three years for my work to come undone
Thursday, January 12 2006
My day began in homeowner hell, with a mysterious drip from the ceiling in one of the basement bathrooms, which is underneath the first floor "powder room." The water was coming out of a recessed light fixture and landing in the best possible place, the sink. I couldn't see any obvious source of the leak in the powder room, so I started tearing apart the drywall in the basement bathroom's ceiling.
About that time I noticed that Eleanor had a nasty rip in her left armpit. A triangular flap of skin nearly two inches long had been torn back, exposing the blotchy pinkness of bare muscles beneath. At first it looked like it needed stitches, but when Gretchen was on the phone with the vet, he said that he never stitches up wounds unless they are bleeding and very fresh. This wound may or may not have been fresh, but it didn't appear to be bleeding. So instead we started Eleanor on a course of antibiotics.
The first question from everyone who saw this injury was "how did it happen?" But, as always with Eleanor's accident-prone lifestyle, there was no way to know.
I eventually tracked the dripping ceiling in the basement bathroom to a leak that had developed near the powder room toilet. The brass tube connecting the toilet to a spigot on the floor had sprung a leak in the compression fitting at the spigot end. What was interesting about this leak was that it was occurring in one of the first plumbing connections I'd made in this house, back in the fall of 2002 after I'd replaced the powder room floor and had had to reinstall the toilet. Evidently I'd had trouble making a non-leaking connection, so (in my ignorance) I'd packed plumber's putty around the compression sleeve. Traces of that putty were still there when I disassembled the connection today. It had taken more than three years for my shoddy ill-informed work to come undone. This bodes well for even the sloppiest of my solder joints.
The day was another warm one. One can occasionally have freakish warm days in January. It's rare though to have a whole week of them.
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