Plumbers Are A Girl’s Best Friend

I should amend this and say even when they’re cranky. Of course, I might be cranky if I got a frantic call from some chick on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend begging for help over something she f***ked up.

Let me start at the beginning.

So we flooded a few weeks back, but not as badly as some people around here. I should post some pics of the situation two blocks up the street from us, but I’ll probably get around to doing that about the same time I get around to updating my links.

Anyway, so we got enough water in the basement to make us take out the flooring and do a little cleaning out down there. No big deal, right? Sure. So we had this shower down there I was thinking of taking out and replacing, anyway. It was massively ugly and Masonite, so it was basically rotting from the bottom up. I was also worried about how the drywall was behind it and how bad the leak was.

So today was the day. We have some insurance money to help us repair the basement, so we were definitely doing the shower. Since the hubby is basically the anti-Bob Vila, that leaves me. I don’t know when I got the idea in my head that I’m the toolbelt diva, but I’ve managed to successfully replace the shower surround in our upstairs bathroom (with one frantic but not too devastating call to the plumber who lives across the street), install a new toilet in the basement, paint the house (two sides of it anyway–the rest will be finished this summer), and do other DIY kinda things around the house. So tearing out this shower should be no biggie, right?

Next time I say that, tell me to go bake some cookies or something, okay? Tell me this is no place I want to go.

So I start tearing this thing apart, and it’s not as bad as I thought. I get under the Masonite and realize they’ve put down some good mahogany plywood behind it. Yay! I can sand that down and work with it. I think I’ve got it made in the shade until I go to pry out a nail or two. And the wall behind my hammer head caves in.

Long story short (too late–I always do that), the original shower had been stuff that looked like ceramic tile only it was plastic. When that started leaking, they put the plywood over it and installed the Masonite. That didn’t exactly fix the fact that the drywall was molding underneath there. For THIRTEEN YEARS!

You can imagine what I got into. So as I am stripping this all to the studs, I have to remove the handles of the shower.

Yeah. This is where the plumber came in.

I should have learned 5 or 6 years ago when I got in and did my upstairs shower. But in that case, it wasn’t my fault! The guy who had done our shower when we remodeled the bathroom did it poorly, which was why I was having to re-do it. When he put the diverter spout on, he soldered it firm instead of putting a threaded one on. So when I went to unscrew it, I broke the pipe. That lesson should have taught me.

So when the handle’s threads stripped today, I should have just given up the ghost. Oh, no. Not Tammy the Tooltwit Cate! I tried to FIX it. And made the situation worse. So here we are, on the Saturday before Memorial Day, with no water in the house and no plumber to be found. After about 50 calls, I found a handyman type guy who came out and told me what I already knew. To the tune $35. And then I finally found a plumber who could come out and cap the son of a b**** until we can get a new faucet installed next week.

Don’t have that bill yet. It should be lover-ly. Thank God we have insurance money. Who needs flooring when you have operational plumbing, right?

Sometime I will share why I think women are hampered in the home improvement biz because of bras, but not today. For now, if you see me going anywhere near a pipe, just tell me to go sew something. Seriously. It’s not that women can’t do home improvement projects. Not at all. We can. But life would be so much simpler in this respect if it were 1955 and I didn’t have to deal with this crap. And, of course, if I were married to Bob Vila.

I’ll check back when I tackle the dry wall.


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