By John Toth
With the holidays approaching, in the middle of shopping season and weird press-run deadlines, I decided to make things a little more interesting.
Why not get the house repiped and disrupt the status quo even more? It’s as good a time as any, said nobody. We can handle it just for a few days, even though it’s right before Christmas, said nobody.
It’s been a long time coming, and I finally pulled the trigger on it. After the freeze of 2021, the company that rescued whatever was left of my pipes recommended that since the house was built in 1983, it would not be such a bad idea to consider repiping it.
But I kept putting it off - until now.
The work began as winter arrived in the morning and turned to spring by noon. It was a perfect day to repipe. The guys could climb into the attic without sweating out half their body weight in 150 degrees of summer attic heat.
I don’t know how workers who have to climb in the attic stand it during the summer heat. But they do. This is coming from a guy who likes heat - but not that much heat.
Same with roofers, but at least they get to be outside. That has to be better than being stuck in a sweltering attic with the summer sun beating down on the roof.
I was glad I was sitting down when I heard the new price. I’m not going to get into specifics, but I should have repiped the house in 2021 and then take a nice cruise somewhere. The total would have been the same.
I’m not complaining, but I could kick myself for not doing it when they first suggested it. By the way, I used a local company that spends its money in Brazoria County, not one that advertises on TV that it can be done in one day “for a very low price.”
To get started, they cut through some walls and planned out where the pipes would be lowered. It was complicated, like a big jigsaw puzzle, but they knew what they were doing.
“We cut a hole in your office. I think you have some termites in there,” said one of the plumbers.
It looked like the termites built a castle right next to the water pipes. That was crafty of them. But I pay for termite protection - have been for several years.
“They look dead,” remarked the plumber.
I called the exterminator that planted those termite poison plugs all around the house.
“Those aren’t termites. That’s a fire ant mound. Just take your hose and water it down. All that sand will sink back where it came from. It’s supposed to be on the bottom,” said the exterminator.
He was right. I did just as he said, except I stuck my hand in there to push the water hose down into the sand. Those sand castles still had some occupants, and they got me good. Nothing major, but it didn’t feel good.
“He was right. Those are fire ants in there,” I told Sharon, who was trying to edit the Christmas issue of The Bulletin while all this commotion was going on around her.
After they bit me, they got a good dose of fire ant killer for dessert. Case closed on the fire ants.
“Your dishwasher is leaking,” said the plumber.
“We’ve had it for a decade and probably used it a dozen times,” I said. “It’s brand new still.”
“It’s leaking from the drum, so you’ll need a new one,” he said.
This repiping is getting more complicated by the minute.
We’re going to have to get a new dishwasher, I told Sharon.
“Why? It’s brand new still. We never use it,” she said.
“We’ll get a new one that we’ll never use,” I said.
I like washing dishes by hand, since there are only the two of us living here now. By the time I soak the dishes down to get them ready for the dishwasher, I can just wash them by hand.
“You had a pipe leaking into the drywall behind the washer,” said the plumber who just ripped out all the soggy drywall in the utility room.
I’ll keep you posted.