Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just Fix It

Apologies to my blog readers. I have been wicked at not blogging as regularly as I usually do. I try to average one blog entry at least every other day. I just have not had the time of late due to many complicated factors in my personal life. My stress level is through the roof these days. We're getting ready to move and all that. I hate moving, so that's one element. I'm also having to spend virtually every off hour working on my house to get it in shape to sell.

The latest in the saga is the plumbing issue in my house. What began as a minor leaking shutoff valve in the basement (basically about a ten dollar part) has morphed into having to redo the entire water main to the house. To fix the value, we needed to turn off the water to the house. Usually that is a simple matter of going to the water stop box on the street and simply turning off the water to the house from the main.

Turns out a previous owner when putting the driveway in simply cemented over the stop box. So we had to call the city and have them come out to find where it was. They of course decided to play paint by numbers all over the street with a big X marks the Spot on top of the spot box. The poor plumber had to chisel through the concrete on a day that was almost 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Of course the stop box was frozen over, so we had to spend days trying to rethaw the thing. Finally it got warm enough one day to siphon the thing out. Then they apparently broke it, trying to turn off the water. And on top of that, they apparently decided it was time quit for the day and go for a beer, so they just up and left. My wife comes home after work, not a plumber in sight, and water oozing out of the stop box all the way down the street.

To fix the stop box, turns out the City of Lincoln mandates that the pipe from the main to the house has to be brought up to code. Because the main was installed in 1895 and not touched since, its all lead based. So we have to redo all that. Also, due to the apparently penny-pinching ways of the city, the home owner is responsible for not just the pipe in your yard and the stop box, but also the pipe from the main on the other side of the street to the stop box. Anywhere east of the Mississippi, that's illegal because you can't be held financially liable for something that isn't on your property. So apparently I get to also pay for stuff on city property, as well as paying for the permit and rental fee for the barricade cones when they shut off the street to work on the main, despite the fact that the city is the one forcing me to do allt his unnecessary work to begin with.

So, basically, the city makes off like bandits anytime people have plumbing problems. One would think this is a government operation with all the unnecessary expenditures. Wait...it really is.

If all goes according to plan, the plumbers should on Wednesday bring this two week fiasco to an end, and hopefully I can get out of town with a dime to my name.

I hope the next owners appreciate owning the world's most expensive $10 shut off value.

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