Quest for Water

"…and he calmly announced our troubles weren’t done."
Leslie Fish, Ballad of Transport 18.

Nothing comes easy. Water isn’t free these days, and plumbing is an interesting project — in the ancient Chinese curse sense of interesting.

The construction company finished the work authoritzed by the insurance company and the extras I requested. At my request, they finished in rather a hurry, and I heaved a sigh of relief as the last man took his satchel of tools out the door.

But nothing comes easy. The electric is on, the internet is operational, but the water isn’t hooked up yet. I knew we had some problems. I knew that the old water heater is gas, and I now need to purchase an electric one. I had requested that the water line to the old kitchen sink be capped off, but wasn’t sure if that had happened. Nor did I know what had happened to the intake pipes for the bathroom sink.

My roomie and I began the quest by pulling out the old linoleum and removing crumbling underlayment. This area was not covered by insurance because much of the damage had occurred before the accident. We discovered that beneath the underlayment was another layer of linoleum and tongue and groove pine flooring. The pine flooring was broken and splintered in a couple of places. At some point, a former resident had created a box to raise the toilet bowl higher — probably to encourage efficient flushing and to keep it from falling through the floor. 

We peered through the splintered holes, then took pictures to see if we could locate the pipes. When that did not avail, I carefully cut through a few key boards (that are going to have to be replaced anyway) to see if we could locate the missing plumbing.

I went back to the sink cabinet that had been removed from the bathroom to see if I could find a clue as to the problem. I did. I found the two intake hoses attached to severed pipes. With that information, we located the pipes for the bathroom sink. They had been cut or broken off at floor level.

My roomie reminded me that as an online student, he still had homework — and a lot of it. I grumbled to myself as, frustrated, I removed a couple more damaged boards from the floor before giving up for the night. I still haven’t found the plumbing for the old kitchen sink, and I don’t know if the bathtub is hooked up.

I grumbled to myself as I washed my hair in a basin and took a sponge bath. I’ll grumble to myself today as I collect water containers and prepare to haul more water. 

It takes a gallon of water to wash hair and bathe. Humans and animals need water to drink and there must be water for cooking and cleaning the dishes. It takes 2.5 gallons of water to flush the toilet.

Flim-Florn flig-ged snibbit! Bad words, bad words! Five gallons of water from Walmart costs $1.89. I have four 5 gallon containers and six 1 gallon containers. I have floors to clean, dishes to wash and I want to set up the washing machine and dryer. And I have to go to work today, which is a good thing because plumbing parts and water are @#!!$$!! expensive. 

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  1. I do feel for you, Daisy. It looks as if your place will never be back to normal. I hope you solve your water problem soon.

  2. You have no small challenge ahead of you, my friend. You definitely need water. I don’t know how much rain you get but here is a suggestion that might help. Set up a rain barrel to collect water for cleaning, flushing the toilet, and other such needs. Let Mother Nature give you a hand. Maybe you have already done this. Hauling water is no fun. My heart goes out to you. Great article and we all need to be kept aware of all you folks are still going through. Keep sharing.

  3. I know how these old houses are as I own one. Whenever we start to tear into something we find things we never knew was there. I helped a friend three houses down a few years ago remove wallpaper and we found six bullet holes in her wall. Wonder what the story behind that one was. My prayers are as always with you my dear friend.

  4. OMG. This is terrible :(

  5. Daisy, can’t you take jugs to a filling station and fill up your jugs? I believe I see a water hydrant at the gas tanks. I’m almost sure of it. That would save you the price of water.

  6. We are super close to Kansas where water is sort of like gold. Here, most of the stations sell pre-mixed anti-freeze. Even the air pumps are coin operated. I’m looking…hoping to find an old-style station somewhere that has a hydrant.

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