Running water

There is never going to come a day where you turn to whoever you live with and say “Today is a perfect day to have plumbing problems. No come to think of it, this whole week looks good to have some serious and expensive plumbing issues! Let’s start right away!”

Plumbing in the desert has got to rank up there with some of the toughest jobs that really don’t get paid what they deserve. They are our heroes. More than any sports team I have ever watched during a playoff did I cheer these men on this week to get our plumbing situation back up and running.

I watched as hard working honest men from different local plumbing companies came out to see if first, the warranty was going to handle any of this, second when it didn’t who could do the job, then when more problems arose was referred to another set of plumbers who had the equipment needed.

It has been quite the week.

We live in Gold Canyon in a little old wonderful house built up on a hill sometime back in the 1940’s. We are not connected to city water. We have a well. The well sits waaaaaaaaaaaaay back on the 2.5 acres and has no direct route to it but to go down a long driveway then down around… it’s just a lot of desert between the house and the water tank when it is 102 outside like it is.

This system is not that simple and has quirks for days. I believe at some point the previous home owner told my husband he had never called a plumber in 30 years.

We knew when we bought this place there was going to be random things to learn. Any old house has a personality. This house is awesome and wanted to just get back to playing music loud and enjoying the views. It wasn’t anymore thrilled then we were that the plumbing was having issues.

A series of things needed to happen this week to get everything back in working order. I will not bore you with details most of which I will not explain properly anyway and it’s just gross.

Basically some seal broke initially causing the pressure to drop making the pump work super hard to get water up to the house. When that happened the lack of water flowing through the pipes helped spotlight the fact that yeah maybe these pipes haven’t been cleared in years and years and now we have a stoppage so significant that long time plumbers turned to my husband and said “This is one of those jobs you remember!”

Nice. Of all the things I want to be remembered for.

Anyone who works outside in Arizona heat will tell you it is no joke. I also have been paid to work outside (four years PHX Zoo).  Let me tell you first hand when you feel the burning on your shins from the radiant heat coming off the concrete you know and understand how serious it is. I have great respect for all of the outdoor work that is done in our extreme weather. Thank you to whoever makes those wide brimmed hats!

I could sit here and complain about all the inconveniences a week of plumbing issues have caused. But really? All it did was highlight just how blessed of individuals we are. I had more than plenty of options and friendly offers on where I could use the bathroom, locate water, take a shower or even drink clean cold water.

Running water is a luxury I do not take for granted. I am well aware there are too many places in the world where none of what I enjoy daily they have access to and I live in the desert. Water to us is more valuable than gold. I have even wondered if the old tales of hidden treasures out here weren’t actually talking about tucked away springs of water and not mines of gold. I can’t drink gold. I won’t die without it.

Laughter is always what gets me through tough situations. In person my sense of humor is much more appropriate for my sweaty plumber guys. I fit in. I don’t offend easily. I tend to say things knowing it was at least a half a step towards wrong. That’s where funny lives. Your head will explode if you don’t laugh at some of it.

We have Saltillo tile so again huge blessing when you are talking water damage. This stuff will stand up to a nuclear blast. The house could crumble away but this orangey tile ain’t goin’ nowhere. Flooding it three times in a row isn’t going to hurt it. It’s 102 dry degrees outside. Trust me this will dry.

Later my plumber told me I was awesome and he loved how I had handled all of this so well.

To me that was a good compliment. I am sure plumbers don’t always get offered  all of the remaining cold water and ice in the house, a soda or some left over rice crispy treats. It’s possible they don’t encounter someone of my level of desert crazy very often who just simply grabs more towels, opens the back door and starts pushing the water out again while she giggles to herself about a new demented idea for a scary story.

I also found it funny that I was covered in toilet water but not in the good French kind of way! Stace le pew no? Oh come on, get over yourselves. Laugh at dumb once in a while. Turkey Vultures have circled me! This scent for sure is going to draw me some vulture attention!

*Ok, in all honesty the smell wasn’t awful until questions of the septic tanks level of fullness had to be answered.

Yikes I couldn’t be a plumber. When that smell hit I turned myself right back around and left that to the professionals. I would rather go swat the flys that have now entered my home through the constant open doors required to sweep out the flooding then smell that combined with the heat. Wow.

Aaaah yes… the open doors. I watched sadly as the expensive cool air left my house to be replaced by 102 degree blasts of heat. But again, this too only highlighting the fact that I am blessed to even have air conditioning. Air conditioning failures, power outages and the like are deadly in extreme heat like ours.

Years and years people have lived with no running water, no air. I am grateful for the advances technology has made. Running water and cooled or warmed air depending on your climate should be available to all. A basic right.

Thank you Tony, Tim and Anthony for working so hard and sweating so much to get us back up and running. Thank you for charging us fair amounts so this nightmare didn’t break us. Thank you for coming when you said you would. Thank you for being plumbers. We greatly appreciate it.


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