Dec. 3rd, 2010

My plumbing-related trials and tribulations continue...

You may recall that at the beginning of the year, my bathroom was flooding every time the people upstairs used water, because the down-pipe was frozen, and it got worse when the toilets' down-pipe followed suit. Once the weather improved, it stopped, and I put it out of my mind, and never actually pushed for anything to be done.

Now, as it happens, the council wrote to the assorted landlords a couple of weeks ago to say the broken down-pipes are a hygiene issue and Must Be Fixed Soon. So discussions started happening.

Well, it started snowing early Saturday morning. On Sunday, I woke up at 7:15 a.m. (yuck!) to the sound of a familiar glug-glug-glug which heralded, yes, another bathroom flood. I dealt with the water; I wrapped up and went outside with the blow-torch, and melted the ice off the down-pipe, as far up as I could reach; success! water trickling down the outside of the pipe and draining from my system.

I sent messages that day and Monday, then dad (who is my landlord) called, because he'd only got the last message. I was under the impression that the council-related plumbing was only the toilets' down-pipe, and had asked if it could be extended to the other pipe, but apparently they are talking about replacing all the pipes, which frankly should have been done years ago if not, y'know, sometime this year before it all froze again. And I told him, hey, there's a big crack, which I'd noticed while melting ice, and he said, yeah, I know. He must have known about it since January. If this was any other landlord, dad would be outraged at him not fixing a problem he'd known about for ten months: but the landlord is himself so it's fine. Argh.

Anyway, yesterday, it was icing up again, so I was out in the afternoon melting more ice. Then today, I went out in the morning and saw it was considerably iced further up - basically outside my flat. I was running late, so I just went. Got home to find that there had been a small flood in my bathroom, and my heating had mysteriously switched itself off, which may in fact be part of the reason the pipe is so badly iced up - no heat from mine. Still, I switched it back on, I went out with the blowtorch... and my lighter didn't work. I came back up, searched for matches, eventually took a candle, switched on my gas hob, lit the candle, went out, turned on the gas to light the blowtorch... and it blew the candle out. Back up, light the hob, light the candle, light the blowtorch, go out, and it lasted about five minutes before it gave up. Back up, set the blowtorch on the radiator to get warm, test the lighter to find it was working, having warmed up some. Lean out the bathroom window and inspect the pipe out there, which has at least a centimetre of ice surrounding it. Wait. Go out with blowtorch and lighter, melt ice off the down-pipe as high as I can reach, except for the bit that's the direct drain from my downstairs neighbour because it's thick with ice and the blowtorch is getting a bit feeble. Kick away the ice that's forming on the toilets' down-pipe. Look at the icicles further up, and think, if I had a stick... Look for stick, but do not find. Back up to flat, and have sudden brainwave - the curtain pole that I bought months ago but haven't put up out of sheer laziness! Get it out of packaging and go outside again - can only reach the lowest icicle, not the ones from the drain right out of my bathroom. Inside. Stand on the toilet and hang out the bathroom window again, this time with the pole, and with a whack! and a thwack! the icicles fall.

And now I'm warming up again.

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kbk

June 2012

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