to find the Alson’s diverter on her computer. Finally, I asked her to connect to the internets, and I gave her the exact url that I was on. She finally saw the Alson’s one. She said that she would special order that one for me. I said that does me no good, because I couldn’t connect it myself. She said that she would order it, have it overnighted to me, and that I should call her on Monday, and she would send over someone to install it for me. She asked if that would be okay, and I said yes. Now, I am nothing if not ballsy, so I said, “As long as you have to order it anyway, could you get one that’s brushed nickel?” 😆 She said that wouldn’t be a problem.
So, that little drama was over. I looked at my house, and it was a mess, inside and out. I don’t know why I bothered to mop the day before, because the floor was covered with muddy footprints like you wouldn’t believe. It was either mop it all up or open a dance studio. I could tell people that each set of footprints was for different dances. First, though, I looked outside and saw the mess out there. Everything that had been in the outside closet was lying on the lawn. A ladder, a shovel, tiles left over from when I redid the floor, aluminum sheets for the windows (I bought hurricane shutters for everything except the kitchen window and the clearstory window that spans the living and dining rooms), some buckets, and a few other things. First thing I did was to get rid of the weeds that had been growing inside the closet. I don’t know what the hell that stuff is, but it grows fast and thick and it’s like long (several feet) soggy strand of threads all tangled together. I shoveled all that stuff into the canal in the back. The ladder had rotted from the water, and the tiles and shutters were filthy. I decided to clean up everything. First was the back step. It was disgusting. I hosed it down and swept the water off. Then, since I was back there, I washed the glass doors, took off the screen and hosed it off. I hosed off the tiles and the larger aluminum sheets, and left them out to dry. Then I went inside to wash the disgusting floors. I had just gotten the kitchen floor cleaned when the thunder started. I went outside, put all the tiles under the overhang, and put the aluminum and the buckets in the closet with the new
xhotx water heater. By that point, I could barely walk, but the floor was not going to clean itself, so I finished. Even though I had just mopped it the day before, it was so caked with mud that it took me almost 2 hours to get it clean. Then I decided that I had to go to the store, because FOMLPOMA would be there that night. I was so filthy (dirt caked under the fingernails kinda filthy) that I had to take a shower before going anywhere.
Now it’s time for another explanation. I have one of those Scrubbing Bubbles things that hangs on your shower (by the way, Mike (not Joe) the Plumber scolded me for hanging anything from the showerhead). I keep my bar of soap atop it. So, I go into the shower, and i turn it on. Keep in mind that the water pressure is now one of a water cannon. What I hadn’t figured on is that, without the diverter, the shower head was higher than it used to be. Therefore, the spray hit the top of the Scrubbing Bubbles thing. Water was going everywhere! It hit me square in the face, and I couldn’t see anything. In addition, the water was so powerful that it actually skimmed soap off the bar, and it went into my mouth. All I could taste was soap, and I was flailing my arms trying to reach the faucet. I think I might be the only person to waterboard herself and wash her mouth out with soap at the same time. The whole thing was so ridiculous, I stood in the shower and laughed. I lived to tell about it, got dressed, went to the store, got soaked in the pouring rain, and then headed home, exhausted, wet, and walking like Tim Conway did when he played the really old man on The Carol Burnett Show.
Epilogue (for those who could stand to read all this nonsense): I remembered to take the Scrubbing Bubbles thing off the shower before turning it on, and I was able to take a shower today without endangering myself. The new
xhotx water heater is working fine. The water is so much hotter now. I guess I didn’t realize that the old one was not heating the water as hot as it used to, because it was such a gradual change. Good thing I warned FOMLPOMA before he took a shower today, because I’d like grandchildren one day. No more water leaking up from the kitchen floor. Even though it turned out that there is probably not a loop leak, I think that the president of the condo is going to replace the evil poly pipes. Yay!! FOMLPOMA answered the door this afternoon, and it was UPS with a package for me. I opened it up to find a brand new brushed nickel Alson diverter. It’s lovely! On Monday, I’ll go back to Home Depot (the one that’s only 2 miles away) and return the Danco one that I bought, and I’ll call Sandy (not Joe) the store manager to arrange to have the Alson one installed.
Thanks to all the Raisinettes for sticking around, even when there were no new posters. I hope to have a new poster tomorrow night. If not, then on Monday. Love you guys!!