July 11

Renovation Relics and Tubthumping

I told Mom the other night, that perhaps Mimi did NOT approve of my painting the doors and trim all white, and she was expressing her displeasure by striking down all these necessaries in our house.

(I was only half joking.  You don’t mess with Mimi, here or in Heaven. She will take you OR your plumbing DOWN, yo.)

Poor Knobby spent a whole lot of time on Friday installing a hot water heater.  We wanted — still want — a tankless because endless water sure sounds nice when you currently are rationing out the shower times and calculating how long one needs to wait for the tank to refill after the other gets in there first.  But, both times we have been faced with needing to install a new one, it has been in emergency situations — the first one cracked open, the second one hit by lightning — and we don’t really have the time to get the hefty rewiring done and all that other stuff a tankless would require.  In the Cornfields our tankless had been an upgrade Knobby wanted to do rather than HAD to do, so we were all prepared and upgraded when the tankless unit arrived.

ANYWAY.  What with the emergency need, we got a basic no frills tank heater.  And while he was working on all the plumbing for that, he figured he might as well put a filter AND a softener on the line.  This won’t solve our water issues, because apparently our copper pipes are all corroded and loveliness, but it will be a big step towards not killing a refrigerator’s ice maker . . . whenever we get around to facing all that THAT entails (taking out cabinets to make room for a full size fridge, etc.  I can’t even pile that on top of my head right now.).

All the corroded copper is slowly going to be replaced with Pex.  One reno project at a time.  But on Friday night, he sliced his thumb open and we ended up squeaking in to an urgent care clinic just before they closed, to get him stitched back up.  He had sliced the thumb in JUST such a way that it went underneath the nail and was too complicated to stitch.  So instead he got some surgi-strips and a big pressure wrap to hold it all together.  He says he doesn’t want to work on plumbing for a while, and looking at his thumb . . . I give him no static about that. (For once.)

Saturday, out we went to acquire the softener.  A store further away than the one we frequent listed it in stock, but we got there and learned (after a very long wait.  a very. long. wait.  I waited so long that I gave up and laid down in a display bathtub because there are never handy benches or makeshift seats in a home improvement store.  Unless you go out into the garden section, and it’s summer.  So no, that is not an option.  We didn’t realize the woman talking to the only person in the whole wide store who could answer a plumbing question was ordering a full-house multi-bathroom renovation . . . and had apparently not heard of GOOGLE, or this miraculous tool called INTERNET SHOPPING (how do these people exist??) . . . so I was in that bathtub for a very. long. time.  Good news, though — I proved myself right b/c Knobby has been telling me that I was ridiculously spoiled, saying that our bathtubs were oh-so-ridiculously-tiny because the water ONLY COMES UP TO YOUR BELLY BUTTON when it’s already past the overflow drain.  That tub was luxuriously elbows-up-to-your-shoulders relaxation height, and it wasn’t even a NICE tub.  So yes, Knobby, we DO have dollhouse-appropriate not-normal bathtubs, thankyouverymuch.) they don’t keep those in stock b/c they are special order only and the “in stock” status on their website is “only to get customers in the doors”.


I have a different thought, home improvement store.  When I see that your store lists this item as in-stock inventory, then I’m NOT GOING TO APPRECIATE ROLLING UP TO THE COUNTER AFTER A TWO-HOUR WAIT FOR RELICS DOING RENOVATIONS WHO CAN’T EVEN RESEARCH THEIR OPTIONS BEFOREHAND, AND BEING TOLD THAT HA-HA, FOOLED YOU!

This is how we ended up flying down the road in a race against closing time, to buy a softener from a store that ACTUALLY HAD ONE IN STOCK, can you believe that is how inventory works in The Internet Age!  It was forty miles down the road.  And we roll that softener out on a gigantic cart with five minutes until closing . . . to realize that . . . hmm.  It doesn’t fit in the car.  And here we are in the middle of nowhere, the store is closing, we can’t fit this thing in the car . . . . what are you going to do?

We unboxed it, that’s what we did.  It was Tetris and Jenga of ultimate proportions.  Took it all apart, and luckily it JUST fit, all discombobulated, into the trunk opening.  I even broke down the box and was able to wedge it right at the top so that we could BeverlyHillbillies our gigantic water softener home.


While waiting for the Renovating Relic to ask all her stupid questions, like, “does this come in wood finish?” and “what are my choices for a bathroom sink faucet?”  (I AM NOT EXAGGERATING.  LETMEGOOGLETHATFORYOU DOT COM.)  and getting a print out every time the employee told her that she could see all her options ONLINE, and also in THIS CATALOG YOU CAN TAKE HOME, MA’AM . . . (oy.), we tried to fix the original big problem of the main bathtub valve part thingamajig (that is my super technical term, obviously) no longer keeping a drip at bay.

No one makes a valve part this size or shape or who knows what else, anymore.  So we’d searched for alternatives to accommodate this thing, and that DID take a lot of time.

Only.  The water softener installed, Knobby came up to finally cap off the valve and be done with all the plumbing woes.

And the valve broke cleanly in half as he was putting everything back together.  Snap.

It was a very deadpan look-at-the-camera are-you-kidding-me??? type of moment.

So while our fix was fairly ghetto-rigged.  The fix for the fix was super ultimate jumbo sized ghetto rig.

As in.  Let’s just shove everything back in there, say a prayer, and hope that it will not move until we can get an all-new faucet and shower and all that jazz.

Oh, yeah.  And tear the closet wall out.  Because we’re going to have to open up a huge access panel through the panelling.

And at that point . . . we might as well start putting things in place for the end-goal Master Bath Renovation floor plan.

Which . . . it’s lucky then, that on Friday I mostly finalized THAT floor plan.

Breathe, Pixy.  Just breathe.

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Posted on Monday, July 11th, 2016 at 6:07 pm. Housewife, MimiHouse.