Wednesday, June 11, 2008
It always feels good when an operation goes perfectly: the ten minute lap appy, the flawless inguinal hernia, the 45 minute mastectomy. But nothing in the OR has ever given me the sort of rush I got when I was able to replace the sump pump in our basement. One day my wife was down there doing the treadmill thing and she noticed some discoloration of the carpet over by the far wall. It was completely saturated and we had to rip up a 10 x 10 foot section.
Water in the basement! Basically a newbie home owner's worst nightmare. We called a plumber who came out and told us our sump pump was busted and to fix it we had fork over 800 bucks. Now I dont know too much about furnaces or water heaters or car engines or sump pumps or any of that stuff. I'm actually sort of an idiot when it comes to handy-man activities. But I wasn't going to write out a panic check to some random plumber dude. So I got on the internet. I went to Lowe's about sixty times. I bought what I figured I needed. I wrenched the rusted old machine out of the pit and, because it was an old model, I had to attach adapters and cut PVC pipe to fit and apply this crazy hallucination-inducing liquid cement and use some tools I'd seen before. After about 6 hours of labor (and cursing and kicking things and dejectedly staring at the walls) I was able to get the son of a bitch in the ground. I plugged it in and damn if all that excess water didn't get sucked whoosh up into the drainage pipe and out of my basement. I screamed like I'd just struck out the last batter in a World Series game. I almost can't wait until our water heater breaks down.
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After listening first to my father do all this cussing while fixing things around the house, and then listening to those same words from my husband for years on end now, has always made me wonder if it isn't a requirement for these type jobs to be successful? I'm almost convinced without that cussing and kicking, nothing would ever possibly work. But, when my husband goes into one these tirades while he is alone in the bathroom showering, I have to wonder just what in the world could be going so wrong just getting a shower?
The plumber who has probably done this "procedure" a hundred times would have prbably got it done in about 2 hours rather than 6. So his (her) fee was 400 an hour. No co-pays, no deductable and no insurance thank you very much.
Yet, try to charge the plumber 400 and hour for something you do and see what response you get!
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