April 19, 2010

drip drip drop dripdripdrip

I did a Big Girl thing today that I hate doing... I called my landlord!

I have an inexplicable fear of landlords. I just prefer to have little contact with them. I don't know what it is. I guess I just don't like knowing some stranger has the key to my apartment. I picturing him walking around in there, opening all of my cabinets and looking in my messy-ass bedroom. Perusing my fridge and criticizing my diet. Wondering about my giant bag of smashed cans. Shaking his head at my dining room table turned crafting area. I'm always scared there's something in there that will displease him. It's a completely irrational fear, though. When I actually think about it, try to think of something that shouldn't be, there isn't anything. It's just silliness. And yet there it is, in the back of my head. 'Landlords are SCARY.'

After all, he is, sort of, The Man. And I've never gotten along so well with The Man. The Man doesn't like me and I fear his criticism.

There's no battery in my smoke detector. There it is! The thing! The thing that will make him mad! Or at least make him leave a passive-aggressive pamphlet about smoke alarm batteries. But, really. The stupid thing goes off anytime I use the stove. I don't know, I guess when I am burning to a crisp in my bed then I will have learnt my lesson. My neighbor's the one who decorates the fire extinguisher for Christmas. I think that's a little more dangerous.

The reason I called him this time around was because of the stupid bathtub faucet. The apartments were built in the 50's and, while they've been very well-maintained, the plumbing is still really ancient. You have a simple problem like a leaky faucet and it seems like it just opens up a whole can of wormy plumbing issues. Two years ago in the wintertime, the faucet started dripping. As the cold weather continued, it dripped more and more until it was really more of a stream. Finally there was a note on the door that the landlord would be checking each of the apartments because the water bill was high. This is the part where I started feeling silly about not calling in the first place.

The day came and I left him a note stating that it was probably my leaky faucet and I'm sorry I hadn't called and thanks!!!!!!!!!!! (I hope exclaimation points don't piss him off) He said he'd be back to fix the faucet and a few days later I realized what he meant by "fix". The faucet was no longer a stream but back to a drip. The handle had a bunch of scratch marks on it, so I assumed he probably just took a wrench and went at it.

This winter, the drip returned. Sure enough, it's now a stream. I discovered that lemon juice and vinegar beat out any other cleaning product on the market when it comes to cleaning off calcium and lime and they even keep it away when your faucet refuses to quit. That's a good tip, write that down. I used almost a whole bottle of CLR to no avail. Lemon juice and vinegar, I tell you. Anyhow, I did a google-search to see if we had a plausible do-it-myself situation. But I learned that it was probably an old washer and that everything was probably going to be stuck together because it was so old and I was looking at about $60 worth of supplies just to get the parts out to check.

There were no other options. It was time to call up Hunky. So I called him today and gladly left him a voicemail. Hopefully he calls a plumber this time instead of doing a quick-fix that'll have it leaking again in 6 months. But I'm not holding my breath.

I will be sure to share with you the exciting conclusion! I know you will be waiting with bated breath. And don't forget that vinegar/lemon juice thing!


Helene Raymond said...

I totally understand your fear of having to call your landlord! It's not easy having to explain to authority figures that something needs fixing. Considering that your landlord hadn't been able to put a more permanent stop to the leak, I'm sure he, too, would think it's a better idea to call a plumber. If the plumbing in the building is really old and making it prone to problems, it might be good for him to have a go-to plumber who he can trust to do the job well everytime.(Helene Raymond)

Carmella Vancil said...

Since you said that the faucet has still leaked after he tried to repair it, I really wish your landlord called a professional plumber to fix that drip on your faucet that time around. Not only will it save you both the hassle of having a leaky faucet, it will also save you money from more serious repairs had the problem escalated to a major one. Carmella Vancil