Plumbing – not mine, the house!

Now, I have been accused in the past of sharing over much on my blogs, but I can assure you that this time the plumbing I refer to is NOT mine  – not ghastly stories of leaking fluids from ME this time (although if you’re REALLY interested, I can point you over here…)

No, this time we’re talking about the even more expensive kind.  The kind where you call the man who charges even more than hospitals and doctors.  The kind whose absence can leave you even more miserable – truly, is there much more misery making than a lukewarm, low pressure shower on a freezing cold morning?   Brrrrrrrr.

(I particularly like how this logo is GOLD PLATED.  Kinda says it all.)

We had a lot of plumbing work done last year when we had the house re-stumped and re-roofed and the new water tank put in.  ‘Righty-o!’ We naively thought, ‘We’re done!’


Because a couple of weeks ago we had a tap in the bathroom that decided to just start trickling instead of turning off.  And then the trickle turned into running.  Which of course happened on a Friday arvo… so we watched litres of water going down the drain all weekend, not wanting to call a plumber out on the weekend ($$$!) and having discovered that for some reason an ordinary washer wouldn’t fix the problem.  Turns out that some sort of ‘water saver sleeve’ had been fitted that had caused the problem.  ARRRRRGH!  $101.20

Then last week we noticed that in order to have a hot shower you had to be QUICK and not turn the cold tap on at all.  And it was getting worse – to the point where a hot shower was becoming impossible.  Soooooo… call the plumber again.  Some sort of problem with the ‘tempering valve‘ (and here I begin to wonder if it’s called that because it causes me to lose MY temper…) which is fixed at great expense… $429.30  (ouch!)

Except…. it’s not fixed.  Because after a few days of HOT showers (bliss!) we start noticing that the problem of COLD showers is back – only now we have a ghost in the pipes as well –  a whiiiiine that can only be fixed by turning off various taps until you find the right one where the ghost is caught.  ARRRRRRRRRGH!  And now the hot water heater  is spurting cold water out one of the drain valves at over a litre a minute… constantly. Which adds to the whirring noise in the pipes.

So as I’m writing this we’re waiting for the plumber to come again… and dreading how much our water rates bill will be next time, with all this excess water just running away.

Part of the problem might have been caused by the council themselves – the plumber reckons some of this might have been caused by muck in the pipes and our expensive problems started AFTER the Jellicoe Street mains was reconnected a couple of weeks ago after being out of service for 18 months (when it was knocked out in the January 10 floods).  Who knows how much gunk was flushed through and into our system then. Ugh.

But I suspect it’s the new tempering valve that’s caused the problems.

And the BEST part?  The plumbers we paid THOUSANDS to, not twelve months ago ? Have gone out of business, because they were a husband and wife company (as so many small businesses are) and their marriage went kaput, so the company has folded.  So much for our guarantees.

(And now the plumber has arrived… and Mr Beloved has just informed me, has gone away again to get parts for THREE – count ’em, ONE, TWO, THREE, valves on the hot water system which have gone wrong – turn off, hot blowoff and cold blowoff.



Good thing we bought those tins of baked beans when they were on special for four tins for $5… because I think that’s all we’ll be eating for a while.  Holy hot cheese jaffles, Batman, I can’t WAIT to see the bill for this.


It’s now an hour later, and it’s dark… and the plumber and Mr Beloved are still out there.  The plumber has phoned a friend.  He keeps saying things like “Yep, you’ve get a really weird one here…”

I have taken One Of My Little P1lls.

And I’m still on the edge of tears because… well dammit, because!  There are times when things Just Get Too Much and this is getting close to becoming one of them.  ARRRRRGH!  So I have left poor Mr Beloved to deal with the nice plumber and I had to walk away because I was just feeling too sick to manage. And I’m trying not to beat myself up about that but – ugh.

And now I am going upstairs and hiding under the blankets again until this is over.  Or until I can have a hot shower again. Whichever comes first.  The forecast is for ‘Frost then Sunny’ and 1 C overnight – but apparently it ‘felt like’ – 5 C overnight last night.

A hot shower would be a Good Thing.







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