Friday, December 17, 2010

The Plumber and the Pipe

This morning I turned on the shower and nothing happened. No water.

The cold tap in the bath didn't work either. However, all the other taps did, including the hot tap, so I had a hot bath and then called British Gas as we have a Homecare contract with them, which includes plumbing.

The man who was dealing with plumbing queries was from the Caribbean. He sounded as though he was sitting on a sun-kissed beach sipping a Pina Colada.

I did wonder if it might be a frozen pipe but since the loo was making a strange noise when it flushed I thought it might also be an airlock.

Caribbean Man was very friendly and said he could get someone out to me today. Hurrah! And a couple of hours later the local office rang me to say that someone was on his way.

The man who came looked remarkably like Tyrone from Coronation Street. Short, squat, very friendly and with an alarming amount of what I know is generally referred to as "bum cleavage".

He asked me lots of questions about the plumbing of our bathroom and I didn't know the answers to any of them and anyway I was too busy trying to avoid looking at the bum cleavage.

Our bathroom was put in by Norwood Kitchens and Bathrooms who sadly supplied us with the Bathroom Fitter from Hell and everything in it has been done ever so slightly wrong. That's apart from the bits that were done Very Wrong Indeed and they were redone. We should have made them redo the whole thing but I just couldn't stand it any more.

After a while, Tyrone concluded that Bathroom Fitter from Hell had, for some reason best known to himself, decided to take the pipe bringing cold water to the bath and shower along above the ceiling of the front porch. The more conventional route would have been under the bathroom floor, of course.

So this means that the pipe is more or less outside, having little protection from the cold - - - and the temperature outside was minus 5 degrees Centigrade or less last night. So it had frozen. It's never frozen before so it must have been really REALLY cold.

So off Tyrone went, having left the bath tap on so I would know when the pipe had thawed. He took off the panel from the side of the bath and placed it in the bath, so as to let more heat down to the frozen pipe.

A couple of hours later I heard water flowing and went upstairs to find the bath about to overflow, because Tyrone had left the plug in and I hadn't noticed because the bath panel was on top of it.

So I turned the tap off and plunged my arm into the near-overflowing freezing cold water, and pulled the plug out.

So all was well again - - - until a couple of hours after that when I looked in the room below and found that the overflow from the bath, which wasn't connected properly by Bathroom Fitter from Hell, had plummeted water all over the carpet. Great.

Then I looked in the cellar and found where the water had ended up. Fortunately, because I got to the bath fairly quickly, there wasn't too much of it.

We're leaving the side of the bath off in the hope that warm air will stop it all from freezing up again tonight.

I rather liked Tyrone, though it's a shame he left the plug in. I most certainly didn't like the Bathroom Fitter from Hell - it's ten years since he was in our house and he's still causing problems.

Can someone bring me Spring and a wood full of bluebells? Thank you.


Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

So your Tyrone... he always stands with his back to ladies in need of plumbing? I just wondered because you said you kept looking at his bum cleavage as he asked you questions. Or was his head screwed on the wrong way round?...We also had a cowboy plumber to do our bathroom ten years ago and similarly, his legacy remains. I couldn't find one thing he did which was done properly. Quite an achievement.

11:11 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

Worse than standing with his back to me, YP - he knelt on all fours peering under the bath and it was VERY hard to avoid seeing far more of him than was strictly necessary!
Sorry you had a cowboy plumber too.

11:14 pm  
Blogger Daphne2 said...

Unfortunately the cowboy who did our bathroom and kitchen was also a personal riend - I'll call him Phil as it's his name. We were warned by a few other friends but went ahead anyway. for the first few years it was okay - if anything went wrong we just called Phil, and he came round, and he only ever charged us for parts, but then he moved to Derbyshire and we have had to call on other people. Recently replaced the waste disposal unit (that was just wear and tear)ourselves but cause another leak under the sink - all because we disturbed the waste pipe which was just not quite long enough - one of his common faults, so waste from sink, washer, dishwasher, waste disosal all trickling back under the sink and resting in my baking trays - stank of stagnant water by the time we realised the problem. Again managed to replace the pipe ourselves so it is good for our plumbing skills.

9:00 am  
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