With apologies to Cole Porter…
I hate plumbing in the spring time,
I hate plumbing in the fall,
I hate plumbing in the winter, when it drizzles,
I hate pluming in the summer, when it sizzles.
I hate plumbing every moment,
Every moment of the year,
I hate plumbing,
Why, oh why, do I hate plumbing,
Because my leaky, f’ing faucet is near.
That bit of drivel is meant to prepare you for some whining and ranting on my part regarding the latest installment in our plumbing adventures. This afternoon I worked from home as I received a phone call that the plumber had the replacement part he needed and would be coming by. The plumber showed up slightly later than I was expecting, but once he arrived I showed him the tub and the shutoff valve in the basement1. I left him to his work and got back to mine.
The handle on the shutoff valve was old/rusted and back when the first plumber came out for the broken faucet; he broke the handle (but not the valve thank god). Today’s plumber went back to his truck to get some channel locks to turn it with and also found a new handle sitting loose in the truck which he said he’d try putting on2. Then he went back to the bathroom and got to work. A few minutes later I heard him exclaim “SHIT!” I asked if everything was ok, but got no reply. I could still hear him moving about, so I figured he’d just bonked his hand and went back to work.
Shortly there after, he came out and asked if I was sure the faucet was a Price Pfister? I said no, that’s just what the other plumber had told us. He said in any case the part the first plumber told us to order was the wrong part and in fact it’s not even a part for the same brand of faucet as we have. He left then to see if he could track down the part we actually needed somewhere around town.
When he got back, he had the bad news that nobody has the part we need locally and we’ll need to order it.
He also asks a few more questions about the other plumber who’d been out and recommends calling them back to try getting our money refunded. Apparently he used to work for that company and still knows a few things about their procedures. Seeing how it’s been almost a month, our faucet is still broken, the plumber who originally came out to look at it never wants to discuss it with us; my wife thought that was a good idea.
Then he turns our water back on and goes back to his shop. Not more than 30 minutes later, he calls back3 and gives me the details for calling the manufacturer of our faucet as the part which is broken has a 100 year warranty on it. My wife gives them a call. She immediately gets through to an actual human being, who takes our address and say it’ll be sent out via UPS and should be in our hands by Monday, Tuesday at the latest. Time taken to complete the call was less than 10 minutes.
Yes, I said less than 10 minutes. I know, we were both stunned at that too and they did not have us pay anything for the parts! Now that’s some seriously good customer service. She then called back the plumbing company of the first guy who came out and complained at them for 20 minutes straight. Unfortunately it turns out she was talking to a receptionist and the shop foreman will be calling back tomorrow when she’s at work. I’m going to have to field that call and it’s scheduled for approximately the time I’m walking in the door after driving home.
I really hate plumbing.
1 As a reminder, the tub with the broken faucet has no local shutoff valve. To stop the water flowing, we have to shut off the water to the entire house.
2 I don’t believe it fit, but it was nice of him to try.
3 Unlike the original plumber who appeared hating calling us back and didn’t like us to call him either.