This morning my husband came into the bedroom at 7:30am. Sarah, are you awake?. *sigh* I am now. He climbed into bed and said he thought the hot water heater was broken, because he just took a cold shower. Feel me, he said, as if I didn't believe him and really wanted to be awake enough to move my arm. I slapped a hand over his way, and sure enough, he was cold. Ok, I'll call a plummer this morning... Lemme sleep.
An hour later, he was back. GOOSE! You have to get up! Yes, he calls me Goose. He has for years, and I have no idea how it started. After leaving the room an hour earlier, he just happened to go down to the basement to check on the water heater, and found water gushing into the laundry room from the bathroom. When he came upstairs, he told me there was a leak in the pipe under the sink. So, being the handyman of the house *wink*, I got up and got dressed, and schlepped down to take a look. As it turns out, there was no leak... there was a tidal wave. And it wasn't coming from under the sink, it was coming from under the vanity... and under the wall... and crap, is that water coming in through the cracks in the wall? Yep. Niiiice. Now I'm willing to tackle a lot of home projects. I learned quite a bit by watching my grandpa work on homes over the years, and feel pretty confident with just about any task you throw my way, but I knew I'd been beaten by Noah and the great flood that was about to come crashing through my wall.
I went upstairs to call the plummer, and was told they could be at my house "around noon". Umm, excuse me? It's 8am, and I have a wall of water trying to break into my house. Noon does not work. She made some calls, switched some appts, and said a tech would be at the house within the hour. Ok, fine. 9am comes.... no tech. 9:30.... no tech. I call back only to find he's "minutes away". *sigh* Fine. He comes at 9:40, and I trust Darrin to the business of getting everything squared away while I take care of the kids.
Darrin comes upstairs about an hour later, and tells me the repair is going to cost us $250. Not great news, but certainly not as bad as it could have been. The pipes burst behind the wall, and needed to be replaced. I asked him how big of a hole they had to make, and "the whole wall is gone" was his reply. Are you kidding me? Then he says, "I never liked that old vanity anyhow." WHAT? The vanity, too? OMG. I must have looked like one of those cartoon cats, where you see the $ signs rolling through their eyes like symbols on a slot machine. My husband, however, was unphased.
Let me give you a little history.... When we moved into our 100+ year old house, we learned the the southeast corner of the basement is an old cistern that has been closed off. Since day one, he has been asking me to let him tear that basement wall out so he can see what is in the cistern. Why would you want to do that? I'll tell you what's in there. Nastiness. Bugs. Maybe even a dead body. Who the hell cares?! Let it be! But no, he refused. Every six months or so for the last ten years, we've gone through the same discussion. Him wanting to tear the wall out, and me knowing that if he did he'd never be able to repair it himself, and it would just sit, or be one more thing for me to do, or one more unnecessary repair bill for us. So when he came upstairs to tell me they had to break through the wall to get to the pipes, he was almost giddy. Well, I said, you finally got to break through your wall. Congratulations. What did you find behind it?
BWA HA HA HA HA HA!!!! The cistern is still cemented off, and the pipes were between the cement and the paneled basement wall. So I said the only thing I could at that moment...
Once I got Henry down for his nap this afternoon, and had Jack happy in his saucer, I grabbed my camera and took it down to the basement to capture the carnage. As it turns out, my husband is quite the exaggerator. Not only is the ugly vanity still intact (albeit very dirty), but only a small piece of the wall had to be removed. That piece was destroyed, but it is easily fixable once everything dries out.
Here is a picture of the cement that still keeps my husband from the contents of our cistern, our $250 little black pipe, and my ugly bathroom vanity:
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the paneling had been put up right over the cement. I thought there would be plaster under it that would need repairs too, as the opposite wall of the bathroom is plastered. Phew! I lucked out this time. :)