If the Gluestick family was to have a motto it would have to be:
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. If it IS broke probably still don’t fix it because it will just lead to other things.
And not good things like, ‘Great, we’ve got the new windows in but we’ll have to redecorate!’ or ‘That’s central heating installed, let’s redecorate!’ or ‘The kitchen re-model looks amazing, let’s get the oven installed and enjoy our Pinterest-worthy lifestyle!’
No. More like ‘It’s about time we redecorated the living room. Oh, look, the plaster’s come off with the wallpaper and look at that gaping hole in the floor through to the cellar after pulling up the carpet!’ (True story.)
Yep, we’re always best off just leaving things alone and then living without forever. Things like a dishwasher or tumble dryer or central heating. (When we tried to get that one fixed they told us our whole system had been installed the opposite way to conventional systems and it would therefore cost double to fix. We left it. Warmth is so over-rated.)
So this week we had to decide whether or not we could possibly live without hot water as the immersion heater broke. The look on Teflon Man’s face told us that would be a no.
I could have just called up the favourite plumber from work. Reliable, capable and not a rip-off merchant, it could have been sorted by the next day.
But, no. Because Grandy is a hands-on sort of bloke he could get it sorted himself. Although not that night because the big chain DIY stores assume that no one uses such out-dated methods of water-heating (they have a point) so no longer stock immersion heaters. We know this because Grandy spent the evening trawling the big chain DIY stores and explaining to staff that it’s like a giant kettle element that goes in the hot water tank, when his request met with blank stares.
But, by the next evening he’d managed to track down a new immersion heater. It only took a visit to five specialist plumbing merchants. (I didn’t even know our town had five specialist plumbing merchants.)
It wasn’t that easy though.
For one thing, a washer was missing. Sort of essential, the washer. So it was back to the specialist plumbing merchant. Actually, it was back to three of the specialist plumbing merchants. It turns out washers aren’t held in stock, but have to be ordered in specially. I’m not sure whether it’s because of space issues, what with them being small flat rings of rubber, or the cost implications of holding stock of any quantity of a product that retails at 34p per unit.
Luckily someone had ordered in a washer, but Grandy managed to negotiate it for himself.
48 hours after We’vegotnowatergate we had hot water again. Grandy then discovered that actually the new immersion unit had contained a washer all along – it had just got stuck to the bottom of the box.
But we also had a bigger problem. But of course.
Venturing into the cellar to turn the water off, Grandy couldn’t help but notice that the pipe connected to the mains was leaking in the cellar. Well, it was hard not to notice as it was a) spurting quite vociferously and b) had partly flooded the cellar.
‘I’m not fixing it tonight,’ he announced. As the flood was draining out the front of the house and, pfft, it’s not like we actually use the cellar for anything other than storage of crap we’d otherwise need a skip to get rid of because none of us are either dwarves (the ceiling’s quite height-limited) nor keen to hang out with spiders (and potentially a ghost baby) we weren’t that concerned. We live with probably hazardous electrics and a gas oven that was hooked up in the dark ages, so on the list of The House Could Probably Kill Us subterranean flooding wasn’t a particular emergency. We all shrugged and went to bed.
Actually it took another two days to get the flood sorted. Make that two days, one baffled Chinese man roused from his Saturday morning lie-in so Grandy could turn the mains water off (except he couldn’t because you need a special tool to turn it off, so make that one baffled Chinese man roused for no reason) and many many many swear words. At least it’s merely seeping now, rather than spurting, which in our world is as good as it gets.
Perfect time then for the kitchen sink to become blocked then.