Monday, October 19, 2009

Week 42 - Plumbers from Hell!

So, the plumbers. I had a leak behind the wall of my shower that Mark, Connie’s husband, had tightened up a few years ago through a hole in the floor under the tub but now it was back. I had gone into Fud & Tracy’s, the heating/AC/plumbing shop I’ve always used, to book them to come in while I was gone and fix it. I had to be away because I only have one bathroom and to fix it they had to tear out the tub surround, put in new pipes, patch the drywall and then replace everything. I thought I’d covered all my bases – scheduling it 6 weeks ahead, explaining in detail exactly what I wanted and buying all the supplies. Yeah, right.

They called my cell while I was out west a few times, asking various questions. When I happened to ask if the drywaller, a sub contractor, was there on Tuesday, they said he was coming Wednesday, which was the day I was back and it should have been done. When I said as much, they said they thought I was gone all week and it wouldn’t be done by Wednesday night. I was immediately pissed, realizing my plans for a relaxing long weekend at home were shot. I called work and said I’d be in on Thursday and Friday and tried not to blow a gasket. Little did I know what else was in store for me.

I got up Thursday, washed my hair in the sink and headed for work. I got a call from Jake, Tracy’s son and the plumber who was doing the job, Thursday afternoon with some questions that made me think he was meticulous, giving me hope that the job would be well done when I got home. The last time we talked, he said he’d be done by 2:00 and would be coming first thing Friday to put the calk around the bottom of the tub and then would be done. Well, I got home Thursday and was instantly furious! It was like I’d never had the discussion with Tracy because they had completely ignored all my directions. They’d installed a single handled faucet, which was not the old fashioned one with a hot and cold knob that I’d asked for. The surround was also badly installed and, worst of all, the shower head was installed 2” from the corner. My previous anger couldn’t hold a candle to how I felt now! I got on the phone and ranted to anyone who would listen and called Nora to say I would not be in on time Friday because I was waiting to talk to Jake in person. I barely slept that night.

Jake arrived at 8:30 and was great. Although I had to question his common sense, he fessed up that it was the worst job he’d ever worked on because his father had given him no direction beyond “tear out the wall, repair the pipe and she bought everything you need to reinstall,” so he was flying blind on the whole job. We left it that he would move the shower head to the middle of the wall and come back at a later date to replace the surround, which would have 2 holes in it from the bad install, at their expense. I went to work to email everything we’d discussed (I’m done with verbally communicating with them), feeling like there was light on the horizon. Then I took a shower!

The whole point of my detailed explanation to Tracy was I wanted to keep the externally installed, hand held shower that I had. We called this “my cheesy set up” and Tracy said he’d install normal shower piping behind the wall so a real shower could be easily installed down the road in case I wanted to sell or changed my mind. Well let me tell you, if you have an external hand held shower, you MUST be able to control the amount of water coming out of the spigot before you divert it to the shower. If you can’t, which is the case with the single handled tap, it’s like having a fire hose on full force without burly firemen to hold it down. My shower had a life of its own, throwing itself off of the wall bracket and pointing in all different directions as it struggles with way too much water pressure. So, after agreeing in the email to deal with the single handled tap, I now have to email them again (not that I’ve gotten a response to the first one mind you) and tell them I cannot live with it unless there’s some way they can decrease the volume of water coming through the system.

So that’s the story of my plumbing fiasco. While Jake and I came to an agreement, I’m not expecting that this will be the last drama surrounding this project. I should only be so lucky! The weekend was uneventful. I did all my catch up chores, cooked and knitted a lot, finishing my scarf and making progress on my new socks. It’s going to take a slow week and another laid back weekend before I feel back to normal. Here’s hoping I get both of those in the next seven days.

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